8 Golden Skulls of Holly Roger Megaways: Slot Overview
A mouthful of a title, 8 Golden Skulls of Holly Roger Megaways is the name given to the debut release from Buck Stakes Entertainment, another in the growing army of independent Microgaming partner studios. Details about Buck Stake Entertainment are light at the moment, with barely a mention online. Aside from an entry in a trademark journal, there isn't much to go on other than the game itself, a Megaways driven slot offering free spins, multipliers and a Firepot jackpot.
Perhaps one of the most original things about 8 Golden Skulls Megaways is the crew is entirely female. We don't find the five members aboard a ship either. Instead, the view through the transparent 6-reel Megaways powered game grid is of an exotic tropical scene. Players get a glimpse of the sea, mountainous islands, maybe St Lucia, all washed in a lavender purple as the sun goes down. Extra atmosphere is provided by the soundtrack, which might come across as a bit simple at first, but actually has quite a high jaunt factor after a while, blending a pirating jig, with a Lord of the Dance Celtic number. It conjures up an image of getting a new crew together, all provisioned up, and cutting through the waves in a ship under full sail on its way to plunder. Something like that anyway.
If you're up for some plundering, 8 Golden Skulls of Holly Roger Megaways is available on any device, where bets of 20 p/c to £/€20 may be set. The game posts a healthy set of numbers too, led by an RTP configuration of 96.86%, while volatility has been rated 'high'. The hit rate is also quite high, with around one spin in three turning up a win - or 32.45% of the time. Combine these stats with the features on offer, and there is plenty to keep players busy on the high seas.
Symbols come in two forms, low pay 10-A card symbols and five swashbuckling ladies as the higher pays. Winning combinations of six premium symbols in length are worth a payout of 1.5 to 60 times the bet. No wild appears in the game, though several other special symbols are on hand to boost wins.
8 Golden Skulls of Holly Roger Megaways: Slot Features
On each spin, 2 to 7 symbols land on each of the 6 reels, randomly producing between 64 to 117,649 ways to win. This occurs when at least 3 matching symbols land from the leftmost reel – triggering the Rolling Reels feature. Rolling Reels removes winning symbols from the board, allowing new ones to drop down into the spaces. This process continues to roll as long as consecutive wins are formed, ending when no new wins appear.
Keep an eye out for the treasure chests - these are mystery symbols, appearing on all reels. When they land, all transform to reveal the same matching symbol type, which can be anything except the scatter.
The Firepot is a trademarked feature that's essentially a scatter pays jackpot type thing in the manner of 9 Masks of Fire. What you want to see here are the skull symbols, which do a sort of Punk Rocker dance when they land. Their values are directly related to the stake, and are displayed on the right side of the screen. Landing 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 skulls translates to a cash prize of 1.5, 5, 20, 100, 300, or 2,000 times the stake. Worth noting is that Rolling Reels do not remove skulls from the grid.
Greater rewards are possible during the free spins feature, triggered when at least 4 scatters land in a spin sequence (each scatter over 4 adds 2 free spins each). The total number you get, however, is determined by a bonus wheel which spins next. From here, players can win 10-30 free spins + a multiplier of x1-x3. Once the bonus gets going, this multiplier is applied to all wins during free spins, including Firepot wins. Lastly, landing 3 scatters during the round adds 4 more free spins to your total, plus 2 more for every additional scatter on the retrigger.
8 Golden Skulls of Holly Roger Megaways: Slot Verdict
8 Golden Skulls of Holly Roger Megaways is a decent first effort from Buck Stake, which does its best to cover all the bases. There's Rolling Reels, a bit of scatter jackpot action, and a bonus wheel leading into free spins. If you like a stack of features on hand, then there are plenty of them here to keep you going. None are especially innovative, yet all have been rolled up and presented in a pleasing whole.
The small things have been done quite well too, such as neat animations on winning symbols, coin splashes and Firepot scatter movements. Sound plays a big part, and a foot-tapping tune helps provide an incentive to keep spinning. You might need a bit of outside motivation to keep you going actually, as 8 Golden Skull is a game that can test your patience. Landing 2 or even 3 diamond scatters are common, but getting any to drop in a tumble is a task of Herculean proportions. With such a high hit rate and extras taking up much of the RTP, it's not all that surprising.
Hopefully, the Firepot feature appeals then, because there is a lot more focus on that than free spins. There is no official mention of what 8 Golden Skull's max potential is, though payouts worth 6,000x are technically possible by landing 8 skull scatters on a free spin when an x3 multiplier is active.
8 Golden Skulls of Holly Roger ends up being a bit of enjoyable, if not unmissable, Megaways action. If a 9 Masks of Fire-type experience, dressed in pirate clothes on a bigger reel setup sounds intriguing, then 8 Golden Skulls of Holly Roger's got all that. Just don't count on seeing it all if the piratesses aren't feeling generous.
Ultimately, the only saving grace 8 Golden Skulls has is that it’s a Megaways game.