There are a lot of slots with pirate themes, and this lively example from MicroGaming is one of the better ones. While your first impression might be of a crowded set of reels, the game gets better the more you play. All the classic symbols are involved, a compass, bearded pirate and a female one – and crossed pistols. Behind the reel you’ll see the skull and crossbones gently fluttering against a night sky. This is quite a contrast to the lively, upbeat sea shanty that plays while you spin.
If a boat with cannons sticking out of it hits reel 3, then you get a wild reel. At random this expanded wild will shoot even more wilds onto the reels. Things take an unexpected twist when you trigger the free spins bonus game. Here you can win from both directions.
The grid of reels is a very standard 5 by 3 setup. This game uses all-ways wins instead of win-lines. Meaning that hitting matching symbols on consecutive reels from the left is the name of the game. You can spin in increments of 60c, which covers all 243 potential winning combinations.
A special logo symbol, with the words Loose Cannon and a flag is the highest paying regular symbol. I have listed wins for a $1.20c bet here for clarity – and this will then pay $10. A pirate complete with pistol and eye-patch comes next, worth $8. Higher paying symbols are completed by the female pirate holding a cutlass and a monkey which is holding something with a skull and crossbones insignia.
Smaller wins are not provided by the ever present playing cards. Instead items like a chest, map (with a dagger in it), crab and crossed pistols make up the smaller amounts.
There are wilds on all the reels, which show a ship with cannons sticking out from the front. These will create extra wins as substitutes for all the regular symbols. If you hit a wild on reel 3, things are more interesting. Here that wild will expand to cover all 3 positions. Sometimes (at random) you will see the ships fire their cannons upwards. The cannonballs then fall back over the reels, creating more wilds as they fall. Wins are calculated after all the wilds are in place.
Scatters are the compass symbol. These only appear on reels 1, 3 and 5. If you get all 3 then you get a $6 prize– and enter the free spins game.
You also get 15 free spin, which can be retriggered. The music changes to a different sea-shanty while you play. During these free spins, wins are created from the right-hand side as well as from the left. This effectively doubles your winning possibilities.
If you get the expanding wild, this can now fill in gaps from both directions – giving some big win potential (especially when the cannons shoot more wilds onto the reels).
The reels are set within a pirate ship. You can see the wooden decking at the bottom, along with barrels filled with treasure. Rigging climbs up the side of the screen, while ropes frame the grid of the reels.
All the symbols are detailed, and there are entertaining animations when you create wins with them. These spin over reels which look like they might be treasure maps. Things are a little crowded when you first see the game – though this does not take away any enjoyment. Animations when the wilds expand are good, especially when the cannon shoots out some extra wilds.
There is not too much difference with the free spins game. The main one is a different tune, this is as lively and bright as the one in the base game.
I would rate this slot as a ‘grower’. For the first dozen or so spins, I was not sure that it was anything special compared to the many other pirate themed slots out there. After a while the animations, expanding wilds and general upbeat feeling start to grow on you. With extra wins from the right in the free spins game, there is plenty of variety in the game-play too. If you enjoy pirate themed slots, and want to play a solid and lively example – then give Loose Cannon a shot!