Cursed Seas

Cursed Seas Slot Review

Slot Provider: Hacksaw Gaming

RTP: 96.22% | Variance: High | Maximum Win: 12,500x

Our Score: 8.2

Play at Barz Casino

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About Cursed Seas

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 27th June 2023

How We Review Slot Games

We test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.

Cursed Seas is a dark, moody pirate-themed slot from Hacksaw Gaming, released in April 2023. It features an assortment of treasure chests, skull and crossbones and curses and comes with a high variance and blockbuster free spins round with the chance to build astonishingly high multipliers to unlock a maximum win of 12,500x.

Cursed Seas Game Information

  • RTP: 96.22%
  • Variance: High
  • Maximum Win: 12,500x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 5
  • Rows: 4
  • Paylines: 26
  • Minimum Stake: £0.10
  • Theme: Pirates
  • Features: Wilds, Cursed Chests, Cursed Areas, Progressive Multipliers, Free Spins

What We Liked

  • 500x multipliers in bonus round
  • Highest paying Hacksaw slot - 12,500x
  • Two bonus round with big multipliers
  • Dark, moody artwork and style

What We Didn't like

  • Difficult to trigger free spins rounds

Cursed Seas Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 8
  • RTP and Variance 8
  • Maximum Win 8
  • Symbols and Paytable 8
  • Features and Gameplay 9

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"A highly enjoyable pirate's tale slot which will appeal to multiplier-lovers and big win chasers!"

Overall Score: 8.2

Theme & Design

Our Score 8

Cursed Seas is one of Hacksaw’s darker slots whose artwork immediately reminded us of their zombie apocalypse game, Rotten, when we loaded it up. It’s all dark portents, boiling seas and dangerous sea monsters depicted with grainy artwork. Meanwhile, a weirdly hypnotic piano soundtrack plays in the background. If you like your pirate slots in the vein of Relax Gaming’s Dead Man’s Trail rather than Captain Pugwash then this is a game for you!

RTP and Variance

Our Score 8

What is RTP?

RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next.  Read more here.

What is Variance?

Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.

Cursed Seas has four available RTP settings at 96.22%, 94.24%, 92.21% or 88.38%. The highest RTP of 96.22% is solid for an online slot, just above average. However, it is down to your casino to choose which setting to run the game at. We verified the RTP at five popular slot sites. This is what we found:

Mr Q gives the best value for your wagering with the maximum RTP setting. If RTP is important to you then we recommend that you play here.

Cursed Seas is a high variance slot from Hacksaw Gaming. This means the game can quickly swing from a long run of fruitless spins to a dizzying burst of high value payouts, typically in the free spins round. In that respect it is similar in style to games like Hand of Anubis and Gladiator Legends.

Maximum Win

Our Score 8

What Is Maximum Win?

Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.  

The maximum payout in Cursed Seas is 12,500x. That puts it in the group of the Hacksaw slots with the highest maximum win, including RIP City, Hop n Pop and Wanted Dead or a Wild.

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Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 8

Cursed Seas is a 5-reel slot with 4 rows on each reel and 26 active paylines available on every spin. Wins are triggered by landing 3 or more identical symbols across the reels from left to right.

Typically for a Hacksaw Gaming slot the values in the paytable are not massive. Big wins are built largely off the back of the huge multipliers that are available in the two bonus rounds and building these is how you target top payouts.

Cursed Seas by Hacksaw Gaming
Cursed Seas Paytable

Low value symbols are the iconic pirate symbols – anchor, star, tattered flag, crossed pistols and skull and crossbones. These can get you wins of 0.2x for 3 on a line up to 1.5x for 5 on a line. Premiums are the four pirate characters with values of 0.5x up to 10x.

In Cursed Seas the Wild substitutes for all other symbols to form wins AND pays out 50x for five on a line. There is also a Cursed Chest that does all that AND triggers its own feature that we explain under Gameplay.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 9

It will come as no surprise to fans of Hacksaw Gaming that Cursed Seas slot is all about unlocking and building multipliers to trigger big wins. There are several ways to do this.

Cursed Chests and Cursed Areas

First up is the Cursed Chest which can land on any reel at any time. Cursed Chest will create a Cursed Area above them on the reel they land on IF that area has a winning line running through it. The Cursed Chest also reveals a multiplier of up to 200x which is applied to any winline running through the Cursed Area.

It is possible to have more than one Cursed Chest active on a spin, in which case multipliers are added together before being applied to the winlines.

Two Bonus Rounds

Neon blue Lantern Scatters are required to trigger the two bonus rounds where it’s possible to score much bigger wins.

Sunken Treasure Bonus Round

Sunken Treasure, unlocked by landing THREE Lantern Scatters, is where things start getting interesting. You’ve got 10 spins where Cursed Chests ALWAYS open and create a Cursed Area. And now, Cursed Chest multipliers are added to a global multiplier at the top of the reels. This multiplier is applied to any win that runs through a Cursed Area.

You can also grow the Cursed Area by landing another Cursed Chest below the Cursed Area on a reel.

The round can be extended by landing 2, 3 or 4 more Lanterns to get 2, 4 or 6 more free spins.

Dead Men Tell No Tales Bonus Round

Sunken Treasure sounds good, but the highlight of Cursed Seas, if you can get that far, is definitely the Dead Men Tell No Tales Bonus. Fans of Hand of Anubis will recognise the style of this feature – keep building multipliers at the top of the reels for a (hopefully) big, big payout when you run out of spins.

Cursed Seas Bonus Round
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bonus Round

Firstly, you need FOUR Lantern Scatters to trigger the round. Then you are taken to a new reel set with a multiplier displayed at the top of each reel. Two types of skull, a kraken, and empty spaces can now land with the following results:

Cursed Skulls show a multiplier (1x, 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, 20x, 25x, 50x, 100x, 150x, 200x, 250x, 500x) that is added to the multiplier value displayed at the top of the reel they land on AND create a Cursed Area from their own position upwards.

Tormented Skulls show a multiplier (2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 10x, 15x, 20x, 25x) that is multiplied by the value at the top of their reel.

Krakens show a multiplier (1x, 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, 20x, 25x, 50x, 100x, 150x, 200x, 250x, 500x) that is added to the multiplier values at the top of ALL reels.

You get 3 spins to start and every time at least one of these symbols land, the spins start at 3 again. When 3 consecutive spins with NO symbols occur, the round ends. Now, the multiplier values at the top of each reel are added to each position in each Cursed Area below, before they are all added together to create the total win.

The Final Verdict

Cursed Seas is a classic Hacksaw Gaming slot and fans of this studio will enjoy it, no question. There are elements of many of their best games found here including the stylings of Rotten and the features of Hand of Anubis. Despite its high variance our own testing showed the game can keep you entertained over even a short session with regular wins and the odd free spins trigger. And for those who love the thrill of building multiplier to unleash huge wins there is every indication that this game will produce the kind of moments that high variance fanatics love too.

Who Made Cursed Seas?

  • Name: Hacksaw Gaming
  • Established: 2018
  • UK License: 54059
  • Total Games: 50 +
  • Known For: Dark, high variance output and bonus rounds driven by combining multipliers
  • Popular Slots: Hand of Anubis, Itero, Gladiator Legends, Break Bones
Find More Hacksaw Gaming slots

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