Playboy Fortunes: Overview
Lads, prepare to get all hot under the collar in a bunny filled extravagance from Microgaming partner Gameburger Studios. The developer has taken their hit 9 Masks of Fire (or 9 Pots of Gold for that matter), stripped away the tribal graphics, slipped what’s left into a thong, and repackaged it as Playboy Fortunes. Apologies if that was a rather long-winded way of saying Playboy Fortunes is merely a reskin, but there we go. The original had a pretty heated theme already, so you might think the game could only get steamier by dropping in a few scantily clad ladies. Only one way to find out.
Playboy might be famous for its media, especially its iconic magazine which has been enlightening the predominantly male mind since its inception in 1953. Fast forward to the modern era and around half of Playboy’s revenues now come from the licensing of consumer goods. This includes penetration of the slots market in part by Microgaming in Playboy and its follow-up, Playboy Gold Jackpots from Triple Edge Studios. The original was excellent, the other ones not so much, which goes to show that jamming on a pair of bunny ears is no guarantee of quality.
Playboy Fortunes is built using a classic layout of 5 reels and 20 paylines with the grid located next to a scatter win prize ladder. As you would expect, the colour palette is heavy on the red and gold. When you combine the tones with the pattern on the background, the game has a palpable Asian touch, whether that was intentional or not is unclear. In any case, the action on the reels is accompanied by a funky soundtrack and a bunch of young ladies who appear at certain moments of the game. Playboy Fortunes gives off a gentleman’s club vibe, though not a strip club, which Gameburger has wisely avoided.
Players can spin Playboy Fortunes on any device, setting bets from 20 p/c to £/€60 in the process. The math model stats are spot on the same as 9 Masks, providing an RTP of 96.24% coupled with medium volatility. Wins come just as frequently as before, thanks to a higher than normal hit rate of 39.75% contributing to the game’s positive flow.
If there is one thing that has changed, it is the symbols. From the lows to the highs players get BARs, cocktails, keys, bow tie/cufflinks, sevens, double sevens, and triple sevens. As a value indicator, triple sevens are worth 37.5 times the stake for five of a kind. One thing about symbol combos is a mixture of sevens, such as 7+77+777, will also pay out, albeit at a reduced amount. Look out for the casino chips symbol; this is the wild. Five of them are worth 125 times the stake while being able to substitute for any regular pay symbol.
Playboy Fortunes: Features
The jewel in Playboy Fortunes crown is the instant scatter win prizes, backed up by a round of free spins with a win multiplier on the side.
Keep an eye out for the free spins scatter symbol which only appears on the middle three reels, as 3 in view awards a blast on the free spin wheel. The wheel awards 10 to 30 free spins, plus a multiplier of 2x or 3x. Multipliers are applied to any win during the feature except Playboy scatter wins. Free spins can also be retriggered with the amount of free spins awarded being the same as the initial trigger.
We said to look out for the wild too, but it’s the Playboy scatter you really want – 3 or more of these anywhere in view award an instant cash prize. The amount up for grabs is f 1x, 5x, 15x, 40x, 100x, 500x, or 2,000 times the stake when 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 scatters land respectively.
Playboy Fortunes: Verdict
In spite of the rather lukewarm response from the casino community, 9 Masks of Fire proved to be quite successful for Gameburger. There was something in its mix of simple gaming, fiery/tribal theme, and instant 2,000x prize potential that struck a chord with many. So much so that Playboy Fortunes is the third clone of the original, which means the project comes off as an exercise in recycling. So, whilst Gameburger gets to recycle its well-proven game mechanics, Microgaming slings them an old Playboy license. It’s a win-win for the studios.
And for players? Is Playboy Fortunes any good? Is it a worthy successor to 9 Masks? The answer kind of depends on your mood. In some ways, the game is a shameless bit of branding; a quick and easy reskin to cash in on past success. If you can’t see past the objectification of women issue, or the repetitive gameplay and modest potential, Playboy Fortunes is not quite so rosy.
If you take it in good humour though, then the game can be a bit of fun. It strides off the mould more confidently than its predecessors did. The styling works quite well, the bunnies do their thing, and the gameplay is everything the first one was. All in all, sprinkling the latest one with Playboy bunnies is either the best thing ever or the most desperate, depending on your viewpoint.
Usually, life is about middle grounds rather than extremes though, which is pretty much where Playboy Fortunes sits – smack bang mediocre. It has much of what players liked about 9 Masks and 9 Pots – the high hit rate, the chance for hitting 2,000x at any point, and nice design. There was a strong case of diminishing returns with the 9 Pots of Gold clone, yet Playboy Fortunes manages to pull things back into positive territory, to an extent.
Still, Playboy Fortunes doesn’t have the innocent charm 9 Masks had, and the whole bunny thing will grate with some players – in which case it’s best sticking to the original. Overall, it feels like a lesser slot than 9 Masks was, yet Playboy Fortunes might be alright for a few laughs if you enjoyed what the original had to offer.