Strike it Gold Win Ways: Slot Overview
Editor’s note: This review evaluates Strike it Gold Win Ways on its early access state and may be an unfinished product. We plan on revisiting this review once the game is in its final state.
It’s no big news to say that there is a significant amount of ‘imitation’ going on in the iGaming world. One studio conjures up a great idea, and others do their best to cash in on the new trend without being too blatant in their ‘imitating’. It’s not just slots, of course, you see copyright infringement all the time in other industries as well. Think of Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars, Dyson and Hoover, Apple and Microsoft, the entire music industry and Napster. Sometimes though, the ‘imitation’ is so complete it takes your breath away. The party responsible for today’s bafflement is none other than one of the Granddaddies of gaming, Novomatic, in their blatant rip-off titled Strike it Gold Win Ways.
Stop us if this is familiar. Strike it Gold Win Ways is a gold mining themed game, played over 6 reels + a 4 symbol horizontal bonus reel, randomly producing between 64 and 117,649 ways to win on every spin since each reel holds between 2-7 symbols. Oh, and there’s a triggered round of free spins using a progressive multiplier increasing on each cascade. While the appearance isn’t a total carbon copy, there are no doubts as to where the idea came from. Like Big Time Gaming‘s super monster hit Bonanza, which kicked off Megaways‘ domination, the action takes place in a gold mine, constructed of timber and accompanied by a good ‘ole twanging Western soundtrack. What adds to the surprise is not only the fact that Novomatic also went through the effort of trademarking the name of their knock-off mechanic, but that they actually managed to file a trademark name as generic as ‘Win Ways’.
As for the gaming itself, Strike it Gold Win Ways isn’t exactly a low-roller paradise (nor one for high-rollers) as bets start at £/€1 per spin, rising to £/€10 at max. On a more technical note, volatility is medium, while the RTP configuration is variable which means the default 96.07% RTP could be lower depending on where you play. The last stat for this section is hit frequency, which at 37.94% means wins should fall at a consistent rate.
All but one symbol type pays out when at least three of a kind land adjacently from the first reel onwards. The exception to the rule is the top paying diamond. This symbol type only needs two or more to trigger a win. At best, six diamonds pay out 50x the bet. Diamonds are followed by three high pay gems, with 9-A card royals rounding off the paytable. A keg icon is wild, substituting for everything except the scatter, and appears only on the top reel.
Strike it Gold Win Ways: Slot Features
If you’ve played Bonanza, you won’t learn anything new by reading this section. For the sake of the record, let’s list what Strike it Gold Win Ways has to offer. First up are reactions, as this is the most frequent feature. This system removes winning combinations from the board, making way for new symbols to cascade into the spaces. Consecutive wins are possible on a single spin, only ending when no new wins appear.
Keep an eye out for the Gold bars which are the scatter symbols – landing 4 on the reels awards 12 free spins. Any more scatters in view above 4, adds +5 free spins to the tally each. In free spins, scatters only appear on the top tracker reel. Landing 3 scatters on the tracker awards +5 extra free spins, while 4 scatters get you +10 extra spins. The biggest benefit of free spins is the introduction of an increasing win multiplier. The increasing win multiplier starts at x1 and increases by 1 after each winning reaction.
Strike it Gold Win Ways: Slot Verdict
There are two ways of critiquing the five dollar Rolex which is Strike it Gold Win Ways – with contempt or understanding. The question that springs to mind is why didn’t Novomatic just get a license Iike everyone else? It’s not as if the studio copied an obscure slot no one has heard of. Big Time Gaming’s Bonanza is like lesson number 3 of Slots 101 – it’s required reading to receive the full Megaways education. Then again, if you are going to copy a slot, it might as well be a major hit. Strike it Gold Win Ways is so close to the original though, how long will it survive in the wild before being shot down?
The second way is to feel a little sympathy for Novomatic as well. How many slots from other providers use the same core dynamic as Book of Ra? Seeing your baby repeatedly copied has got to hurt. Shame Novomatic are too late to hit back. By the time the studio might have gotten around to rectifying the situation, the genie was well and truly out of the bottle. They’d be taking on the rest of the industry single-handedly. So who knows, maybe there’s a group of old school players who are happy to see Novomatic get some sort of revenge for being taken advantage of for over a decade.
Like the Winklevoss Twins, someone else swooped in, took their idea, and ran like crazy with it. To add insult to injury, practically everyone else has since leapt on the Ra bandwagon by now. To Novomatic’s credit, they’d stoically handled it like a Harvard man, or woman. Until now that is, and they’re possibly getting payback by aping Bonanza. As mentioned earlier, they even went to the trouble of trademarking their Win Ways mechanic as if it does something Megaways does not. If anything, it makes one realise how dirty the industry can be.
Whether Strike it Gold Win Ways is a good game or not is a moot point really. Now the interesting part begins. Is Big Time Gaming going to stand back and let a big player like Novomatic copy Megaways, potentially opening the gate for other less scrupulous developers to pillage as well, or will the Aussie battlers lawyer up to prevent their golden goose laying eggs without them getting a cut?
Though not terrible as such, it’s hard to find place for a Megaways knock-off that doesn’t do anything that the originals already do better.