Solar Queen Megaways: Slot Overview
Software provider Playson has remade an older game to create Solar Queen Megaways, beefed up with help from Big Time Gaming's popular game engine. On the graphical front, it borrows heavily from Legend of Cleopatra Megaways, while the features come directly from the game it's modelled on, Solar Queen. The original was one of the team's more popular titles, so let's see if a burly upgrade will help it find extra glory amidst the crowded collection of Megaways games.
As mentioned, the visuals are very close to Legend of Cleopatra Megaways. Not only are players treated to a view of palm trees and pyramids, everything else, including the game grid, shares a similar quality. This look is quite distinctively Playson, though it would have been more original if we weren't dealing with yet another Egyptian themed slot. Solar Queen Megaways isn't a bad looker at all; the deep blue background provides a nice contrast to the set of bright symbols appearing on the reels.
Unlike Legend of Cleopatra Megaways, Playson has taken it pretty easy with Big Time Gaming's engine rather than go power crazy. What this means is 2 to 6 symbols land on each of the 5 reels, producing up to 'just' 7,776 ways to win. This occurs when matching symbols land on adjacent reels starting from the left side of the game panel; any row is fine. A highly volatile game, Solar Queen Megaways comes with a default theoretical return value of 95.84%. Step one in this Nile side adventure is selecting a stake from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin, which may be played on any device.
A lower than usual number of win ways for a Megaways game is matched with lower-than-normal symbol values. At the bottom of the paytable, four animals have been used; then, after them, we get Anubis, Horus, and the Solar Queen as the three premium symbols. This latter trio is worth a payout of 1.5 to 2 times your stake for hitting five of a kind. Wild symbols are worth the same amount as the Solar Queen when creating winning ways of themselves. They also substitute for all symbols except the scatter.
Solar Queen Megaways: Slot Features
The original Solar Queen slot was the first entry into Playson's Flaming Frames range of slots, and we've no idea how many make up the range now, except that Solar Queen Megaways is now one of them. As well as the Flaming Frames feature, players get multipliers, free spins, and a possible bonus buy function where available.
Sun Symbols appear on all reels, and when they hit, a Flaming Frame is added to the position they landed in. Flaming Frames persist for cycles of 10 spins. At the end of the cycle, all Flaming Frames in view are transformed into wild symbols. Changing bets starts a new spin cycle, but any previous progress is saved if you return to the previous stake level.
In the base and bonus game, Sun Symbols may increase winning combinations via a progressive win multiplier. How it works is every time a Sun Symbol lands in a position that already has a Flaming Frame, the win multiplier increases by +1. After the 10th spin of the cycle in the main game, the multiplier resets back to x1. When free spins trigger, the current win multiplier carries over and becomes the bonus round's starting multiplier. Like Flaming Frames, multipliers are saved at each bet level if switching stakes.
Scarab symbols are the scatter, and landing 3 of them in view awards 10 free spins. In free spins, when Sun Symbols land on the reels, they transform into sticky wild symbols. If a Sun Symbol lands in a cell already occupied by a sticky wild symbol, the win multiplier increases by +1. During free spins, the size of each reel is guaranteed to be at the minimum size of the number of sticky wilds on it, so players don't miss out on them.
Buy Free Spins
If the option of buying free spins is available to you, paying 100x the bet will instantly trigger 10 free spins with an initial win multiplier of x1.
Solar Queen Megaways: Slot Verdict
Solar Queen Megaways is packed with a number of common Playson tropes that can be found in great numbers when going through the studio's back catalogue of games. Specifically, the solar concept, Ancient Egypt, Flaming Frames and so on. Suffice to say, followers of Playson will feel both at home playing Solar Queen Megaways and thrilled to find so many familiar bits crammed into one place. Due to extensive experience using these themes and features, overall, Solar Queen Megaways has been produced to a decent standard.
However, continually reusing the same elements gives off the impression Playson didn't really have big plans or high hopes for Solar Queen Megaways. Even if they hadn't done this sort of thing several times in the past, Solar Queen Megaways isn't a hugely ambitious game. These spin cycle games are fairly common and typically involve dumping wilds onto the grid on the final spin. Nothing new there, though the progressive win multiplier is a welcome addition. By comparison, we reviewed Kalamba Games' Caribbean Anne 2 around the same time, which offered a similar framed positions style of gameplay but used a more uniquely complex system when doing so. Solar Queen Megaways is simpler by contrast though not necessarily disappointingly so for players into spin cycle features.
In the end, it felt like Playson achieved everything they set out to do with Solar Queen Megaways, so players used to the studio's style should be happy with the result. On the other hand, modest design goals in the grand scheme of things meant Solar Queen Megaways came across as a rather bashful game that's happy quietly doing its thing in a safe space.
Solar Queen Megaways feels content achieving objectives that were unambitious from the outset.