Big Bass Bonanza is a 2020 release from Reel Kingdom in partnership with Pragmatic Play that managed to create a whole new genre of fishing-themed pokies. It wasn't the first fishing pokie in the world, of course, and plenty of others had gone before, but Big Bass Bonanza had just the right combination of elements at exactly the right time to make it one of the most popular games in the world.
It has since spawned a surprising number of piscine sequels, all of which have been very well-received, but none have dislodged the original from its rightful place as the biggest fish of them all.
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One of the first things that you'll notice when you launch this game by Reel Kingdom is the soundtrack. This kicks into gear straight away to provide a leisurely upbeat atmosphere, and it's clear from the outset that you're fishing primarily for fun and recreation. The game takes place underwater and has five transparent reels, giving you a largely unhindered view of the clear blue liquid background.
Bold and colourful representations of the playing card ranks of 10, J, Q, K, and A serve as the lower-value symbols on the reels in this game. Higher-value prizes can be won by matching three or more fishing-related symbols of the same type, which include a variety of fish, a tackle box, a mayfly, a fishing rod and a float. A big bass fish serves as a scatter, and a fisherman proudly holding a large bass acts as a wild.
All of the symbols in this game are very nicely illustrated and will celebrate with an animated flourish whenever they help you to win. For example, a win of fishing rods will show the rods shifting left and right as if to cast off, while a win of floats will show those floats bobbing on the water, and so on.
Audio effects are also very impressive. Spin the reels and you'll notice that each one comes to rest with the satisfying sound of a giant drop of water falling into place. Land a win and you'll hear a pleasant celebratory fanfare, and so on. These are just some of the discreet yet elegant touches that helped Big Bass Bonanza to capture the imagination of pokie players everywhere.
The special feature in Big Bass Bonanza will give you 10, 15, or 20 free spins when you land 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols, respectively. However, there's more to this free spins feature than the free spins themselves. You will have noticed in the main game that fish symbols have cash values attached.
Those values are only subtly visible in the main game, but in this part of the game they are as bold as you could want, and for a very good reason. Every time the fisherman symbol appears during free spins he will collect the values of all the fish symbols shown on screen and award them to you as a prize.
But that's not all. Across the top of the reels, you will see a trail of 12 boxes. These are arranged in sequences of four, comprising three fishermen symbols and then a +10 free spins symbol. Every time a fisherman appears, one of the trail symbols will light up, and every fourth fisherman you collect will give you an additional 10 free spins.
As if all of that wasn't enough, each extra helping of free spins will also bring a multiplier into play. Your first additional pile of free spins will come with a 2x multiplier, your second will come with a 3x multiplier and your third, should you be lucky enough to get there, will come with a 10x multiplier.
Big Bass Bonanza is a lot of fun, and that's why the game has since been followed by a number of equally engaging sequels and spin-offs. Here are just a few to look out for at your favourite online casinos:
Bigger Bass Bonanza: This is a 2021 release that gives you 12 ways to win with each spin and a potential top prize of 4,000 times your stake.
Bigger Bass Blizzard: Christmas Catch: Snow means nothing to a dedicated fisherman, which is why he's out on Christmas day in this festive edition of your favourite Bass fishing pokie.
Big Bass Splash: Why use a fishing rod to catch a big bass when you could just as easily use a lasso, dynamite, or even a bazooka to do the same?
Big Bass Bonanza Megaways: This version of Big Bass Bonanza incorporates the ever-popular Megaways mechanic from Big Time Gaming to give you as many as 46,656 ways to win.
These are just some of the sequels that Big Bass Bonanza has spawned, and there are sure to be more coming out in the future, so you can look forward to plenty of big bass fishing for years to come.
Even Reel Kingdom must have been surprised about how much of an impact Big Bass Bonanza made when it was first released, and by now it's fair to consider it an online gaming classic.
If you haven't yet discovered the joys of pulling on waders and setting out to catch yourself a big bass or two, you have no idea what you're missing.
Play Big Bass Bonanza at one of our approved NZ casinos to find out, and enjoy reeling in some wins!