Let Polly out of its cage, attach a hook, and go about saying “yo ho ho, me hearties”; the moment has come. Simply said, Cursed Seas by Hacksaw Gaming’s software developers is a call to arms for a swashbuckling good time. Since this is a Hacksaw game show, Cursed Seas will either be a lighthearted romp across the waters in search of sunken riches, or it will be something much darker and more serious. We hope you’re in the right frame of mind, because Hacksaw Gaming has decided to really lay it on thick with this one, creating a fascinating narrative of creatures, loot, and betrayal that will test your mental fortitude.
The events in Cursed Seas take occur on a particularly bad day for sailing, so be prepared with motion sickness medication. It looks like a storm is definitely on its way, with the waves being rough and the sky being gloomy. However, if you find naval art to be of particular interest, you should take a time to appreciate the scene here. It’s obvious that when developing Cursed Seas, Hacksaw Gaming wasn’t in the mood to create a lighthearted experience. A more accurate comparison would be to other Hacksaw Gaming slots with similar vibe, such as Wanted Dead or a Wild, Hand of Anubis, or Stormforged.
Those swabs with the guts to go aboard the boat may place a wager anywhere from 10 p/c to £/€100 every spin and choose from one of three bonus buys. The game’s developer has given it a volatility rating of 4 out of 5, and the default return to player percentage is 96.22% (with lower models possible). The playing field in Cursed Seas consists of a 5×4 grid with 26 fixed paylines.
All payline wins must begin on the leftmost reel, extend across all active paylines, and feature at least three identical symbols. Low-paying symbols in Cursed Seas include an anchor, star, flag, pistols, and skull and crossbones, while high-paying symbols include four different characters. If you get 5 identical symbols in a row, you win 1 for 1.Highs pay 3-10 times the bet, and lows pay 5 times the bet. Both the standard wild and the special Cursed Chest wild can stand in for any other regular pay symbol.
Game Play – Slots, Cursed Seas
In addition to the Sunken Treasure bonus game, the Dead Men Tell No Tales bonus game, and the feature buy choices, there is also a Cursed Chest that leads to a Cursed Area.
If a Cursed Chest is landed, the area between it and the top of the reel becomes Cursed. This happens if there are any possible winning combinations that fall within the Cursed Area. When the Cursed Chest is opened, the multiplier for the Cursed Area on that reel is revealed, which can range from 2x to 200x. The multiplier is applied to all winning lines that contain the Cursed Area. In the case of several multipliers, the values of these multipliers are summed together.
Sunken Gold Bonus Round
The bonus round consists of 10 free spins and is activated by landing 3 lantern scatter symbols. The feature’s Cursed Area is permanently established once a Cursed Chest is landed and opened during its duration. If a Cursed Chest falls to its location, the affected region will expand. All Cursed Areas are subject to the sum of the Total Multiplier, which is the sum of all Cursed Multipliers from all Cursed Chests. When calculating payouts for any winning combination that traverses a Cursed Area, the Total Multiplier is used. If you manage to land two, three, or four lanterns, you’ll be awarded two, four, or six more free spins, accordingly.
Bonus Round: Dead Men Don’t Tell
This bonus round consists of 3 free games and is activated by getting 4 lantern scatter symbols while playing the main game. In this round, the Skull and Kraken emblems are the only ones that can appear. A multiplier that begins at x1 is shown above each set of reels. When a Cursed Skull lands, it displays a multiplier and establishes a Cursed Area from its location to the top of its reel. If a fresh Cursed Skull falls underneath it, the Cursed Area will expand.
Skulls of the Damned can be worth anything from x1 to x500. The multiplier above the reel on which the Tormented Skull landed is increased by a factor of 2 through 25. When Kraken symbols appear, they can award multipliers ranging from x1 to x500.
When a new symbol is landed on, the number of spins returns to 3. The multiplier values displayed at the top of the reels are applied to the Cursed Areas once all spins have ended.
When the player opens the feature purchase menu, they can select from the following:
Each spin during BonusHunt FeatureSpins awards 3x the wager and has a 5x greater chance of launching a bonus game. Extremely risky with a potential return of 96.21% at most.
Sunken Treasure has a maximum return to player (RTP) of 96.26% and a potential win of 100x the wager.
Dead Men Tell No Tales has a maximum return to player (RTP) of 96.33% and a potential win of 200x the wager.
Judgment on the Slot Machine Seas
Cursed Seas is worth checking out if you appreciate the way Hacksaw Gaming takes an idea and twists it this way and that, making small adjustments until the idea becomes something else entirely. It contains several gaming concepts that have been previously observed or that superficially resemble concepts found elsewhere but which have undergone the development process described in the preceding line. The Cursed Area references the Stormforged expansion Portals to Muspelheim, while the Dead Men Tell No Tales bonus round is in the traditional Hacksaw Gaming vein. Instead of striking out into uncharted territory, Cursed Seas deftly blends together a variety of melancholy ingredients from the past to create something entirely unique.
Those who would rather play the studio’s happier games should probably stay dry and warm and away from Cursed Seas. Those who are looking for a challenge, however, will discover that there are some good games to play here. Although the features don’t exactly burst at the seams with creativity, they do have their moments. For instance, the Dead Men Tell No Tales bonus round is quite simplistic, requiring players to do little more than land three distinct kinds of symbols. Despite its apparent lack of complexity, it may elicit a broad variety of feelings from frustration to joy when the Cursed Areas fill the screen and the multipliers accumulate above the reels. It was unusually generous of Hacksaw Gaming to award multipliers for all Cursed Area positions, but the potential payouts made it worthwhile. How good is that? Cursed Seas’ maximum win is 12,500 times the stake when played at maximum level. The challenges may persist, but the benefits are there for seafarers who are willing to persevere.
Cursed Seas is more in line with Hacksaw Gaming’s forte, which is the creation of eerie gaming environments, so expect nothing less. Compared to, say, Pug Life or Frank’s Farm, it’s more along the lines of horror films like Rotten and Bloodthirst. It’s as if the studio is split in two: one is upbeat and optimistic, while the other is dark and depressing. Both methods may be effective, and Cursed Seas could be the best option for those seeking a challenging pirate RPG.