Great Rhino Megaways: Overview
The rumbling you might have heard on the horizon isn’t a stampede of wild animals, but talk of Pragmatic Play’s first Megaways powered slot. We can confirm it has finally happened; Pragmatic Play has acquired a coveted license from Big Time Gaming for their popular game engine. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that instead of coming up with a new concept to showcase what they can do with it, the developer has decided to take a safe approach as you will see.
Pragmatic Play has used one of its old titles, the wildlife ridden, nature-filled slot Great Rhino, to give a Megaways makeover. The original might have been popular but was hardly a classic, so how has the Megaways retrofit upended the game? The first impression is pleasant but doesn’t offer anything to get hugely excited about.
The view is agreeable though with a golden glow over the African plains, which is common in this genre. The most pleasing aspect, to begin with, is the soothing nature sounds making up the soundtrack. Whenever you hit spin though the peace is shattered by the pounding drum effects that came as standard with African themed slots. The new version manages to be a subtle improvement over the original, while also being a textbook example of a Megaways slot.
Hit the coin icon to get started and select bets from 20 p/c up to £/€100 per spin – either manual or up to one hundred auto spins at a time. Behind the scenes, a highly volatile math model governs the game, as alluded to by the 5 bolts of lightning meter on the home screen. The bumpy ride is tempered somewhat by a decent default RTP which can range between 96.47% and 96.58%, so all pretty good on the stats front.
Pragmatic has made full use of what Megaways offers mechanically. Players get 6 reels with 2-7 symbols on them and a horizontal bonus reel with an extra position above reels 2-5. At full power, this set up provides up to 200,704 ways to win. The game makes use of a cascading symbols system. When a winning combination appears on the reels, it triggers a chain reaction where the winning symbols are removed to let new symbols cascade into the empty spaces. These tumbles continue until no new winning combinations appear and the next new spin can begin.
The symbols used are similar to the original, but have had a minor shakeup. For one, the rhino is now wild and only lands on the bonus 4 symbol reel at the top. The rhino can substitute for any other pay symbol in the game and comes with a neat animation when it does so. The rest of the paytable is split into 5 low and 5 high pay symbols, and the low pays have a new wooden, tribal design which helps them blend in better with the theme. On the high side, we get flamingos, hyenas, crocodiles, new gorillas, and cheetahs. Values vary widely from 1.5 times the stake for six flamingos up to 50 times the stake for six of the cheetahs. So far everything is pretty standard for Megaways, how about the features?
Great Rhino Megaways: Features
Well, you can’t accuse Great Rhino Megaways of being a feature-rich slot. The key is the golden rhino coin scatter symbol - when 4 or more appear in view they trigger the free spins game. Before launching, players are presented with 4 options to choose from with various rules and varying degrees of volatility:
- 15 free spins with a starting win multiplier of 1x.
- 10 free spins with a starting win multiplier of 5x.
- 5 free spins with a starting win multiplier of 10x.
- Mystery Choice with a random number of free spins and a random starting win multiplier.
Triggering the free spins feature with additional scatter symbols gives you more starting free spins. Now, during the feature the win multiplier is increased by +1 for each tumble - without limit. Should another 4 scatters appear in view they add 5 additional free spins to extend the feature.
Players may also get one other feature called the Ante Bet option. If available, players can increase the bet settings from 20 (default value) to 25, which adds more scatter symbols to the reels and doubles the chance of triggering free spins.
Great Rhino Megaways: Verdict
As well as being light on features, Great Rhino Megaways is also pretty light on innovation. A developer’s first flirt with Megaways is often a conservative affair, and Pragmatic proves the point with its debut release. No one is saying it’s not a well-made game, but there is nothing here to set pulses racing, or people talking from a novelty standpoint. From the well-used theme to the rehashing of an older game, tothe free spins option feature lifted straight from Blueprint Gaming’s bag of tricks, Pragmatic has taken the safe; some might say easy, option.
Still, it works in the way any well-constructed Megaways game does. It’s not an awkward clunk of a Megaways debut that say, Raging Rhino Megaways was. The graphics are decent, animations are smooth, and the gameplay is slick and dependable. For straight forward Megaways gaming, it delivers the goods. Possible winnings aren’t bad either with potential capped at 20,000 times the stake. It's obviously tricky to hit anything so high in the base game, so max returns rely on the single extra feature to do the heavy lifting.
At the end of the day, Great Rhino Megaways is technically capable of delivering some good gaming, there’s nothing overly wrong with it as such. It's just a pity that Pragmatic was so cautious with their debut, and copying Blueprint’s bonus game options won’t win it friends either. Ah well, the Megaways ball is finally up and rolling at the Pragmatic studios now, so the question is what approach will they take next –restrained and forgettable, or something more original? Let’s see.
There's a Christmas themed version of this game titled Christmas Carol Megaways. It comes with all the same stats and features on offer here and might be a suitable option during the holidays.
Great Rhino Megaways is a middle of the road contribution to the Megaways genre in which Pragmatic Play has decided to play it safe.