If you have enjoyed the Reel Spinner slot from MicroGaming, then a lot about Reel Strike will be familiar. This game pre-dates Reel Spinner, though a lot of the graphics and key elements of the game play are the same for both games.
You’ll hear the lapping of waves between spins. On the reels the theme is decidedly fishy. Boats and fishing equipment share the space with different types of sea fish.
During the bonus game, you’ll need to pick 2 boats from a line of 6. These give you a number of spins, and win multiplier. These can help you reel in a big win, especially with the help of the swordfish wild symbols.
There are 15 win-lines crossing the usual 5 reel and 3 rows grid on this slot. You can choose to play as few as one line per spin if you wish. Most players stick with the default and maximum 15, and lower their coin amount (from just 1c per line) to match their bankroll. You can add a multiplier of up to 10 coins per line – the bet max button will do this, and spin, in a single click. Auto-play can be found by clicking the ‘expert’ button, which brings up more options.
The biggest prize by a wide margin is yours if you line up 5 of the wild symbols. These show a fishing rod, and have the word ‘wild’ in bold red letters. 4 of them on a line are worth 1000 coins, with 100 coins for 3 and 10 coins for just 2.
As usual for wild symbols, they create wins with the other regular symbols. While the scatters are not substituted by wilds, the bonus symbols are. This gives you extra shots are triggering the bonus. Note that the bonus is not triggered if you hit 5 wilds (you’ll get that big prize instead).
A logo, which has the words ‘Reel Strike’ with a swordfish jumping through the middle, is the highest paying of the regular symbols. This is worth 1000 coins for 5 of a kind. A boat at sunrise comes next, sharing a 500-coin top prize with the boat speed control lever.
Fish replace playing card symbols for the smaller wins. There are 5 in total. While I can’t name the species, the colours are distinctive enough that it is easy to tell them apart.
Scatter symbols do not trigger any bonus games in Reel Strike. They do have a prize based on the total number in view. This goes all the way up to 50x your total bet for 5 of a kind. These are represented by a fish shadow against the setting sun.
Unusually, you need to line up 5 bonus symbols, and not just 3, to trigger the free spins game. There are plenty of these on the reels. This is helped by the fact that the wild symbols will substitute for the bonus symbols. There are also cash prizes, with 50x your bet for lining up 5 scatters.
The bonus game has two picks rounds. In each round you choose from one of 6 boats. The first pick gives you up to 7 free spins. The second one gives you a win multiplier of up to 6x. You will see the boats sail off up the screen – before returning to the regular reels to go quickly through your spins.
Unlike the newer Reel Spinner, there is no sea in the background of this slot. Instead the white-backed reels take up most of the screen. There are brightly coloured line markers either side.
Symbols are basic by today’s standards, though smart and perfectly good enough to spin with. There are no animations. Wilds will flash, and you will hear different sound effects for each win. These range from tunes to calypso jingles. The lapping of the sea carries on all the time while you play. While it adds some atmosphere, it does start to get intrusive after a while.
There are extra animations in the picks part of the bonus. Again, these look dated by the standards of today’s games.
The newer game based on this is a better pick, though there is nothing wrong with Reel Strike. If you enjoy solid first-generation video slots, then it is worth a quick spin. The appeal of the 10,000-coin top prize goes up during the free spins round, when you can play with a multiplier of up to 6x.