The Expendables Megaways (Stakelogic): Overview
Dutch iGaming studio Stakelogic has decided to go large with its fourth use of the Megaways engine. The Expendables is a huge movie franchise that has starred some of the most iconic action movie stars in the biz. The acting credits are a veritable who’s who of the action movie world – Arnold, Sylvester, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Jet Li, and more. On the production side, they’ve blown up a ridiculous amount of material. Look up the word hardcore, and you practically get screenshots from the films. With all that firepower to make use of, you would expect a slot that absolutely blows your hair back. Mix in the gaming power that Megaways provides, and you’d have a slot that requires a safety warning. Right? Let’s see.
The game opens up with a brief cinematic intro, sans stars, to set the scene. First impressions are okay, surprisingly, nothing overly special, as the familiar Megaways setup boots up on the screen. The popular engine on loan from Big Time Gaming brings with it 6 main rows with 2-7 symbols on each and a 4x1 horizontal row across the top. This provides from 324 to 117,649 win ways depending on how many rows are in play. It also brings a cascade wins system - this system removes winning symbols from the reels to allow new symbols to cascade into the vacant spaces which can lead to repeated wins from one spin as combinations cascade into each other. Spins can be set from 20 p/c to £/€20 with plenty of auto options available. Continuing with the numbers and stats, RTP is 96.02%, and volatility has been tuned to a high setting (5/5) which befits the subject matter.
A minor tingle of disappointment occurs when perusing the paytable. There are plenty of characters from the films on the symbols, but, no Arnold. Ah well, you can’t have everything. What we do get on the premiums are Hale Caesar, Gunnar Jensen, Yin Yang, Lee Christmas, and Barney Ross. Barney is the most valuable at 12.5 times the stake for six of a kind. He also only needs two to payout where the rest need at least three. The remainder of the paytable is made up of 10 – A royals designed in a tough, metallic font. Completing the picture is the dog tag symbol which is the wild. This symbol can substitute for any symbol in the game except the scatter and bullet.
The Expendables Megaways (Stakelogic): Features
The Expendables’ additional features consist of a Bullet Bonus, free spins with Expendables Feature, and a gamble option. Whenever a bullet symbol lands, it's collected and stored in a gun chamber beside the reels. This is called the Bullet Counter, and when it is filled with 5 bullets, it triggers the Bullet Bonus. When this feature is awarded, it spits 5 bullets onto reels 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 and changes symbols into wilds. Once it has done this and wins paid out, the Bullet Counter resets to zero.
Skulls aren’t typically good signs, but with The Expendables they represent the scatters. Land 4, 5, 6, or 7 of them and be awarded 12, 16, 20, or 24 Free Spins. Scatters still appear during free spins, and 3 or 4 of them award 4 or 8 additional free spins. The free spins round gets two upgrades that make it desirable. The first is an unlimited multiplier that starts at x1 and increases by +1 with each cascade. The second is the Expendables feature - whenever a low-value combo lands (10-A), those symbols are removed from the reels for the remainder of the round. This feature helps boost wins by increasing the frequency of high-value symbol combinations.
Last but not least is the Stakelogic special – the obligatory Gamble feature. The paytable mentions gambling on a coin toss, but the game actually offers a blind card game. Players choose the colour or suit for double or quadruple the bet. Players can gamble 5 times in a row or win up to 25x their stake in prize money.
The Expendables Megaways (Stakelogic): Verdict
The Expendables Megaways is a competent slot, it covers the right bases, but it doesn’t cause much extra exhilaration. Its main problem is that for such a high action franchise, rammed full of some of the biggest alpha male actors around, it’s just not all that exciting to play. It does have a pretty good right hook in the form of the bonus round though. A multiplier that increases with each cascade is common enough with a Megaways slot, but low symbol removal via the Expendables Feature is a nice touch. It also means that The Expendables has a potential in of up to 20,000 times the stake. Don’t count on landing big wins though, the game is highly volatile and triggering the bonus round can take a bit of patience.
There is no major criticism, what it does is fine, nothing wrong with it – stats are good, visuals are okay, the potential is great. It just leaves you wanting more. It’s definitely one for fans of the movie, but then again, maybe not. Are fans going to be disappointed by its lack of over the top action? The Expendables could have been a lot bigger, bolder, and brasher than this. Maybe the team that developed The Expendables slot absolutely loved the films; it’s impossible to know. But the game feels like it was developed by someone who hasn’t even seen them.
You would presume that a fan would have put more passion into the project, more fireworks, and more action. There’s about as much adrenaline produced playing The Expendables as playing any other slot, and that feels a little off. You can almost picture Sylvester Stallone burning a hole through his monitor with a giant cigar, mumbling in his Rocky voice, something about the game 'not being hard enough.'
The Expendables Megaways (Stakelogic)
Game title: The Expendables Megaways
● Reels: 6
● Rows: 2-7
● Paylines: 117,649
● Default RTP: 96.02% (Alt. 94.02%)
● Max Payout: 20,000x
● Volatility: H (5/5)
● Bets: 0.20 - 20 EUR
● Features: Bullet Bonus, Expendables Feature, Unlimited Free Spins Multiplier
● Release Date: February 20, 2020
Bigwinboard Rating - 68%