Curse of the Werewolf Megaways: Overview
Developer Pragmatic Play takes on the ancient belief in lycanthropy, the transformation of man to wolf, in Curse of the Werewolf Megaways - the studio’s fourth time around the block with the popular game engine. One of the main draws here will be the impressive potential, and getting there will require cracking a free spins bonus game rife with symbol transformations. As well as the main event, players benefit from two reel modifiers and mystery symbols.
Werewolves are widespread in European Folklore, reaching a nadir in the Middle Ages. One of the earliest sources is the books of Gervase of Tilbury, an English cleric in the 12th and 13th centuries. Curse of the Werewolf Megaways isn’t set quite so far back in time, though its 6-reel grid is plonked on the cobbled street of a quaint European village. A gothic, harpsichord led soundtrack completes the scene.
Pragmatic Play has decided not to push the Megaways engine to its limits this time. The game’s 6 reels hold up to 6 symbols each, with the number of symbols randomly changing on every spin. This variation affects the number of win ways from a minimum of 64, up to 46,656 when the reels are maxed out. Wins are awarded for matching symbols, left to right, adjacent from the first reel.
Playable from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin across all devices, Pragmatic’s helpful lightning volatility meter lights up the bottom right hand corner of the home screen, so players don’t get lost. Curse of the Werewolf Megaways garners the full 5/5 rating, which is not for the faint-hearted. A default RTP rating of 96.5% is more democratic and nicely above average. Remember though, this number can be lower on the casino you're playing at, so it's always a good idea to check before playing.
On the paytable you’ll find 10 regular pay symbols that have been separated into high and low pay groups. Lows pays are some generic gold-coloured 10-A royals, in a royal blue background – they need at least three of a kind to win. Next is the character high pays made up of four villagers and a wolf. Human characters payout for three or more of a kind; the wolf needs at least two. Hit six premium symbols in a row for payouts of 1.5 to 10 times the stake.
The final symbol for this section is the slashed parchment wild, appearing on reels 2 to 6. The wild substitutes for any of the regular pay symbols to help make winning combinations.
Curse of the Werewolf Megaways: Features
Pragmatic Play did away with the cascade/reaction feature you usually find in Megaways games, which is always a controversial move. In its place are Mystery Symbols, spin modifiers, and a blood-soaked round of free spins.
Keep an eye out for the sepia-wolf-howling-at-the-moon which is the mystery symbol. When these symbols hit during the base game, they transform into the same paying symbol to help increase the chances of winning big.
The game also comes with two spin modifiers – super spins and guaranteed win spins. A super spin drops stacks of high-value symbols onto the reels, while guaranteed win spins do exactly what they say. That is, ensure a big win on multiple ways.
The other wolf-howling-at-the-moon symbol is the bonus scatter, appearing on any reel, in any size. Hitting 3, 4, 5 or 6 bonus symbols awards 8, 10, 12, or 15 free spins respectively. Free spins use a progressive feature, involving a special gold wolf symbol which substitutes for the regular red wolf symbol.
Also, whenever the gold wolf symbol lands, it removes 1 to 5 lives from one of the high-value characters. If 5 lives are removed from a character, it is replaced on the reels by the red premium wolf symbol, and an extra free spin is awarded. The bonus game can be extended if 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 bonus symbols land, granting 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 extra free spins. In other words, the key is to see all character symbols replaced by the top paying symbol for bigger rewards.
Curse of the Werewolf Megaways has a hefty potential so you’ll need the bonus game to crack it. This can be done by patiently waiting it out, or, depending on the regulations where you live, triggering the bonus buy option. Activating this feature costs 100x the stake, guaranteeing at least 3 bonus symbols on the next spin.
Curse of the Werewolf Megaways: Verdict
So far, all Pragmatic Play Megaways titles have been competent, and Curse of the Werewolf is no exception. There are plenty of wolf-themed slots available, but few are like the fairy tale styled of this one.
Its features are not quite so original. Mystery symbols are a dime a dozen, plus there is a strong Pink Elephants feel to the bonus game - part one that is, not part two. Symbols upgrade right to the top premium rather than the next one along the paytable, which is appreciated. Free spins are volatile, requiring a significant amount of momentum to push them out of second gear. It’s easy to upgrade a couple of symbols eventually, but you really need them to transform as early as possible to make significant headway.
If they do, it’s like pushing a colossal boulder to the top of a hill, then letting it roll down devastating everything in its path. The stated potential is an eye-watering 40,976 times the stake which is a considerable amount. There is a bit of grumbling about the achievability of some Pragmatic Play claims, so seeing video footage of epic lycanthrope inspired wins would cement Curse of the Werewolf’s status as a mega payer.
Despite any criticism over unoriginal features, it is clever how the transformative properties of werewolves have been passed onto the symbol transformation in the bonus game. Taken on the whole, Curse of the Werewolf Megaways is a rather singular experience. Pragmatic Play’s development talent is obvious from the clear graphics, smooth animations, and amiable characters. It might not be an unmissable Megaways release, but for an unusual theme with huge potential, it’s not a bad option at all.
Game title: Curse of the Werewolf Megaways