Founded in 1999, Playtech has built up a solid reputation as a leading developer and creator of online casino titles, with an emphasis on producing high-quality online slots games that are packed with desirable features. With so many players now depending on their portable devices to access all the best games that an online casino can offer, Playtech makes sure that its games work seamlessly, no matter which device you choose to access them. That means that you can comfortably access great online games, such as their Great Blue Slots game, no matter which device you choose to play on - the game will load and display perfectly on your desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet.
Why You’ll Want to Play Great Blue Online Slots
Maybe they love the colourful graphics, or perhaps it’s the jaunty melodies that encourage players to visit Great Blue slots time and time again. But we think it’s the potential to win big that sees players returning to play this fun and entertaining deep-sea themed slots game. This is a game that seems to attract high rollers in particular, who know that, with patience, they stand a good chance of triggering the game’s legendary free spins round, which can theoretically keep going for as long as you are capable of triggering further free spins.
From the opening screen, which depicts a friendly-looking killer whale taking a rest against the game’s logo, it’s clear that there’s plenty of aquatic fun to be had from this attractively presented online slots game. Featuring a standard five reels with 25 paylines, Great Blue contains all of the elements that online slots fans simply can’t get enough of, including stacked Wilds and plentiful Scatters.
Unlike some online slots games, there’s no progression through a story, but with plenty of chances to scoop big wins, there’s no need for gimmicks - hard-core players keep returning to Great Blue time and time again to take advantage of the generous payouts.
Play for Free at Slots Temple
Whether you’re a complete newcomer to online casino games or a seasoned player with hundreds of wins under your belt, you’ll enjoy playing Great Blue. Here at Slots Temple we offer our customers the opportunity to play all of their favourite games for free, as this is generally considered to be the best way of getting to grips with the gameplay, particularly if this is a title that you’re not familiar with.
Playing for free gives you ample opportunity to trigger bonus features within online slots games, so you know exactly what’s ahead once you decide to wager real money. We generally recommend playing a game on free play for around 500 spins, as we reckon that allows you plenty of time to take in all of a game’s features and get to grips with the paytable.
Once you’ve mastered gameplay, then you can progress to wagering real cash, but once again we urge caution in the early stages. Start with the smallest allowable bet at first to assess whether your luck is in, and to decide whether you can make a profit from your gaming session. Only once you understand all aspects of a slots game inside out should you start wagering with higher sums of money. And, of course, always keep one eye on your gaming statistics, which most games and casinos encourage, so that you don’t lose track of time and gamble more than you can comfortably afford to lose.
How to Play Great Blue
Great Blue isn’t as complicated as many online slots games, but if you’re a relative newcomer to the genre, it pays to spend some time familiarising yourself with the game’s controls.
Start by deciding on the coins that you would like to bet with, bearing in mind that these are only virtual coins during the free play mode, but they will nonetheless give you the chance to assess how the wagering process works.
Directly below the reels you’ll see your playing console set out. Starting from the button furthest to the left, click to reveal the coins with which you can play. Keep your bets small by wagering just 1p per line, or go for broke with a 25p line bet - the choice is yours. Your line bet will display in the central window of your player console, and you can also alter the amount by clicking on the button directly below this window, which increases your line bet in increments.
Once you are happy with your line bet, decide on the number of lines you wish to play with each spin of the reels. Clicking on the button labelled ‘Lines’ will display the options, so simply pick the number of lines that you feel comfortable playing with. Remember that the more lines you play, the greater the sum you wager on each spin, but the greater your chance of achieving a winning line too.
A window directly to the right of your Line Bet amount shows the total amount that you are wagering on the next spin. You can keep adjusting the bet amount and number of lines that you wish to include until you are satisfied with the parameters that you have set. Now you just have to hit the Spin button to set the reels spinning and see whether Lady Luck is on your side!
If this all takes too long for your liking, you have two options to speed things up a little. Decide on the amount of your line bet, as before, then hit the Bet Max button, just right of the centre of your playing console. This automatically includes every possible payline in your next spin of the reels at the sum you have chosen for your line bet and automatically sets the reels in motion too.
And if you don’t want to keep hitting the Spin button each time you play Great Blue, there’s also a handy Auto Play function built into the game. You’ll find the Auto Start button to the left of your console, with a window above showing the number of repeat spins, which you can toggle through using the + and - buttons to either side. Select the number of automatic spins that you’d like, then hit the Auto Start button and the reels will spin for your designated number of spins, highlighting winning lines as you go.
