Kingmaker Megaways (Big Time Gaming): Overview
One of the most exciting things about Big Time Gaming is that, whenever you boot up a new slot machine, you never know what you're going to get. It could be an entirely new mechanic that ends up impacting the whole iGaming industry, or a new feature is introduced that eventually becomes the new trend. Megaways, Triple Reaction, Reel Adventure - the list of innovative ideas is extensive. Whatever your opinion may be of Big Time Gaming, you can't accuse the Australians of taking their core audience for granted, for this is a developer that is constantly looking to evolve, challenge themselves and find ways to make the gaming experience more dynamic.
The above statement is no less true when it comes to their latest creation Kingmaker, which you could argue is a continuation of Holy Diver. Though fundamentally different in terms of gameplay, they share a couple of key characteristics. Both games take you back to a time and place when kings and queens ruled the land, dragons roared high in the sky, and knights fought for honour. For better or worse, they're also both designed to offer players a sense of progression - building up the tension and intensity throughout the session as you approach climax.
Like most Big Time Gaming creations, Kingmaker makes use of the popular Megaways game engine which gives you a random number of paylines on each spin. As the game only comes with 5 reels, as opposed to the 6 reel setup otherwise more commonly seen in Megaways slots, you get a maximum of 16,807 ways to win instead of the usual 117,649. It's not a bad deal, however, as you get to play on a fully expanded reel set in the free spins game. Medium to high variance, you can play Kingmaker on all devices from 20 cents to 20€ per spin.
In terms of visual presentation, the backdrop is designed to look like a scene taken straight from the movie The Sound of Music where you'll see a medieval kingdom at the foot of a snow-capped mountain range, complete with a calm lake and gorgeous green landscape. With a grandiose, low-intensity soundtrack, symbols on the reels include the usual lower-value A to 9 playing cards. The premium gemstones, which are 4 in total, carry different emblems that correspond to a set of banners standing to the left of the reels. These are represented by double-headed snakes (green banner), griffins (blue banner), minotaurs (red) and dragons (purple). The house of dragons is the most rewarding symbol, giving you 10 times your stake for 5 on a full payline. The multi-coloured symbol (representing all houses) is the wild and appears on all but the first reel.
Kingmaker Megaways (Big Time Gaming): Features
In Kingmaker, the base game has great influence over the outcome of the free spins. Known as the Gem Multiplier feature, each banner to the left of the reel set starts at 1x and gets a 1+ boost every time you land a 5 of a kind gemstone combination. For example, if you were to land 5 green gemstones across all 5 reels, the corresponding green banner increases from 1x to 2x. In broad strokes, that's all there is to the base game.
It all comes together in the Free Spins game which is played when 3, 4 or 5 king's crown scatter symbols appear in view simultaneously - this will give you 7, 12 or 20 free spins respectively. Once in, you're now transferred to a treasure chamber where the combined total of all the gem multipliers collected during the base game, is now your starting win multiplier. You'll also benefit from a fully expanded reel set on every spin, and just like in the base game, every 5 of a kind gemstone win will boost the multiplier by 1. Moreover, another 7, 12 or 20 free spins will be added to your total if you land 3, 4 or 5 scatters. Highly volatile, there's potential for wins well over 10,000 times your stake in the free spins game.
Kingmaker Megaways (Big Time Gaming): Final Verdict
Contrary to what you may be used to, Kingmaker is a game where you don't want to trigger the bonus too soon, and where a back to back bonus will have you rolling your eyes rather than make you burst with excitement. Conversely, when you grind that multiplier up to crazy numbers and it lets you loose on that 16,807 win ways playground, things do get profoundly intense.
Of course, there's always a possibility that you'll run out of funds before triggering the bonus, which can be quite a bummer if you've spent a lot of money collecting multipliers and chasing the feature. You really have to understand what you're up against and accept that risk. Kingmaker is cleverly designed, but also one that will divide players between those who enjoy the grind and those who are looking for something more 'direct'.
Kingmaker is undoubtedly a solid slot, albeit not as progressive as some of Big Time Gaming's other creations. What you get is a relatively simple Megaways offering, but also one that can frustrate you to no end given that the bonus frequency is low, and that you always face the risk of running out of funds before triggering the bonus that you're enticed to keep pushing for. If, and when, you do trigger the bonus, it'd better be a good one (which it most likely won't be given the game has a tendency to hit a lot of dead spins despite all the win ways) or the uphill climb will seem like a steep one.
If you'd like to try a non-Megaways slot from Big Time Gaming we suggest you have a look at Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Mystery Box which is a 5-reel, 243 ways to win offering with a max win potential of 12,000 times your stake.
Surprisingly absorbing and deceptively clever, Kingmaker Megaways emerges as an altogether solid, but frustrating slot.