Barbary Coast Slot
Barbary Coast is another swashbuckling online slot, this time from Betsoft. The game has 5 reels and a maximum of 30-pay lines, and was one of the first games released using Betsoft's 'Slots3' 3D slots gaming platform. The 'Barbary Coast' was a region of the coast of North Africa, which today would encompass Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Pirates would attack the coastal settlements where a great deal of trading (including – unfortunately – slaves) would take place and a large amount of wealth accumulated. Betsoft have chosen this theme for a swashbuckling online slots game, although by the looks of the symbols used, these pirates seem more used to the Caribbean. The pirates in the game are led by Captain Ben Sawyer, whom has been taking grooming tips from Johnny Depp.
The controls for this slot should be familiar to anyone who has ever played an online slot before. You select your coin value from 0.02 to 1.00, and your bet-per-line from one to five. There are thirty pay lines in total, and you can have as many in play as you want at any time. Your final wager is these three totals multiplied together. To win a pay out, you need to land at least three identical symbols in sequence on a pay line from the left-hand reel. When you're ready to buckle your swashes and splice your main braces, hit the 'spin' button, or barrel in this case.
Payout & bonus rounds
Payouts commence with three rum barrels, which wins 10x your line bet. The jackpot is attained by landing five of whom we assume to be Cap'n Ben's love interest, at 300x.
The parrot symbol acts as the scatter, and landing three or more pollys anywhere on the reels is enough to win you free spins. You cannot re-trigger free spins, or win other features during your freebies. The parrot will squawk at you to announce how many free spins you have won.
If you land the cannon symbol on the centre reel you trigger the 'explosive wild reel feature'. A chubby buccaneer walks by and fires the cannon at the central reel, turning it completely wild. You receive one free respin where the expanded wild remains in place.
Landing three or more Cap'n Ben Sawyer symbols anywhere on the reels wins you the 'Dashing Sawyer' feature. Select the 'Pick Me' symbols for Ben to swing by and award cash prizes.
Three or more Captain Blackbeard symbols on an active pay line triggers the 'Fight Bonus' round. Cap'n Ben takes on the fearsome Blackbeard for some sizeable buccaneer booty. If Cap'n Ben wins it be you who takes home the pirating prize.
If you land three or more 'worker' symbols on an active pay live you receive the 'Grog Challenge' feature. Choose heads or tales for the spin of a coin. Win and the worker takes a drink, lose and you down a jolt of rum. If you out-drink your opponent under the table then you win a sizeable coin bonus.
This was one of Betsoft's first releases on their 'Slots3' platform, and it shows. The features and gameplay are great, but the animation is a little stilted and looks unrealistic. Over the years Betsoft have improved both the 'Slots3' platform and the quality of their games, taking a 'cartoon-esque' approach as opposed to realism, and it's a switch that has worked well. Barbary Coast has slid down the slots popularity charts, but is still worth the odd doubloon. Catch it before it sails away forever!