Game Symbols and Paytable
There are quite a few underwater-themed online slots games, but few of them are as beautifully rendered as Great Blue. The aquatic theme has been captured in great detail, with the game’s background featuring the Great Blue ocean that is the sea creatures’ habitat. Bubbles of air continuously make their way to the surface, and the background sounds bring this aspect to life. Across the reels you’ll find a host of aquatic mammals and fish, as well as the traditional playing card symbols that so often appear on the reels in games of this type. Here they have been given a clever make-over and are designed to look like inflatable bubbles, which is a quirky but effective touch.
The number 9 is the lowest-scoring symbol on the reels, but players can score a win when just two of them appear on consecutive reels, beginning from the leftmost reel. Next come the number 10, the Jack and the Queen symbols, which are the second-lowest-scoring symbols, requiring three matching symbols on consecutive reels starting from the leftmost reel to score a win. Close on their heels come the King and Ace symbols.
Bigger wins occur with the cutely animated aquatic stars of the game, beginning with the gorgeous yellow-striped Angel Fish. Next in line come the starfish and the seahorse, but it’s with the next two symbols, the shark and the turtle, that bigger wins appear on the paytable. With these two characters, as with the Number 9 symbol, a win is achieved by achieving just two matching icons on a winning payline, with one symbol occurring on the leftmost reel and the next on a consecutive reel, making these icons particularly desirable during gameplay.
Of course, no self-respecting online slots game is complete without a Wild, and in Great Blue this is represented by the friendly killer whale that we met on the opening screen. He can appear anywhere on the reels, substituting for any other symbol apart from the Scatter to create a winning line where it would not otherwise have existed. And even better, the killer whale can appear stacked on any reel, bringing the potential to increase your prize pot significantly during your gaming session. And even better, where a Wild creates a winning line, it also brings a 2x multiplier into play too, so your overall line payout is doubled! It doesn’t take a genius to see that a Wild in combination with a higher-paying symbol could bring significant returns to the player - and this is a game which features frequent appearances from the Wild symbol, helped by the stacking Wilds feature of gameplay.
There’s a Scatter too, represented by the oyster, which opens to reveal a gleaming pearl. Three or more Scatters appearing anywhere across the reels trigger the bonus round, which is one of the main attractions for high-rollers intent on amassing a prize payout. Some players complain that the bonus round isn’t triggered frequently enough for their liking, but as with so many things in life, patience is ultimately rewarded, so keep playing until you trigger the bonus, as it’s highly regarded within the world of online slots games.
Bonus Free Spins Round
Unlike all the other symbols in the game, the Scatter pays out whenever two or more appear anywhere on the reels - with all other symbols, the first winning symbol must appear on the leftmost reel, with other winning symbols appearing on consecutive reels.
Achieve three or more Scatters, anywhere on the reels, and the bonus round is triggered, awarding you a total of 8 free spins with a 2x multiplier, which could lead to some very favourable outcomes.
As soon as the bonus round is triggered, you are taken to a selection of closed oyster shells and invited to pick any two. These then open to reveal extra free spins and additional multipliers, with the potential to offer you an astonishing 33 free spins or up to a 15x multiplier.
That’s already generous, but the feature can be retriggered during the course of the bonus round, with the potential to win 15 additional spins, all with the same multiplier as the spin that triggered the bonus in the first place. And with the possibility of retriggering the feature multiple times, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to assessing your winnings!
In addition to its renowned bonus feature, Great Blue also contains a Gamble feature that can be triggered by a win. The turn of a card could double your winnings if you’re brave enough to risk it, so keep this in mind whenever you achieve a winning line.
To take advantage of the Gamble feature, simply hit the Gamble button located just to the left of the Spin button once a win has been revealed. You’ll be taken to a new screen where you are presented with the backs of a playing card. All you have to do is decide whether a card’s face is red or black and click or tap on your choice of colour. If you win, your previous winning line amount is doubled, and you can keep on picking red or black until you lose or until you decide to collect your winnings. And to help you further, the Gamble screen even informs you of the colour of your previous choices, which could inform your next choice of colour.
