As Thick as Thieves
The 1001 Nights tales, better known in English as Arabian Nights, includes the story of Ali Baba, a humble woodcutter who stumbles across a thieves’ lair filled with ill-gotten gains which can be accessed only when the magic words “Open Sesame” are uttered. It’s an enduring tale and one that’s tailormade for a video slot. It’s just a shame that Bally Wulff haven’t exactly done it justice.
40 Thieves is, fittingly, a 40 payline game with a line bet that can be set between 0.10 and 50.00. There’s little in the way of imagery to set the scene here; an oil painting backdrop appears to depict the thieves charging towards the cave on horseback but it’s obscured by the reels. The game symbols include a red ruby heart, a dagger and sheath, a white horse and a masked robber. There’s nothing wrong with the choice of symbols, but aesthetically they leave a lot to be desired.
Cave of Wonders
Bally Wulff have at least used a modicum of imagination in rendering the playing card values as suits instead of numbers. They come in the form of a jewelled club, heart, spade and diamond and are worth 75 for five. The wild symbol will substitute for all of the regular playing symbols except for scatter. It’s probably the worst looking symbol of the lot, but at least it’s easy to make out thanks to the word WILD emblazoned across it.
The blue-robed robber is the most valuable of the regular playing symbols, worth 1,000 for five. Then there’s scatter, which at least looks like it might be precious. It appears as a gold brooch and will win you 10 free spins for three, rising to 15 for four and 50 for five matching symbols in view. Land five scatters on a payline and you’ll pocket 10,000.
If you clicked on this slot going by its name alone, you’d be entitled to feel like you’d been robbed. In execution it fails to capture the elements of the original tale that enchanted generations. Still, plod away and you’ll be rewarded for your troubles, as you will with any slot if you’re prepared to put the time in.
Any time you record a win on the reels you can bet on it using either the card gamble or the ladder gamble. The odds of winning on either is identical; pick your preferred vehicle for wagering, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
40 Thieves has an RTP of 96% which is about par for the course for a 5-reel slot that doesn’t have a progressive jackpot. If you’re in the market for a similar slot – ideally one that’s less disappointing – you could try Horsemen by Merkur, who are affiliated with Bally Wulff. Another game which has similar features and gameplay is IGT’s Western Belles.
Predictably, there are plenty of other Ali Baba-inspired games out there, plus many more based on the enchanting tales to be found in 1001 Nights. There’s 777 IGT’s Alibaba, for instance, plus an Ali Baba developed by Spade Gaming that looks far more visually appealing.
Bally Wulff have released some solid video slots in their time but 40 Thieves isn’t one of them. The graphics are poor, the audio is virtually non-existent and you can forget about animations. Slots don’t have to be all-singing, all-dancing affairs in order to work, but they need to offer more than this jaded looking slot that simply isn’t worth your time.