While this pokie is quirky, the setup is based on a solid platform. There are 5 columns of symbols and 3 rows washed up onto the beach each time. You’ll win based on 20 lines from left to right. As with all NetEnt pokies, there is plenty of room to up your coin size and add a multiplier.
You’ll find some bigger line wins available. A Small treasure chest with a pearl necklace peeking out top these. This is worth 2,000 coins for the maximum 5. Next comes a glowing pearl (still in the oyster shell) at 1000, then a purple shell at 750. The higher payout symbols are completed by a starfish and white shell.
I like the filler symbols on the Beach pokies. These are the playing card signs (ace down to 10), although there are worn pebbles which have these symbols on them.
There are different types of wilds that can wash up onto the beach. On reels 1, 2, 4 and 5 you get wooden planks saying ‘wild’, which are accompanied by a red crab. These are regular wilds like you’d find on any pokie. They substitute for the regular symbols, though not the scatter (bottle) ones.
The wild you’ll want to see is the octopus wild on reel 3. You’ll hear a special tune just before this arrives. Next, the octopus looks around at the symbols, using its tentacles to swap 2 of them from adjacent reels around. This will be to get the best possible winning combination. The octopus then bounces – and jumps off the beach – before your wins are calculated.
This bonus feature is the equivalent of a free spins bonus round. The message in a bottle symbols triggers it. If you get 2, you’ll find the wave bringing in the symbols does not completely fill the beach. This adds a little anticipation in the same ways that a reel spinning for longer will do.
If you get 3 bottles, you receive 8 free waves. This goes up to 16 for 4 and 24 for the maximum 5.
Next, you see a screen with a tropical island view behind. When you return to the beach for your free waves, this is a nighttime view. The main difference is flickering torches either side.
During your free waves, there are noticeably more octopus wild symbols on the 3rd reel.
NetEnt, founded in Sweden in 1996, is one of the largest and most creative pokies developers. With a track record of interesting themes and designs that subvert player expectations, you never know what you’re going to get when you play a NetEnt game – but it will always be a lot of fun.