This is a simple little sub-game, but one that has proved very popular with players over time, as it offers further chances to increase a winning prize pot, adding to the overall enjoyment of the game.
Sounds and Animations
Great Blue doesn’t feature a particularly memorable soundtrack, but the jaunty tunes aren’t too annoying either, and the undersea sound effects are very convincing. The sound effects are particularly impressive when the killer whale Wild appears in a winning line, as he leaps in the air and calls and whistles his delight, which is infectious and adds to the player’s enjoyment.
The tunes gain pace during the bonus feature, and the melody is uplifting and jaunty, but players can toggle the sounds and music according to their preference, so you can easily turn off the music or the background sounds, or both if you prefer to play in silence, or add your own tunes into the mix if you’re so inclined.
The sea creatures and other game icons are skilfully drawn, and a number of cute animations add to the fun, drawing attention to a win and celebrating it in style. So the little Angel Fish is joined by some companions, while the turtle and starfish spin and tumble in excitement. Meanwhile, the shark does a lap of victory, swimming away from the player and then back again.
The Real-Life Sea Creatures
The ocean theme seems particularly relevant to the present time with the focus on climate change and the damage that mankind is causing to the seas with plastic and chemicals. This is not something which is laboured by the Great Blue game, but anything which paints the inhabitants of the ocean in a good light is worthy of comment these days, and it’s just possible that playing Great Blue will help to encourage a more positive outlook towards conservation and the ongoing care of the sea creatures who are most affected by humankind’s impact on their habitats.
The creatures that appear as symbols on the reels could vanish and become extinct if we don’t do everything that we can to protect them, so it’s worth considering their underwater lives as you play this game and others like Fishin Frenzy, and perhaps view them in a more favourable light.
The Killer Whale
We refer to it as a whale, but the killer whale is actually a dolphin, albeit much bigger than the other members of its species. Its name apparently derives from the title given it to by sailors, who used to refer to it as the ‘whale killer’, but over time this became corrupted to its present name of killer whale. Also known as the orca, named after its Latin name of Orcinus orca, the killer whale is an efficient predator, living on a diet of fish, seals and even other dolphins and whales, particularly younger ones. Unlike sharks, killer whales have little or no sense of smell and use sound waves as a method of finding their way around in a process known as echolocation.
Sometimes referred to as apex predators, because they are at the top of the food chain, with no animals preying on them in return, killer whales are not usually known to attack humans, with no recorded cases of any human being attacked in the killer whale’s natural habitat, although cases have occurred of orcas in captivity turning on their handlers, sometimes with disastrous results. They used to be extremely popular additions to wildlife and marine centres, where they would captivate audiences with their underwater and aerial displays as well as perform a number of tricks, but in recent years there has been a fierce backlash against keeping these intelligent creatures in captivity, and fewer marine parks now include killer whales as part of their displays.
The killer whale can be found in most of the world’s oceans and is known to employ sophisticated hunting techniques, often grouping together to work as a team to disorientate and surround schools of fish that they can then consume at their leisure. They are particularly social creatures, often travelling together in large family groups known as ‘pods’, and scientists believe that their beeps and whistles display all the aspects of a viable language, although they have not uncovered the secret to understanding what they say. The biggest threat to the survival of the orca species is man, who is responsible for depleting their hunting grounds and poisoning them through the release of toxic chemicals into their habitat.
The killer whale can be easily distinguished by its striking black and white body colour, although there is also a grey patch across its back, situated just behind the dorsal fin, which is referred to as a ‘cape or ‘saddle’. With the top surface almost completely black, apart from the saddle and a white spot just behind and slightly above each eyes, scientists believe that individuals are recognised within groups by their exact markings. The underside is almost completely white, and this is likely to aid in obscuring the creature within the dappled lighting effect beneath the ocean’s surface. When looked at from above, the dark colour blends into the deeper colour of the ocean, whilst viewing from below means that the lighter underside is masked by the light above the surface, making it much harder for other creatures to see the killer whale until it’s too late.
Sharks come in all shapes and sizes, from the smallest of fish that can happily exist in a home aquarium through to the mighty and greatly feared Great White Shark, so memorably featured in the Jaws movie franchise.
Unusually, their skeletons are made from cartilage rather than bone, which makes them lighter and more flexible than they would otherwise be. Unlike killer whales, which have one single row of teeth that are not replaced, sharks have multiple rows of sharp and deadly teeth that replace themselves if any are lost.
