Aztec Gold: Megaways (iSoftBet): Overview
We recently reviewed Gold Fever, another debut Megaways effort from Strikelogic that came with some big numbers. iSoftBet’s latest, Aztec Gold Megaways somehow manages to take things to the next level. The vehicle for its stunning numbers comes in the form of an ancient Aztec theme. This mysterious race was the alpha civilisation of South America for centuries before Europeans landed to spoil the party. Within years, their leader Montezuma had capitulated, and they began their steady decline into eventual oblivion. The Aztecs might be gone, but they left behind fantastic architecture and symbology which have made their way into Aztec Gold Megaways.
The game comes with a minor backstory of exploring ancient temples in search for treasure. They all say that don’t they, but in this case, it really could be true as the potential of the game is outstanding. Graphically, iSoftBet successfully presents ancient iconography in a bright modern way. The jungle background is quite minimalist, but more than up to the task. The soundtrack does a great job of setting the mood with a throbbing jungle beat, punctuated by exploding symbol sounds. The overall visceral effect isn’t exactly mind-blowing but is clean, clear and stays out of the action’s way. Overall, it's undoubtedly one of the better looking Megaways slots we've ever seen.
To get to the treasure, setting a bet level is in order. Stakes are calculated by coin value from total spin values of 20 c/p up to £/€20 each. RTP sits at 95.99% which is fine, volatility is in the medium-high range, and when combined with the max potential, some intense gaming is possible. This being a Megaways license from Big Time Gaming, we get 3 - 7 rows on each of the 6 reels and up to 117,649 win ways.
Symbols are made up of golden jewel encrusted 9 - A royals at the lower end. Better returns come from the theme inspired high pay symbols - the bird, snake, jaguar, and the Aztec god. That last one is the most valuable base game symbol which will return 50 times the stake for six of a kind. The gold and diamond blinged out symbol is the Wild. It can land anywhere and substitutes for any symbol except the Sun Disc Scatter. Each is crafted in a unique style that combines an exotic Jungle Book vibe with shining modern graphics. The overall effect is pleasant, but nothing too over the top - yet.
Aztec Gold: Megaways (iSoftBet): Features
Megaways must have been one of, if not the, most lucrative business decision Big Time Gaming has ever made. It has found its way into a huge number of slots of every type of theme. If for some reason you haven’t come across it so far, it uses a cascade system to expand wins. How it works is that winning combos are removed from the reels when they land to make way for new ones to fall into their place. This can cause more winners, which can cause more winners, and so on. You get the picture. It's a system that has become extremely popular with almost all type of players.
Other than cascade wins, surprisingly, there is only one other main feature. It's a good one, however, and is called the Aztec Gold Cash Respin feature. It comes into play when 5 Sun Disc scatters land on the reels which unlock 3 respins. The original scatters are locked in place when they begin. Any further scatters that land are also locked, and set the respins back to 3.
Each scatter comes with a coin value on it, or one of the three Jackpots – Mini is 30x, Major is 100x, and Mega is 1000x the stake. If a full reel gets covered with scatters it activates a multiplier of x3 - x7 that is applied to all wins on that reel. The feature finishes when the respins run out or the reels are covered in scatters. Each value is then added or multiplied to calculate the total win. This feature is tricky to convey in words but fantastic to see in action so is worth a demo.
Aztec Gold: Megaways (iSoftBet): Verdict
Aztec Gold Megaways is one of those slots that can go from nothing to 100 in a blink of an eye. iSoftBet have made a great decision to step back and not let an too many features overcrowd the game. In a way, despite the Megaways engine, we are dealing with a more traditional slot than it might first appear. The name of the game is winning it all, or, trying again another day. And by all, players are looking at stratospheric returns of up to 19,200 times the stake in the base game. We could have put that figure in the first line of the review and it would be enough to draw in a sizeable crowd of keen punters. The great news is the rest of the game has been crafted to a high standard which matched is potential. iSoftBet have done a commendable job of creating an understated, yet powerful game.
Another key element of Aztec Gold Megaways’ playability is the satisfactory returns possible during the base game. Often, cascade systems come with symbol values which are typically low. By furnishing the game with just one main feature, symbol values have retained decent value which keeps enthusiasm high during the base game. Make no mistake, the Aztec Gold Cash Respins may carry ok potential, but the base game is far and away the main event here and the key to reaching the heights the game is capable of - a humdrum session can become an all-time experience in an instant.
iSoftBet's first Megaways title is unique, refreshing and looks phenomenal. The game’s top prize and its three jackpots will definitely appeal to casual gamers looking for some Mesoamerican thrills. Mix in the med/high volatility ride and more hardcore gamers will also find plenty to get excited about too.
Aztec Gold Megaways (iSoftBet)
● Reels: 6
● Rows: 3-7
● Paylines: 117,649
● RTP: 95.99%
● Max Payout: 19,200x (Base Game)
● Volatility: M/H
● Bets: 0.10 - 10 EUR
● Features: Cascading Wins, Multiplier Jackpots, Gold Cash Respins
● Release Date: General Release January 9, 2020
Bigwinboard Rating - 80%