Within the gambling industry, there are a few things that we see time and time again – after all, you’ve got scores of providers releasing hundreds of games every year, and after a while it’s natural things will start to repeat, especially themes. We have Egyptian, Irish, Greek Mythology, and of course, fish – the catch of today. Of course, we're talking about Golden Catch – the newest release from the team at Big Time Gaming. If you're already rolling your eyes and comparing this one to some of the most common money collection fish slots widely available, it's understandable, but trust us – Golden Catch is different to those we've seen before, and is more than worthy of it's golden title. With a fixed RTP of 96.53% and wins available in excess of 30,000x bet, let's take a look at what makes this highly volatile release tick – and in particular, what makes it different.
Visually, we're by the sea – of course! We're just off the coast of a lovely town, with a lighthouse, castle and some houses in view, making this the perfect seaside town to take your family on a bank holiday weekend. There's an overwhelmingly cheerful feel to the whole thing, with even the sea floor in view cleaner than most – minus the ship wreck. The weather is gorgeous, and the music only adds to the overall atmosphere – chirpy and upbeat, almost like an updated version of the Pop soundtrack. Either way, with so many dark themes surfacing now in the iGaming sector – if you're looking for something lighthearted and jolly, look no further.
Golden Catch Base Features
Taking place across 6 reels, up to 7 symbols can land on each reel. Wins are formed by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning at the leftmost, for a total of 117,649 potential ways to win. Symbols available begin at the lower end with royals – 9s and 10s award values between 0.05 and 0.25x bet for wins between 3 and 6 of a kind, whilst Js and Qs award values between 0.1 and 0.4x bet, also for wins between 3 and 6 of a kind. Finally, Ks and As award values between 0.15 and 0.5x bet, again for wins between 3 and 6 of a kind. At the premium end, we're treated the the usual Big Time Gaming colours, this time in the form of fish. Green fish award wins of 0.2x bet for 3 of a kind, increasing to values of 0.6x bet for 6 of a kind, whilst blue fish are worth 0.25 and 0.8x bet for 3 and 6 of a kind, respectively. Red fish award wins between 0.3 and 2x bet for matches between 3 and 6 of a kind, whilst purple fish come in as the top paying symbol, and the only which pays for 2 of a kind – at values of 1x bet. 6 of a kind purple fish award impressive wins of 50x bet. Finally, Wild anchors are available, substituting for all symbols except gold coin Scatters.
In true fishing fashion, Big Time Gaming have kept it simple with Golden Catch – all the action is focused on 3 main base features. First, it's Reactions – each time a win is formed, the winning symbols are removed from the reels, allowing new symbols to drop in from above and form more wins. Reactions continue until no more wins are formed.
Working alongside Reactions are Fish Bonus symbols and Boats. On each spin or reaction, a Boat may appear above reels 2-5, and each time symbols are removed from the reels, one or more of them may reveal Fish Bonus symbols, with cash values. If there is a Boat in view, it will collect any Fish Symbol Prizes, and these will be added to the overall win.
After each reaction, any Boat above reel 2 will drop off, and all other Boats in view will move one reel to the left. Boats in the base game will begin each spin at x1, with the exception of Golden Boats, which multiply all Fish Bonus symbol values by x10. The Fish Bonus Prize is not determined by the value of the symbol behind which they were placed.
Finally, Win Exchange™ is available to keep the base game moving forwards. With Win Exchange, whenever you win 100x bet or more, you have the option to exchange 100x bet for 10 free spins. If you have won more than 100x bet, only 100x bet will be exchanged, and the remainder will be added to your free spins win.
If you win between 25 and 99x bet, you have the option to exchange the entire win for a chance to be awarded 10 free spins – by gambling. The chance of winning the gamble is represented by green on the wheel, and the chance of losing is represented by red. The higher x bet the win, the more green will be present on the wheel.
Golden Catch Bonus
Landing 3 or more gold coin Scatters in the base game awards 10 free spins, with an additional 2 spins awarded for each Scatter beyond the third. In free spins, things continue much the same way as they do in the base game, with one noticeable difference – the multiplier attached the Boats increments during the feature round.
Boats continue to appear and move left across the reels in free spins, however the first Boat in view has a multiplier of x1, the second Boat in view has a multiplier of x2, and so on. A Boat collecting symbols does not increase its multiplier – no matter how many times a Boat is used as it travels across the reels, its' multiplier will remain the same, whilst the next boat in view will have a multiplier increase of +1. There is no limit to the multiplier a Boat can have, and all Fish Bonus Prizes are multiplied by any and all Boat multipliers in view.
Land 3 or more Scatters in free spins to re-trigger the feature, receiving 4 additional free spins, plus 2 for each Scatter beyond the third.
Finally, and exciting news at that, Golden Catch is the first new release from Big Time Gaming to re-introduce the Feature Buy option. Alongside a host of older releases the team are revamping with the buy option, Golden Catch enables players in appropriate regions to buy the bonus round for a cost – in this case, 100x bet.
You might be looking at the score awarded here and thinking ‘9.6, for another fish game?', but that's exactly it – Golden Catch isn't just another fish game. The team at BTG have managed to take a concept which has been used time and time again – maybe even overused – and breathe new life back into it with a few tweaks. Let's talk first about the removal of progression through collection that titles like Fishin' Pots of Gold and Bigger Bass revolve around – it's almost like you know from about halfway through your bonus round that you're probably doomed to failure. You have to collect fishermen to receive cash awards, but collecting fishermen progresses your multiplier, so if there isn't much progression, there isn't much of a win.
Golden Catch flips that on its head, in many ways – first of all we're operating with Megaways, which we already know are capable of producing big wins. Then we've got the Fish Symbol Prizes revealed behind winning symbols, giving the potential for a decent base game win, which then reveals lucrative prizes, meaning we aren't just waiting on the Fish Symbols to see any action. Any boats in view will collect these prizes, but we have the special Golden Boat, fast tracking straight to x10 to really amp things up, rather than having to collect our way there. Finally, in the free spins, each boat in view increases its multiplier by +1, even if the boat isn't used, meaning a player could reach an impressive x15 without having hit a single win, and could still see one win that could make their entire bonus – you see what makes Golden Catch different now, right?
Statistically, it's solid. RTP sits at 96.53%, maths is highly volatile yet fair (most comparable to Bonanza) and maximum wins observed so far are in excess of 30,000x bet, so Golden Catch certainly catches your attention. Of course there will be some players who can avail of the bonus buy option to really see the action, but for those left behind the Win Exchange helps things move forwards.
Overall, a great addition to the Big Time Gaming catalogue, and one we're sure players will dive straight into.
*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.