Like the orca, sharks tend to be darker on top and lighter underneath, making it easier for them to blend in and remain unseen until the moment that they strike. There are hundreds of different varieties of shark, with examples being found in most parts of the ocean, and a varying diet according to their size, but most sharks exist on a diet of fish, molluscs, crustaceans, krill, plankton and other marine mammals, including other sharks. Their sense of smell is legendary, and sharks have the ability to detect even a small amount of blood in water from a distance of several miles.
Sharks are unable to swim backwards thanks to their stiff and unyielding fins, so they can only swim in a forward direction. They don’t sleep, as they need to take in water constantly, passing it over their gills to extract oxygen or they die. Their hearing is exceptional, and scientists believe that they can hear the sounds made by potential prey as much as 3000 feet away. Their skin is exceptionally thick, with some species having skin that is around six inches in thickness.
It’s believed that sharks have present in the world’s oceans and seas for more than 450 million years, and the goblin shark is reckoned to have existed for at least 120 million years. Its close cousin, the frilled shark, is considerably younger, having been present in the Earth’s seas for approximately 80 million years. We tend to think of them as efficient killing machines, but sharks have larger brains than any other fish. With no vocal cords, they are unable to make any sounds at all, leading to their reputation as silent killers.
Sea turtles have been on our planet for a very long time, with scientists reckoning that they appeared in our oceans around 110 million years ago, making them some of the oldest creatures on the planet. Created to be efficient swimming machines, the sea turtles’ ‘carapace’ or shell is a streamlined design that cuts easily through water, but unlike other species of turtle, the sea turtle is unable to retract its head and body into its shell.
There are about seven different species of sea turtle, although not a great deal is known about their lives underwater, where they spend the majority of their lives. The females appear ashore to lay their eggs in the sand, but once the baby turtles have hatched, they quickly make their way to the water, with the females returning many years later to their breeding grounds to lay their eggs. Some sea turtles travel up to 1400 miles between their feeding grounds and the places where they go to breed. Male turtles spend much more of their time in the water, since they don’t need to leave the sea to lay eggs.
For the young hatchlings, life is perilous in the extreme. They need to make the long and arduous journey to the shoreline as soon as they are hatched, and once they are there they are confronted with a host of sea creatures who view them as nothing more than a delicious snack. Experts calculate that out of a thousand turtle hatchlings, only one is likely to survive into adulthood.
Sea turtles have an extraordinary ability to stay underwater for long periods of time, believed to be as much as five hours in some cases, during which their heart rate slows dramatically to conserve oxygen, with up to nine minutes elapsing between heartbeats.
Out of the seven species of sea turtles, it’s believed that six of them are either endangered or threatened, and it’s all down to mankind. Entanglement in nets, loss of habitat, and predation by humans puts these creatures at risk of disappearing altogether within the coming years and decades.
They may look more like horses than fish, and their Latin name is hippocampus, which roughly translates as ‘horse caterpillar’, but they really are members of the fish family. With a lifecycle that takes place entirely underwater, seahorses have gills and a swim bladder, like most other fish, but they lack caudal fins, and their tail differs from most other species too. Another unusual feature is the distinct neck, which most fish lack, and their downwards-facing snout. Overall, their heads are very similar to a horse’s head, which has given them their name.
There are approximately 36 separate species of seahorse, with the majority of them being found in warm tropical waters close to land. With bodies that are completely covered in spiny platelets, the seahorse’s tail is used for grasping hold of vegetation with which they can anchor themselves in one place while they feed. Their diet is primarily small crustaceans, which they consume in huge quantities. An adult seahorse feeds between 30 and 50 times every day. They have no teeth and no stomach, so food passes through their bodies incredibly fast, making it essential that they consume more food on an ongoing basis.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the seahorse is its breeding cycle. The female lays her eggs within a pouch in the male’s body, where they remain for the 45 or so days that it takes for them to hatch. Once hatched, the young seahorses join together in groups by holding on to each other’s tails and immediately commence hunting for food. Masters of camouflage from their earliest moments, seahorses wait patiently amongst seaweed fronds for prey to pass by, which they swallow whole.
