Iron Dog Studio invites players to embark upon an outer-world mission in their latest release, Astro Newts Megaways. Taking place across 6 reels, and adopting the famed Big Time Gaming Megaways Mechanic, Astro Newts Megaways offers players a host of modifiers both within the base game and the free spins feature, a solid RTP of 95.90%, high volatility levels, and wins up to a maximum of 20,000x bet. Visually, Astro Newts is, literally, out of this world. With some neon green and pink controls front and centre, players are treated to an outer space landscape background, filled with stars and subtle auroras, all within an overtly cartoon, unrealistic theme. Don't let the pleasant graphics fool you, though. What lies beneath the surface is far from tame – there are some impressive combinations buried within. Audios take on a blend of what we would expect, with some synth and standard outer-world sounds, but combined with some surprisingly upbeat tunes. It all goes towards the same end result, a fun edition to keep us entertained while we play.
Astro Newts Megaways Base Features
Each of the 6 reels is capable of landing up to 7 symbols, for a total combination of 117,649 ways to win, with wins forming from the leftmost reel. Symbols available include 10, J, Q, K and A royals, alongside asteroids, ray guns, rockets, and 2 spacey-newt characters. The highest premium symbol pays for 2 of a kind, awarding players with 50x bet for 6 of a kind. Finally, wilds land on reels 2-6 both during the base game and free spins, substituting for all symbols.
Tumbles help big wins to form, with all symbols involved in a win being removed from the reels. New symbols then drop down in their place, giving the potential to form more wins. This continues until no more win ways can be made. Further to this, Megaways are not always set in place during Tumbles – a larger amount of symbols can drop down than were removed with the help of Mega Fission™. Winning symbols on 2 or 3 reel height will split into 2 on a win. Mega Fission can only happen once per symbol, but there is no limit on the amount of symbols that can have a Mega Fission per spin or tumble.
There are a few base features available to improve upon the experience:
- Expanding Wilds: Can appear on reels 2, 3, 4 or 5 during the base game and free spins. Indicated by a neon green “W” on a purple background, expanding wilds stretch to full width height, with a multiplier to indicate the amount of symbols that were originally on the reel, substituting for all symbols.
- Pig on The Moon: On any spin at random, the pig on the moon feature can activate, awarding up to 2 additional expanding wilds, or 4 additional regular wilds.
Astro Newts Megaways Bonus
Yellow fuel symbols are available, which is how players activate free spins. Fuel can appear in any spin or tumble during the base game or free spins. Each fuel symbol that lands adds 1 to the fuel tank. Collect 6 fuel symbols (enough fuel to reach the moon) in one sequence of spin/tumbles to trigger 8 free spins.
There are 5 different levels within free spins, and players can progress through the levels by collecting 4 fuel tanks on the current level, which moves them forward one. Progression also awards up to 4 additional free spins. Each level is unique:
- Moon: x1 multiplier for each winning tumble
- Mars: super fuel alien symbol available (adds 2 to the fuel tank & +1 free spin)
- Jupiter: land 7 symbols on a reel to lock it in place for the remainder of spins
- Saturn: x2 multiplier for each winning tumble
- Uranus: pays both ways
For players in appropriate regions, a feature buy is available for the cost of 86x bet. RTP will increase to 96.30% when the feature is bought.
Astro Newts Megaways is definitely a fun addition to the Iron Dog Studio catalogue, and keeps things bright and colourful whilst still packing the punch we desire from new releases. With a maximum win of 20,000x bet and a 95.90% RTP, it's clear to see what this slot is capable of. However, a lot of those capabilities are hidden behind the quirkiness that we see upon loading this game. Some players will inevitably look at this game and think “no thanks” before even taking a spin, perhaps thinking it's a bit amateur. Far from it. Once you get going Astro Newts Megaways continues to hold your attention, with pleasing visuals and audios that you don't want to mute within 10 minutes.
Progression through bonus levels is a technique that has been proven successful, and is one of the most exciting elements of Astro Newts Megaways. Good to see Iron Dog Studio bringing back the locking 7-high reels we came to love in 1 Million Megaways BC, and with the addition of “pays both ways” at the end, it gives the potential for 235,298 ways to win – a combination for huge hits.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.