When I was a young child, I remember there was one story that struck a chord with me and that was the story of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.
So naturally I was delighted when I loaded up the latest new game from Red Rake Gaming, The Adventures of Ali Baba. A brand new 6x6 reel video slot with 50 pay lines in play and an abundance of Arabian Night's themed bonus features.
So is this one slot that will have you hailing "Open Sesame!" to play it often, or will you lock it away in a cave and forget about it after a short time? Let's take a closer look and find out.
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As has become the norm with Red Rake Gaming slot games, the presentation of the slot is once again immaculate, with a very pretty backdrop to the slot. To be honest, when I think of ancient Persia, I don't really associate it with rivers, trees and greenery, I always imagined it to be more of a desert, so while the picture for the backdrop is beautifully done, it isn't an image I'd immediately associate with the game.
Still it is only window dressing and the key thing is what happens on the reels. They take center stage with the main controls on the right of the reel. It's a nice simple set up with a couple of buttons to set your bet and then either the Spin or Autoplay buttons.
The sound on the slot is excellent and captures the Arabian theme of the Ali Baba tale quite superbly. Red Rake usually produce games with stunning visuals and audio and they have once again surpassed themselves with their latest release.
What's on the reels?
With a larger than typical reel set of 6x6, there's plenty of space for symbols on the reel and there are a good number of symbols in the Adventures of Ali Baba slot. In truth, there's not really much differentiation between low and higher value symbols as wins only go up to 5x your bet for the higher symbols compared to 1x your bet for five of the lowest value.
As such, the symbols are all rather low paying and they include four playing card lows, the Jack, Queen, King and Ace. There's three items from the story that are next in value, a dagger, a lamp and a vase. Then there are two stacked symbols, one of a desert oasis and the other of the Robbers den in the mountainside.
There is a Gold symbol which offers mid-range wins but which really comes into its own during the Free Spins bonus round as you will see below. The only other two symbols on the reels are the Wild symbol and the Scatter, both of which link directly in with the main features of the slot as outlined below.
The stunningly beautiful Morgiana is the in game Wild and her symbol is stacked four symbols high and she appears across all six reels. She acts as a substitute, allowing to her symbols to be used in conjunction with any of the standard symbols above to land wins.
However, she can also trigger her own wins, which are the highest value in the game (up to 5x your bet for five on a pay line) and of course, the fact that she is stacked four symbols high means that you can trigger wins across multiple pay lines. Indeed, it is by doing this that you start to accumulate the lower value wins into much bigger value wins, on occasion in the base game but far more frequently during the Free Spins bonus round.
Free Spins features
Ali Baba himself is the Scatter symbol and what I like with what Red Rake have done with this bonus, is that it links in directly with a key element of the story. Namely, Ali Baba learning the secret password to open the door to the robber's cave is "Open Sesame!".
To that end, each Ali Baba on each of the six reels has a letter from the word "Sesame" superimposed over him. The S on the first reel, E on the second and so on. You need to land all six Ali Baba symbols across all six reels displaying Sesame in order to trigger the bonus game. However, the great news is that if you land just any three of those symbols, you get free respins of the reels until you do land all six and trigger the Free Spins bonus.
Now usually when you trigger Free Spins, you are granted a set number of spins, but in the Adventures of Ali Baba slot, that is not the case. On this slot, you receive an infinite number of spins with the game only ending when you land the thief symbol on the reel, which grants you one more Free Spin before the game ends.
During Free Spins, the Gold symbol will remain in place when landed on the reels and it is possible to collect a significant number of these to land some big value wins. They remain in place on each reel on each Free Spin, with more being added to those collected as you continue through Free Spins.
If you manage to collect a group of gold symbols together in blocks of 2x2 or 3x3 then these will turn into larger symbols and these then can multiply the value of the win on your subsequent free spins. The more of these bigger symbols you can unlock, the bigger the value of your total win is likely to be.
Other bonus features
The other bonus feature of the slot is the Wins Tornado. This is a randomly triggered bonus which can trigger on any spin in the base game. When the Tornado appears, it will do so on one of the six reels and then it will select all six symbols on that reel and then place them in position on an adjacent reel. This can lead to triggering some wins, or increase the value of wins already landed from the spin.
Best feature of the Adventures of Ali Baba slot
There are a number of good features on the Ali Baba slot. The Free Spins bonus round though is the jewel in the crown as it offers the best value wins in the game. Due to the low win value, the base game can be tough to make a profit on, but Free Spins, with the collection of the Gold symbols, is where the money is at. It is a volatile bonus, you can spin just a few times and win very little, but on occasions you can land some big value wins, especially if you can trigger those super-sized gold symbols to increase the value of each subsequent win.
What does the Adventures of Ali Baba slot lack?
I don't' think the Adventures of Ali Baba slot lacks anything really, but I do feel that the Wins Tornado bonus is a little underwhelming. Often when the bonus triggers, you don't win very much at all and it does seem a little pointless. However on rare occasions, it can set up a much better value win so it is worth being patient with it, even if it seems hardly worth the effort for a 0.30 win when you have bet 1.00 on the spin.
The Adventures of Ali Baba is another great slot from Red Rake Gaming. It is very easy on the eye (and ear) and its unusual set up means that it plays differently from most slot games. The size of the wins does appear to be very small but when you play the game and see the multiple line wins, you can understand why that is, even if it is a little demotivating to see a high value win of 5x your bet as the top prize in the base game. The Free Spins bonus makes this game worth a game alone and while it isn't quite up their with the best Red Rake has to offer, it is still a very strong slot.
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