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The theme for Ghost Pirates is quite well done. You have animated lit torches, a dreary, sunken ship as the backdrop, and a user interface that blends well with the aforementioned image, looking quite fitting, without any eye-gorging bright green colour to mess things up. Having said that, not everything is well in paradise.
Ah, pirates. They’re usually portrayed as glamorous free men, stealing from others and living life on their own rules, paying heed to no kings or crowns. Of course, that sort of lifestyle is asking for trouble – and you never know when you might steal something valuable, and maybe just a tiny bit cursed. Don’t believe us – feel free to ask Peggy Rotten or One-Eyed Ed. If they don’t eat your brains for getting too close to their cursed ship, that is! Ghost Pirates offers gamblers a 5x3 playing field with several ways to win changing the setup of the reel. As for special features? There’s little available but the free spins bonus.
Although a nice game, the reel animations in Ghost Pirates are a little slow and archaic, the lack of music while you spin is evident, and everything just looks a bit dated. It’s incredible to look at this title, and Lights, which we reviewed previously, only to realise that there’s a six month difference between those two games. Ghost Pirates, however, looks much older than it really is.
In an ironic twist, it’s the lower paying icons that end up looking better this time around. An anchor, a cannon, a jug of poison, a map and compass, a coin, and a pair of smoking guns all still look pretty good. But then you move on to the higher paying section, and you find Polly the carnivorous parrot, Mad Monkey who’s set to blow you up with a lit bomb, One Eyed Ed who’s carrying a dagger in his mouth, and Peggy Rotten who doesn’t seem to have anything at hand to kill you with – and that’s the most horrifying part. And yet, all of these icons look far worse than their simpler counterparts. Perhaps they were the best NetEnt could do in 2013, but five years later, it’s just a giant mess.
There’s not much in terms of redeeming special features either. The only thing available to players is a free spins bonus, in which you collect three, four or five Scatters to receive ten, fifteen or twenty free spins. Or, at least, you receive that much if you play on any of the lower amount of paylines. If you play with 243 ways to win, the amount of free spins goes up to fifteen, twenty and twenty-five. During the feature, all wins are tripled.
When you put everything together, it comes off as a bit worn out. There’s not any gameplay variety, and while the fact you can lower the amount of ways to win to adjust your betting level is a novel idea, it’s not enough to avoid the lack of other features or any interesting gameplay.
We can’t really recommend playing Ghost Pirates. The user interface is decent, but the graphics are dated and the gameplay is rather boring. This is just one NetEnt title that didn’t age well.
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