Shifting Seas

Shifting Seas

7 / 10
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Shifting Seas is undeniably an original take on the dynamic reels and Megaways concepts. Rather than having the usual six-reel grid from the get-go, taller columns enter the grid the more winning combinations are formed. Special wilds and their unique effects add variety to the base game, and the attached progressive multiplier is the icing on the cake. On the downside, the pokie’s high volatility can make it frustrating to trigger the free spins bonus, a common plight with Thunderkick games. If you are lucky enough, you can technically loot up to 15,000x the bet, making it one of the highest-paying pokies by the developer.

Shifting Seas Slot Review

Swashbuckling is one of those themes that constantly go in and out of style. On the upside, whenever a studio decides to get creative with it, they often go beyond the salty tang and treasure sniffing one would expect. Most software developer touch base with the popular theme sooner rather than later, but Thunderkick has taken its sweet time to release its adaptation – Shifting Seas.

The Shifting Seas slot machine may have arrived later than expected in Thunderkick’s tenure, but clearly, some blue-sky thinking went into its creation to make it stand out. The pokie machine spots a heap of features, starting with shifting reels that increase the rows and ways. This bonus works with the avalanche mechanic to make the most of each round. Special wilds and free spins with modifiers allow the slot to deliver potent wins of up to 15,000x the stake.

Nice to know

Launched 29th July 2022
RTP 96.15%, 94.18%, 92.13%, or 90.16%
Volatility High
Software Thunderkick
Features Shift Wins, avalanche feature, wilds, special wilds, free spins, progressive multiplier
Theme Pirates
Paylines 117,649 ways to win
Grid Layout 4-4-3-3-2-2
Min. bet/line $0.10
Max win 15,000x the bet
Jackpot N/A

Positive points

  • ✅ Shift Win, Avalanche Feature, and three special wilds in the base game
  • ✅ Wide bet limits from $0.10 to $100
  • ✅ The free spins bonus plays with a wild reel and progressive multiplier

Negative points

  • ❌ The bonus round is difficult to land
  • ❌ The 94.18% RTP rate is lower than average

Aboard the Pirate Ship

One main reason pirating is often romanticized is the beautiful weather and exotic locations that slot developers can exploit to create gorgeous visuals. Shifting Seas Slot treats players to a dreamy view of turquoise water meeting mountainous islands and blue skies in the distance. Overall, the scene looks like a loose-fitting cotton shirt ideal for a walk along the beach. Thunderkick adds its characteristic cartoon element to the pirate crew members and other symbols. The icons sit on an unusual, albeit not unique, grid matrix laid out in a 4-4-3-3-2-2 pattern.

Gameplay Procedure

Shifting Seas Slot is available to play on any device in two versions. The free slot on our website uses fun credits, negating the need to deposit, and requires no registration to launch. A real money version is also available, but it is exclusive to Thunderkick casinos. The playing procedure is the same in both versions and goes down like so;

  • Click on ‘BET’ and select a stake between $0.10 and $100
  • Use the yellow curved arrows to spin the grid
  • Autoplay is a spin alternative that can activate up to 5,000 consecutive rounds

Shifting Seas does not have a turbo function, but double-clicking the spin button reveals a new set of characters without turning the reels.

Game Payouts

Shifting Seas Slot features 11 symbols in its paytable that pay for combinations of up to six of a kind. The card ranks A to 9 are on the lower edge of the paytable, while the parrot, pirates, and treasure chests are the premiums. The dynamic paytable tracks the combination values according to the placed bet, and those of $100 bets are as follows:

Icon Wins for Three For Four For Five For Six
9 10 20 40 50
10 10 20 40 50
J 10 20 40 50
Q 20 30 50 70
K 20 30 50 70
A 30 40 60 80
Parrot 40 50 70 100
Pink pirate 40 50 80 120
Green pirate 40 50 90 140
Purple pirate 50 80 120 180
Treasure chest 100 200 250 500

Slot Bonuses

Shifting Reels has a lot of action in its base game and free spins to compensate for the low combination payouts. They include;

  • Shift Win

This feature activates when a winning combination forms. The rightmost reel is pushed off the grid, and a new one is added to the left side. Each shift increases the height by one symbol up to seven characters.

  • Avalanche Feature

The avalanche feature works hand in glove with the Shift Win bonus to support up to 117,649 ways to win. The symbols involved in paying combinations are removed from the reels, and others drop down from above to fill the empty tiles. Avalanches continue until there are no new combos.

  • Wild

The golden ‘W’ denotes the Shifting Seas wild and replaces all other icons to complete combinations. The symbol also pays when it forms a combo of six, awarding the maximum combo value of $500.

  • Special Wilds

Shifting Seas has three more wilds with unique features on top of triggering win ways in the place of other icons. The icons are not removed from the grid after being used in a combination. When they reach the last reel and are pushed off the grid, their respective feature activates:

Boost Shift Triggers an additional reel shift, adding a new column to the grid. All characters on the new reel copy those on the previously leftmost one.
Symbol Rush Randomly transforms four to eight icons into new identical symbols
Wild Surge Randomly changes one to three symbols into wilds
  • Free spins

The pokie awards eight free spins when the bonus symbol shifts off the grid. Four more spins are awarded for moving another bonus icon off the board. During the freebies, a wild reel with a 1x multiplier may appear on the leftmost reel. It shifts through the board with every win, reappears on the left reel once it is pushed off, and increases its multiplier by 1+.

Math Model

Thunderkick creates Shifting Seas with four RTP settings for operators to choose from: 96.15%, 94.18%, 92.13%, and 90.16%. The volatility remains high in all four payout percentages.


There is plenty to enjoy in Shifting Seas, much like a pirate treasure hunt. The symbol wins are low, but they can be boosted to 15,000x the bet with a high number of win ways and multiple bonus features. However, significant Thunderkick payouts are challenging to come by, even in high-potential pokies. Therefore, a more realistic aim would be around 500x to 3,000x.