Developer Pragmatic Play dives deep one again into the ocean depths for the slot sequel Release the Kraken 2. Wild symbols, pick-me treasure boxes, and Roaming Kraken Free Spins all contributed to the initial release’s success with divers. Wild Respins, Shifting Stack Wilds, Guaranteed Wins, and a Deal or No Deal aspect to the free spins feature are just some of the ways in which Pragmatic Play has reworked the gameplay for the remake. It may sound like a lot of things have changed, and they have, but the upbeat attitude is still there, so let’s take a look.
Taking place at the ocean’s floor, full of seaweed, fish, and vibrant coral, Release the Kraken 2 is even more buoyant than its predecessor. When a winning line is formed, the reels’ hilarious cast of characters does a short animation to inject some additional life into the game. This may seem inconsequential, yet Pragmatic Play excels at blending disparate elements into a unified whole. I’d have to say the mood is much brighter than in Release the Kraken. The first game’s main Kraken characters radiated a greater sense of menace. In Release the Kraken 2, this is entirely absent, having been replaced by a more lighthearted tone.
The basic layout of the game hasn’t changed. Like the original, Release the Kraken 2 has a 5-reel, 3-row gaming grid with 20 fixed paylines and an additional 10 free spins lines. The studio gave it a perfect score of 5 stars, although the game’s return to player (RTP) value varies widely based on the player’s strategy and the chosen model. Picking stakes of 20 p/c to £/€100 each spin, consistently playing provides a potential return of 96.03% at maximum settings. The Ante Bet raises this by 25%, increasing your chances of triggering the feature and adjusting the RTP to 96.01%.
There are nine standard pay symbols on the grid, separated into 10 sections.At the bottom of the payout scale is one card, and at the top are four different sea creatures. Five matching symbols on an active payline results in a payout of 1-2 times the wager for standard symbols and 3-10 times the wager for premium tiles. Wild symbols on all five reels feature a Kraken image. When used in combination with other symbols, wilds may increase your payout by as much as 20 times your wager for a winning payline of five of a type.
Slot Features in Release the Kraken 2
The added information in Release the Kraken 2 may be broken down into a variety of different categories, including a free spins bonus round with win multipliers and sticky roaming wilds, as well as base game random elements like Wild Repsins, Shifting Stacked Wilds, and Guaranteed Wins.
The standard game’s respin feature is enabled when 4 or more wilds appear after the payment has been made. While the other symbols are reshuffled, the wilds remain on the grid in a random place. After each respin, the game awards payouts for any winning lines and gives another respin for landing more wilds. After a respin, if no new wilds appear, the bonus round will terminate.
Moving Wilds in the Stack
Wild symbols that shift positions appear on reels 2, 3, and 4 at random throughout the main game. After a spin has ended, Shifting Wild Stacks will shift to fill all available spaces on their reel. A Shifting Stack Wild’s multiplier grows by one each time it is bumped. When it comes time to pay out for winnings after the nudge, multipliers are accumulated first.
On a basic game spin that does not result in a win, the Kraken may appear at random and reshuffle the symbols to produce a win for 20x to 50x the stake. In addition, an explosion can cause three scatter symbols to appear at any point during a spin, leading to additional free games being awarded.
Free games begin when three or more scatters appear. Before the free spins begin, a Deal or No Deal-style mini-bonus game is played to decide the amount of free spins and the win multiplier.
When 3 scatters appear, you’ll receive between 4 and 15 free games with a multiplier of up to x6.
When 4 scatters appear, you’ll receive 5-20 free games with a multiplier of up to x10.
Five scatters activate 6–20 free games with a multiplier of up to x10.
In the minigame, players choose one of sixteen boxes to reveal either a random number of free spins or a win multiplier within the parameters set out above. Players must decide whether to accept or reject the specified box. The feature’s free spins and win multiplier are activated after you accept the box. The player is offered free spins or a multiplier if they decline the box, and some boxes are deleted from the list. When the offer is accepted, the feature is activated; when it is declined, more boxes are hidden, restarting the process. After reaching the last box, the player must decide whether to open that box or return to the beginning and open the first box again.
During the bonus round, the number of paylines grows to 40 and the win multiplier applies to all winnings. When wild symbols appear, they stick around until the conclusion of the round and then relocate to a random cell. The multiplier for wins is increased by one when a golden wild symbol appears. There is no way to get more free spins.
Deposit Money, Get Spins
There are two sorts of bonuses that may be purchased by users. The VIP Free Spins feature, which requires 5 scatter symbols and costs 250x the wager to trigger, has an RTP of 96.05% and costs 100x the bet to hit 3-5 scatter symbols.
Slot Verdict II: The Return of the Kraken
Release the Kraken 2 was an enjoyable fish-themed video game overall. It has an upbeat, optimistic vibe that’s impossible to resist, and it downplays the Kraken’s usual villainy. The Kraken has taken on a somewhat kinder appearance. Is the proliferation of fishing-themed slot machines after Release the Kraken’s release a sign that gamblers would rather see the fun side of the ocean than the dark side?
It will be fascinating to see how fans of the previous game respond to the gameplay mechanics, which are undoubtedly more essential than the tone. The Sunken Treasure Bonus, which required the player to select one of three random features, was also removed. Large icons, locking wilds, and infectious wilds from the Kraken feature have also been removed. Instead, Release the Kraken 2’s included features are useful. Wilds Respins, along with the Shifting Wild Stacks and the assured win, make for a great sideshow.
However, the Deal or No Deal component of free spins is a bit off-putting. It’s a nice little twist on the standard instant-play feature of being awarded a random number of free spins and a win multiplier. Again, there is no reason to dislike this approach; it’s simply a little out of the ordinary. The decision to limit wins to only 5,000 times the initial wager might be even more discouraging to fans. Even though Pragmatic had a history of inflating its maximum victory claims around the time of the original’s release, the drop is nevertheless surprising to see in a sequel.
In the end, players had nothing major to say about their time with Release the Kraken 2. It’s visually appealing, feels great to play, and packs a healthy punch in terms of the features it can bring to the reels. Whether or not Release the Kraken 2 is an upgrade over its predecessor is debatable, so let’s just call it different for the sake of diplomatic avoidance.