Ali Baba’s Luck is a fantastic slot machine developed by Red Tiger Gaming’s partner, Max Win Gaming. After a few turns, you may be thinking, “Oh here we go, it’s Book of Ali Baba time.” You’d be right, except Max Win Gaming has shook up the standard procedure with a few new twists. While there are some new features, the fundamentals of what makes a great ‘Book of’ type slot remain same. The end product is something of a winner for lovers of the format.
Even if we’re not in Ancient Egypt, those who worship the sun still have plenty of opportunities to do so in this world. South-east to the hot sands of the Arabian Peninsula, where the action moves. The game is based on the Yggdrasil slot machine Sahara Nights and features a traditional 5×10 grid with 10 fixed paylines.
While the wheels are turning, a suitable (if melancholy) Arabic music plays in the background. The reels themselves appear really retro, and the presentation as a whole is pretty straightforward, or vintage, if you will.
The return to player (RTP) is fine at 95.89%, if a little below average, and the game may be played from 20 p/c to $/€20. However, because to the flexible RTP strategy utilized by Red Tiger, the RTP and jackpot variations can occur in a wide variety of forms. The hit rate is only 3/5 while the volatility is 5/5. In other words, they happen rather regularly, and the game is a lot of fun to play because every win activates a feature.
Game enthusiasts will also appreciate that Max Win Gaming maintained quite high values for its symbols. The low wages are royalties from 10A created in a Quasi-Arabic font. Low pays pay out when merely two of a type are landed, whereas high pays pay out when three of a kind are landed. Ali, who is worth 500x for a line of five, is the highest paying icon, followed by an Arabian princess, a pot of riches, and a gold ring.
Ali Baba’s Luck is unlike most slots in that it lacks a wild symbol; even the scatter has no substitute value in this game. Unusually, the removal of wild symbols isn’t felt too keenly because the other benefits more than make up for it.
Ali Baba’s Fortunate Traits
Ali Baba, the protagonist of the timeless story “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights,” was undoubtedly blessed with an abundance of good fortune. More than his merchant brother, who was killed by the 40 robbers when he forgot the cave’s exit password. However, Ali owes a great deal of his good fortune to his servant Morgiana, who constantly thwarted the burglars’ schemes. The players of Ali Baba’s Luck may only hope that they will find their own personal Morgiana to aid them in their quest for fame and fortune.
There is a correlation between the frequency and effectiveness of a feature and one’s luck. Being a ‘Book of’ themed game, growing symbols are a staple feature. In Ali Baba’s Luck, expanding symbols actually show up in the base game as well as during free spins.
When you get a win in the base game, the winning symbol turns golden and is highlighted in the main window. If three or more golden symbols appear on adjacent reels on the next spin, they will grow to fill the entire reel for that spin only. When using an expanded reel, the symbols do not need to be contiguous in order to generate a payout. Expanded golden symbols, such as those on reels 2, 4, and 5, are wins. After that, golden symbols revert to their usual appearance.
When three scatters show up anywhere on the reels, it’s game on. When you get three or more treasure chest symbols—which, incidentally, may remind you of NetEnt’s classic Jack and the Beanstalk—you’ll trigger the Lucky Round, which is a wheel with varying values. Your total number of Dream Spins will be determined by where the wheel lands.
When 4 or 5 scatters appear, the bonus round is activated, and the player receives an additional 4 or 8 free games, accordingly. Dream Spins are different from regular spins in that golden symbols do not reset back to normal at the end of the feature. Additionally, the feature can be retriggered by landing three or more treasure chest scatters.
One can have many golden symbols active in either the main game or the bonus game at the same time. In fact, during free spins, every sign may be a golden symbol. This suggests that multiple golden symbol varieties may coexist in the same environment. In this case, the golden symbols on the reels will fill up in order, giving you multiple chances to win.
Judgement in Favor of Ali Baba
After getting past the initial disappointment of realizing Ali Baba’s Luck was just another in a long series of ‘Book of’ rip-offs, we found ourselves pleasantly delighted. Max Win Gaming has done a nice job of cooking up some minor yet effective tweaks to breathe life into this style. It didn’t take long for the bonuses to become noticeable, either, since golden symbols appear following each victory. While waiting for the free spins to kick in, this adds an extra layer of strategy to the main game.
When there are multiple golden symbols in view, it is a great touch to rotate between them. Max Win Gaming could easily have set a rule where only the highest value symbol expands. It’s not always fun to solve problems one at a time, but having a large number to solve can be really entertaining. Again, it’s a small change, but it can have a big effect on the outcome of the session.
To be sure, Max Win Gaming is fond of growing logos. For the time being, they have shown up in most of their games including Splendour Forest and Yummy Wilds. Ali Baba’s Luck seems like the most polished iteration of this technology so far, and it’s also (probably) their most enjoyable slot to play. While Max Win Gaming did adopt a tried-and-true model, the updates made the game feel fresh while yet maintaining the feel of a classic.