Ikibu Casino Review

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Many say that the online casino business was getting stale in the 2000s. With so many new casinos being introduced that simply repackaged the same games and promotions, the saturation point was nearing. Now, I don't necessarily believe that sentiment, but I will admit that anyone willing to blaze a new trail in an industry deserves our attention.

With the introduction of social casinos in the last few years, we have seen a new breed of casino player enter the space. These players care more about the entertainment value than the games themselves, although at the heart of all these social casinos are still the same slots and table games.

When I was given the task of reviewing Ikibu Casino, it was clear from the first time I visited the site that this review would take me down a different path than most. Greeted by a monkey-like character and a claim that this site was the "first ever casino journey," I was immediately wondering what was going on. Was this site going to be a social site, or could I play for real money? What was the basis for this character and the theme of Ikibu?

I will admit that I am not a big fan of mixing my video gaming with my real-money casino gambling. However, with so many questions to answer for my readers, I knew I had to clear my mind of any predispositions and get down to finding out if this casino is worth your time.

Deposit Methods
VisaVisa
MastercardMastercard
Bank WireEcoPayz
NetellerNeteller
SkrillSkrill
MaestroMaestro
Paysafe Card
SofortSofort
TrustlyTrustly
ZimplerZimpler
Instadebit
And More

Ratings Breakdown

Overall

Ikibu Casino has tried very hard to bring together the worlds of social gaming and online gambling. While I applaud the efforts of the management team, I am not sure that either player will be completely satisfied by what they see at the casino. Don't get me wrong - I think there is a lot to like here, but I would say that some changes need to be made in order to have this rating improve.

Game Variety

This may be the most disappointing part of the review for me. I cannot understand why there are so few table games considering the casino is working with over 10 different software providers. I understand in theory why the casino is more focused on slots players, and with over 500 slots, those players are more than taken care of. However, in an online casino, there is no excuse for not providing all the games you can, as there is no real estate issue. Hopefully, the casino has plans to change this or else the overall rating will continue to be affected.

Banking

There isn't really anything negative I can say about the payments area of Ikibu Casino. They offer loads of great options for deposits and withdrawals, and they don't charge any fees back to players. They also claim to process everyone's payout requests within 24 hours, which is excellent! There is no sign of any complaints about payouts on any forums that I checked, so until I see something different, I have to give this casino full marks.

Bonuses

This area of the site could use a little work. I like the races that are constantly promoting the slots games in a series of daily, weekly, and monthly leaderboards. However, there isn't much in the way of offers for table games players (which I guess isn't surprising given the lack of attention paid to those games in the lobby). The welcome bonus is small but efficient, and the VIP program needs more upfront information for players, but this seems to be a trend in the online casino industry these days.

Customer Service

Not only does Ikibu have a great FAQ area on the site, but they also offer both email and live chat support for players. I tested the live chat response time and was very pleased to find that the agent was ready to help me within only a few seconds of connecting to the chat window. While I would also like to see a phone number available for players who prefer that method, I am okay letting it slide as long as the live chat option continues to be of high quality.

User Interface

The layout of the site is totally serviceable compared to some of the other casinos I have reviewed. The information that is posted is easy to find, and that is good news - you want to spend the least amount of time possible looking for answers and more time playing the games! The issue I have is with the casino lobby navigation, as some games are mislabeled or not listed in the tabs at all.

Mobile Compatibility

The games I tested on my mobile browser on my phone all played with excellent speed, and the navigation is quite simple and effective. There is no native app, which is something many real-money gamblers are used to, but social casino players will be disappointed to discover. I suspect we will see an app sooner than later, but for the time being, we are limited to access from the browser.

The Basics About Ikibu Casino

It is hard to say who the exact owners are of Ikibu Casino, but what I do know is that they are operated by MT SecureTrade, which comes with an excellent pedigree of online casino management. Right away, this gives me a lot of confidence in what I am going to find while rooting through the website and playing the games.

The Ikibu Casino launched in 2016 and is licensed by both the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission. This is another feather in the cap of the owners, as these two jurisdictions are very protective of player rights, and as a result, the license holders tend to be very safe places for you to make a deposit and play. These first two facts about the casino give me hope that at the end of this review I will be giving it a high rating.

