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How does the Megaways slot game engine work?


In today’s iGaming industry, the Megaways game engine stands out as a ground-breaking innovation that’s successfully redefined the landscape of slot gaming. Conceived by Australian slot software provider, Big Time Gaming (BTG), the Megaways engine offers a dynamic, all-action experience unlike anything seen in conventional slot games.

In 2024, it’s very rare to find an online casino that doesn’t offer Megaways slots today. In fact, most licensed game libraries for online slots will have dozens of Megaways titles, alongside other themed or progressive slots. Below, we’ll explore the nuts and bolts of what makes Megaways such a fascinating addition to the iGaming scene.

Dissecting the power of Megaways slot gaming

At its core, the Megaways game engine operates on a unique reel configuration which eschews conventional “paylines” in favor of a dynamic system that varies with every spin. Unlike standard slot games, where a fixed number of paylines determine winning combinations, Megaways slots feature reels that can expand or shrink, displaying a variable number of base game symbols with every spin. In some Megaways slot titles, it’s not uncommon for you to get 1,000 Megaways in one spin and over 100,000 Megaways in the next.

What sets the Megaways game engine apart is its simplicity, especially for those who are new to slot gaming. Instead of having to master the dynamics of traditional paylines, Megaways slots require you to land clusters of matching symbols on adjacent reels instead. It’s almost akin to replicating the dynamics of casual games like Bejeweled.

The additional features of Megaways slots

In many Megaways slots, there’s also a cascading reel dynamic incorporated. This triggers whenever you land a winning symbol cluster. All symbols involved in said cluster disappear from the reel grid to be replaced by new symbols cascading down from the rows above. This makes it possible to engineer multiple symbol clusters from a single paid-for spin – if you’re lucky!

Commercially successful Megaways slots uncovered

Some of the most popular Megaways slot titles include Bonanza, Extra Chilli, and Gonzo’s Quest. Each of these offer a unique take on the Megaways engine. Bonanza, in particular, is widely regarded as one of the flagship titles of the Megaways slot series. It features cascading reels, a free spins bonus round, and the potential for massive payouts.

Extra Chilli was released as a red-hot follow-up to Bonanza. It takes the Megaways engine to even greater heights with its innovative “feature buy” option. This allows users to buy access to the free spins bonus round at any time. This feature has proven hugely popular among the casual slot players who are usually time-poor and don’t have the patience to wait to unlock features organically.

As for Gonzo’s Quest Megaways, this was released as a collaboration between BTG and Swedish slot studio, NetEnt. It combines the iconic gameplay of the original Gonzo’s Quest, based around an intrepid explorer, alongside the dynamic Megaways game engine. With its stunning visuals, immersive sound effects, and innovative gameplay mechanics, Gonzo’s Quest Megaways offers players an unforgettable gaming experience.

In summary, it’s easy to see why the Megaways game engine represents a seismic shift in the design and mechanics of today’s online slot games. Offering a dynamic and unpredictable experience, its innovative reel configuration, cascading reels feature, and massive win potential are sure to keep players entertained for years to come.

BTG has certainly done very nicely out of its Megaways innovation. The Australian firm has since licensed the Megaways engine to a string of award-winning iGaming slot studios. These licenses give the studios the ability to incorporate the Megaways game engine in a host of themed slots. iGaming pioneers, Microgaming, who developed the world’s first online casino and now partner with dozens of operators worldwide, sealed a licensing arrangement with BTG for Megaways back in 2020 – and they are one of many!