Slots are undoubtedly the favourite game genre in any online casino. The sheer scale of games to choose from, the potential to win life changing sums of money, and the ease with which games can be played make them a killer combination for both new and experienced casino players.
One of the latest revolutions to hit the market is MegaWays, and it has really shaken things up. As the name would suggest, this feature is all about size and the twist comes from the number of paylines that are on offer.
You may have already read our articles on 243 payline and 1024 payline games, and if you haven’t then you can likely guess by the name that they offer many more paylines than a standard slot. Well, MegaWays takes that to the next level.
The MegaWays engine was developed by Big Time Gaming and boasts a staggering 117,649 ways in which you can win, more than 100x the 1024 games we’ve previously spoken about. They are some of the biggest and most exciting slots that we’ve seen in a long while and their development has turned heads within the industry.
How do MegaWays Slots Work?
The first thing that you are going to notice is the number of reels that are on offer. The standard game will include 6 reels in total but included on each reel are up to 7 symbols.
The paylines come into effect simply by multiplying the number of reels by the number of symbols per reel. So, it would be 7x7x7x7x7x7 = 117,649 in total.
For those of you that are completely new to online slots, the paylines are basically the varying combinations that the symbols can land in on the reels in order to count as a win. Each payline looks different, although the common factor is that the symbols need to be connected in some way (next to each other, touching corners, etc.) and some combinations will be worth more than others.
MegaWays slots work a little differently. You don’t need to create combinations that stretch across the board, instead you just need 1 symbol to be found in 3 consecutive reels in any order. So, one might be at the top of reel 1, then the bottom of reel 2 and then the middle of reel 3, and even though they aren’t touching, your spin would still be a winner and return some money.
The more symbols that you get in one combination the higher the payouts and the winnings on offer.
One of the key things to note about MegaWays slots is that the number of symbols within each reel can change with every spin. This is because the symbols can land in various different sizes, and this is what gives MegaWays its edge. So, whilst there are 117,649 paylines, the combination of those lines might be different with each game.
For instance, in the example above you are playing with 3 symbols on the first reel, 6 on the 2nd, and so on. Alternatively, the screenshot below shows 7 symbols on reel 1, then 4 on reel 2, etc. As you can see, these combinations can change a lot, which is one of the things that makes the games so exciting as no two spins are ever the same.
Where did MegaWays Come From?
It was Big Time Gaming who introduce these game types in 2018. The brand has been able to include a host of games but Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and Vikings Unleashed are the two flagship titles.
Since then, Big Time Gaming have been able to sell the rights to this technology to the likes of Blueprint, Scientific Games, Storm, Kalamba, Fantasma, iSoftBet, Relax Gaming, and Red Tiger. These brands have been able to create their own MegaWays games as a result, as well as re-releasing some old favourites using the new engine, and the distribution of these licenses has seen this new way to play become more and more prevalent.
In terms of the number of games available, right now there isn’t a huge amount, with between 20-30 to choose from. We are expecting to see this number significantly increase over the coming years given the already rapid success of these games, and the number of developers scrambling to get hold of a licence.
Pros and Cons of MegaWays
One of the beauties of slots is that what works for one person might not necessarily be right for another, and vice versa. There is a reason why there are so many games; each functions slightly differently which allows each game to dial in to the needs and wants of a certain type of user.
So, whilst we are going to list pros and cons for MegaWays, you could argue the reverse is true for each point we make, depending on who’s playing.
The first positive is that these games are often linked to slots that are high volatility. For those that don’t know, the volatility is basically the frequency with which the game pays out. So, a high volatility game will pay out less, but with larger amounts; a low volatility game will pay out more often, but lower amounts.
The reason that it works so well with higher volatility games is that the combination of wins can be huge, which means that it’s suited to things like higher multiples and bonus rounds. Yes, it can take you a while to get going, but when you hit the games hard and they start to pay out, they are going to be much more rewarding than the majority of other slots on the market.
Another reason why we like them so much is that they are constantly changing. Games can range from a few reels to maximum reels and the paylines change with it. This keeps slots fresher for longer as you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. If you like steady consistent slots, then these aren’t going to be for you, but if the unpredictable takes your fancy, then MegaWays is the way to go.
The games often make good use of multipliers, bonus rounds, and free spins. Given that some boards will have 49 symbols showing in total, the chances of hitting combinations are huge.
The downsides right now have to the be lack of games to choose to from. It’s crying out for a big branded title to give this a go, although we aren’t sure if this will ever happen given the volatility – the brands tend to enjoy playing it safe with their games.
Finally, we want to add our excitement to the development and improvements of these games. One article described Big Time Gaming as the Elon Musk of the online slots industry, and this is true in the respect that they like to push boundaries. We can’t help but think that these games are going to get even bigger and even better in the coming months and years.