Why you’ll love playing Western Belles
It is far from being the newest release from IGT, since it has a long history as a successful slots cabinet game in casinos around the world, but Western Belles still has plenty of tempting treats for even the most jaded of slots fans. Get past the rampantly sexist theme and players will find plenty to amuse them, including:
- Wilds and scatters for enhanced gameplay.
- Stacked wilds for extra chances to win.
- An exciting optional Wild Reels feature, guaranteeing players stacked wilds with every spin.
- Free Spins bonus games.
- Huge betting variants, making this a game suitable for all types of player.
Western Belles from IGT
As one of the most prolific games developers in the casino industry, IGT has a long and distinguished history during which it has built up a reputation for creating some of the most innovative games around. As you would expect from a company that cut its teeth on producing slots cabinets for land-based casinos, what IGT doesn’t know about slots gaming really isn’t worth knowing. With teams of talented software designers, developers, graphic artists and mathematicians on the payroll, the company has the ability and know-how to put together complex games packed with the bonus features that players love so much.
All this knowledge and experience helped the creation of Western Belles, which has been a popular bricks-and-mortar slots game for many years. In acknowledgement of the changing face of the casino industry, IGT has updated its titles to ensure they provide the same great experience for players accessing them on mobile and tablet as when they are played on a desktop computer. This means fast and easy loading with the minimum of fuss and no foot-tapping or eye-rolling as you wait for the game to buffer.
Our first impressions of Western Belles
Players of a certain age who grew up watching Bonanza and Champion the Wonder Horse on TV will instantly recognise the style of Western Belles, although they are most unlikely to have encountered any ladies dressed quite like this! Younger players will almost certainly be familiar with the whole western genre but might struggle with the somewhat outdated style of graphics; however, it has to be said that this has no bearing whatsoever on the way the game plays.
In these endlessly politically-correct times, it can be all too easy to look for offence where none is intended and it is pretty safe to assume that the game’s designers did not set out with the idea of alienating female players. It may seem something of a risky strategy to opt for a blatantly sexist portrayal of women under the guise of a wild west theme; however, the subject seems to have been tackled with enough charm and wit that many female players will enjoy the joke and spin the reels with as much enthusiasm as the men.
Rather than get bogged down in the whys and wherefores of the theme, we decided to explore the game in greater depth to see whether it is something we can recommend to our players.
We certainly can’t complain about the attention to detail that has gone into this game. Against a barren desert backdrop, under a cloudless blue sky, the reels of the game take centre stage within a rustic wooden frame. There are plenty of symbols across the reels, with the lower-paying icons represented by the poker cards. In addition to the usual A, K, Q and J, you will find a 9 and 10. They have all been drawn with great care and attention to the smallest detail, using a lattice-work effect that makes them look as though they have been cast from metal.
It is the western belles themselves who take centre stage in this game, appropriately enough. Players will instantly notice that they have the look of 1950s magazine graphics; however, the costumes - or in some cases, the lack of them - speak of a much more modern ethos. The girls all have blonde curls, cowboy hats and boots; in some cases, they also have shirts. The Wild Reel lady, in particular, captured our attention in her tunic-length shirt and complete absence of trousers, but we are guessing it is pretty hot in that desert!
If we thought the Wild Reel lady in the base game was chilling out, she was nothing compared to the lady who takes over the role for the Free Spins bonus rounds. This lady is altogether more relaxed, as you will find out when you are lucky enough to trigger the round.
Winning paylines featuring any one of the ladies results in a series of animations, during which the young ladies pout, wink and generally cheer the player on. The biggest surprise was when we managed to achieve a big win. Rather than seeing coins tumbling from the centre of the reels, which is a common effect seen in such instances, one of the ladies climbs aboard a bucking horse machine, which she proceeds to ride with great enthusiasm!
There is a bonus symbol, which is represented by a wooden plaque with the word ‘bonus’ picked out in gold lettering, and a useful wild symbol in addition to the optional Wild Reel lady. To create the wild, one of the girls has planted a lipstick kiss on a piece of white paper and written the word ‘wild’ over the top of it. This is a nice touch that shows the humour of the developers.
