What is the Reels Room (Release the Kraken)?
The Reels Room is a new bingo game from Pragmatic Play that pays out in slot spins, rather than cash.
It was a room announced by Pragmatic quite a long time ago, but we didn't see it appear on any site until the relaunch of Heart Bingo in September 2021. The game is an exclusive for Heart Bingo, presumably for a limited time after which they may offer it to the wider network.
The room is themed around the slot game of the same name, Release The Kraken, with a colourful background of a shipwreck complete with bubbles that float around. All the spins you win are redeemed on the Release The Kraken slot game.
How does it work?
The room looks and feels like any other 90 ball bingo game, with the game played for one line, two lines and then a full house.
However, instead of cash prizes you see a number of spins. When I played the game on a Tuesday evening, the prizes ranged from 20 spins a game (1L=4 spins, 2L=6 spins, FH=10 spins) to 80 spins a game (1L=10 spins, 2L=20 spins, FH=50 spins).
Ticket prices varied from 10p a ticket for the 20 spin games up to 30p a ticket for the 80 spin games. However, because the room is so new, and not many players are playing it at the moment, it is hard to tell whether or not the number of spins will increase as more tickets are sold. When I tested the game, there were rarely more than 6 players in the game.
However, that can be a good thing as it meant I had a good chance of winning, and win I did a few times. 40 spins in total.
How to spend your spin winnings
The one thing that could be improved on this game is the experience after you've won the free spins. There was no call to action to use the spins, or indeed to tell you how to find the Release The Kraken game.
The game is one of the mini-games that you can access from the bingo room, but to be honest I missed it the first time I played the game. Perhaps due to the icon not being very clear.
I left the bingo lobby and returned to the homepage, looking around for the game but couldn't find it. In the end I had to use the search box before I finally got there.
Free bonus round
Once you enter the Release The Kraken slot game, it will recognise that you've won some spins and a message will appear asking you to claim your free bonus round.
It seems as though these are awarded in blocks of spins according to what you won. So if you win 10 spins on one game, then 5 spins on another, you don't get 15 spins all at once. It will first give you the 10 spins, then once those are played out, it will give you the other 5.
Is it worth playing to win slot spins?
The whole concept of the Reels Room is an interesting one, and I have to applaud Pragmatic and Heart for taking a risk with it. It's certainly something players aren't used to, and it needs a few more tweaks in my opinion just to make it clearer to players how to claim their winnings afterwards.
However, because you don't see a final cash prize during the bingo game, it's difficult to know if what you've won is worth the outlay in bingo tickets. For example, you could pay several pounds in tickets, win 20 spins and then pick up absolutely nothing on the slot game.
But I guess that's the risk for players to choose. Equally you could hit a bonus round and come away with quite a large amount. That's the game being played.
Wayne's profit & loss
I can only review the game from my experience, so I will share how much I spent on tickets, how many spins I won and then how much money that won me in the slot game itself.
My tactic was to buy 6 or 12 tickets per game, usually 6. I never maxed out as that gets expensive really quickly. But as I said earlier, not many players means I did pick up a few wins. You can see from my game history below, I spent £12.90 on tickets and over those games I won 40 spins.
Those 40 spins won me a total of £12.45 so after all was done I was actually down by 45p.
I think the jury is well and truly out on this one. I like the concept, and I did enjoy extending my play time by then having to go over and play the slot game.
However, having won 5 games of bingo and to end up 45p down overall, you have to consider the maths. Is it too much of a risk? Maybe so, but it was fun and that's the whole point of bingo. So I won't give up on it just yet.