Big Bucks Bandits Megaways: Overview
ReelPlay, the company famous for Infinity Reels, is back for another lash on the Megaways engine. So far the Australian developer’s outings with the mega-popular game engine have been a mixed bag. Atlantis Megaways and Hypernova Megaways might have appealed to some, but they didn’t exactly shake up the slots world. Their third, Big Bucks Bandits Megaways, looks like it is set on the same trajectory since more or less the same features and gameplay grace the Western-themed slot.
Taking its cue from Megaways, players get 6 reels, set against a desert backdrop, somewhere in or near the Grand Canyon by the looks. The background image is a pleasant one, not so pleasant are the symbols, which have a dated look to them. Strangely hi-def in some ways, while being dated as well.
Getting to the big bucks requires setting a bet where players can choose a stake from 20 p/c to £/€25 per spin. Hit play and up to 7 symbols can appear on each reel creating up to 117,648 ways to win. Hitting a winner at any time brings the reaction mechanic to life. Here, the winning symbols pop off the grid to reveal some of the background whilst allowing new symbols to tumble down into the empty positions. This chain reaction continues to roll, racking up multiple hits off a single spin, until no new winners eventuate.
The symbols involved in Big Bucks Bandits Megaways are heavily steeped in Western imagery. Starting with the low pays, the game uses bottles of moonshine, skulls, flowering cactuses, hats, boots and pistols. On the high side, keep an eye out for horses, bandits, little ladies, and a Clint Eastwood lookalike. Clint is by far the star of the show, needing just two of a kind to create a winner, while 6 of him are worth 100 times the stake. Compare that to the rest of the symbols which are worth 0.5x to 5x for a line of six. Wilds are useful as ever, appearing only on the 4 space bonus reel to substitute for anything bar the scatter.
Now for an old West proverb – ‘If a cowboy goes to town to buy a new hat, it’s still the same old cowboy underneath it.’ In the case of Big Bucks Bandits Megaways, that saying, which we may or may not have just made up, rings quite true. What we mean is players get a medium volatile math model paired with an RTP of 96%. Maybe not bang on the same as the previous two, but pretty darn close – as are the features.
Big Bucks Bandits Megaways: Features
ReelPlay do like their respins features. In Big Bucks Bandits Megaways, the Jackpot Heist Respins feature comes into play when 6 or more money bags are in view. When this happens, the triggering money bags are locked in place. The round then begins with 3 respins that reset whenever a new money bag or trophy symbol lands. The feature ends when respins run to zero or good fortune fills each position.
As well as money bags, players may also land trophies during the feature. Each one awards a respective fixed jackpot - bronze, silver, gold, or platinum worth 10x, 50x, 250x, or 1,000x respectively. The Bronze or Silver jackpots may be won multiple times, the Gold and Platinum just once per feature.
When Jackpot Respins have concluded, the total prize is tallied, and the Double Cross Gamble feature starts. Two gunslingers square off, between them is a segmented prize wheel. Players can collect their winnings at any time or gamble them by spinning the wheel. Landing on a green segment increases the prize by up to x5 its original value, or loses it all in the worst-case scenario.
The last piece of good news for those that like the sound of the bonus game is the Bonus Buy option. Players may shell out the entry fee of 60 times the stake to trigger the Jackpot Heist Respins on the next spin – where available.
Big Bucks Bandits Megaways: Verdict
Big Bucks Bandits Megaways is a case of being able to base your opinion of it off another slot. In this case, you get two to compare - Hypernova Megaways and Atlantis Megaways. If you liked those, you now have a cowboy version of them to enjoy. If not, well, don’t bother pulling on your hat for this one then pardner. The trio share near-identical features and gameplay. They say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but in this case, a little tinkering wouldn’t go amiss.
To be fair though, it’s not exactly the same thanks to some bonus game expansion providing more gambling opportunities. One key difference is that the top trophy prize of 1,000x is half what it is in ReelPlay’s other two Megaways slots. Big Bucks makes up for it though thanks to the Double Cross Gamble bolt-on. It increases the potential, where you’ll need to be quick on the draw, or lucky at least since maximum wins of around 10,000 times the stake are now possible. It takes steady nerves to win a showdown, almost as much as you need to ride the feature all the way.
So, while the bonus game twist does present a somewhat fresher option, the overall package feels like your typical ReelPlay Megaways slot. Certain gunslingers may appreciate the new challenge; others will just readjust their hats and head back into the saloon.
ReelPlay sticks to their favoured Megaways formula, dishing up more or less the same mediocre gaming as the previous two, this time in a Western setting.