It’s fishing time, and we have Games Global partner Snowborn Games to thank for taking us out on the open seas in search of fish and other marine critters to catch. The game’s name is Fish ‘Em Up, and it’s clearly inspired by both Pile ‘Em Up and the Irish adaptation, Tippy Tavern. Snowborn Games has decided to change things up in the gameplay department this time around by adding new features and tweaking others. Wrap it all up in a cheerful fishing coat, and it may be the perfect solution for those who enjoy fishing from the comfort of their couch; I guess it’s time to cast off.
Speaking of upbeat, Fish ‘Em Up is as upbeat as fishing slots go, which is saying something given how frequently the cheery attitude appears in games of this type. The visuals are bright and cheery, with a split screen showing both above and below the ocean. A helpful fisherman is floating above us in his boat as a crab rests on the Bonus chest and some vegetation grows off to one side. Fish ‘Em Up, like Big Bass Bonanza, to which new fishing slots are now inextricably compared, features a peppy music to generate the sort of laid-back, carefree feel prominent in games of this genre.
The game grid in Fish ‘Em Up has been designed by Snowborn Games with 5 reels, 3 rows, and 20 fixed paylines. The reels are see-through so the angler can see the murky water behind them, but otherwise the design is sleek and modern. Fish ‘Em Up may be played on any platform, from a tablet to a mobile phone to a desktop computer, with a minimum wager of 20 p/c and a maximum amount of £/€50 each spin. Players should expect a theoretical hit frequency of 27.16% at the maximum RTP value of 96.11% (lower models are possible).
When identical symbols fall on a payline that extends from the far left to the far right of the grid, the player is awarded a regular line win. If you get five J through A symbols in a row, you’ll win between 1 and 3.75 times your wager. However, if you get five floats, green lures, purple lures, or reels, you’ll win between 13 and 15 times your wager. Wild symbols can appear on any of Fish ‘Em Up’s 5 reels. A victory with five OAK wilds pays 100 times the wager since wilds can stand in for any other symbol in the game.
Catch ‘Em All: Slot Machine Bonuses
It wouldn’t be a fishing slot machine without some fish, and in Fish ‘Em Up, those fish are actually cash prizes. In addition to the jackpot-style rewards available in Catch Wins, you may also win a Cash Booster, free spins, and more in the hold ‘n win Bonus.
When you catch it, you win.
When a fish icon appears, it can pay anywhere from 0.2 times to 50 times the wager. If they do, and a Collect icon is present on reel 5, all visible fish symbols are paid out at their total value.
Multipliers range from x1 to x10 with the Catch Booster. If a 1UP appears, the multiplier goes up by 1. Once a win with the fish symbol has been multiplied by the Catch Booster, the base game multiplier returns to 1.
No Risk Turns
Scatter boats appear on reels 1, 3, and 5, and getting three of them triggers 10 free games and a payout of 1.5 times the wager. As in the main game, the 1UP symbol can enhance the Catch Booster multiplier, but now at x4, x7, and x10, +5 more free spins are rewarded. The Catch Booster is also preserved throughout all wager levels, and the multiplier does not reset, during free spins. Free spins may be won in a variety of ways, and they can also be purchased from the feature shop for 70 times the player’s wager.
Symbols overlaid on a shell When you land on one of the fish icons, the Bonus round may begin. Three free spins are awarded initially on a blank playing field. The number of spins is reset to three if fish or prize symbols are landed. Mini, Midi, Maxi, and Mega symbols represent prizes and are gathered as they appear. If you get three of the same reward, you win 30 times your wager (Mini Midi), 100 times your bet (Maxi), 500 times your bet (Mega), or 5,000 times your stake (Mega). Alternatively, if every square in the grid is occupied, the Maxi is granted. Sticky fish, but non-sticky reward icons. When there are no more bonus spins available or when all slots are taken, the round is over.
Catching Convictions: The Slot
You need to have some empathy towards fish. Just when you were enjoying a carefree glide over the ocean, something stings your mouth and you find yourself being dragged higher into an airless, waterless realm where you can’t breathe. Thankfully, Fish ‘Em Up isn’t quite as stressful. Snowborn Games is clearly enjoying success with the 1UP idea, since it is heavily featured in several games. Aside from being a natural fit in a fishing game, it also served well in Pile ‘Em Up and its Irish-themed cousin. I wouldn’t call Fish ‘Em Up a must-play, but if you’re looking for a more involved option to Fishin’ Frenzy that pokes fun at Pragmatic Plays’ Big Bass monster, it gets the job done.
Those that fish in the real world likely need to be patient before the fish will strike and they can start reeling them in. In contrast, the Collect symbols in Fish ‘Em Up popped up very often, allowing players to collect the cash from the fish more often. Extremely infrequently, but if you manage to gather enough 1UP symbols to level up the Catch Booster multiplier, you could just luck out. It’s great that the Catch Booster appears in both the basic game and the free spins, but it’s far more useful in the latter. The multiplier has been replaced with four unique reward amounts in this version of the Bonus game. Interestingly, this more conventional hold ‘n win strategy has led to a lower maximum win figure of 5,000 times the stake than the prior strategy.
For the record, Fish ‘Em Up doesn’t stack up to the previous two 1UP games when it comes to the maximum number of wins, and it certainly can’t compete with Golden Catch or 4 Fantastic Fish. But in the realm of online fishing, that’s a decent sum, and it’s enough to serve as a figurative prize as you enjoy Fish ‘Em Up’s upbeat gameplay.