Medallion Megaways (Fantasma Games): Overview
Having read our reviews, developers sometimes reach out to us for different reasons. Usually, it's just a matter of factual errors that need to be corrected, but on rare occasions, they want to comment on a negative review. On one such occasion, one particular developer wished to explain why they had chosen to "play it safe", as we so elegantly had put it, by letting us know that, as a small studio they really couldn't afford to take any chances. Fair enough, we thought, albeit a bit ironic given the fact that the industry is all about chance and risk.
Small-scaled studio Fantasma Games' first Megaways slot, however, was anything but safe. In fact, Flower Fortune Megaways was so unique we actually questioned whether they had ever played, or even seen, a Megaways game before creating one of their own. A mix of Nintendo-like visuals, soothing music and Candy Crush elements, Fantasma's debut Megaways offering went on to become a hit and was well-received by both recreational players and the casino community alike. In short, Fantasma's gamble had paid off. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for those mentioned in our first example who's game we can hardly even remember the title of, that's how generic it is.
Now, if you've played Flower Fortune, your first impression of Fantasma's second Megaways release Medallion Megaways might very well be the same as ours - disappointing. Has the studio we previously praised for being bold and creative suddenly become all comfortable? Is that a pair of dad jeans they're wearing now? Set to find out, we fired up Medallion Megaways and started spinning frantically. First, let's look at the technical details. Medallion Megaways is a 6x6 grid video slot with cascading reels that can produce a random number of win ways from between 64 to 46,656. Medium variance and playable from 0.10 to €/£80 per spin, it incorporates expanding wilds, respins and a free spins game with an increasing multiplier.
One aspect where Medallion Megaways unarguably does stand out is the visuals department. Set in a luxury tent in the Saharan desert, Fantasma has managed to forge quite an atmospheric setting with plenty of cosiness and warmth. And if you're impressed by the airy ambience here, just wait until you trigger the bonus. That's where the magic happens, after all. One complaint we had with Flower Fortune was the design of the symbols which we felt looked dull and generic. In Medallion Megaways, they're made up of essentially the same assortment of gemstones, but the high-value ones are now marked with triangles, crescent moons, and stars that, quite frankly, look like communist symbols. The most rewarding symbol, however, is the one carrying the golden snake - it'll give you 30 times your stake for six on a payline. The crystal is the wild and appears on reels 2-5. Aside from substituting for all regular symbols, it has other properties as well, which we will cover below.
Medallion Megaways (Fantasma Games): Features
Like the majority of Megaways slots, Medallion Megaways is played using Cascading Reels which means that winning symbols are removed and replaced with new ones, allowing you to win repeatedly from a single spin. There's also a Win Multiplier in the base game that increases by 1x with each successive cascade and resets back to zero on a non-winning spin.
There are also a couple of mysterious medallions to keep an eye out for here. These can appear following any base game spin to activate (golden medallion) or deactivate (silver medallion) the feature amulets, which are positioned below the reel set, and their corresponding features. These features are:
- Expanding Wilds - when the wild amulet is activated, all crystal wilds landing on reels 2-5 expand to fully cover the reels. Moreover, each expanding wild also carries a multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, or 6x.
- Void Respin - when the respin amulet is in play, the void respin symbol may appear in view. Each of these landing on the reels will remove 2-10 symbols that are not part of any winning combination.
The Free Spins feature is activated in the same manner - the golden medallion appears and activates the free spins amulet. With 10 free spins awarded (which cannot be retriggered), the win multiplier does not reset during the round and both the expanding wild and void respin features are active throughout as well.
Medallion Megaways (Fantasma Games): Verdict
So at this point you might be asking, is Medallion Megaways a clone of Flower Fortunes or does it hold its own? Well, it's not a clone, and although several parts have been recycled, the mathematical design, as well as the features, are entirely unique to this game. The truth is that Medallion Megaways is a significantly tamer slot, or so it seems to us at least. By the end of our 3-hour test run, the balance almost appeared to have remained static, which means it can serve as an excellent alternative for those looking for some value in the form of playtime. 15-30x base game hits are delivered quite consistently, and you rarely have to wait too long for a bonus to drop. The good news is that, in spite of the low volatility, there's still plenty of potential with a max win of around 12,000 times your stake.
The visual design is superb, as are the sound effects. It's a bit strange, however, to see the Megaways counter display 6-digit numbers when, mathematically, the game can "only" generate 46,656 win ways. Unless we're complete idiots, that's only 5 digits. All in all, Medallion Megaways is a decent slot, but it's hard to get excited about it when the novelty of the concept has worn off, making it feel like a yesterdays slot.
Medallion Megaways never comes into its own, but it’s an engaging and charming game all the same.