A life at sea wouldn't be an easy life. You'd lose a lot of your comforts by setting up home on the water, and you'd probably have an underlying level of perpetual sea-sickness. One group that seemed made for this life was pirates – especially around the 17th and early 18th centuries.
Thunderkick are inviting us on our own journey now, as we join what looks to be the ghost of a pirate on his quest across the high seas, searching for treasure. So, let's leave behind the bravery and honour of Sword of Shoguns and join Thunderkick in Bones & Bounty.
With RTP options up to 96.16% (96.50% feature buy), this highly volatile release can produce wins up to 25,000x bet.
We find ourselves at sea today in the midst of a bright sunset, although later during the Bonus Game we find ourselves inside a cavern lined with treasure. To the front of the screen we can see some sort of ghost pirate, steering a ship through foggy waters. The sails are ripped and his clothing his ripped, so there's plenty here to suggest that both he and the ship have come from some sort of underworld or afterlife.
Symbols upon the reels bring a more lively feel to this theme, with compasses, maps, spyglasses, timers and pirates that are actually… well, alive. It's all finished off with a foreboding soundtrack to tie it all together.
Bones & Bounty Base Features
Taking place across 6 reels, wins are formed on Bones & Bounty by matching at least 2 or 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel. Each reel holds 4 symbols, producing 4,096 ways to win. Symbols available begin with non premiums, with 9s, 10s, Js, Qs, Ks and As, awarding wins between 0.30 and 0.40x bet for 3 of a kind matches, increasing to values between 1.50 and 3.20x bet for 6 of a kind wins.
At the premium end we have maps and magnifying glasses, sand timers, spyglasses and compasses. Land 3 of a kind of any premium to see wins between 1 and 1.20x bet, increasing to values between 4.20 and 7x bet for 6 of a kind matches. The highest paying symbol is the pirate – this also the only to pay for 2 of a kind. Land between 2 and 6 of a kind pirates to see wins between 1 and 10x bet. Finally, monkeys act as Wild symbols and substitute for all symbols except Bonus symbols.
There isn't a great deal to cover in the base game of Bones & Bounty – most of the action sits within the Bonus Game.
Stacked Respin Wilds
One thing that players can look out for though are Stacked Respin Wilds. These are Wild symbols that can land on reels 2-6 and are 2, 3 or 4 symbols tall.
When at least 1 lands in view a respin will be triggered with the Stacked Wild locked into place.
If another Stacked Wild lands in view during the respin this Wild will also be locked into place and another respin is awarded. Up to 4 Stacked Wilds can be locked into view at once.
Bonus symbols are collected during respins and wins are calculated when respins end.
Bones & Bounty Bonus
Land 3 Bonus symbols to trigger the Cash Bonus Game, with 3 spins awarded. During this feature reels are replaced with special reels upon which only certain symbols can land. These symbols will only land in some positions, whilst the rest remain empty.
- Cash Coin symbols – hold values between 1 and 10x bet.
- Multiplier Cash symbols – hold values of x1, x2 or x3.
- Persistent Payer symbols – hold values of x1, x2 or x3.
Each time a Coin Cash symbol, Multiplier Cash symbol or Persistent Payer symbol lands on the reels, spins will reset back to 3. Additionally, a shift is triggered – which brings us nicely to the next point, the Ghost Reel.
Shift Feature and Ghost Reel
During the Shift Feature all symbols will move one position to the right. On the rightmost reel (reel 6) sits the Ghost Reel. Any symbols which are moved into the Ghost Reel because of the Shift Feature will have their values multiplied by the Ghost Reel multiplier and then be moved back onto the reels in a random position.
If a symbol lands on top of an existing symbol when it is moved back onto the reels, their values are added together.
The Ghost Reel multiplier starts at x2.
Any Multiplier Cash symbol that lands in view will upgrade the value of the Ghost Reel multiplier by adding its own value to it, then it will turn into a regular Cash Coin symbol.
Persistent Payer Symbol
When a Persistent Payer symbol reaches the Ghost Reel it will first add its value to all other values on the reels, then it will have its value multiplied by the Ghost Reel multiplier. It is then added back to the reels in a random position.
When no more spins remain, all values on the reels will be added together and multiplied by the bet. This amount is then awarded as the winning amount.
Players in appropriate regions can skip straight to the action with the Buy Feature option, wherein for a cost of 100x bet, it is guaranteed that 3 Bonus symbols will land, triggering the Cash Bonus Game.
In the 96.16% setting, RTP increases to 96.50% when buying the feature.
The maximum win available in Bones & Bounty is 25,000x bet. If the sum of a single game round exceeds this, the game round will end and 25,000x bet will be awarded.
There's plenty happening in Bones & Bounty to keep players both entertained and interested. With so many hold & win games available on the market, it's difficult to come up with something wholly unique, but Thunderkick have managed it. In the base game Stacked Respin Wilds carry most of this weight, but it's the Bonus Game where things get much more exciting.
Adding the Shift Feature – something we saw in Shifting Seas – and Ghost Reel to the Cash Bonus Game means that players can continually upgrade the value of their Cash symbols, especially when considering Persistent Payer symbols and Multiplier Cash symbols can land in view.
Seeing something like Persistent Payers, which we know from releases like Relax Gaming‘s Money Train series, in a whole new lights is not only interesting but also an impressive display of innovation. It doesn't stop there though – when the right combinations land, wins are possible in Bones & Bounty up to 25,000x bet.
Finally, maths is highly volatile and RTP options are available up to 96.16% (96.50% feature buy), so as always it's worth checking this. If you're a fan of hold & win releases and you're looking to view them through a new lens, Bones & Bounty is perfect for you.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.