What are Megaways slots and why is it such a thing?
Following the massive success of Bonanza (released in 2016) the appetite for Megaways slots has been insatiable and the trend is anything but slowing down. In fact, with the Megaways game engine having become a franchise, now being adopted by other providers, the assortment of such slots has exploded.
Invented by Australian software developer Big Time Gaming, the core of the Megaways concept is the shape-shifting reels where the symbol height on each reel varies with each spin (usually between 3 and 7). As a result, the paylines change and so does the win potential. Expanded to its maximum trademark size of 117,649 ways to win, these games have the potential to produce massive winning combinations. Add multipliers and other reel modifiers to the equation and you can surely imagine just why its grown to become such a huge phenomenon.
In days of yore, slots were usually limited to 3-reel fruit machines, subsequently growing in size with the evolution of the digital era. In the past, as far as virtual slot machines are concerned, 243 win-all-ways slots, with Microgaming as the principal pioneers, were more or less the equivalent to the modern Megaways concept. Since then, we’ve witnessed the win-ways increase to 1024, 4096 and even up to a mind-boggling record-breaking 60,466,176 ways to win as seen in Red Tiger Gaming’s 2018 release Laser Fruit.
Interestingly, many players appear to be under the impression that the increase in win-ways improve the chance of winning even though the theoretical return to player remains the same, irrespective of win-ways. But there are, of course, a few other factors that motivate players to keep coming back to Megaways slots. For one, they are consistently excellent in terms of production quality and often well balanced despite the high volatility. Furthermore, the chain reaction type gameplay usually involved somewhat extends the play time and the massive jackpot potential also ensures that players are kept on their toes throughout the session as the slots have the capacity to produce truly life-changing wins.
As a result of the success and huge impact of the Megaways concept, other providers such as Blueprint Gaming and SG Interactive have now acquired licenses to release Megaways slots, and more are expected to join in on the feast in 2019. SG Interactive’s first Megaways title, Battleship Direct Hit, became a major hit for the company and without a doubt its most hyped slot in years.
Blueprint Gaming, on the other hand, has been churning out Megaways titles as if their life depended on it. It’s understandable, however, as the demand is at an all-time high and, being the first developer to acquire the license, it’s an opportunity to establish themselves as the leading producers of Megaways slots. In March 2019, Red Tiger Gaming released its first Megaways slot – a remake of an earlier release entitled Mystery Reels.
In the past, Big Time Gaming slots could only be played at a few selected casinos but have since rolled out on the Quickfire server, making them available on almost every casino. However unlikely, if you haven’t played any Megaways slots already, a great place to start is White Rabbit, Extra Chilli, Vikings Unleashed, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Holy Diver to name a few.