Free The Angler slot
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The Angler slot is a fun game themed around the popular pastime of fishing or angling. We have a transparent reel set over the background of a boat on a fishing lake with the reels spinning to the sound of the reel on the rod unwinding plus jolly and gentle background music. A portly angling man, looking suspiciously like ex-Grand Prix racer Nigel Mansell, stands to the left of the reels and despite his stomach performs some quite athletic animations when wins appear. Fishing-themed slots are unusual, I can think of Microgaming's Alaskan Fishing and Reel em' In - Bass Buck from WMS off the top of my head. So is the Angler slot a case of hook, line and sinker or will we be left wanting to toss this one back in the lake?
On the reels...
You fish for wins over 5 reels of 3 rows each and 20 pay lines. The symbols are of the cartoon variety but we don't seem to have Betsoft's usual shiny, glossy HD artwork you may be used to on games like True Sheriff and Mr. Vegas. The pays are quite decent for a stacked symbol game, the Fisherman at 17.5x bet for a 5-of-a-kind win followed by the Shark at 10x, Turtle at 7.5x, green Puffer at 7.5x and the bottom of the food chain is the Goldfish at 4x bet for the 5. The card values pay 1 to 4x bet. The Octopus Wilds are single though and only appear on the last 4 reels and don't multiply.
You can win 2 different bonus rounds on The Angler. Three Landing Net scatters on reels 1, 2 and 3 will award a picks feature, similar to that of the aforementioned Alaskan Fishing slot. Select from pull or reel and get fish for prizes or a failed attempt for nothing, you get at least 4 picks. You then get the total paid to you.
If you get 3 Oysters on reels 3, 4 and 5 then you have won a free spins round. You click to reveal the number and your enhancement is sticky Octopus Wilds for the duration of the spins, of which you can be awarded extra too. You may earn a few pearls in these when they go right!
Despite the initial impression when I saw the game The Angler is actually quite volatile and a fair proportion of the 95% RTP seems to be reserved for the free spins bonus which isn't easy to trigger and often pays poorly; the picks feature is pathetic. The reel pays can be quite good but they aren't as frequent as on lower volatility slots so be warned! For a game with relatively low pays for a 20-line slot I found it just drained my balance with very few wins of any note and got the impression that once I was so many times bet down I'd never see it recover. Lucky Angler slot should be hooked and cast as far out into the lake as possible...