Wanted Outlaws marks the second time that All41Studios, an independent Microgaming partner, has used the NoblewaysTM game engine it created in-house. This time, they’ve given it the Western slot treatment, complete with spurs and Stetsons. Given All41’s history of ripping off other people’s concepts, you could assume the game is a ripoff of Dead or Alive. It would appear that the studio has moved on to more innovative ideas.
To that end, Wanted Outlaws Nobleways doesn’t bring anything new to the table, beginning with the patented payment system. Many people felt that Nobleways wasn’t the most forward-thinking platform available. The addition of Wanted Outlaws just adds to the confusion. While there are 15,625 Nobleways in Mayan Eagle, there are only 3,125 in Wanted Outlaws. The question arises, what exactly is Nobleways? As of right now, it looks like it’s just a fancy label the studio gives to whichever winning strategies they want.
The 5×5 playable area in Western Outlaws is a scorching, dusty street in a frontier town. Western slot machines often feature a setting like this, with cartwheels strewn about in front of rows of weathered wooden buildings. Picture Marty McFly lost in Hill Valley from Back to the Future Part III if you’re unfamiliar with the setting. A slow, but comforting, cowboy song rounds off the image.
Bets range from 10 pence to $100 or €100 every spin, so players can get in the saddle no matter what gadget they’re using. The remainder of the numbers are trustworthy, too, beginning with a respectable RTP of 96.41%. A hit frequency of 25.75% helps alleviate the boredom of waiting for free spins, but the main game lacks any frills, not even a wild appearing there. The average theoretical trigger frequency for the bonus game is every 139 spins, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Finally, seasoned gunfighters will like the extreme unpredictability, even if the potential isn’t so bone-cracking.
To win on Nobleways, you need to get at least three matching symbols in a row, going in either direction from left to right. The feature Rolling Reels, which was present in Mayan Eagle, is absent here. When you win, the spin is over and you go on to the next one.
The 9-A royals are the lowest paying symbol, followed by the rope, boots, hat, and guns. Five Pistols pays out at 20 times the wager, and two Pistols pays out at 1x the wager. In addition, there are three wanted posters depicting three separate criminals. At least three of these symbols in a winning combination awards a payout, but their true worth is revealed during bonus rounds.
Features of Wanted Outlaws with Noble Ways
A triggered round of free spins is the lone feature that breathes life into this one-horse village. The sheriff’s badge scatters are what you’ll need in this situation. Free games are triggered when 3, 4, or 5 scatters appear on the screen, respectively.
One notable change is the addition of a wild symbol. The sheriff himself appears on reels 2-5 and substitutes for all other symbols to help you win. Also different during free spins is that bounties are now tied to the wanted posters.
All bounties on wanted posters that appear at the same time as a wild symbol are turned over to the sheriff. Multiply the bounty by the number of wilds present. The rewards are calculated as a percentage of the entire wager. A 2x, 5x, or 10x payout is possible from the masked guy; a 15x, 20x, or 25x payout from the lady; and a 200x payout from the mustachioed man is guaranteed. The reward is dispersed once the current round has concluded. It better be a lot, because you can’t get more free spins once they’ve ended.
Accused Nobleway Bandits: A Verdict
Wanted Outlaws took some time to grow on me. At initially, there wasn’t much to look forward to, and there wasn’t anything in the main game to get invested in. There is a limit to what Wanted Outlaws can give, but after a time, its charm began to come through and the gameplay became rather peaceful.
Wanted Outlaws had a more positive experience than Mayan Eagle. What this proves, if anything, is how difficult it is to screw up a Western. Also, it’s hard to deny that there are many aspects of Wanted Outlaws that are unoriginal. It doesn’t really provide anything new to the Western genre. The game has the same kind of environments, noises, and characters as others of its genre. But it doesn’t mean you won’t have fun with Wanted Outlaws.
The core gameplay is boring and simplistic, without even a wild card. The fact that you don’t have to wait an eternity for bonus spins is helpful, though. When free spins are active, it’s a lot of fun to collect posters to win more prizes. However, if the bonus game is poor, you may start to wonder if it’s really worth it to go back to the main game.
Another mystery arises while thinking about possible Western outlaws. The game’s motto, “2,500 times the stake on a single spin,” is undeniably alluring. What shoots a hole in the fantasy is that the biggest wins at the maximum wager were up to 1,000x throughout a billion simulated spins. It’s a lovely round number, but it dampens the excitement.
What’s left is an enjoyable slot if you’re in the mood for something easygoing, but it’s not one you’ll want to revisit right away. For what it is, a lighthearted Western romp with a potentially rewarding bonus game, Wanted Outlaws succeeds admirably. Nothing hasn’t already been done better elsewhere, and that’s the fundamental problem.