With slot games being the most popular of all casino games, online gaming software developers are constantly churning new releases to keep the masses entertained. This commitment has seen the advancement of slots from simple three-reeled games to titles that challenge nearly every boundary that was set by classic titles. With technology being more advanced than ever, software companies are continuously pushing the envelope of what we consider normal. Big Time Gaming is one of the providers at the core of this revolution, and its most recent contribution is the Megacluster slots that can be played for free.
Big Time Gaming first made waves in the gaming industry with the release of the Megaways. This feature allows punters to exploit hundreds of thousands of win ways in every single spin. BTG is once again on its way to rewrite slot history with the Megacluster slots that follow the same concept of bigger-than-life features. This addition to the slots’ realm is believed to be the next evolutionary step for online gaming, and this review breaks down the legitimacy of that claim.
Online casinos are no strangers to cluster pays, but leave it to Big Time Gaming to shake things up as they did with mega ways even with the existence of win ways. Megacluster slots feature a square playing grid, which differs from the usual ones where the reels are often more than the rows. Star Clusters slot, which is the first BTG release to include this feature, kicks off with a 4×4 grid arrangement. Not much about this playing grid stands out from the crowd, but the real action begins when winning combinations are landed.
Megacluster slot games provide winnings for landing character combinations of five or more icons. These combos are not bound to specific win line patterns and can be formed either horizontally or vertically on any position on the grid. The real threat is that the symbols used to create the combos split into four smaller ones, which form the mega clusters. The smaller items do not have to be of the same kind. For instance, if a winning cluster of five symbols breaks down to four items each, they create twenty new icons. That way, the screen grows from 16 to 32 tiles. The symbols continue to split for as long as new winning combinations are created. At the highest mega cluster, the display can expand to 8×8 play table that holds 64 positions. The grid then resets to the original four-by-four arrangement once no more combos are formed.
Big Time Gaming’s Star Clusters is the only release with the megaclusters slot. In the game, players can expect a wide range of bonus features like with most other modern titles. These incentives include:
Multiple combos can appear in a single round, which allows players to collect as much as 23,000 times the stakes used.
The free spins in the Star Clusters slot begin with an 8×8 grid instead of the regular 4×4 one featured in the base game. The megaclusters can activate as many as 256 tiles, which turns it into a 16×16 grid.
Megacluster slots by Big Time Gaming showcase differences from regular slots right off the bat. Even though their functionality maintains some standard elements, they stand out from the crowd in various ways, including:
Standard pokies often feature playtables with five reels stretched over three or four rows. Star Clusters breaks this norm to use a square grid with four reels and the same number of rows. The grid can grow to accommodate irregular reels and rows when winning symbols break down into megaclusters. The playtable can grow up to an eight by eight arrangement in the base game and sixteen by sixteen in the free spins. In regular slots, the number of reels and rows remain the same throughout gameplay.
Typically, slot winning combinations are created by three to five symbols of a kind. Megacluster slots, on the other hand, award winnings for combinations of five or more symbols. The combos can consist of more than 25 symbols.
Nearly all slot machines use bet lines or win ways to determine winning combinations. Paylines usually mark out specific patterns on the grid that are activated when similar characters land on them. The symbols have to be on adjacent columns beginning from the leftmost reel. Some slots make an exception and pay both ways, but they have to start from the edge of the grid. Star Clusters slot skips the use of such patterns and awards players for any icon clusters formed horizontally and vertically. These combinations can land anywhere from the edges of the play table to the center.
Megacluster slots adopt the use of the avalanche feature, which is rarer to find than regular spinning mechanisms. Normally, icons involved in winning combinations remain on the grid after awarding winnings until the next round plays. With avalanche winnings, the slots eliminate payout clusters allowing symbols to take up new positions. These cascades drive up the chances of landing more winning combinations in a single round.
The megacluster games may have entered the online market recently, but they have already garnered a significant following in casinos. Such success is owed to the numerous advantages they have to offer, including:
Megacluster slots have their downsides as well that limit them from scoring perfectly on the comparison board, including:
Even though megaclusters are a relatively new concept with hurdles here and there, the idea will likely take off well with both players and software developers. Considering the success of Big Time Gaming’s megaways concept, megaclusters have a high probability of following the same suit to be adopted in a lot more slot games.