Action Bank Plus (Red7/WMS): Overview
Bar-X was a popular slot machine back in the day that was so successful it spawned a host of follow-ups. There was Bar-X Magic, Super Bar-X, and Super Spins Bar-X to name but a few. Now, players get another chance to relive the past with an online version called Action Bank Plus from WMS partners Red7. The ‘Bar’ might have gone from the title, but in many ways, it stays true to the original. Red7 has created a slot that almost manages to define the word retro. So much so that many players, newer ones especially, will find Action Bank Plus’s aesthetics tough to swallow. At least to begin with. But, give it a chance; there is more to life and slots than being good looking. It’s personality that sustains a long term relationship after all. Let’s dig beneath the surface and find out if Action Bank Plus possesses anything else to win players over.
Even if you have played the original, the initial impression of Action Bank Plus is a bit of a shock. The bare steel background looks cold and uninviting, and the symbols aren’t much better. Even the animations feel clunky in comparison to most contemporary slots. Some players will instantly be put off, but lurking beneath the eye scorching visuals is a playable slot. The game area is set up using 6 reels, 4 rows and 4,096 ways to win. The sixth reel is where bonus symbols appear, and where the Zero symbol plays a double role as you will see. Players pick bets from 10p/c up to £/€200 per spin across all devices, and manual or autospins are available as well.
Some old jackpot versions from the Bar-X range had RTPs as low as 75%. Red7 has fortunately forgone figures like that and given Action Bank Plus an RTP of 96.04%. Volatility is in the medium-high spectrum, which means that the game has some tense gaming when things are going your way. The paytable features a bunch of classic slots symbols. There are four regulars – Zeros, the X, the BAR, and the ‘7’. They offer pretty good value with six of a kind of the ‘7’s worth 20 times the stake. The Zeroes are there to make up the numbers like card royals usually do, except they aren’t worth anything. They are place holders, though they contribute to free spins and are able to transform into vault symbols when they land stacked on the 6th reel.
Action Bank Plus (Red7/WMS): Features
Complementing the main game are two extra features that ramp up the wins – a wild and a free spins round. The wild, which comes into play during the free spins round and only appears on reels 2 through to 5, has a random image of a joker printed on it and substitutes for any symbol except the Zero and the Vault.
Vault symbols are the key to the game’s most profitable moments. They only appear on the 6th reel where they swing into view. When 4 land, they trigger Free Spins. Players choose one of the vaults which opens to reveal up to 16 free spins. Also, when this feature is triggered, any Zero in view on the reels adds another free spin to the total up to 20 more. Free spins can be retriggered in the same way to extend the bonus round further. The main game rules apply during free spins, except that Double 7s, Bars, and X symbols are introduced. These symbols only land on the first reel and count for two of the regular kind.
Action Bank Plus (Red7/WMS): Verdict
Remember being back in school, and that plain Jane/Jack in class that you never really noticed. They were always just there, in the background, but barely registered in your consciousness. Then one day they did something totally unexpected and cool and all of a sudden they were all you could think about afterwards? Action Bank Plus is little like that. If you are used to slots with the latest graphics, Action Bank Plus won’t register. In fact, it’s like sticking a knitting needle in your eye at first. Yet it is capable of surprising, and when it does it might be enough to win you over.
The key to its charm is the large number of win ways, decent potential and the fact that it has a touch of Megaways feel to it. There is more here than originally meets the eye here, and for some old fashioned gaming, it’s not all that bad. We might have caught it on a good day when Action Bank Plus showcased a side that transcended looks, and the gameplay was able to shine through.
But there is no getting around the polarising effect of its visuals and the basic nature of its gameplay. Fans of the original will be more excited by this release than other players for sure. If you are okay with the fugly looks and get Action Bank Plus on a good roll, it becomes an enjoyable game that is tough to put down.
Action Bank Plus is not exactly unmissable, but for something different, it might be worth taking a quick look. If you like the idea of an updated Bar-X slot but aren’t interested in the low-grade retro styling, you might want to try Bar-X Safecracker Megaways by Blueprint. It has a touch of the original while offering far more modern graphics and game engine.