Buffalo King Megaways: Slot Overview
North American nature slots blow through the lobby like tumbleweeds these days, and one example helping to define the genre was Pragmatic Play's 2019 release Buffalo King. One of Buffalo King's calling cards was its high advertised potential, or should that be insanely unachievable potential? Whatever the case, it ended up being a hit and a benchmark for others to be judged by ever since. It was also another game ripe for a Megaways conversion – partly due to its classic status, partly because hey, why not? Everything else seems to be getting the makeover. With that, let's get in touch with our spirit guides as we tramp through America's backyard alongside its biggest beasts.
The first noticeable difference is the drastically enlarged, albeit technically unremarkable, Megaways setup. Lashed wooden beams prop up 6 main reels holding 2-7 symbols each as well as an up top horisontal reel holding 4 symbols. At full whack, a massive 200,704 ways to win are in play, compared to 4,096 ways of the original. The rest of the view, what you can make out at least, is essentially the same rocks and canyons as before. An outdoorsy soundtrack completes the scene, and fans of the first Buffalo King won't be scared away by anything too radical, aesthetically, at least.
Numerically, Buffalo King Megaways starts to diverge, starting with an improved default RTP configuration of 96.52%. If nothing else, you can count on Pragmatic Play to deliver solid return values - beware though as this provider uses flexible RTP which may be lower depending on where you play. Always make sure to check the paytable. The highly volatile gaming is available on any device and allows bets ranging from 20 p/c to £/€125 per spin. This is the base bet level, at least. Buffalo King Megaways lets players up the ante, literally via an Ante Bet feature. For an additional 25% spin cost, players double their chances of triggering free spins. Keep in mind the Ante Bet does not affect symbol values.
Even though Megaways provides a shed load more ways to win, symbol values have actually increased as well. Starting on the lower side of the paytable, we find 10 to A card icons spinning amidst moose, wolves, cougars, eagles, and buffalo. All are North American staples, topping out with a line of buffalos worth 20 times your stake. The game also includes a wild symbol that appears on reels 2, 3, or 4 to replace any standard pay symbols.
Buffalo King Megaways: Slot Features
Like most Megaways slots, Buffalo King Megaways utilises a cascading mechanic, here referred to as the tumble feature. It kicks in after every win to remove winning symbols from the reels. New tiles drop down to fill the empty spaces, which can trigger another win. Tumbles keep on coming as long as wins keep on lining up.
What you also really want to see is 4 or more scatter symbols hitting the reels. When this happens, you're handed 12, 17, or 22 free spins as well as a win of 5x, 20x, or 100x, for 4, 5, or 6 scatter symbols in view. Free spins make use of a win multiplier, though interestingly, it's not the progressive type normally found in a Megaways game. Instead, wilds now appear with x2, x3, or x5 multipliers attached to them. These values accrue on single spins, meaning you might get an x2 on the initial win, then an x3 appearing on the next tumble. The total amount won from that spin sequence is then increased by x6. Multipliers do not increase forever; instead, they reset between free spins. Finally, the bonus round may be extended by +5 free spins each time 3 bonus symbols hit - without limits.
Last up is a feature buy option, where you can trigger free spins for a cost of 100x the total bet - where available.
Buffalo King Megaways: Slot Verdict
Fans of the older game should be pretty happy with what Pragmatic Play has done in the remake. Wistful cartoon majesty made up much of the first's magic, and this has been faithfully recreated here. Juicy multipliers were another key draw, which Pragmatic Play has both altered and retained at the same time. Buffalo King Megaways' headlining numbers are nowhere near as impressive as its predecessors, but how realistic were they anyway? As the community has slowly come to realise over the years, the advertised potential in many of Pragmatic Play's releases has been ridiculously overexaggerated to entice players.
When putting features under the microscope, it has to be said the multiplier system is similar to the one used in Sweet Bonanza. However, introducing multipliers via wild symbols makes a change from the standard progressive system following cascades that might intrigue Megaways connoisseurs. There are pros of cons to using this method, of course. It is great when several wilds appear throughout a spin cycle, though it can mean an absence of multipliers if wilds don't hit, even if you're powering through cascades like there's no tomorrow.
Moving onto max win, and despite the extra ammo Megaways brings, potential has taken a major nosedive. In short, Buffalo King Megaways commands the princely sum of 5,000x the bet – an increasingly common amount from Pragmatic Play at the time of review. In contrast, the originally touted figure of 93,750x kind of felt like it was dreamt up by a boffin with a calculator, eyeballs deep on a desert-based mescaline trip. For a Megaways powered slot, the rather low potential undoubtedly comes across as a bit odd. However, being honest about what may be realistically achievable rather than making up some dream figure to lure players in is likely a better decision if you wish to remain in good standing with the regulators (and your customers).
All in all, the Buffalo King Megaways makeover can, by and large, be counted as a decent slot. The stats might not be as sexy, and it doesn't really bring much new to the table, but everything else has been enlarged during the conversion process. As well as buffalo fans, players interested in seeing a slightly different use of multipliers in a Megaways game might be tempted for a look.
Buffalo King Megaways is a rather conventional but fairly enjoyable addition to the Megaways series.