Of course, as you well know if you read my reviews, having these two gaming licenses does restrict who can play at Ikibu for real money. Given how strict the jurisdictions are, the casino is taking no chances and is enforcing this rule very seriously. If you live in any of these countries, you are going to find that you are not welcome to create a real money account:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Faroe Islands
  • France
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Guam
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Libya
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar [Burma]
  • New Caledonia
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Romania
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Spain
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Sweden
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • US Virgin Islands
  • United States
  • Italy

The Casino

Now that I am fully versed on who is behind this casino and where the companies are set up and licensed, it is time for me to move on to the playing part of my review. While I would normally make a deposit and jump right into playing some games, in this case, I needed to do some research on the "journey" part of Ikibu.

This casino is a hybrid of what you might see in a social casino and what you have come to expect from a traditional real-money online site. The casino follows along a game featuring several "worlds." When you complete a level and move on to the next world, you receive additional bonuses above and beyond the standard promotions. Now, this may not appeal to all of you, but I can tell you after having played a bit that the journey doesn't impede your ability to play the casino games.

The key to the journey is moving through each map, which you do by making real money bets. As you clear levels, you earn "seeds," which are in essence loyalty points that can be exchanged for goods (more on that later).

Okay, now that we have that piece out of the way, let's have a look at the casino games themselves.

Game Variety

Ikibu Casino is definitely a slots-heavy site, but that isn't at all surprising given who they are trying to attract as players. The journey-style model the site uses is going to attract someone who is more likely to not know much about table games. This did give me some cause for concern until I saw a tab for table games in the lobby - this could have derailed my entire review!

Software

The next step in my reviews is always to check out what software I will be testing during my playing sessions. Given that this is a casino from MT SecureTrade, my past history with the company gave me a good feeling about what I would find without even having to look in the lobby. I was not at all disappointed in what I found - have a look at the roster of some of the companies that are in use at Ikibu Casino:

  • Betdigital
  • Betsoft
  • Big Time Gaming
  • edict egaming
  • ELK Studios
  • Evolution
  • Microgaming
  • NetEnt
  • NextGen Gaming
  • Play'n GO
  • Pragmatic Play
  • Quickspin
  • Red Tiger Gaming
  • NYX Gaming
  • Spigo
  • Thunderkick
  • Williams Interactive
  • Yggdrasil

With this many software providers, you can be assured that the content is going to be diverse at Ikibu. As we dig into each category, you will see what I mean. One thing you will need to keep in mind is that despite seeing all these companies listed, you may not view some of these games in your version of the casino lobby. Some vendors place additional restrictions on sites with regards to who can play their games.

Okay, at this point, I was really excited to get in and start playing games! Here is my breakdown of each of the main casino tabs.

Slots

I am obviously going to start with the slots catalog even though this isn't my favorite set of games to play. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy spinning the reels; it just means that I need to look for interesting content if I am going to stay captivated.

Well, this is not going to be an issue at Ikibu Casino! With well over 500 slots in the catalog, you are going to be able to choose from essentially any theme or paylines that you would like. Seeing companies like Betsoft on the roster mean you are also going to be able to take advantage of some excellent 3D graphics.

From a jackpot perspective, there are definitely fewer progressive games than I had expected, but have no fear: you still have a shot at becoming an instant millionaire with a spin of Mega Moolah. This machine, one of the most popular in the world, currently has a jackpot over USD 6,000,000!

It was hard to narrow down which titles to highlight in this review, but here are some that I love and have played here or at other casinos that also feature these software providers:

  • 888 Dragons
  • 8 Dragons
  • Acorn Pixie
  • Age of Spartans - Spin 16
  • Alpha Squad Origins Captain Shockwave
  • An Evening with Holly Madison
  • Aztec Warrior Princess
  • Bellissimo!
  • Blood Lore: Vampire Clan
  • Cash Fruits Plus
  • Cirque Du Soleil Kooza
  • DaVinci Diamonds Dual Play
  • Double Whammy
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Fairy Gate
  • Fairytale Legends: Red Riding Hood
  • Family Guy
  • Foxin' Wins: A Very Foxin' Christmas
  • Girls with Guns - Frozen Dawn
  • Jack Hammer Vs. Evil Dr. Wüten
  • Jimi Hendrix Online Slot
  • Jurassic Park
  • Justice League
  • Legend of the White Snake Lady
  • Mega Moolah Isis
  • Mighty Black Knight
  • Mythic Maiden
  • Peek-A-Boo 5 Reel
  • Pyramid: Quest for Immortality
  • Quick Hit Platinum
  • Rainbow Riches Free Spins
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Tweets
  • Secret of the Stones
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Hunt for Blackwood
  • Spartacus: Call to Arms
  • Sticky Diamonds
  • SugarPop!
  • Superman
  • Supernova
  • SuperWilds
  • Sword of Destiny
  • Temple of Gold
  • Terminator 2
  • The Rat Pack
  • Thunderstruck
  • Thunderstruck II
  • Titans of the Sun Hyperion
  • Titans of the Sun Theia
  • Titan Thunder
  • Tivoli
  • Toki Time
  • Tomb Raider
  • Tornado: Farm Escape
  • Totem Lightning
  • Universal Monsters: The Phantom's Curse
  • Warlords: Crystals of Power
Video Poker

