Morgana Megaways: Overview
Developer iSoftBet has been busy making the most of the Megaways license recently. So far, they have put out quite a varied selection and the subject of this review is even more left field. Arthurian themed slots pop up at fairly regular intervals, but rarely do we get the story from the other, darker side. iSoftBet redress this imbalance by giving Arthur’s nemesis some airtime in the fantasy-themed slot Morgana Megaways. Like all legends, different versions float around as people retell and remake them to suit the current zeitgeist or mood. In the case of Morgana, or Morgan le Fay, she is typically a witch who turned evil after being persecuted by Uther for her magical powers. From there she sought revenge on Arthur through a multitude of nefarious means. Sounds exhausting. Surely it’s much more relaxing to kick back and enjoy the game version.
Part of iSoftBet's Twisted Tale Series of slots, Morgana Megaways is visually striking with high attention to detail. It’s also quite symbolic. During the base game, the action takes place in a great Camelot hall, with the mythical round table beneath the reels. Trigger the bonus game though, and the table has been broken - Morgana must have brought the kingdom to its knees.
Playable from 20 p/c to £/€20, players spin a grid made up of 6 reels, with 2 to 7 symbols on each. At full configuration, the game expands to 117,649 ways to win. Winning symbols land in any row, as long as three or more appear consecutively from the first reel onwards. One potential deal-breaker for some is that iSoftBet did not include a reaction feature in Morgana. Those who enjoy cascading wins with their Megaways gaming may feel a little short-changed.
Players shouldn’t feel short-changed when it comes to RTP though. The default rating is 95.98%, but with the bonus buy activated, it increases to 98.01%. From a mathematical standpoint, it certainly makes sense to consider the bonus buy if it is available. Volatility also clocks in at a medium to high setting.
Morgana’s influence is felt on the paytable, starting with shimmering 9-A royals as the low pays. The high pays are more interesting and include a shining pink gem, a silver dragon, an ominous eye, finishing on Morgana all cleavage and intense gaze.
Morgana pays out on two of a kind, while 6 on a line are worth 50 times the stake. Wild symbols round this section off, appearing on reels 2, 3, 4, or 5. Wilds aren’t worth anything on their own, but they substitute for any other pay symbol to help form a winning combination.
Morgana Megaways: Features
The features are an interesting mix of those you often see in Megaways, others which are a little unusual. One of the more common is Mystery Symbols which may land randomly during any phase of the game. When Mystery Symbols are in view, they all transform into the same regular pay symbol. Slightly more novel is the Max Megaways feature. This feature drops at random on any base game spin to force the full 117,649 win ways on the reels.
Now we come to the jewel in the crown - the free spins bonus game. There are two ways of triggering the bonus game. You can either cut straight to the bonus using the bonus buy option to a cost of 80 times your stake, or you can try and trigger it organically by landing the golden grail scatter symbol - 3, 4, 5, or 6 in view award 10, 15, 20, or 30 free spins respectively.
The goal during free spins is to collect regular symbols, starting with ‘9s’. Once 20 are collected, you move to the ‘10’ symbol, and so on up the paytable. As symbols are collected players receive instant rewards, more free spins, plus a higher minimum number of win ways on the grid.
For example when 20 x ‘9s’ are collected, players are awarded 5+ free spins. Make it all the way to the end of the paytable by collecting 8 Morgana symbols to win 500x, +1 free spin, and the grid is locked at 117,649 win ways for the rest of the feature. One interesting point is that whenever Mystery Symbols landed on a free spin, they always revealed the symbol which needed to be collected.
Morgana Megaways: Verdict
Like previous releases such as Dragon Match Megaways, Morgana Megaways shows that iSoftBet isn’t afraid to tinker with the popular game engine. This time players get a regular reel setup, but with a somewhat unorthodox free spins game.
It goes without saying - but let’s say it anyway - more free spins vastly improved our chances of going all the way during the bonus round. Landing 3 scatters and 10 free spins meant the going was tough. Starting with 30 free spins, meanwhile, made collecting symbols so much easier, and a whole lot of fun as you power through the paytable. Collecting all of the Morgana symbols means you have racked up over 1,000x in instant rewards plus any line wins picked up along the way.
When you reach the Morgana level, the guaranteed 117,649 wins ways on every spin is fun for sure. However, it’s hard not to imagine how insane it would have been if cascades were available. You can see why iSoftBet dropped the feature, offering a minimum win ways mechanic during free spins instead. But if they’d combined both the result would have been off the Richter. As it is, the feature is worth exploring if you are in the market for something you don’t often see in a Megaways product.
Overall, Morgana is an excellent Megaways title where the gameplay gets a shake up from an unusual round of free spins. Not everyone will go for this sort of system, of course, but those who do will be in symbol collection Nirvana.
Morgana Megaway is a remarkable achievement and a game with a bonus feature that offers something a bit different for Megaways enthusiasts to experiment with.