Big Bass Bonanza Megaways: Slot Overview
Big Bass Bonanza and its younger sibling Bigger Bass Bonanza are by far two of Reel Kingdom's most popular games. So, it stands to reason the first Megaways powered slot from the Pragmatic Play partner studio would be another entry in their bass fishing range. Big Bass Bonanza Megaways mixes the original with a couple of new extras thrown in to freshen the experience. However, at its heart, Big Bass Bonanza Megaways retains the angler's dream of reeling in as many prize-bearing fish symbols as possible during free spins to pile up wins.
Visually, Big Bass Bonanza Megaways is almost the exact likeness of Big Bass Bonanza, with an upsized game grid as the only major difference. This time, the action occurs on a game panel made up of 5 main reels, plus an extra 4 symbol reel up top spinning horizontally. Reel Kingdom has not pushed the Megaways matrix to its full capacity, so ways to win top out at 46,656. As to the rest, fans of the original bass fishing experience will feel right at home amongst the deep blue waters, shimmying fish, and of course, the chilled island soundtrack.
Putting everything on a larger reel format has meant that each number associated with the game is larger than the original's as well. Starting on a positive note, default RTP has increased to the respectable value of 96.7%, while volatility comes in as officially high, with a 5 out of 5 rating. There are mixed feelings on the game's potential, though, which is higher than the original but still feels lacking, particularly for a Megaways game. If chasing fish rather than major riches appeals, the game may be played on any device, accepting stakes of 20 p/c to £/€100.
Regular paying symbols are the same as those used previously, and pay from left to right on adjacent reels, starting from the leftmost reel. Low pays are 10-A card ranks, while high pays are tackle boxes, dragonflies, fishing rods, and a fishing float. Values for landing six premium symbol combinations are 2 to 50 times the stake. The other paying symbols are the fish symbols. In the base game, combinations of fish pay up to 1.75x the bet, and during free spins, their prizes are collected by the fisherman symbol. Finally, appearing only on the upper four-position reel is a wild symbol which substitutes anything except the fish or fisherman symbols.
Big Bass Bonanza Megaways: Slot Features
For the most part, the features have remained reassuringly the same, meaning free spins with the fish and fisherman collection system. On top of these are tumbles, plus random Bazooka or Dynamite features which may appear in the bonus game.
On any spin, winning combinations are paid and removed from the reels. Remaining symbols fall into the gaps, and new combinations may line up, creating additional wins. Tumbles continue until no wins occur.
Hitting 3, 4, or 5 scatters triggers the bonus game, awarding 10, 15, or 20 free spins, respectively. First thing to note is that in free spins, fish symbols are not removed from the reels as part of the tumble feature but fall to the bottom of the screen as tumbles happen. Also, when fish symbols land at the same time as a fisherman symbol, the fisherman collects all of the values and awards them to the player. If there is more than one fisherman symbol in view, the collection is repeated.
In addition, when fisherman symbols hit, they are collected in a meter to the side of the grid. Every 4 fisherman collected retriggers the feature, awarding +10 extra free spins and a multiplier which is applied to the values on the fish symbols. The first, second, and third retrigger awards a x2, x3, and x10 multiplier, respectively. After the third, no more retriggers are possible.
Bazookas and Dynamite
In free spins, if there are 1 or 2 fisherman symbols on the screen with no fish, two random features may activate. One is a Dynamite feature that adds fish symbols to the screen in various positions. The other is the Bazooka, which explodes all symbols in view, except for the fisherman symbols.
Big Bass Bonanza Megaways: Slot Verdict
There's just something about reeling in fish in conjunction with collecting cash prizes that clearly resonate amongst a large number of online gamblers. A trend that started a while back is still going strong and has since been used alongside a variety of non-fishing themes. Big Bass Bonanza Megaways shows there is gas left in the mechanic's tank, and Reel Kingdom shows it is willing to wring as much out of the concept as possible - Megaways being an ideal excuse. While the experience remains much the same as it was in Big Bass Bonanza, Megaways brings its usual extra thrills and ways to win. This is not revolutionary gaming by any stretch of the imagination but should be enough to entertain players into the type of scatter collection system started long ago by Fishin' Frenzy.
It was inevitable we'd mention Fishin' Frenzy sooner or later since it was Big Bass Bonanza's primary muse. In this case, let's switch to Fishin' Frenzy Megaways as Big Bass Bonanza Megaways direct competitor, and both games have merits if you're after a fish-themed action. Reel Kingdom's version has the more evolved features, such as the fisherman collection retriggers and the two new modifiers add a dash of novelty. Where Blueprint Gaming's slot wins out is in overall payout ability. Big Bass Bonanza Megaways tops out at 4,000x the bet, nearly double the original, but unusually low for Megaways, whereas Fishin Frenzy Megaways boosts that figure to 10,000x (though we are yet to see proof of that potential). So, if bigger is better, then there is a clear winner.
If you're the sort of player who enjoyed Big Bass Bonanza but would've liked extra pep, then Big Bass Bonanza Megaways makes an ideal next step. However, it's a shame Reel Kingdom didn't add even more pep in the form of bigger winning opportunities, which might have made the game more enticing to a wider audience.
Big Bass Bonanza makes a seamless transition to Megaways but would have benefited from bigger winning potential.