Wheel of Fortune Megaways: Slot Overview
Dubbed 'America's Show', Wheel of Fortune is a game show that glorifies consumer culture like nothing else and feels like it's been around forever. It's got a bit of everything, - puzzle-solving, random spins of the wheel, and of course, shopping. The show debuted back in 1975, churning through a host of big-name presenters oozing charm through perma-smiles and leggy ladies whose job it was to reveal letters. Over the years, developer IGT has released several slot machine versions of the mega-popular TV-show - both physical and online. Continuing on that tradition, IGT has now teamed up with Big Time Gaming to give us Wheel of Fortune Megaways, thus adding the successful Megaways mechanic to the equation.
It might have been tempting with a show as glamourous as Wheel of Fortune to design something over the top bursting forth glitter from every direction. However, Big Time Gaming has adopted a slightly reserved approach. There is a touch of glitz from the pink and purple neon, but on the whole, it is quite restrained. That's not necessarily BTG's fault though, since they have simply recreated the show in its modern incarnation which is far more tasteful than earlier seasons. The symbols are pretty plain, as is the backing track which includes a bit of random casino ambience. Anyone planning to relive the extravagance of the 70s or 80s will need to tone down their expectations a notch or two. Naturally, thrills, visuals and audio undergo a transformation when free spins are triggered.
The set up is a rather familiar one by now - played using 6-reels, each reel may randomly generate between 2-7 symbols on each spin to produce up to 117,649 ways to win when fully expanded. Before getting underway, players start by selection bets ranging from 20 p/c to possibly as high as $/€500 a pop (max bet unverified). Wheel of Fortune Megaways pours forth some big numbers, the 96.46% RTP being one of the positives. As you might expect, volatility is high and as a result, gameplay can be unforgiving a times. However, this being BTG, the math model is well-balanced and able to provide some extremely thrilling roller-coaster sessions.
Wins occur by matching consecutive symbols from left to right starting from the leftmost reel. Despite depicting high-value consumer items, the symbols are rather understated. They begin with 9-A card royals, followed by sports cars, speed boats, private jets, and diamond rings. Land 6 premium symbols in a line for payouts ranging from 0.9x to 25x the bet. Wilds help here, appearing on reels 2 - 5 to replace any regular symbol to make a win.
Wheel of Fortune Megaways: Slot Features
Wheel of Fortune Megaways comes with several useful features for piling on wins such as Wild Megastacks, free spins, and expanding reels. None of them are expressly new, but well-proven and can be effective when they want to be.
During all phases of the game, there is a chance Wild Megastacks trigger whenever a wild symbol lands. In the base game, as many as 3 reels can be completely covered in wilds 7 positions high, while in free spins up to 2 reels may display 10 wilds each.
The Wheel of Fortune logo is the scatter symbol - 3, 4, 5, or 6 in view award 12, 14, 16, or 18 free spins respectively. Before free spins begin, the wheel turns to reveal the starting number of Megaways from 14,000 to 117,649. Now, central to the action during free spins is the Expansion symbol - whenever it lands, it is replaced by two new symbols, thus increasing the number of symbols in that reel by one – up to 10 positions high at the most. When a reel reaches full height, the wheel spins again to award up to 12 extra free spins. If all 6 reels reach 10 rows high, then a staggering 1 million Megaways are produced.
Wheel of Fortune Megaways: Slot Verdict
Wheel of Fortune Megaways is an interesting one. It feels a lot calmer, more relaxed than you might assume a big flashy game show which began life in the 1970s might be. BTG hasn't crammed in everything except the kitchen sink the same way Blueprint Gaming did with their Deal or No Deal Megaways games. Those ones ooze DOND from every orifice, integrating loads of the TV show’s aspects. Wheel of Fortune Megaways doesn't do quite the same. At times you feel like you're playing one of those old-school bling themed slots rather than one based on Wheel of Fortune.
There are sparks, however. We get to spin the wheel when selecting the number of Megaways at the start of free spins for example, and Vanna White lights up the board when Wild Megastacks hit. Yet while the theme makes itself known, BTG could have pushed it harder, maybe incorporating some kind of letter selection thing which the original show was all about. There is a distinct possibility fans of the show (the older version at least) will be less satisfied by a round of this than DOND fans playing their game.
While the base game has its moments, free spins are where the vast majority of the entertainment comes from. A huge number of win ways are possible, though Spartacus Megaways and 1 Million Megaways BC did beat BTG to the punch. Here, it doesn't do much more than they did, yet starting the bonus on a set number of Megaways provided by the wheel spin is a nice touch. While the expanding reels concept is similar to BTG's White Rabbit, Wheel of Fortune Megaways just goes a bit larger. Still, you can't fault the game when reels hit their max height and retrigger respins where wins of up to a whopping 80,150 times the stake are possible (in a single spin mind you).
On the whole, it is hard to find any issues in what Wheel of Fortune Megaways is capable of. The modern look is there, along with a bit of wheel-spinning to flesh out the theme. One niggle is the delivery isn't super exciting a lot of the time. Perhaps that's an indictment on the bland state of contemporary game shows in general? Whatever, Wheel of Fortune Megaways offers something for players who prefer a chilled base game, but for those expecting a bit of bombast, the designers might have been better off going for a 1970s/80s vibe.
While it could have driven home the theme a bit more, Wheel of Fortune Megaways provides plenty of thrill and boasts big numbers from its familiar White Rabbit inspired features.