At first glance, I thought I was going to have to write a horrible piece here about the lack of video poker games at Ikibu Casino. When I look at the table games lobby, I only find the link to Jacks or Better, which is an issue all on its own as video poker isn't a table game. However, I have found that many casinos have had errors in their lobbies recently, so I went to the search function and typed in video poker, and interestingly I found several variants.

This is great news for lovers of video poker like myself, especially when you consider how many great software companies are involved in providing the content for this casino. It would be a tragedy for Ikibu to not feature several video poker titles...now to get the casino to make them less cumbersome for us to find! Here are the options you have when you search for them:

  • All American
  • Jacks or Better
  • Joker Poker
  • Aces and Faces
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • Tens or Better

Table Games

It was time to move on to the table games section for real this time (without the mislabeled video poker game). Well, this was a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. Clearly, the casino isn't looking for a lot of table games-heavy players to come through the doors, as there are very few games available for players. Strangely enough, one of my favorite games, Pai Gow Poker, was available, and so I was able to get in a good session before trying to search for other mislabeled games. I see that the casino has used different providers for the sparse number of table games they have offered, which I guess is a good thing, but still, I am surprised that at the very least all the great Microgaming blackjack variants aren't listed. You are only going to find these options in the RNG table games lobby:

  • Blackjack
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • European Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Baccarat
  • Multi-hand Blackjack
Live Casino

Thank goodness that Ikibu redeems themselves a bit by offering a live casino for players. Ikibu uses Evolution Gaming for their live dealer offering, which in my opinion is the best of the providers in the market today. Evolution has built seven studios from which to stream their games, which means lots of available tables and dealers for you to choose from. I love the live dealer games because the interaction with a human dealer, even over a webcam, is far more realistic than the cold RNG version of the games.

Here are the live dealer games available at Ikibu Casino:

  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Casino Hold'em
  • Baccarat
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Three Card Poker

Banking Options

Well, this is a refreshing change from an online casino! I am not sure if it is because of the style that they've chosen or if it is just because they are being charitable, but the folks at Ikibu casino claim that every withdrawal will be processed within 24 hours (Monday to Friday). Most casinos are tight-lipped when it comes to their pending process, which makes me believe that they are secretly hoping we will just cancel the requests altogether. So, for those of you using e-wallet solutions for your banking, you will get your cash literally within hours of asking for it.

Also, there do not seem to be any fees charged by Ikibu for deposits or withdrawals. This is also news to my eyes, as I am growing tired of casinos that pass those fees on to players as though it is a privilege to play on their sites.

Deposits

Credit Card

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None

Neteller

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None

EcoPayz

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None

Maestro

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None

Paysafecard

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None

Sofortuberwaisung

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None

Skrill

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None

Zimpler

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None

Bank Wire

Minimum Deposit: n/a

Deposit Fees: None


Withdrawals

Credit Card

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None

Neteller

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None

EcoPayz

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None

Maestro

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None

Paysafecard

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None

Sofortuberwaisung

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None

Skrill

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None

Zimpler

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None

Bank Wire

Minimum Withdrawal: n/a

Withdrawal Fees: None


Bonus Promotions

So, now that you know the types of software being used, the games catalog, and the available banking options, the next thing to tell you about is the promotions offered to induce you to become a depositing player! To be honest, there aren't many promotions on the site itself - it seems that earning the seeds is what triggers many of the offers. I will review a couple of items for you in more detail here.

