Dead Man’s Trail is a slot machine from Relax Gaming with a pirate theme and a drawn-out bonus game that can award some big treasure. Reviews of pirate-themed slots often begin with a reference to the high seas. Put some puff in your sails, feel the salt spray on your rosy cheeks, and sail out into the sunset for an unknown shore. Contrast this with Dead Man’s Trail, where you are more likely to glide discreetly into foggy coves, engage in nefarious activities in shadowy crevices, or do shady business with shady people at shady institutions. In sum, the original game’s Coin feature and the Dead Man’s Trail Bonus flesh out this darker depiction of pirate life.
A ship enters a harbor protected by tall mountains, with numerous other galleons floating around on turbulent waves, suggesting that it is hurricane season in the Caribbean. Dead Man’s Trail is in a seedy section of town full of possible suspects, and its atmosphere is dark as hell. The game has a heavy atmosphere and has images and music that aren’t often associated with the Relax Gaming genre. Think back to Sails of Fortune, which is similar to the Disney attraction It’s a Small World. The Dead Man’s Trail goes in a different, and more darker, direction.
The game is played on a 5×4 grid with 40 paylines, and players may wager anywhere from 10 pence to £/€20 every spin. It may not appear like a Relax game at first glance, but it has the usual Relax studio data. First of all, the level of volatility is rather strong, so just when you think you’ve located the ‘X’ on the treasure map, it suddenly disappears. Meanwhile, the return on investment (RTI) is a respectable 96.29 percent. Dead Man’s Trail Dream Drop, a jackpot variant of the game, is also available and has a return to player percentage of 94.0%.
The paytable features eight standard pay symbols, with four high-paying icons and four J-A tiles. The premiums include four different characters: a masked savior, a seasoned pirate, a (perhaps corrupt) governor, and a grizzled old guy with a map tattooed on his bald head. Not exactly a reliable bunch, but they do pay out anywhere from five to thirty times the wager for a full house. Wilds not only double the highest payout when five appear on a payline, but they may also replace any other symbol in play to create a winning combination.
Slot Functions in “Dead Man’s Trail”
There are two bonuses included with Dead Man’s Trail. The first is a random Coin feature in the main game, and the second is the Dead Man’s Trail Bonus, which can occur naturally or be purchased.
The Coin option is a simple add-on that provides some diversity to the main game. There are unique coin symbols that appear on all reels and reveal a multiplier for the current wager. If coins appear on at least three separate reels at once, the total value of all the coins present is paid out.
The Dead Man’s Trail Bonus is activated when 3 or more bonus symbols appear. After the reels have been cleared, the bonus game begins on a map with a trail that the player’s pawn must navigate. Each turn, a number between 1 and 9 is revealed, and the player advances around the route by that many spaces. If you land on a specific tile, it will do a specific action. When a player lands on a Normal Tile or a Mystery Chest, that tile changes into an End Tile.
Prize values are shown on regular tiles and may be accumulated. When you land on a tile depicting a skull and crossbones, the bonus round is over and you receive your entire win. The Reset Action (discussed below) is triggered by the Start Tile, whereas the 11 unique Chest Tile actions are as follows:
Scout: arbitrarily boosts the power of a Normal Tile by +100 to +1,000.
Multiplies the cost of a regular tile by a factor of 2–5, and can be used again or thrice.
Any regular tile has a +3/+5 buff thanks to the Commander.
Winner is the sum of the values of all normal tiles collected by the Collector.
Collect and Command increases the value of each Normal Tile and the final victory by the sum of all other Normal Tiles.
For a fresh start, all End Tiles are replaced with Standard ones.
All End Tiles are swapped out for Mystery Chests as you go through the Super Reset.
The amount won is increased by a random coin win of 25x to 50x.
A variant of Scout, “Persistent Scout” waits until the conclusion of each turn to take action.
Constant One-Eye is similar to One-Eye, however it takes action at the conclusion of each turn.
As with Commander, except at the end of each round, Persistent Commander takes action.
When available, players can pay 100 times their bet to unlock the Dead Man’s Trail bonus round immediately. If you do, the following spin guarantees you at least three bonus symbols. The potential rate of return for purchasing the feature is 98%.
Slot Verdict: The Trail of a Dead Man
Enjoy the traditional type of explosive, high-potential action with a unique twist in Dead Man’s Trail from Relax Gaming. The studio has ditched the bright, cartoony design in favor of a darker, more realistic look, which is a welcome shift and works well with the story. Gameplay-wise, the main menu is where you’ll spend most of your time grinding away at the base game in order to unlock the bonus, but Coins may sometimes pop up to shake things up and give you a shot at a few more wins.
Dead Man’s Trail is where you’ll find some very promising possibilities. While the feature’s description may make it seem like Money Train 2, the experience is much different from what you’d expect. As you make your way along the path, you’ll pick up gifts instead of Bonus Symbols to land in streak respins. However, there is some resemblance to MT2 as players stack Normal Tile values in the hopes that bonus symbols may appear and increase their chance of winning.
There are two strategies for maximizing your winnings in the bonus round. To begin over, you can either use a reset button found in chests or on the first tile. In a very beneficial move, you’ve now eliminated every last one of the End Tiles off the board. The other comes from unique icons, which may drastically alter the course of play in Dead Man’s Trail, especially long-lasting ones like the ones seen in Money Train 2. Normal Tile values alone, without Mystery Chest special actions, make it more tougher to create respectable victories.
The value of Normal Tiles, for instance, may skyrocket when aided by Scouts or One-Eyes. In fact, certain tiles are worth as much as 10,000 times the wager, and the maximum payout is 50,000 times the wager. If you want to inflict serious harm, you’ll need a lot of special symbols, much as in MT2.
Everyone probably shouldn’t choose the Dead Man’s Trail option. It’s irritating when you go close to activating it, only to give up before you can win anything substantial. Even worse, albeit the RTP is considerable, is doing so after purchasing the feature. When there are high values to be had along the route and you must avoid End Tiles to complete the bonus game, the stakes are really high. If you’re looking for a change of pace from free spins or streak respins but still want the chance of a huge payout, Dead Man’s Trail has all the maritime flair and action you need to keep you entertained.