Big Top Terror

(Hungry Bear) Slot Review

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Big Top Terror: Slot Overview

Circuses, in some ways like the clowns populating them, have this strange ability to be a canvas for both fabulous dream spaces where the wondrous may occur as well as hideous freak shows where terror reigns supreme. Perhaps they're a reflection of the human psyche, which has an enormous capacity for both love and hate. It's the scarier side of circuses that we're exploring today, courtesy of Yggdrasil Gaming's partner Hungry Bear. The slot is Big Top Terror, and for this one, the UK/Canada-based development team has mixed a little bit of horror with the potential for sticky wild multiplier magic.

A little bit of horror, because despite the title, Big Top Terror isn't overly freaky. The inhabitants of this game, while leaning towards the peculiar side of life, aren't exactly nightmare-inducing Art the Clown types. With its wacky circusy soundtrack, Big Top Terror displays various in-theme images in the background and on its set of reels, but the overall effect was averagely received. However, the game did trigger thoughts of Pragmatic Play's Zombie Carnival, Stakelogic's The Haunted Circus, as well as Play'n GO's 3 Clown Monty 2, amongst others, and Big Top Terror manages to forge its own place in the circus slot lineup.

Big Top Terror slot
Big Top Terror slot - base game

To roll up, roll up, in this game, gamblers are able to select a stake which suits them from 20 c to $/€5 per game round. Each game round sees a 5-reel matrix spin, holding 3 rows on each reel, and uses a 243 ways to win pay system to calculate winning combinations. Combinations may be up to 5 symbols in length, and all must begin on the leftmost reel. If looking for the best RTP value, that would be the 94% version, though note the volatility has been rated as 'Super High' - maybe just right for some, a touch too much for others.

For its pay symbols, Big Top Terror has 10 through Ace as the low pays, then 4 mostly unfriendly-looking characters as its highs. A winning combination consisting of 5 matching low pays gets you 1 to 2 times your bet, while a winning combination of 5 matching picture symbols pays 5 to 10 times the bet. Wilds substitute for all regular symbols and land on all reels except the leftmost reel.

Big Top Terror: Slot Features

Big Top Terror slot
Big Top Terror slot - free spins wheel

Whilst nothing extra appears in the base game, Big Top Terror is able to deliver a simple, muscular, free spins round where wilds are sticky and may carry combinable multipliers.

The Final Act Free Spins

Landing 3+ scatter symbols in the base game triggers the free spins bonus round. Before it begins, a wheel spins to determine the number of free spins awarded for the feature. The wheel has up to 4 segments, awarding 8, 10, 15, or 20 free spins. However, when the feature is triggered by 4 scatters, the 8 free spins segment is removed from the wheel, or when triggered by 5 scatters, the 8 and 10 segments are removed from the wheel.

During The Final Act Free Spins, any wild symbol that lands becomes sticky. In addition, if 2 wild symbols land on a single reel, they turn into x2 wilds, or if 3 wilds land on a single reel, they turn into x3 wilds. Wins involving sticky wild multipliers are multiplied by the combined value from all sticky wild multipliers contributing to the win. A maximum combined multiplier value of x81 is possible.

Big Top Terror slot
Big Top Terror slot - free spins

Big Top Terror: Slot Verdict

Some circus shows pile on the performance, layering spectacle after spectacle in a staggering crescendo of events in order to overwhelm the audience. Big Top Terror is, and it isn't like that. It's not in the sense that there isn't much going on a lot of the time. The base game gets exceedingly repetitive as it spins around and around, going nowhere, dropping zilch in the way of extra features. The theme has been dealt with fairly lacklusterly, too, which didn't help, though the characters and the music are somewhat amusing for a while. The biggest motivator and attention-grabbing hook was the thought of gaining entrance to the free spins arena, where Big Top Terror is finally able to arm itself with extra, potentially devastating, firepower.

Sticky wild multipliers have proven their worth time and time again in the slot biz, showing up in heavies like Dead or Alive 2 or Top Dawg$, and it's no different in Big Top Terror. Where Big Top Terror differs from those two games is that it uses a ways-to-win system, which is an excellent match for a sticky wild game, especially one where multipliers can technically reach combined totals of x81. Hungry Bear hasn't been stingy with the winning potential either, which adds an extra helping of allure to the pot, as Big Top Terror's win cap is an eyebrow-raising 50,000x the bet.

Not everyone is going to get even remotely close to achieving that massive 50,000x win, and chasing the dream hit on a highly volatile slot with a max RTP of 94% can be painful, so it wouldn't have hurt if there was more to Big Top Terror to see along the way, wherever the journey might end up. Perhaps if Hungry Bear had gone a little wilder with the visuals, prodded more out of the scary circus theme while adding extras to the base game, maybe even dropped the odd wild multiplier in there as a tease, or something, Big Top Terror might have been the greater spectacle.

Mediocre

Big Top Terror is something of a one-trick show, but that one trick is a good one if you can get it going.

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