Fruit Shop Megaways: Slot Overview
Apologies for the awful pun, but NetEnt’s acquisition of Red Tiger and the associated Megaways license continues to bear fruit. Case in point, and proving no classic slot in the NetEnt back catalogue is safe from an upgrade; the fruity-tastic game Fruit Shop has received a Megaways upgrade. The original was renowned for basic, straight-forward gaming, nevertheless, its clever free spin feature made it hard to put down. NetEnt has captured all of that while expanding just about every other aspect of the game – not just the reel setup.
The view certainly is a familiar one when Fruit Shop Megaways loads up. The 6 reel Megaways powered grid is located in a market stall, backgrounded by plenty of lush plant life and clear blue skies. It’s the very picture of simplicity, matching the gameplay to a tee. As well as the look, many of the sound effects have been retained, including the music. It all produces a nice, clean vibe, evidence of NetEnt staying faithful to the charm of the first one which saw the light of day back in 2013.
After admiring the view, bets can be set from 20 p/c up to £/€100 per spin. As to math model, Megaways has brought with it its tendency to ramp just about everything up, including volatility which moves to a slightly higher setting than before. RTP is one area that has not increased, unfortunately, dropping a few points to the still respectable value of 96.06%, so more or less average. Max win has increased as you’d expect, while the already highly playable nature gets a healthy boost of Megaways magic.
Landing a win requires three or more matching symbols, sitting adjacently, from the leftmost reel. This does not apply to the highest paying symbol, the cherries, as these snacks need only two or more to pay. NetEnt has split the 10 pay symbols into two groups. One is the low pay 10-A royals which have kept their puffy blue design; the other is the medium pay fruits. In this latter group are watermelons, oranges, lemons, plums, and the aforementioned cherries. Rewards in the mid pay fruit group are worth 1.5 to 12.5 times the stake for a six of a kind win.
Fans of cascade features will be disappointed to see they are not part of Fruit Shop Megaways this time around. With the way free spins are triggered, it would have been mayhem so they have been dropped. There is a wild though, landing on reels 2, 3, 4, or 5 in the main game or in free spins. The wild substitutes for all symbols.
Fruit Shop Megaways: Slot Features
The original Fruit Shop was a lesson in compelling simplicity and captivating flow and rhythm - the Megaways redo is no different. If anything, it’s even harder to put down. What makes it so are free spins which often trigger, albeit in reduced numbers.
Every fruit symbol win triggers free spins. The amount awarded depends on the symbol and the length of the combination. Any medium win combo of 3, 4, 5, or 6 symbol length awards 2, 3, 4, or 5 free spins respectively. One exception to the rule is the cherries which dole out 1 free spin for a two of a kind win.
This mechanic is available during free spins as well, the difference being that low pay symbol wins now award free spins too. So, 3, 4, 5, or 6 length low pay wins add 1, 2, 3, or 4 more spins to the amount. The second addition to free spins is a win multiplier. As usual, it starts at x1, and increases by 1 following every winning spin. The maximum value the multiplier can reach is x10.
Fruit Shop Megaways: Slot Verdict
Fruit Shop slips effortlessly into Megaways mode as if it was born to do so. The free spins feature suits the format and produces some pretty keen gaming. If you haven’t spun the first one, just how playable the game is might not be overly apparent. However, score a few free spins retriggers and you can see the potential. It gets some nice lengthy rolls on but would have been deadly with a cascades feature on board as well. You can see why it was omitted, but the exclusion does hold back the base game somewhat.
A potential issue when re-releasing older slots with modern makeovers is that the point can be lost on those who weren’t there the first time around. In some ways, if you haven’t played and enjoyed the original Fruit Shop, it might not be so easy to catch the Megaways version’s charm. It does get quite repetitive if you’re stuck in a patch of base game spins, or muddling free spins that fail to spark. There is nothing else to look forward to if the basic rules don’t grab your interest. Like most Megaways game’s Fruit Shop Megaways can fire when it wants to, but when it doesn’t, some may quickly lose motivation. Rewards are there for the perseverant, or lucky, where max wins can reach as high as 10,000 times the stake. Just hope the stall is serving up plenty of free spins/multiplier dual action to get close to hitting it though.
For players who remember the original fondly, there is no reason the Megaways upgrade won’t blow their hair back. Volatility is up, potential is up, and Megaways lends its exciting predictableness to the whole show. Fruit Shop Megaways does teeter on being a little overly repetitious at times, and for many, it won’t be a game to return to soon after an experimental crack. Yet, if that’s not an issue, or for a trip back to an earlier era, then the cheerful, fruity gaming is bound to entertain.
Fruit Shop Megaways is a fast, furious rhythmic game with fun and exciting gameplay despite its simplicity.