The starfish is instantly recognisable, but most of us have very little notion of what a starfish actually is. Despite the name, it’s most emphatically not a fish but is actually an echinoderm and part of the family that includes sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Experts prefer to refer to them as ‘sea stars’ to avoid confusing them with actual fish.
Unlike fish, which use their tails and the movement of water through their gills to propel themselves forward, the starfish utilises its tube feet to make progress across the ocean floor.
With around 2000 species of starfish, they are not confined to any one area of the ocean in particular and can be found in all types of sea, from tropical to the polar regions. They can be found in a huge array of shapes, sizes and colours, and while the majority of them have five ‘arms’, there are species with as many as 40 arms in existence. They are renowned for having the ability to regrow lost limbs, but this is a lengthy process which can take many months. With the majority of their vital organs contained within their arms, it’s possible for some species to regenerate themselves completely from one single arm and a small part of the central area, although this could take a year or more to achieve.
Unusually, starfish don’t have any blood, and their circulatory systems are instead composed principally of sea water, which is pumped around the creature’s body. They feed mainly on mussels, clams and other bivalves, although they also prey on snails, barnacles and small fish. It’s the feeding process, however, which really sets the starfish apart from other creatures. With a tiny mouth that’s located on the underside of the starfish, it grabs hold of its prey with its arms, before pushing its stomach out through its mouth. The stomach can easily insert itself into a bivalve’s shell, where it digests its meal and then slides back through the starfish’s mouth and into its usual place.
Most people will have seen angelfish in tropical aquariums, where their delightful shapes and bright colours make them a popular addition. But you can also find angelfish in marine waters, where they tend to live in shallow reef areas across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
They tend to prefer shallower waters, such as those found around reefs, and being bold and inquisitive creatures, they often approach divers, curious to find out more about them. There are numerous species of angelfish, and they feed on algae, plankton and small invertebrates, depending on their type.
For the most part, marine angelfish tend to be quite solitary, although males sometimes collect a harem of females and can be very territorial.
Oysters are bivalve molluscs that are related to mussels, clams and scallops. Found in many salt water environments in all parts of the world, they are usually to be found clinging to wrecks, debris and even harbour walls, often in temperate areas where shallow waters provide essential nutrients.
Inside the hard shell, the oyster is a small, soft creature that is particularly vulnerable to being eaten by other marine creatures. Once they reach adulthood they are immobile, so dependent on the movement of water currents until they find something that they can latch on to. They feed by ingesting large quantities of sea water which is filtered through their gills, with the stomach digesting any food that is collected, before ejecting surplus water from the shell. Experts believe that a single adult oyster can process as much as 10 litres of seawater every hour, but this process makes them extremely susceptible to ingesting pollutants.
RTP and Variance
The RTP is the Return to Player average, calculated over an extended period of time with many players being assessed. For Great Blue, the RTP is 94.3%, which means that a player wagering £100 could expect to win back £94.30. Of course, this figure doesn’t equate to a single playing session, so it would be foolish to approach this game anticipating this type of win level. Many thousands of playing hours are used to arrive at this figure, so you should use it merely as a guide. Remember that numerous factors govern your overall returns during a gaming session, and it’s possible for one player to suffer heavy losses while another is scooping a major prize.
Variance is a factor that the occasional player may not take much notice of, but serious players will always pay attention, as it affects your potential wins and gives you an idea of the type of slots game that you are playing. Great Blue is a high-variance slots game, which also means that it is a high-risk game too.
The high variance factor is partly down to the Wild Multiplier that increases your winnings from combinations that include the killer whale Wild. The bonus feature games also contribute to the high variance, bringing the potential for some huge wins with constantly recurring free spins that could increase your prize pot, sometimes quite dramatically.
Playing a high-variance online slots game means keeping your nerve and being prepared to spend a great deal of time and money on chasing down those big wins. Simply logging on and playing the game a few times with relatively small amounts of cash won’t scoop you any of the big prizes, but players who settle in for the long term and play cautiously but sensibly can reap significant rewards.
It’s Great Blue’s high variance and good RTP that attract keen players time and time again, with many online slots fans citing the game as being one of their firm favourites thanks to the opportunity to benefit from significant prize pots over the course of a playing session.
|Game Name:||Great Blue|
|Themes:||Animals, Nature, Sea life|
|Min Bet (all lines covered):||0.25|