Pragmatic Play are teaming up with Reel Kingdom yet again to bring us the third in a series that has not just captured the hearts of players, but also moved faster than possibly any series before. Released in December 2020, Big Bass Bonanza first seemed just like another Fishin’ Frenzy type release, but this newer edition managed to garner even more admiration. A mere 9 months later, we were treated to Bigger Bass Bonanza, a jazzier version than the first – with even bigger wins. Now, this collaboration gets bigger, with these two teams adopting Big Time Gaming’s flagship mechanic, in Big Bass Bonanza Megaways. With a default RTP of 96.70% (various settings available), let’s take a look at how this highly volatile release is capable of producing wins up to 4,000x bet in size.
Visually, things are taking a return to the original, as evidenced by the name. We've moved away from the flashier marina lights of Bigger Bass Bonanza to take in the deep blues of the ocean once again in this release. Apart from the waves within the water and a sunrise just about visible at the top of the reels, things are pretty plain – although now that we mention the sunrise, it does manage to illuminate the entire top reel in a yellow colour, which kind of makes it feel like something exciting is happening for the first few spins, until you realise that's just how the reels look. Audios are the same as the original, and remain just as delightful, providing a nice upbeat backing track.
Big Bass Bonanza Megaways Base Features
Taking place across 6 reels, with an additional reel across the top, wins are formed by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning at the leftmost reel. Reels 1 and 6 can have up to 6 symbols on each, whilst reels 2-5 can have up to 5 symbols each, plus one symbol on the additional top reel – for a combined total of up to 46,656 ways to win. Symbols available are the line up we have come to expect, beginning with 10, J, Q, K and As, rewarding players with wins between 0.1 and 0.2x bet for 3 of a kind, increasing to wins between 0.8 and 1.75x bet for 6 of a kind. At the premium end, tackle boxes, dragonflies and fishing roads award wins between 0.25 and 1x bet for 3 of a kind, increasing to values between 2 and 7.5x bet for 6 of a kind matches. The premium-most symbol, a fishing bobber, pays as low as 2 ways, at 2x bet, increasing to an impressive 50x bet for 6 of a kind wins.
Fish Money symbols pay between 0.2 and 1.75x bet for matches between 3 and 6 of a kind, and will be displayed with cash values, which we'll explain below. Finally, wilds are represented by turquoise fishing net symbols, and appear only on the top row across reels 2-5, substituting for all symbols except Fisherman symbols and Scatter symbols.
Keeping things interesting during the base game are a host of features, beginning with Tumbles, wherein any symbols involved in a winning combination are removed from the reels, allowing new symbols to fall down in their place (or new symbols to move along from the right on the top reel). New symbols are the same size as the original spin symbols that they will replace, and Megaways cannot be increased through this feature. Tumbles continue until no more wins are formed.
Next up, its Money Symbols, represented by fish. At the beginning of every spin, Money symbols take a random cash value. During the base game, Money symbols work as regular symbols, tumbling as normal and take the pay values listed above. During free spins the values attached to Money symbols can be won with the help of the Fisherman symbol.
Big Bass Bonanza Megaways Bonus
Land 3, 4 or 5 Scatter symbols to trigger 10, 15 or 20 free spins, respectively. During free spins, the Fisherman symbol can land on the reels. On any spin, if this symbol lands, the values attached to any fish Money symbols in view will be collected and awarded. Alongside this, Fisherman symbols are collected and added to the meter at the right of the screen:
- Collect 4 Fisherman Symbols: +10 free spins x2
- Collect 8 Fisherman Symbols: +10 free spins x3
- Collect 12 Fisherman Symbols: +10 free spins x10
The multiplier applies to any Money symbol values collected, and is not a general win multiplier. After reaching +10 free spins with a x10 multiplier, the feature cannot be retriggered. During free spins fish are not removed during Tumbles, and instead fall to the bottom of the reels waiting for a Fisherman symbol to land.
Randomly, on any spin where 1 or 2 Fisherman symbols are in view with no Money symbols, a Dynamite or Bazooka feature can trigger. When Dynamite triggers, Money symbols will be added to the reels in random positions. When Bazooka triggers, all symbols will be removed from the reels, except any Fisherman symbols.
The maximum win available is 4,000x bet. If the total win during any feature or spin exceeds 4,000x bet, the spin or feature will end and 4,000x bet will be awarded.
Big Bass Bonanza Megaways makes a great third in the series, however was it really necessary? This question isn't just because we already have two “Big Bass” releases under our belt in the space of 11 months, but because we have a host of Fishin’ Frenzy releases also available. Judging the release on its own without consideration for similar slots available returns the opinion that this is a simple release, with the potential to offer a lot of fun.
What seemed odd at first was the idea of reverting back to the graphics of the first, rather than continuing from Big, to Bigger, to a Bigger Megaways version. The easiest explanation for this could be that when the original gained such popularity, the team started working on both follow-ups together. Either way, I’d have maybe liked to see Bigger Bass Bonanza Megaways, but that could just be because I prefer the brighter, flashier graphics of the second.
When it comes to gameplay, it’s pretty much exactly what we knew to expect – it’s all about the bonus round, which offers retriggers and upgrades as high as 10 free spins with x10 multipliers, with fish up to and including that lucrative 4,000x bet. Of course the Megaways mechanic does go a certain amount towards keeping things exciting, but this excitement could have been increased if fish symbols were to act as wilds, or if we had seen a higher amount of Megaways in our testing – remember the maximum available is 46,656 ways, not the usual 117,649 ways. RTP does vary with different settings, but with a default of 96.70%, it keeps things fair in this highly volatile release.
If you enjoyed Big Bass Bonanza, we predicted you’d enjoy Bigger Bass Bonanza, and the same remains true today – if you’ve enjoyed this series so far you will inevitably relish Big Bass Bonanza Megaways. If you haven’t been convinced yet, who knows? The Megaways mechanic might be the thing to do it.
*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.