Ali Baba’s Luck Megaways: Slot Overview
The dust has hardly settled on the original Ali Baba's Luck slot from Max Win Gaming before the Megaways version was upon us. Thanks to partner Red Tiger's ownership of a license from Big Time Gaming, the 1,001 Arabian Nights inspired game was quick to receive an upgrade. The result is an East meets West affair, a junction point on a slots Silk Road where the older Book of Ra expanding symbols feature encounters the more modern Megaways mechanic.
Graphically, little separates the two Ali Baba's Luck versions, which isn't a surprise since mere months passed. Technology advances at a breakneck pace, yet even so, not enough time has elapsed to cause major improvements. There are slight ones. The view is practically the same, though the camera has zoomed out, to take in more of the pinky, purple, pastel-coloured room. It seems the maid's been in to decorate the periphery with extra flowers too. A similarly exotic, Arabian soundtrack wafts around in the background adding little zings here and there when the action heats up.
The most noticeable change is the 6-reel Megaways grid positioned in the middle of the room. It looks smaller, which is strange considering it produces more symbols and win ways than the previous one. Each reel can now hold 2-5 symbols, the amount differing on each spin, producing up to 15,625 ways to win when maxed out. Max Win Gaming has not included a cascade/reaction feature here, opting for an expanding symbol dynamic following wins instead. More on that below.
Playable from 20 p/c up to just £/€4 per spin, as with a growing number of these low stakes games from Red Tiger and its partners, the potential is massive, reaching up to 20,000 times your stake in this case. The default RTP isn't bad either on 96.09%, while the volatility is as high as it gets. The hit rate is rated 5 out of 5, so wins are numerous, though a free spins frequency of 1/5 is the complete opposite and can prove a real struggle. Ali Baba's Luck Megaways needs dedication, since the way RTP is allocated means severe waits between bonus games are possible.
To win, two matching high pays or three lows must land adjacently from the first reel. As mentioned, this doesn't trigger cascades, but it does activate another feature. Low pays are a bunch of generic 9-A royals, while four high pays follow. These consist of a ring, a vase, Morgiana referred to in the game as 'the girl', and Ali Baba at the top. Six of a kind premium wins return 3x to 25x the stake. Genie fans will rue his exclusion, as will anyone who likes to spin with the aid of a wild. They have been left out to make way for the features Ali Baba's Luck Megaways does have.
Ali Baba’s Luck Megaways: Slot Features
Expanding Symbols are available in all modes of play, base or bonus. Running along the top of the reels is a bar displaying all of the pay symbols. When a win hits, its respective place on the bar lights up, and they become special golden expanding symbols for the next spin.
When golden symbols land, if they can form a win they expand to cover all positions on the reel. Like other Ra inspired games, expanded reels pay anywhere; they do not need to be adjacent. It is possible for more than one golden symbol to hit, so in this case, they expand one at a time for win evaluations. In the base game, golden symbols revert back to normal on the following spin.
Keep an eye out for the treasure chest scatter symbols which may land on any reel - 3 of these in view activate the Lucky Round. In the Lucky Round, a wheel spins awarding 4 to 16 free Dream Spins. If more than one treasure chest triggered the feature, each extra symbol awards +4 Dream Spins. During Dream Spins, when a symbol is converted to a golden symbol, it stays in this state until the end of the bonus round. Technically, all symbols could convert into expanding ones, though immense luck will be needed to see this happen.
Ali Baba’s Luck Megaways: Slot Verdict
Book of Ra slots are big business, players can't seem to get enough, whether they want them or not. It was only a matter of time before they collided with Megaways, another juggernaut rampaging across the slots landscape. Of course, this isn't the first time it's been done. Legacy of Ra Megaways from Blueprint Gaming was quicker off the block. Ali Baba's Luck Megaways does offer an alternative though, due to the frequent use of expanding symbols in the main game following wins.
More doesn't necessarily mean better, and to be able to offer such frequently occurring expanding symbols, other aspects of the game are reduced to balance them out. For one, individual symbol values are much lower than regular 'Book of' slots, so there’s a different kind of thrill happening in bonus games. While big single spin wins here are possible, it’s a different kind of anticipation to the instant 5,000x wins you cross your fingers for in regular Book slots. Not that this has a negative impact on the max win, which has been calculated at 20,336x the bet.
Still, Ali Baba's Luck Megaways feels a little unnecessary. The first one doesn't seem to have found huge acclaim, despite giving Ra fans a new twist to try. With that said, boasting the Megaways logo does typically help increase interest, and Ali Baba's Luck Megaways provides a lot more opportunities for entertainment and big wins than the original, so let's see if it translates into a recipe for success.
The addition of Megaways doesn’t exactly revolutionise what the first Ali Baba’s Luck did, but it does create more enticing stats and gameplay.