What are Slot Megaways?
Megaways is a slot game engine developed by Big Time Gaming (BTG) and subsequently licensed out to other games developers. It has been incredibly suuccessful and proven very popular with players.
Megaways games have up to six reels with variable rows: the number of symbols on each reel varies with each spin and this varies the Ways to Win on the game.
The earliest, and probably most famous game launched was the Bonanza Megaways slot. The rest, as they say, is history with Megaways variants popping up on all sorts of games like Starburst, Fishin’ Frenzy and Starburst. Even all time classics like Rainbow Riches now have a Megaways version.
What players seem to like is the way that the Ways to Win vary randomly as you spin the reels. The more symbols or rows on the reel, the higher the Megaways. Often games with this mechanic will feature other goodies like Expanding Wilds with Re-spins or Avalanche Wins.
Let’s look at the most common example, the six reel, 117,649 Megaways slot game. Each reel will vary from between 2 and 7 symbols. With 6 reels of 2 symbols, you have 324 Ways. With 7 symbols on every reel the game will clock in with the maximum 117,649 Megaways, and of course, you have lots of combinations in between these two end cases.
To form a win, you need to land matching symbols anywhere, on adjacent reels starting from reel 1.
Other variants you might see include Megaways slots games with up to 15,625, 16,807, 46,656, 248,832, 100,832, 531,441 or 586,971 Ways to Win. The max 117,649 Ways to Win game is probably the most common though.
Best Megaways Slots
New Megaways slots come out all of the time, so we will try and keep this section updated and current. There are now hundreds of Megaways games that license the mechanic from Big Time Gaming.
Some of the key games include
- Bonanza Megaways
- The Dog House Megaways 117,649
- Who Wants to be a Millionaire Megaways
- Gonzo’s Quest Megaways
- Starburst Megaways
- Rainbow Riches Megaways
The Dog House Megaways
Pragmatic Play has released quite a few Megaways titles, and the Dog House slot is one of their most popular. A colourful game with lots of canine action, as well as six reels and up to 117,649 ways to win.
Wilds come with random multipliers up to 3x and there is a neat Sticky Wild Free Spins feature with up to 20 free spins and up to 7 sticky wilds on each reel.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire Megaways
A Big Time gaming title that uses the Millionaire concept to great effect. The reels can expand up to 117,649 Ways to Win.
Look out for the Hot Seat Free Spins. You’ll get eight free spins to start off with and you can add to that tally with those famous TV show features: Ask The Audience, Phone a Friend and the 50/50 coin flip.
Make it all the way to the very top of the Millionaire ladder and you’ll get 50 free spins which come with a progressive multiplier which goes up by one 1 with each win. The maximum win on this game is a whopping 70,000x your stake.
Gonzo’s Quest Megaways (NetEnt)
The Gonzo’s Quest slot is one of the most played slots of all time, and they are trying to break moe records with this Megaways launch. It’s once again themed on Gonzo, the gold hungry Spanish conquistador, and is a six reel game with a maximum of 117,649 Ways to Win
Just like the original game, the Avalanche feature is alive and well and there is a progressive multiplier that nudges up on successive Avalanche wins.
Unbreakable Wilds stick around during an Avalance. Keep your ears to the ground and listen out for the Earthquake feature which may set off at random. All the low paying symbols disappear and a new avalanche drops in with high value symbols only.
There’s also the Free Fall feature where you will get nine Free Falls (ie spins). The multiplier counter starts at 3x and heads to15x via 6x and 9x. The maximum win is 10,000x your stake.
Big Time Gaming
The hero behind all of these games is Big Time Gaming.
To begin with, Megaways games were all BTG titles but they have subsequently licensed the game engine out to other providers such as NetEnt, Blueprint and others. A clever move, as the Megaways brand has gone from strength to strength and they take a small cut of all of the proceedings.
Megaways Slots RTP
It’s as well to check the RTP% (Return to Player) on the games as these can vary quite a bit. The higher the number, the better.
This is another reason for the popularity of these games as Megaways slots tend to have a return of over 96% which is above average. Good examples of games include
Gorilla Gold Megaways 97%
Queen of Riches Megaways 96.9%
Some of the devleopers who are getting in on the Megaways bandwagon include Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger, iSoftBet, Pragmatic Play, Scientific Games, Barcrest, Iron Dog, NetEnt and others.
In addition to their variable reels and Ways to Win, Megaways slots are famous for certain other features. these include:
After a win, the winning symbols disappear and are replaced by new symbols for another stab at a win. This is like the Avalance feature in Gonzo’s Quest (one of the first games to feature this kind of mechanic). This feature rumbles on until until no more new wins are made and it can be combined with a progressive multiplier, so successive wins have a bigger and bigger multiplier applied to them.
The Mystery Symbol is another thing you wil often see on these games. The symbol will morph into a random symbol to increase your chance of netting a win.
It’s not just Megaways slots that have free games, but these game generally give you the chance of re-triggering the Free Spins feature- in theory indefinitely. In practice, of course, the feature normally runs its course.
Megaways Bonus Buy
Many games have a Bonus Buy which allows you to buy into the main bonus (like the Free Spins feature) for a price (say 100 to 200x your stake). These kinds of features aren’t available in the UK.
Megaways Slots: what a success story. Who’d have predicted that this game mechanic would have got so big? It has literally taken the slot world by the scruff of the neck and inspired quite a few copy cats. With the variable reels, Ways to Win and all the bonus action, the entertainment dial has gone off the scale in many of these game. Who knows where they are headed next?
The only thing we know for certain is that they are not going anywhere. Megaways are here to stay.