Royal Mint Megaways (Big Time Gaming): Overview
Brace yourself players, Big Time Gaming has emerged from midwinter hibernation to drop a brand new slot. That doesn’t happen super regularly, so a release from BTG is always a pretty big deal. Those keen Aussie developers are famous for taking slots in new and innovative directions after all. As well as being responsible for one of, if not the, most popular game engine right now, they are also infamous for conjuring up new and exciting features. So news of a fresh release from the team spreads ripples through the community far and wide. While this is an enviable position that any developer would want to be in, you can imagine the weight of expectation that is resting on their shoulders with each release. Not every slot can be a ground breaking game that shatters the envelope, or can it? Let’s fire up their latest effort Royal Mint and see what players can look forward to spinning.
First up, Megaways drives the action in this slot as does Big Time Gaming's Triple Reaction™ mechanic – their second game to do so after having been introduced in Opal Fruits. So we get 6 reels with up to 7 symbols on the main area that together can combine to give you up to 117,649 ways to win. There are also two bonus 1x4 reels above and below the main area thanks to the Triple Reaction™ feature. The game is based around the British Royal Mint which produces coins for the UK. Visually, it looks stunning with a view of the famous Johnson Smirke Building constructed in 1811. The colours are dominated by stone grey mixed with gold details and there are two cherry blossom trees flanking the reels to give it a bit of warmth. In case you didn't get the banking reference, a Monopoly inspired soundtrack plays in the background as you spin the reels.
To get this mint cranking, players select bets from 20 p/c to £/€10 and hit spin on virtually any device. Winning combinations are made of matching symbols on any row from left to right with three or more are needed to form a winning combination. On the low side, there are 9-A royals, topped up by 4 high pays – green, blue, red, and purple rectangular gems in the same style we are used to from BTG. The elusive purple is the best as only 2 are required for a win - six of a kind is worth 50 times the stake. As always, Megaways brings its Reaction feature to up the win rate. It does this by removing winning combinations and replacing them with new symbols that fall into the gaps. Reactions continue until no more winners appear. The shiny rainbow-like wild is there to help out, and it appears only on the top and bottom bonus reels to substitute for any symbol except the scatter.
Royal Mint not a gentle game, oh no, the high volatility sees to that. It’s not necessarily tight either though, with an RTP of 96.48% which is comfortably above average. What makes it a toughie is due more to the way the game is geared towards collecting scatters and unlocking the fabled enhanced free spins. Do that, and you have a chance of raiding the vault. Until that happens, without multipliers like we got with Lil' Devil, the base came can drag. In fact the main game is more or less a place holder until the features eventually drop although there is potential for some decent wins.
Royal Mint Megaways (Big Time Gaming): Features
Free spins and enhanced free spins are the name of the game. Land a minimum of four scatter symbols to spell M. I. N. T and they'll trigger 12 Free Spins. If any additional scatter happens to be on screen they grant an additional 4+ spins. This free spin round has an unlimited multiplier that starts at x1 and increases by 1 after every Reaction. Scatters continue to show up during the round, but only on the extra reels. Three in view add 4 more spins, and any additional scatter adds a further 4 to the tally. In other words, pretty standard stuff so far.
What you really want to happen is the game’s showpiece feature. This is the Heartstopper™ Enhanced Free Spins round which offers better rewards but which the game makes you work hard to crack. In the main game, every time 3 scatters land in view (a scatter tease as we like to call it) they grant 1 Gold Bar which is collected. When you have racked up 40 Gold Bars an extra scatter is held beside the reels until the next free spin round is triggered. This time, instead of the regular free spins, they trigger the Enhanced Free Spins. The difference is that the win multiplier starts at x2 and increases by 2+ following each Reaction. After the round has been played, the collection meter resets and the grinding game starts all over again.
Royal Mint Megaways (Big Time Gaming): Verdict
Royal Mint Megaways is a top game, no doubt about that but there are also mixed feelings about this one - the main issue being the collection/grinding element of the game which seems to divide the community. Moreover, it's a little run of the mill, being simply a Megaways slot with a couple of free spin rounds piled on top. The overall result is a straight forward game that fails to break boundaries. Is that a slight chink in the armour? Is this further evidence that Big Time Gaming is not quite as innovative as they were once known to be and what made them such a leading developer or have other developers finally caught up?
What might put players off is the sheer difficulty of triggering the bonus features. There is very little happening during the base game, so Royal Mint relies entirely on the strength of its free spins - surely making it even more volatile than Lil Devil. Testing required some insane commitments of time and credits to see what Royal Mint was capable of. To give an example, it took us 2 hours and 30 minutes to trigger the first bonus which didn't actually trigger the regular way but only after we had collected all 40 gold bars. What was even more painful was the fact that it only ended up paying around 60x so prepare for a beating if you decide to take this one on. Later bonuses, however, typically dropped far more frequently so that was not the norm, thankfully. In any case, players who expressed frustration with collection features like those found in Kingmaker will not be chuffed with their inclusion here. To be fair, this device does work way better with Royal Mint, so it’s not quite the deal-breaker it could be.
With that said, when Royal Mint Megaways does hit its stride with Enhanced Free Spins, the +2 multipliers increments is a sweet touch. Luck and slots are fickle, and the bonus game is capable of substantial returns. At full stretch, the game is like a hit job on the Royal Mint with max potential in the neighbourhood of 40,000 times the stake.
Yes Royal Mint is a good game, but is it a great one? Time will tell if it really resonates with the community or not. It’s not BTG’s finest, most innovative moment, so clearly, not every release can be avant-garde. Perhaps we are being a little too critical, but with BTG’s stellar track record they only have themselves to blame. Their consistent high standard attracts extra scrutiny whenever they drop a new title, so it is easy to feel a pang of disappointment if it isn’t a complete game changer. Despite the critique, Royal Mint Megaways is a solid slot and more than capable of entertaining players with what it has to offer.
For a better understand of the game, make sure to read our chat with Big Time Gaming CEO Nik Robinson which gives an excellent insight into the development and story behind the production.
Royal Mint Megaways (Big Time Gaming)
Game title: Royal Mint Megaways
● Reels: 6
● Rows: 2-7
● Paylines: 117,649
● RTP: 96.48%
● Max Payout: 40,000x+
● Variance: H
● Bets: 0.20 - 20 EUR
● Features: Heartstopper™, Triple Reaction™, Reactions, Free Spins, Enhanced Spins
● Release Date: February 12, 2020 (LeoVegas Excl.). General Release February 26, 2020.
Bigwinboard Rating - 88%