The Race Megaways: Slot Overview
Vroom vroom, get your motors turning over players; here comes The Race Megaways, an online slot from casino game designers Big Time Gaming. Oh wait, despite the name, The Race Megaways doesn't involve fast-moving cars, fast-moving people, fast-moving anything, really. Instead, The Race Megaways has more of a gameshow vibe to it. In fact, a series called 'The Race' aired on British tv in 2006, but after a bit of YouTube-ing, the show and slot have virtually nothing in common. Back to square one then, so we might as well put a stop to the internet trawling, fire up The Race Megaways and simply let it do its stuff.
Visually, it does feel like participants have stepped into a studio, about to be asked quick-fire questions in hopes of winning cash prizes or consumer goods. Not a billion miles away from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, a format which Big Time Gaming is familiar with. In the middle of the, err stage, sits a 6-reel game grid, with a bolted-on 4-symbol extra reel located down the bottom rather than in its usual position up top, while red lights sparkle on either side and extra lighting beams down from above. Not sure what to make of it. The view isn't bad, but as a game show, The Race Megaways lacked the vitality found in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Megaways or Wheel of Fortune Megaways.
Tickets to the show, as such, start at 20 p/c per spin before topping out at $/€20 per paid game round. Very highly volatile, the game comes with an overall return to player value of 96.27%, or when buying a bonus, the RTP increases to 96.36%. Individual spins can drop different numbers of symbols on the main reels, producing up to 117,649 ways to win.
Hitting matching symbols on adjacent reels from the leftmost side of the panel triggers a reward. The value of which varies from 0.5 to 0.9 times the stake when consisting of six low pay 9 to A symbols, or 1 to 12.5 times the bet for six of the four high pay gemstone tiles. Wilds are one of The Race Megaways' key components, where their duties include substituting for any pay symbol and tying into some of the features.
The Race Megaways: Slot Features
Specifically, when reels stop spinning, a wild symbol may duplicate. When a Wild Duplication occurs, all symbols on the vertical reel are replaced by wild symbols. In addition, during free spins, each wild that is added to the reels by the Wild Duplication process gets a multiplier of up to x5. Wilds do not hit on reels 1 or 6.
A classic Megaways extra, the reaction mechanic removes all winning symbols except scatters from the reels, replacing them with symbols from above on the main reels or the right on the extra reel. Reactions end when no new win is created.
Heart Bonus Round
When at least 3 scatter symbols land in the base game, they trigger the Heart Bonus Round (or you can buy direct access for 100 times your stake). Here, 3 respins are awarded on special reels that only land Hearts or blanks. Heart symbols lock to the reels and reset the respin count when they land. When no more respins remain, or all positions are filled, the round ends, and free spins begin.
Unlimited Free Spins
The number of Heart symbols in view at the end of the Heart Round Bonus award lives, which carry over to the free spins round. Here, the win multiplier starts at x1 and increases after each reaction. When a Terminator symbol lands, 1 life is lost. When all lives are lost, the free spins feature ends. Scatters are not present during free spins.
Win Exchange and Bonus Buy
When players win 100 times the stake or more, they have the option of buying entrance to the Heart Bonus Round for the cost of 100x the bet. If a win worth between 25 and 100 times the stake occurs, players can swap the win for a chance to win entrance to the Heart Bonus Round.
The Race Megaways: Slot Verdict
Not so sure about this one. Technically, The Race Megaways is alright, it's got some wild duplicating action going on, free spins with an 'unlimited' element and a pre-feature bonus round where the life collecting takes place. For a game that refers to or alludes to a race, it felt strangely lacking in adrenaline. A baffling slot in many ways, actually, since there's little racing going on unless we're missing something achingly obvious, making it hard to tell quite what The Race Megaways is trying to get at. Dragged-out bonus rounds often had the tendency to end in great disappointment and with nothing much happening other than watching the win multiplier grow.
As a game show style event, it pales in comparison to the previous game show slots Big Time Gaming has made. To be fair, those ones (like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Wheel of Fortune Megaways) were built off the back of actual real-world shows, so they possessed strong brand recognition. The Race Megaways, by comparison, feels like some producers made a pilot episode which ended up being canned by the powers that be at the network, thereby remaining anonymous. Nothing wrong with going for a non-branded game show angle, of course, but The Race Megaways, while lacking killer excitement, also lacked depth, personality, or whatever you call that certain 'je ne sais quoi' which elevates a tv show from obscurity to household name.
Perhaps it's because Big Time Gaming has produced some of the most memorable slots of all time, as well as one of gambling's most popular gaming mechanics, that expectations run high when facing a new release. However, even if The Race Megaways had come from a new up-and-coming studio yet to make its mark, it's questionable if our reaction would have been much warmer. It simply lacked the drama, ingenuity, the passion one typically associates with a Big Time Gaming production. Put it this way, if The Race Megaways did pop up on the telly, it would be hard not to quickly switch the channel.
The Race Megaways is a capable and often enjoyable BTG machine, but it’s also one that you’ll likely forget as soon as you finish it.