The Dog House Megaways: Overview
Sometimes in life people are split into two broad categories – dog people or cat people. For those in the former group who can’t resist a bit of drool or picking up warm business on a walk, developer Pragmatic Play has your back. Released back in May 2019, the original version, The Dog House, turned out to be a big hit for the studio and one that resonated well with the casino community. Feel good cartoon hounds warmed players to its charm as much as anything else and the good news is that they have all returned in a version that barks louder and bites harder. As with many Megaways makeovers though, some bits remain in place, while others have been surgically removed like a neutered puppy. After the switch, is The Dog House Megaways still man’s best friend?
If you’re the type of player who likes a sequel but fears change, then the visuals should provide great comfort. The pals are back, hanging out in pretty much the same white picket fence suburban yard, as wide-eyed and innocent as ever. The main difference is the game area which has been enlarged to accompany the 6 reel Megaways set up. On each spin, 2 to 7 symbols appear on each reel providing a huge number of win ways that can range from 64 to 117,649. The number active on every spin is displayed just above the reels for your reference.
Eagle eyed readers will notice there is no bonus reel, nor is there any sort of cascade or reaction feature. Not even in the bonus game do they appear. Wins come, the next spin occurs. It’s a controversial decision on Pragmatic’s part and one which may rankle some.
Playable from 20 p/c to £/€100, the math model throws out similar stats to the original, starting with an agreeable default RTP rating of 96.55%. Running alongside this is high volatility rated 5/5 by Pragmatic which is as high as it gets. Despite triggering free spins quite early on during testing, sessions can be tough. However, potential is there, almost double what was possible from the first Dog House game.
The symbols here are carryovers from the original Dog House game, so we get chunky 10 to A tiles, bones, collars, dachshunds, pugs, Shih Tzus, and Rottweilers. Values have decreased as win ways have amplified though, so a line of the premium dog symbols are now worth from 1.5 to 7.5 times the stake.
The dog house symbol is once again wild, appearing on reels 2, 3, 4, or 5 to substitute for anything except the scatter. Whenever a wild symbol hits, it may have a random multiplier of x2 or x3 attached. If more than one wild ends up part of a winning combination, then any multipliers are added to each other.
The Dog House Megaways: Features
Like the rest of the game, the features are similar to the original with one or two adjustments. It starts with dog paw scatter symbols that can appear in any position. Landing 3 or more triggers the bonus game where players choose either Sticky Wilds Free Spins or Raining Wilds Free Spins. Keep in mind that neither feature can be retriggered.
Landing 3, 4, 5, or 6 scatters awards 7, 12, 15, or 20 free spins if players choose the Sticky Wilds Free Spins option. Here, it is possible to land 2 to 7 sticky wilds on each reel carrying multipliers of x1 to x3. These wilds remain on the reels until the end of the round, changing in size with the reels depending on the number of Megaways generated.
A new addition is the Raining Wilds Free Spins feature - triggering it with 3, 4, 5, or 6 scatters will award 15, 18, 25, or 30 free spins respectively. During this round, up to 6 wild symbols carrying a multiplier of 1x to 3x can be added to the screen in random positions.
Finally, rather than waiting for 3+ scatters to appear, players get the option to buy the bonus. For the cost of 100 times the stake, a random number of 3 to 6 scatters will hit on the next spin.
The Dog House Megaways: Verdict
As mentioned in the intro, The Dog House was a big deal for Pragmatic Play, so there are bound to be plenty of players rubbing their hands in anticipation over a Megaways version. Does it live up to expectations? Yes and no, depending on quite what you were expecting. Players craving more or less the same experience, but on a Megaways grid, will be over the moon. Otherwise, the situation isn’t quite so glittery.
For one, the base game is in constant danger of getting tedious without modifiers to offer a boost, or a cascade style feature to enhance the experience. The pup’s cuteness factor helps, but it can descend into little more than waiting game for free spins at times. Or not, depending on how you feel about bonus buys, and whether they are available in your jurisdiction.
The bonus games turned out to be something of a crapshoot as well, ranging from heart-rending to pretty darn tooting. As always, it’s luck of the draw, and should luck be on your side, then wins of over 12,000 times the stake are technically possible.
All up, The Dog House Megaways is another dependable, good looking Megaways title for sure, though there isn’t anything particularly new or overly exciting going on. Fans of the original get the chance to go gaga over the ragtag bunch again, but if you’re not enamoured by doggies, then The Dog House Megaways isn’t exactly an unmissable experience.
The Dog House Megaways has some wrinkles, but is ultimately an enjoyable return to suburbia.