Oh look, another fishing-based online slot… excuse me whilst I nod off for a little bit… actually, hold up for a second because Mascot Gaming'sHook Up! Fishing Wars has almost nothing in common with the Big Bass Bonanza or Fishin’ Frenzy franchises or their many clones. This isn’t a video slot in the conventional sense – there are no pay lines or pay ways, as wins are instead achieved by shooting at the fish who are busy swimming around in the ocean in front of you. The game has a 95.5% RTP and a top win of 555x the total bet, although it’s only possible to achieve this during the bonus round, where the special blue boss symbol is present.
The unusual setup of this game allows for a small element of skill, which is a huge difference from regular random-based video slots. For example, if you can remember which of the 17 different fish are the most valuable, you can aim to shoot only those for the biggest profits. Of course, the more valuable fish also take more shots to kill and can also move faster, so there’s a balancing act between playing it safe with the smaller fish and going for the big bosses, which have the highest payout potential. Remembering which are the most valuable symbols doesn’t sound too hard, but as well as the 17 different types of fish, there are 10 special symbols in the mix, creating a rather crowded space that limits your ability to analyse things quickly. There is also a bonus game which lasts for three minutes and features only the larger fish and special symbols, making it much easier to make big profits here.
It's always nice to see slot developers trying something completely different, and this is certainly the first time I can remember playing a machine that worked anything like this! I’d recommend all players give our free demo slot of Hook Up! Fishing Wars a try, but especially for those who are fans of Shoot’em Up video games.
hook up fishing wars theme, stakes, pays & symbols
I was genuinely surprised to discover that this game was nothing like the plethora of existing fishing-based online slots. It’s been difficult to avoid these games recently, with every developer seemingly pushing out multiple titles such as Lucky Fishing Megaways, Fishing Floats of Cash, and Wild Marlin Big Game Fishing. Of course, those releases are in addition to the two major fishing franchises – Big Bass Bonanza and Fishin’ Frenzy, both of which are probably close to a dozen titles by now. That’s a fairly ridiculous number, in my opinion, but I guess it must prove that players love fishing-themed slots for whatever reason!
The sea is chock-full of fish in this game, so it will be quite challenging to accurately describe them here! The lowest payers are a blue/red fish and a goldfish, both of which will pay you 0.2x your bet when defeated; there are two more with payouts of 0.3x, a single fat pink fish with a payout of 0.4x, a single green/yellow fish paying 0.5x, and then an even bigger pink fish which is worth 0.8x the total bet. Generally speaking, bigger fish tend to be worth more, and the first symbol to crack the 1x barrier is a much larger goldfish. There are four more to remember with payouts of 1.2x, 1.5x, 1.7x, and 2x the total bet; after that, you get to the highest-paying fish that do not have fixed values. For example, the purple striped fish can pay anywhere from 2x to 3x the current stake, the smaller stingrays are worth 3.5x to 4.5x or 4x to 7.5x, and the larger stingrays can get you anywhere from 4.5x to 15x the total bet. During the main game, you can also find a green boss with a potential payout of between 150x and 333x the total bet, whilst the bonus round includes a more valuable blue boss with prizes of between 200x and 555x. Wow, that’s quite the list, isn’t it?
There’s a fairly limited bet spread on offer with minimum/maximum permitted wagers of €0.10 and €10.00 per shot, respectively. There aren’t too many options between these limits, though, which some players will often find frustrating.
base game & modifiers
Hook Up Fishing Wars base game
The gameplay of Hook Up! Fishing Wars is completely different to your typical video slot. Instead of paying to spin the reels, you are paying to fire shots from your gun located at the bottom of the screen. The more times you fire at a target, the greater your chances are of defeating it. It’s important to go for the more valuable fish as much as possible, as you are guaranteed to lose money if you only go for the ones which pay out less than the cost of each shot!
This special symbol fires a random number of free shots in random directions. It only appears during the base game.
This is a more generous turtle symbol that fires as many free shots as there are currently fish on the screen. This symbol can appear in the bonus round as well as the base game.
Freezes all of the fish on the screen for a certain amount of time and can appear during the base game and bonus round.
Two chests can appear randomly during the base game and the bonus round. The blue chest awards a cash prize between 45x and 88x the total bet, whilst the red chest awards a random number of bag or gun symbols. The bag pays a random amount between 25x and 50x the total bet, whilst the gun gives a random number of free shots.
hook up fishing wars bonus features
Hook Up Fishing Wars gameplay
As far as I could tell, the bonus round activates randomly in this game and is not triggered by any particular event. When the feature starts, the text ‘bonus game’ is displayed across the top of the screen, and a timer starting at three minutes will appear in the top-left. The bonus game only includes big fish, special symbols, and a new ‘blue boss’, which offers the highest payouts of between 200x and 555x the current stake.
This is another special symbol that only appears during the bonus round. Hitting the crab will add extra time to your remaining counter, extending the length of the feature.
Completely unique gameplay.
A crazy number of special symbols and features to discover.
Over time, the skill-based element should enable the best players to win more.
The maximum jackpot of 555x isn’t particularly exciting
The game gets very busy at times, causing some amount of slowdown. That could also be seen as an advantage though!
Testing this game was a blast – I’ve never really seen anything like it, but as a huge fan of old-school shooters like R-Type, I appreciated the different waves of fish and the huge bosses to take out. It’s a shame that the top prize isn’t a little higher, but I guess you can’t have everything!