Magic Merlin Megaways: Overview
One of the positive aspects when it comes to the Megaways game engine, and this goes for software developers as well as for gamblers, is that it allows us to discover providers most of us would have likely otherwise ignored. Hand on heart, how many had heard of Fantasma Games before they released their breakthrough hit Flower Fortunes Megaways, and how many of you had played a single Kalamba slot before they launched Machina Megaways? And were Relax Gaming even relevant before they came out with Tiki Tumble Megaways? Of course, the license works wonders for established providers too, as is the case with Blueprint, for example, that seems to do little else but to produce in high demand Megaways games nowadays.
Storm Gaming Technology is a British company with a strong presence in the UK where they have positioned themselves as one of the leading manufacturers of land-based gaming solutions. Online, however, there’s some serious work to be done before they’ll be able to compete for a chunk of the market share. That’s where the Megaways license undoubtedly comes to good use. Magic Merlin Megaways is an Arthurian themed slot and Storm Gaming’s first ever Megaways title.
Without knowing what to expect, we were actually taken by surprised by the excellent visual design when we first laid eyes on the game. We also couldn’t help to notice that it looks somewhat familiar as if it could have come from Blueprint Gaming. As it turns out, Storm Gaming is part-owned by founder and ex Blueprint Gaming CEO Darren Breese, which means that there’s definitely a connection.
Magic Merlin Megaways is a 6 reel slot with cascading symbols that offer up to 117,649 ways to win when fully expanded. Similar in gameplay to Bonanza, it comes with an extra reel, known here as the Marvellous Mechanical Symbol Generator, that adds extra symbols for a greater chance to land winning combinations. There’s also a mystery symbol that can appear randomly to reveal matching winning symbols. It all comes down to the free spins game where the unlimited win multiplier will increase after every reaction. You can play it across all devices, including tablets and mobiles, from between 10 cents and 100€ per spin.
Making use of the Megaways engine, each spin will result in a random number of win ways ranging from 324 up to a maximum of 117,649 when fully expanded. This is achieved by allowing each individual reel to produce between 2 to 7 symbols. There’s also a chain reaction mechanic in use where you’ll see winning symbols removed and replaced by new ones dropping in from above. This chain reaction continues until no further winning combinations are formed.
Magic Merlin Megaways is an exceptional looking slot with crisp graphics, great attention to detail and outstanding background music. With a cartoonish feel, the action takes place in Merlin’s fascinating laboratory, a vivid and colourful world that is simply fantastic. On the reels you will see lower value J to K royals as well as more rewarding scrolls, crystal magic staffs, bottles of potion, swirling portals and the Merlin himself. The latter is the most lucrative giving you 50 times your stake for 6 of a kind. The wild only appears on the extra grid above reels 2 through to 5 and is added randomly when shot out of the cauldron pot.
Magic Merlin Megaways: Features
On any spin, Mystery Card symbols can randomly appear on the reels. All instances of these symbols will then turn into a matching regular symbol to increase your win potential. Essentially, this is the same feature also seen in Blueprint’s Megaways slots.
Look out for the magic book scatter symbol as 4 in view will award 12 Free Spins (every extra magic book will add another 5 spins). If you’re already familiar with these type of Megaways slots you’ll soon discover that you get more of the same here – each reaction win will increase the win multiplier by 1 with no limit. You can also retrigger the feature by landing 3 or 4 free spins scatter symbols on the top row. This will give you 5 or 10 extra free spins respectively.
Magic Merlin Megaways: Verdict
It can’t be helped. The visual design, along with the mystery symbol feature, does give us some heavy Blueprint vibes. In other words, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’s some sort of intermarriage at work here. Ignoring all of that, however, Magic Merlin Megaways is as great as any other Bonanza-type Megaways offering, although it’s hard not to get a bit disappointed if you’re looking for something unique.
In terms of production quality, it’s phenomenal, which is also why it feels even more like a wasted opportunity. Preferably, we would have replaced the mystery symbol feature with some other random feature or added some sort of twist to the bonus game. Anything just to make it slightly more original. With that said, it’s undoubtedly a solid first Megaways title, and people who enjoy these games will likely enjoy it. Going forward, however, we hope that Storm Gaming avoids falling back to old routines. The Megaways game engine is exceptional, but there’s so much more that can be done with it than to recycle Bonanza.
There’s very little that’s truly new in Magic Merlin Megaways, but it’s still a solid slot that all fans of the Megaways game engine should give a chance.