As far as the soundtrack of the game was concerned, we could take it or leave it. With a heavy emphasis on old-time western choral-inspired music, it was perfectly in keeping with the overall theme, but we have to confess to getting a little tired of it over an extended session of gameplay. Luckily, there is an option to mute the sounds if you prefer. If the soundtrack to your favourite slots games is important to you, we can highly recommend that you give Wild Wild West free online slot a spin. This is a more up-to-date take on the genre, with a soundtrack straight out of a spaghetti western that is sure to hit the spot.
How to play Western Belles
With its origins firmly rooted in land-based casino gaming, Western Belles has been designed to be easy to master, at least as far as the controls go. The game’s wide betting range and variable paylines make it a little more complicated; therefore, if this is your first time behind the reels of an online slots game or you are a relative newcomer to the genre, you might want to spend a fair amount of time getting used to the controls and the way the game unfolds.
With up to 40 variable paylines, your first decision should be how many of them you wish to include in your bet. As you toggle through the available options, you will find that activating all 40 paylines gives you access to the Wild Reel option. This costs more; however, with the promise of stacked wilds with every spin, it can be an extremely lucrative decision to include this feature. Once you have settled on the number of paylines you wish to include in your spin - bearing in mind that fewer lines cost less in stake money but offer greatly reduced chances of winning - it is time to decide on the amount that you wish to wager. Western Belles has a very wide betting range, so you can tailor your gaming with great precision according to how brave - or reckless - you are feeling.
Don’t worry if you simply can’t decide on the best combination of paylines and coins. While you play Western Belles on this site, no money is actually involved, so all your bets are purely theoretical. You won’t be responsible for any losses as your balance reduces, although the downside is that you won’t reap the financial benefits of any wins either. Once you have experienced a big win, you are almost certain to want to start wagering some of your real money; however, we will cross that bridge later on. For now, all you need to do is start spinning the reels as you get to know how the game works.
Once you have activated the spin button, the reels will start to whir and will eventually come to a halt on their own. Any wins will be highlighted, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track, and will automatically be added to your balance. If you get tired of hitting spin repeatedly, you can activate the autoplay feature to do the hard work for you. This will leave you free to concentrate on the action unfolding across the reels.
Western Belles wilds and scatters
Wilds are the heroes of online slots game, substituting for any other symbol on the reels other than scatters and helping the player to achieve a winning line when the symbols don’t seem to want to play ball. In the case of Western Belles, there is not one but two wild symbols. The lipstick kiss wild appears randomly and can appear stacked, whilst the Wild Reels feature promises that one Wild Reel stacked lady will appear somewhere on the reels with every single spin when activated. This greatly enhances the player’s chances of achieving a winning line and even multiplies wins.
The bonus scatter symbol can only appear on the middle three reels and doesn’t offer any rewards on its own; however, when players attain three scatters with one spin, the Free Spins bonus round is triggered.
Western Belles Free Spins bonus
As soon as you achieve three scatters across the second, third and fourth reels, the Free Spins bonus round is triggered. At this point, you are transported to a new set of reels for some fast and furious spinning action, with five free spins guaranteed. If you have opted to activate the Wild Reels feature, which costs extra stake money, you will find that the former Wild Reel lady has been replaced by a rather more raunchy counterpart who believes in relaxing to the max. This is a feature that can pay handsomely if it is enabled, as the player is guaranteed two Wild Reels for every spin during the Free Spins rounds. This means that two reels will feature stacked wilds. When combined with the lipstick wild symbol, which can also appear stacked, there are multiple opportunities to achieve a big win. The Free Spins bonus can be retriggered multiple times during the feature, up to a maximum of 255 spins.
Play Western Belles completely free
Western Belles is not the most complicated online slots game to get to grips with, but it is not the easiest either. This is why playing in free play mode is so desirable. Without having to bother with any financial concerns related to the outcome of each spin, you can spend time getting to know the game, exploring different combinations of wagers and paylines to find out what works best for you.
In addition to Western Belles, we offer all the currently available IGT free slots. We break down all our online slots games by theme, so you can easily find the types of game you would like to play. Whether you are a fan of side games, multiplier slots or tumbling reels, you will find something to entertain you on our site.
You can use your new-found knowledge and skill at an online casino if you wish; alternatively, you can stay here at Slots Temple and discover new games and new genres of interest to you.
* Western Belles trademark / license is owned by IGT. This site is not endorsed by IGT.