Mermaids have always encapsulated us, from stories of the sirens luring sailors to their deaths on the rocks, to Daryl Hannah in the film Splash and even Ariel in the Little Mermaid, these fictional beauties do tend to crop up in popular culture with unerring regularity and now we have a new example of this in Realtime Gaming's new Mermaid's Pearls slot.
This new slot is a 5x5 reel set with a massive 3125 Ways to Win, which sounds great and spins start at a very low 0.20 per spin, which is great news for lower stakes players, though you can ramp that up to 5.00 per spin. So it is not a game for higher rollers.
The game also doesn't' have any Scatters or Wilds on the reels, instead it uses a collection device where you collect pearls on the reels to activate the two main bonus features of the slot, Free Spins and the Shipwreck bonus. It's a novel way of doing things, but does it work?
We decided to strap on some flippers, grab a snorkel and dive into the game to take a look and find out.
Where can I play the Mermaid's Pearls slot?
If you want to try your hand at the rather neat Mermaid's Pearls slot (not to be confused with the Mermaid Pearls slot from Novomatic) from Realtime Gaming, then the easiest way to play this and many other top quality Realtime Gaming slots is to head over to the increasingly popular Sloto'Cash Casino.
As a new customer, head on over to the casino and you can sign up with the promotional code 400CASINO at the moment, which will then see you receive a massive 400% Matched Deposit Bonus on your first deposit, which could be worth a maximum of $4,000 depending on how much you deposit initially. This is one of the biggest value promotional bonuses you can find for new players anywhere online and offers great value for money.
With a massive choice of games to play from Realtime Gaming, it is easy to see why so many customers head on over to Sloto'Cash Casino to enjoy the rich and varied selection of slots and other casino games on offer.
The presentation of the Mermaid's Pearls slot is very nicely done. The backdrop is an underwater scene that is very beautiful, and which has been animated nicely with some lovely little touches. Bubble lines separate the five reels and the animations on the reels are also nicely done.
The Mermaid is a real life actress who has been filmed and added to the slot and while she is easy on the eye in her clam shell bikini, it has to be said that the little squeak of delight she does after every winning spin, soon starts to grate on the nerves and will have to reaching for the mute button. A couple of other animations for winning spins would not have gone amiss here to make this slightly less irritating.
The sounds are simple but nicely done and a gentle classical soundtrack accompanies the game which is suited well to the theme.
What's on the reels?
There are just nine symbols on the reels and these are divided up into three groups. First off there are the lower value symbols, which are each of the four different types of shells. These offer a range of wins from 1/5 of your total bet up to 2x your total bet for five across a pay line. Get used to these symbols as they are the ones that offer the vast majority of the wins in the base game.
The higher value symbols are four different colored pictures of the very pretty Mermaid lady, which are best described by the colors of each symbol, purple, blue, orange and green with the former two the lower paying of the two offering from 2x to 10x your stake as wins and the latter two offering between 6x and 40x your stake as wins. However, in reality, you rarely if ever seem to land a win with the higher value symbols.
The other symbol on the reels is the Pearl symbol and this can be stacked five high on all five reels and it lands a lot. It doesn't have a pay out based on lines across the reels as you collect the pearls to trigger the bonus games. The Shipwreck Bonus triggers when you land 300 pearls, the Free Spins bonus when you land 600 (after which the counter resets back to zero).
However, if you manage to land 15 or more pearls across the reels in any formation, then you do win a prize, starting at 1x your stake and increasing up to the maximum 500x your stake. Don't get too excited though as these wins don't tend to trigger that often and when they do, it tends to be for the smaller winning amounts.
The game does not have any Wild symbols on the reels.
Free Spins features
Once you have collected 600 of the Pearls on the reels (and there is a counter shown on screen which shows your progress in collecting the pearls), then you will trigger the Free Spins bonus game.
This takes place on a new set of reels and these reels feature only the Pearl symbols and blank symbols. In this game you need to land as many pearls across the reels on a spin as you can. The more pearls landed in lines across the reels, the greater the value of your pay out.
Pays in this bonus can be higher in value than the base game and other bonus feature, but they can also be very small, sometimes no more than 2x your total stake, which is a dreadful return. Most often you win between 5x and 12x your stake, which is not great for a bonus game. To help you land those wins a random multiplier is in play which will select a multiplier value of between 1x and 5x for each spin. Obviously, you want to hit a big win with a 5x multiplier to give you a better value win, but even when you do, the wins are not that great.
Other bonus features
Land 300 pearls in the base game and you trigger the Shipwreck Bonus, which is a very simple selection game. The screen will change, and your mermaid lady will appear in the middle of the screen and will offer you four different pearls to pick from. Each Pearl hides a cash prize which ranges from 2x your total bet to 10x your total bet. Simply pick one of the pearls to claim your prize.
This isn't the best value bonus in the world and it is somewhat repetitive and would have been markedly improved if the values of each of the four pearls changed or were randomly generated for each time the bonus is triggered.
Best feature of the Mermaid's Pearls slot
The best feature of the Mermaid's Pearls slot is the Free Spins bonus game as you can win some of the larger prizes more easily in this game, especially if you can trigger several winning lines with a decent multiplier. However the bonus is very hit and miss and often you will only win a very small amount when triggering the bonus and sometimes, you barely win anything at all. Despite this, it is still the best chance a player has of a decent value win in the game.
What does the Mermaid's Pearls slot lack?
The answer to this question is simple. Fair pay outs. This is such a shame as it really does impact every aspect of the slot that when you play, even if you hit five of a kind across the reels, in general you only win your money back or a fraction more and the Free Spins and Shipwreck Bonuses also only pay out smaller amounts too, usually around 10x your total bet in maximum. Considering many spins are non-winning in the base game, that quickly starts to bite into your bankroll.
I feel this slot is a real missed opportunity for Realtime Gaming here. The different elements of the Mermaid's Pearls slot are all very good and I like the way you activate the bonus game by collecting the pearls. This means even non-winning spins feel like they are giving you something back. However, the game is killed stone dead by the low value of the wins which are, frankly, unfair and make the whole game almost unplayable as you never feel you have a fair chance of winning, something that is key to any slot game you play.
Next Offer: Whale O'Winnings