Welcome Bonus

At the very least, there is a welcome bonus which resembles that of a traditional casino. At Ikibu, you can receive a welcome bonus of 100% match on your first deposit up to a maximum of $100, and 2,500 free seeds (which can be converted into about 50 free spins in the shop). This is a nice, tidy bonus, although it is smaller than that of many casinos that I have reviewed in the past. The wagering requirement for this bonus is 30x the deposit and bonus, which is in line with other sites. As there aren't many chances for you to earn bonus dollars, I definitely suggest you max out this bonus.

Races

This is not the first casino that I have reviewed that offers leaderboard promotions, but the sheer volume of "races" available at Ikibu is fantastic. The site offers daily, weekly, and monthly events that reward players with seeds for finishing in the prize positions. One feature that I really like with these promotions is that there is a maximum number of spins you can make to earn points for each race. This keeps the playing field pretty level without rewarding someone who happens to be able to dedicate a crazy number of hours to the race. I like what I see here, and I hope the site keeps these for a long time to come.

VIP Program

Sigh. It is getting very tiresome to click on a VIP button only to reveal a page that gives me no real information on the program itself. Ikibu, unfortunately, falls into this category. The site touts that you can become a VIP Ikki, even going so far as to outline that there are three "chiefs" who watch over the whole land and are in charge of handing out this distinction.

All of the backstories aside, there seems to be a real issue with recently-launched casinos not wanting to display the parameters of their VIP programs. I am not sure what the casino is trying to hide, but I know that loyal players want to know how and when they can qualify for extra perks at the casino.

For the time being, you have to send the site an email and have your play reviewed before you can be considered a VIP. I find this to be very disappointing from a seemingly progressive casino.

Mobile Compatibility

The games at Ikibu are available in non-download format because the site has to manage content from so many different providers. The fringe benefit of having to play these games in a browser is that they are also available on most mobile devices through the browsers as well.

At the time of writing this review, there is no native app for Ikibu Casino, but given their desire to add the social gaming features to their offering, I would not be surprised to see one being released shortly.

Customer Service

MT SecureTrade does something different with their support department than other casino operators. They have a separate page for players who have complaints, on which they encourage you to reach out to sites like AskGamblers to post your issues. This is one way to deal with their complaints in public, which gives them a sense of transparency with players. I like this method of dealing with complaints, as it also forces players to think hard about what they are posting as opposed to just complaining about losing money in the casino.

On the help page of the site, there is an extensive frequently asked questions section and links to both email and live chat support. For me, live chat is the way to go, as that ensures you will get some response in real time rather than sending an email and having to wait for someone to get back to you.

Summary

I have to say that after initially being a bit concerned about all the games-y stuff wrapped around this casino, I was quite pleased with most of what I found at Ikibu Casino. While I think they could improve some of the games offering, especially given how many suppliers they have on their roster, the slots catalog is excellent. The promotions, while scarce, are at least manageable, and the support department is excellent.

There are definitely things that I would like to see this casino change so that I can give them a higher rating than what I have posted, but I do applaud Ikibu Casino for trying to bridge the gap between social casino players and real money gamblers. I am happy to recommend this casino to my readers that aren't too concerned about bonuses and VIP status.

FAQ

What is the land of Ikibu anyway?
Ikibu is a fictional land that was developed by this casino to add a "journey" to the overall casino experience. To be honest, there isn't much to it aside from adding a story, as the way you progress through each world is to play more real money games.
Do my seeds expire?
As far as I can tell, the seeds do not expire, although that may change at any time, so I would use them as quickly as you receive them in your account.
Do I have to follow along the journey?
Well, you can't opt out of it, so I guess the answer is yes, you need to follow along the journey. However, it seems to be pretty unobtrusive, so it isn't as though the journey requires your attention to be able to access the real money games. You should keep an eye on when you complete worlds, though, as that triggers more seeds, which you can use for free spins in the shop.
One of the games you mentioned isn't in my lobby. Why is that?
Sometimes, software providers like Microgaming have restrictions on who can play their games that could be different than the list provided by the regulatory board. As a result, you may not see certain games in your lobby that I have discussed in this review.
What if I think these guys are screwing me over?
The Ikibu folks give you links to a couple of forums where you can voice your displeasure, but I think if you are having real concerns about the site and your treatment, you should go one step further. If you believe your issue is particularly damaging, you should reach out to the Malta Gaming Authority (or the UK Gambling Commission if you are British) and lodge a formal complaint. These boards take things very seriously and will investigate from their end rather than the forum managers reaching out to the sites that are likely paying them for advertising space.

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