There's a celebration happening this month, and we're all invited. Big Time Gaming are honouring their 10 year anniversary with a throwback to their first slot game, Gold, and this throwback is of course accompanied by an upgrade, resulting in Gold Megaways. Now, in this current slot season filled with Megaways, xWays, Cluster Pays, and every bell and whistle possible, it won't offend Big Time Gaming to say the original Gold isn't groundbreaking. However, at the time, 10 years ago, it was a snazzy edition to the sector, with Spandau Ballet's 1983 hit to back it up. Gold Megaways builds on the elements we came to know through it's predecessor, with significant improvements to turn it into the glitzy release we're excited to sink our teeth into. With an RTP of 96.42%, and up to 1,000,000 ways to win, Gold Megaways is highly volatile, but can be highly rewarding, with wins up to 20,200x bet on offer.
The first noticeable enhancement is graphics, sharper than ever, but much the same in theme – opulence. If not opulence, then perhaps a Del Boy Trotter “fake it till you make it” kind of setup, with bold rings and credit cards on display. It's easy to imagine either of the Trotters decked in luxurious (no doubt fake) gold, but not so easy to imagine them front row at a concert, so for now we'll stick with opulence. The reels, set upon flashing gold, are contrasted against a bright red show curtain, filled with spotlights. Audios have had a major improvement too; impressive given Big Time Gaming are using such a well known track. This time around, Gold has been treated to a remix, keeping things more interesting than last time around, with various pieces of the iconic song bursting through, no longer feeling repetitive.
Gold Megaways Base Features
Wins are formed by landing 3 or more matching symbols on adjacent reels, beginning from the first of 6 reels, each of which can contain between 2-7 symbols, for a total of 117,649 ways to win in the base game. Helping to form these wins are a host of symbols, beginning with the lower paying 9, 10, J, Q, K and A, awarding players between 0.8 and 1.4x bet for 6 of a kind. At the premium end, symbols available replicate the original, with green rings, blue credit cards and red cars paying 2 and 3x bet, again for 6 of a kind, whilst landing 6 of a kind purple watches will produce wins of 100x bet. Each symbol available requires a minimum of 3 in view to form a win, with the exception of purple watches, which pay for 2 of a kind. Finally, Wild symbols, represented by green and gold briefcases, can land on reels 2-5, and may be accompanied by a x3 multiplier to help facilitate wins. All wins are multiplied by 3 for each x3 Wild that substitutes in the win.
Helping to keep Gold Megaways exciting is first of all Reactions, wherein every symbol involved in a win is removed from the reels, allowing new symbols to drop down in their place. Reactions continue until no more wins are formed.
Next up is Win Exchange™, with two different tweaks to help trigger free spins, the first of which is a direct exchange. Whenever a win of 70x stake or more is achieved, players have the option to exchange their 70x stake win for 12 free spins, and bank the remainder of the win. With an official title of Win Exchange™, this could be a new feature we should expect to see from Big Time Gaming, replacing the feature buys they have left in the past now.
Alternatively, landing between 20x and 70x stake gives players the option to exchange (gamble) the entire win for a chance to be awarded 12 free spins. At this point players will be shown a red and green segmented wheel, with the chance of winning the gamble shown in green. The closer the win is to 70x stake, the more green in view.
Gold Megaways Bonus
Alternatively to Win Exchange, players can trigger free spins by landing 3 or more Scatter symbols, which are purple with golden BTG records atop. 3 Scatters triggers 12 free spins, +4 spins for every additional Scatter. Before free spins start, players will spin the Megaways reel, to reveal the starting Megaways for the feature, with results between 14,000 and 117,649 ways – the maximum amount of ways available during the base game.
During free spins, golden BTG coins can land on the reels, counting as Expansion Symbols. Each Expansion Symbol that lands extends a reel by 1 symbol, up to a maximum of 10 symbols per reel, or 1 million ways to win, similarly to Wheel of Fortune Megaways, or the earlier Fat Rabbit. When any reel is expanded to 10 symbols high, an extra +8 free spins are awarded.
Wilds, and x3 multiplier Wilds work as normal during free spins, alongside Reactions to continue the action, backed up by the original Gold track rather than the base game remix.
The modern day equivalent of the old tin 10th anniversary gift is diamond jewellery, and it seems there's no better fitting theme for Big Time Gaming's 10th anniversary than something glitzy and glamorous. Gold Megaways ties in with this perfectly, with the team managing to turn their first release into something more than worthy, by utilising their own iconic Megaways mechanic, and introducing us to Win Exchange in the process, giving us the recipe for a sequel that could be considered more or less perfect.
Free Spins are really what this release is all about, and the option to exchange wins for free spins whilst waiting for the natural trigger goes a long way towards keeping the base game interesting – however in our trial run this was interesting due to excitement, rather than experience. We managed to land 4 bonuses organically whilst waiting to trigger Win Exchange, although we do still expect to see more of this mechanic in upcoming releases.
Once we make our way towards free spins the Expansion Symbol, which we have seen before, is elevated with the help of Reactions, something we didn't have in Wheel of Fortune Megaways. On the nitty-gritty side of things, it's great to see the reels now have the number of symbols displayed underneath, as having to squint and count the symbols between spins was becoming a bit tedious, so this progression in design is nice. Add in the potential to unlock up to 1 million ways to win alongside multiplying wilds, and free spins have the potential to be something very special, helped massively by starting further up the ladder.
Statistically, Big Time Gaming releases never fail, so with an RTP of 96.42%, a maximum win of 20,200x bet, a highly volatile math model, and a variety of stakes, there's nothing to complain about on that front. Gold Megaways takes the team full circle, returning to something beautiful, made for more than just fans of 1980’s Pop.
*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.