Play’n GO’s approach to the market remains unchanged. The Swedish provider keeps churning out new games as if their lives depended on it and at a rate that very few, if any, other providers comes even close to. In most cases, as we’ve seen, this leads to a decline in quality as a whole, but Play’n GO’s current strategy looks to be successful. Sure, we don’t get a whole lot of innovation, and the lifespan of each slot title isn’t all that long but many of us still wind up giving each new slot a bit of our attention.
Play’n GO’s newest slot machine is called Fortunes of Ali Baba. The target is located at the mouth of the cave where legend has it the 40 Thieves stashed their loot. The door is wide open, so obviously someone ‘Open Seasame-d’ it. Despite the see-through reels, it’s still too dim to make out the hidden treasures. The slot machine has 5 reels and 20 fixed paylines. Each reel has 3 rows. The setting appears logical, however there’s a huge black hole taking up much of the display. It’s not quite as visually stunning or rich in sound as an authentic Oriental feast would be, but it gets the job done and is pleasant enough. Underneath the reels is a menu where bets can be adjusted from 20 p/c up to $/€100.
They are easy to follow. Three or more identical symbols lined up from left to right trigger a payment. Like the rest of the game, the icons utilized are necessary but unremarkable. The 10’s through A’s make up the low-paying portion of the paytable, whereas the high-paying symbols are bowls of spices, precious stones, a golden amulet, and a curved Arabian dagger. Values of symbols are average, with a line of five daggers paying 14 times the wager. The two wilds provide significantly more value. Both the Ali Baba Wild and the Thieves Wild appear randomly during the game, but more frequently during the free spins bonus. Both can be used as a replacement for other symbols in a winning combination, and a combination of five of either pays out 250 times the wager.
Fortunes of Ali Baba’s underlying mathematical methodology can generate reasonably good returns. Play’n GO ranks the volatility as an 8 out of 10. Not their highest, but still quite a significant number. Fortunes of Ali Baba, like earlier Play’n GO releases, provides the operator with a number of different return to player (RTP) settings from which to choose. The optimal RTP is 96.89%, although you can also find it at 94.63% or below. While neither is particularly evil, one option is akin to Ali Baba, while the other is more akin to the Forty Thieves. There isn’t much to do in the main game besides hoping for scatters, so let’s break out open sesame and all its twists.
Slot Functions in Play’n GO’s Fortunes of Ali Baba
Ali Baba might be the one with the rep, but without Morgiana behind the scenes, we wouldn’t even know the woodcutter’s name. Morgiana is the slave girl from the novel who saves Ali’s life several times. She also delivers the fatal blow to the 40 Thieves’ leader. In this game, she is represented by the scatter symbol. The Den of Thieves Bonus is activated by getting scatter symbols on reels one and five. You’ll feel like Indiana Jones as you explore your very own cavern in search of hidden pots that may contain immediate wins or free games.
The bonus game in the Den of Thieves has five stages. Players can keep picking until they either run out of picks or win an instant prize. Free spins can be revealed in a pot to activate that bonus. If you choose the crooks instead, the bonus round will end and you’ll return to the main game. These are the tiers and the content they offer:
First-tier payouts are up to ten times the initial wager at this level.
Bet multiples of 10x, free games, and crooks appear at Level 3.
Win up to 100 times your initial wager, receive free spins, or have your money stolen on Level 4.
Spins for free or pickpockets await you in Level 5.
After a round of free spins ends, any accrued rewards are added together and distributed. Each of the initial eight free spins in the bonus round features an Ali Baba wild. If a Thieves Wild appears, a respin will be awarded. During the re-spin, the Thieves Wild travels towards the Ali Baba Wild, leaving Wilds in its wake. It is possible for many Thieves Wild to coexist, and their presence will result in wild trails. The bonus round can be prolonged by 2 scatters landing which provides 2 additional free spins.
Slot Review: Fortunes of Ali Baba (Play’n GO)
Play’n GO has recently released several slots based on myths and legends, and Ali Baba is another good example of this trend. It’s not the most visually impressive game out there, but it’s not offensive either. They have focused on getting the fundamentals right rather than trying to wow players with fancy graphics and new features. There is nothing to complain about in its mathematical foundations or its possible payouts of up to 9,948 times the initial wager. However, getting anywhere near the maximum jackpot on any Play’n GO slot machine is incredibly difficult, with players facing odds of one in a billion.
The lack of any special features makes the base game feel a little sluggish, and the low value symbols don’t help matters. To maximize your winnings in Fortunes of Ali Baba, you should aim to enter the bonus game as often as possible and let the wild symbols expand. In sum, Fortunes of Ali Baba is a competent slot with lots of promise but lacking in wow factors and innovative features. However, it serves its purpose and is a good choice if you want rewarding payments and don’t mind spending much of your time staring into the depths of a dark cave.