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Buckshot Wilds – (NETENT) SLOT REVIEW

Buckshot Wilds: Slot Overview

The Wild West theme is a mainstay in the realm of online slots, offering a broad spectrum of games that range from the unremarkable to the exceptionally captivating. Within this competitive niche, NetEnt, a seasoned powerhouse in the gambling industry, has carved out a distinguished reputation, especially with its blockbuster slots, Dead or Alive and Dead or Alive 2. These games are known for their ruthless gameplay that can lead to significant rewards for players through the right combination of wilds and multipliers. Consequently, the release of a new Western-themed slot from NetEnt generates considerable excitement.

Buckshot Wilds is set against the backdrop of a small town nestled in a rugged, arid landscape, evoking the essence of a classic Western setting with its visually stunning, oil painting-inspired graphics. The game’s base mode offers a panoramic, eagle’s-eye view of this setting. Venturing into the free spins feature transitions the scene to a nighttime view of the town, presenting a more orderly and tranquil environment rather than one bustling with nefarious activities typical of Wild West narratives. This dichotomy mirrors the overall experience offered by Buckshot Wilds.

The game features an adaptable play area that starts with a 5×4 reel grid and 20 paylines but can expand up to 8 rows high, doubling the paylines to 40. Buckshot Wilds is classified as a medium-high volatility slot, boasting a default Return to Player (RTP) rate of 96.04%, although versions with a lower RTP are also available. Bets can range from a minimum of 20 cents up to a maximum of $/€100 per spin. Players should look out for winning combinations formed by Western-styled card royals, character symbols, and pistols, which pay out when aligned from left to right starting from the first reel.

Buckshot Wilds: Slot Features

Buckshot Wilds offers a suite of engaging features, including wilds, expanding wilds, expanding reels, free spins, a bonus bet option, and the ability to purchase features directly.

Wilds and Expanding Wilds The game employs wild symbols to facilitate the formation of winning combinations by substituting for any standard pay symbol. These wilds have a dynamic presence on the reels, moving down one position with each spin until they disappear from the bottom. A notable mechanic is activated when a wild symbol lands on a trigger symbol, initiating a symbol shootout. This transforms adjacent symbols—whether vertically, horizontally, or diagonally—into wilds for the next spin, after which they are removed.

Expanding Reels At random moments during gameplay, the reels may expand, growing up to 8 rows in height. This expansion sees any wilds on the top four rows duplicated four positions downward on their respective reel, enhancing potential wins. After each spin, the reels revert to their original configuration.

Free Spins The free spins feature is triggered by landing 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols, awarding players with 6, 10, or 15 free spins, respectively. During this mode, the game grid remains expanded to its full 8-row height throughout the session. Initially, 1 to 3 wilds are placed on the reels, with at least one additional wild guaranteed to appear on each subsequent spin. Landing extra scatter symbols during this round grants additional free spins.

Bonus Bet and Feature Buy The Bonus Bet is an optional feature that doubles the player’s stake, ensuring the appearance of wilds during the base game and increasing the likelihood of triggering the Expanding Reels and free spins. Additionally, scatter symbols can appear more frequently, offering extra free spins. Players can also directly purchase access to the free spins feature: 100 times the stake for the standard round or 125 times for free spins activated with the Bonus Bet feature, providing a shortcut to these potentially lucrative rounds.

Buckshot Wilds: Slot Verdict

Witnessing the courage of rodeo participants as they mount a bull, poised in anticipation within the holding pen, before the gate swings open and the animal erupts into a frenzy, is a spectacle of raw energy and danger. The launch of NetEnt’s first game of 2024, however, presented a stark contrast to this wild display. Instead of explosive action, the game’s debut was more akin to a gentle emergence, with the game tentatively stepping into the limelight to a muted reception from the audience.

NetEnt, known for catering to a diverse range of gambling preferences, introduced Buckshot Wilds with a different audience in mind compared to fans of the high-octane Dead or Alive 2. This observation is not meant to disparage but to highlight the variance in gaming experiences offered. Buckshot Wilds, with its aesthetics and gameplay, might remind players of other titles in the Western genre, such as Western Gold 2 or Quickspin’s Sticky Bandits, yet it doesn’t manage to stand out significantly in a crowded market. A notable aspect of Buckshot Wilds is its relatively modest maximum win potential of 859x the bet, a rarity occurring theoretically once in every 50 million spins, which notably dampens the anticipation for what its expanded reel and wild features might deliver.

NetEnt experienced a mixed bag of releases in 2023, ranging from the successful (The Wish Master Megaways and Lost Relics 2) to the less celebrated (101 Candies), among others. The release of Buckshot Wilds doesn’t mark a dramatic start to 2024, particularly for those seeking high-stakes, high-excitement Western-themed slots. As the year progresses, it remains to be seen whether NetEnt will settle into a comfortable niche or challenge itself and competitors with innovative slot designs that recapture the market’s attention.


I began my journey into the world of online casino slot games in the spring of 2016. Over the years, my experience has expanded significantly, playing at more than 80 top Dama N.V. Casinos Sites. This extensive gaming experience has given me a deep understanding and appreciation for the diversity and intricacies of online slot games. My journey through various casino platforms has not only been about entertainment but also about exploring the evolving trends and technological advancements in the online casino industry. My expertise spans across a wide range of games and casinos, making me well-versed in the nuances of online slot gaming.