1 Million Megaways BC: Overview
Get ready for a blast from the past in Iron Dog Studio's slot 1 Million Megaways BC. The title isn't just a nifty eye-catcher. Thanks to some reel manipulations during the feature, the game is capable of hitting over a million ways to win.
Set way back in the Pleistocene era which began 2.5 million in the past, ending around 12,000 years ago, 1 Million Megaways BC bears strong resemblence with the computer animated films Ice Age. A cave can be seen on one side, while snow drapes the surrounding trees, grass and rocks. Playing over the top is a tribal-like rhythmical beat, but one performed by what sounds like an orchestra. It's a rather richly primal scene.
Playable from 20 p/c to £/€20 on any device, the base game is played using 6 reels with 2 to 7 symbols on each. The number of symbols changes randomly on each spin producing from 64 to 117,649 ways to win.
One departure from the norm is in the cascade/tumble feature. When a winning combination lands, it is cleared from the reels to let new symbols tumble into the gaps, leading to potentially more winners. After the first winning tumble, the base game multiplier is set to x2. What is different, is the multiplier increases by +2 for each successive tumble, up to a maximum of x8 during the base game.
Having a higher than usual win multiplier is offset to a degree by hit frequency and symbol value. No official hit rate is available, but it wasn't exactly awash in wins during testing. More positive is the 96.2% RTP coupled with high volatility and outstanding potential as you will see.
There are 10 pay symbols - 5 low and 5 high. The lows are made out of 10 – Ace stony royals, followed by deer, sabretooth tigers, mammoths, cavewomen, and cavemen. Premiums are worth 2x to 10x for seven of a kind, however when 6 reels are in play during the base game; their values drop off sharply. The game also has an ice enclosed wild which appears on reels 2 - 7 to substitute for any regular pay symbol to help make a combo.
1 Million Megaways BC: Features
Alongside the tumble/win multiplier features, 1 Million Megaways BC comes within an expansive round of free spins. When 4 or more consecutive tumbles occur in the main game, players are awarded 8 free spins. Each successive tumble beyond 4, adds 2 extra free spins up to a maximum of 14.
When free spins begin, a new reel is wedged into the middle of the grid. This is the Mammoth reel which can hold up to 9 symbols. With the extra reel added, the maximum number of ways to win increases to 1,058,841 when maxed out.
During the feature, whenever a regular reel maxes out at 7 symbols, it locks at that number for the duration of the feature whilst also adding x1 to the multiplier. Moreover, if the Mammoth reel maxes out at 9 symbols, then it also locks whilst awarding 5 more free spins.
The Mammoth reel can also land Sticky Wilds which remain in place for the feature. It is technically possible to cover this reel with 9 sticky wilds. The tumble mechanic continues to be used in free spins, increasing the win multiplier on consecutive tumbles. The difference now is that it does not reset on a winless spin.
Free spins are where it's at, so Iron Dog Studio provides a feature buy option. Players can buy from 6 to 14 free spins with a price tag of 50x to 270x the stake. Unlike their other slots, it is not possible to pre-buy locked reels.
1 Million Megaways BC: Verdict
Iron Dog Studio continues their unique method of dealing with Megaways that began in the high seas success of Pirate Kingdom. That one introduced their reel lock concept which continues in 1 Million Megaways BC. Here they have taken it to another level though, introducing the Mammoth Reel and sending the number of potential Megaways right off the Richter.
Does it work? In many ways, yes. Pirate Kingdom's locking reels meant there could be a ton of symbols on screen, so you can imagine what an extra seventh reel with nine locked symbols is like. The number of symbols on screen can be surreal at times during free spins, and when married to a decent multiplier, even the most humble royal can be worth a fat stack.
Free spins are by far the main draw because up until they triggered, the base game wasn't lighting too many fires. The x2-x8 base game multiplier sounds better on paper than it usually turns out to be, and the jerky, fragile nature of the reels might make your eyes water.
Once free spins were allowed to breathe then the game's potential finally had a chance to shine. Speaking of potential, Iron Dog's official figure states possible wins of up to 45,000 times the stake, so there is plenty to play for. The bonus buy option is achingly tempting after you've seen what 1 Million Megaways BC is capable of, though it does get a little pricey at the upper tier.
Okay, it's not perfect, there are a few areas of concern, a few wrinkles for Iron Dog Studio to iron out. But along with clones such as Branded Megaways, the studio is clearly also aiming high. Not content to just crank out generic Megaways driven slots, which is probably tempting to do, Iron Dog has pushed what the famed engine is capable of in 1 Million Megaways BC.
It’s not without its faults, but 1 Million Megaways BC shows a studio willing to push boundaries and break out of their comfort zone.