About This Slot
Pirate slots are not an original idea that is for sure, and every developer has their own take on this theme. Recently Relax Gaming nailed it with their super-dark and ominous Dead Man’s Trail, now available at all top slot sites, whilst in the past, Quickspin landed us with a neat little 243 win ways game called Pirate’s Charm and Thunderkick’s 1429 Unchartered Seas gave us a super-high RTP format to try. Some are inspired, others less so. In this instance Pragmatic Play have delivered something that is fairly generic in style and features, but thanks to a decent potential – at 10,000x – and some high variance and good multipliers, manages to tease us enough to want to find out more.
Smugglers Cove is engaging with its design at least, featuring a bright and colourful backdrop with a classic cartoon appearance and the most traditional of 5 reels and 3 rows along with 20 active paylines. There are a few gruff buccaneers looking fetching in blue, red and green outfits, along with gold coins and skull and crossbones on the reels. The background itself features a treasure island with blue skies and a cave with a skull above the entrance, while a ship’s wheel also sits to the side of the screen.
As we will find out, the game is all about the free spins round where high value multiplier can really boost your win potential, but other than that we are talking some straight-forward, basic slots play.
RTP, Variance and Top Payout
The RTP of this slot is 96.5%, which is slightly above average for an online slot game and mid-range for a Pragmatic Play game. What will interest high risk gamers though is the super-high volatility and 20p minimum bet which makes this a rocky ride, most suitable for those with bigger budgets, but capable of splashing out some super-big wins . The maximum payout of 10,000x stake could land for you if you hit the best Multipliers (up to 1,000x) during the Free Spins round while filling the screen with gold coins.
Symbols and Graphics
As you would expect from a Pragmatic Play game, the artwork here is of a decent quality. The symbols in Smugglers Cove include three smuggler characters wearing red, blue and green, gold coins, skull and cross bones and ship’s wheel. The best-paying symbol is the ship’s wheel, which pays 100x your bet for 5 of a kind and also acts as Wild to substitute for the other symbols and create more potential wins.
The green smuggler can also pay up to 100x your bet for 5 matches, while the other symbols can pay from 10x your bet for 5 matches and the card suits award the lower payouts. The gold coin is the Scatter and this can launch the Treasure Bonus, while the skull and crossbones is the Bonus symbol and can trigger Free Spins.
What We Like
Super high multipliers
Colourful smuggler theme
High-paying Wild symbol
10,000x stake top payout
Big Treasure Bonus
What We Don't Like
Not many special features
Gameplay and Features
There is a scarcity of big features in Smuggler’s Cove, and those who like a lot of intricate and unpredictable gameplay would do better to look elsewhere at review of some of the more feature-packed games on the market right now. For this one, here are the main events:
Landing at least 5 gold coins on the reels on one spin will activate the Treasure Bonus, which can award some great cash prizes. The more coins trigger the feature, the higher your cash reward. 5 coins gets you a 1x stake prize, and the values keep going up until you take home up to 1,000x stake for filling the screen with 15 gold coins.
Landing 3 or more skull and crossbones Scatters on reels 2, 3 and 4 will trigger the Free Spins round. The round starts with a prize wheel – you need to spin this to determine the number of Free Spins and the Multiplier value you play with. There are up to 20 Free Spins available.
The important point here for those chasing big prizes (that’s everyone, right?) is this: during Free Spins, the Treasure Bonuses prizes will increase so that if you hit the very top level of 15 gold coins on as spin then you can now pocket 10,000x stake – the top prize in the game.
And to help you, it’s possible to earn more free spins – if you land another 3 Scatters, you’ll trigger a generous 8 extra Free Spins.
The Ante Bet feature allows you to make an extra bet of 25% stake to double your chance of triggering the Free Spins round. This is NOT available to UK players.
Smugglers Cove is a bright and colourful slot with a classic appearance and some moody pirate characters that jump out of the screen and charm you a little at the start. It doesn’t look particularly original in imagery or gameplay but it is at least a fun and highly playable game if you don’t mind the massive volatility. The drawback for many players is that there aren’t many features, but importantly, the ones on offer are solid and can boost your payouts considerably.
In terms of symbols, the Wild pays well on its own and the gold coins offer great chances to nab an impressive prize, however, it’s during the Free Spins that the fun really starts. In fact, you need to activate this round to be in with any chance of pocketing the higher rewards with 10,000x stake only achievable in this part of the slot. So look to try to trigger this as often as possible.
In summary, Smugglers Cove has a great atmosphere, but it is limited in features and only really works if you’re lucky in Bonus Round. It’s lukewarm swashbuckling, but it’s still a solid spinner if you can handle the sky-high variance.