The names Megaways, Max Megaways. Hang on, you probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about, so let's backtrack a little. It seems Big Time Gaming have been running secret underground operations for some time, and they've finally decided to introduce us to their lead spy, by giving him his own game. And so, meet Max – Megaways, that is. Taking on the evil Dr Fudge Indare (like, ‘get the fudge in-dare' – get it?), Max Megaways is a super spy, and he's here to stay, with this release the first of a three-part series. So, let's get stuck in and figure out if Max Megaways, the game, is as super as Max Megaways, the spy. First things first, maths is highly volatile, RTP is a fixed 96.37%, and wins are available in excess of 100,000x bet.
Visually, things take place in a location that I assume is either Max Megaways home, or Dr Fudge’s den – probably the latter, if the move into Free Spins is anything to go by. Either way, things are fairly beautiful, with mountainside views, clear blue waters, palm trees, and a waterfall feature. Everything is quite distinctly Big Time Gaming, even audios, where rather than continuous tracks, we have small loops of spy-like music when spins take place, and background sounds, like water and birds, the rest of the time. Every now and again you'll hear a voice come through – sounding suspiciously like the TikTok narrator voice, which is an odd choice, but not one that's necessarily off-putting. Overall, the whole thing works, and is quite nice to look at – although it did make me want a holiday.
Max Megaways Base Features
For all intents and purposes, Max Megaways functions the same as every other Megaways out there, but we'll do a quick recap for those of you not familiar. Taking place across 6 reels, wins are formed by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning at the leftmost reel. Each reel can hold a up to 7 symbols (including the Extra Reel along the top of the middle four reels), for a maximum of 117,649 ways to win – or as you know it, max megaways.
Symbols available are as BTG as you can get, and begin with 9s, 10s, Js, Qs, Ks, and As – landing 3 of a kind will see wins between 0.10 and 0.20x bet, with this value increasing to between 0.30 and 0.50x bet for 6 of a kind matches. At the premium end we have green, blue, and red gems – worth between 0.25 and 0.40x bet for 3 of a kind, up to between 0.60 and 0.80x bet for 6 of a kind. Last of the regular symbols is the highest paying symbol, the purple gem – the only symbol which pays for 2 of a kind, at a value of 1.5x bet. Land 3, 4, 5 or 6 of a kind purple gems to see wins of 2, 3, 4, or 5x bet, respectively. Finally, there is a rainbow Wild, which substitutes for all symbols except Scatters and Wild Bombs, which we'll cover below.
There's plenty of base features to wade through when we dive into Max Megaways, beginning with Reactions. On every spin, all symbols involved in a win will be removed from the reels. Any symbols directly above in the respective reels will drop down to fill the spaces, with the exception of the top Extra Reel, in which symbols will fill from the right hand side. Once all remaining symbols have dropped down, new symbols will drop into place (or appear from the right) to fill any remaining spaces. Ways to win are not altered. Additionally, Scatters will not be removed with Reactions, which continue until no more wins are formed.
In every base game spin, and every Reaction, there is a chance a base game bonus will occur. Triggered randomly, there are four potential bonuses:
- Maximum Ways – the spin is played with 7 symbols on every reel.
- Vertical Wild – all symbols on one reel are replaced with Wild symbols.
- Horizontal Wild – all symbols on the top, Extra Reel are replaced with Wild symbols.
- Wild Bomb – a Wild Bomb is added to the top, Extra Reel. After any wins are paid, all symbols except Scatters and the Wild Bomb are replaced by new symbols.
The final feature to cover for the base game is Win Exchange™. With Win Exchange, whenever you win 100x bet or more, you have the option to exchange 100x bet for 10 Free Spins. If you have won more than 100x bet, only 100x bet will be exchanged, and the remainder will be added to your Free Spins win.
If you win between 25 and 99x bet, you have the option to exchange the entire win for a chance to be awarded 10 Free Spins – by gambling. The chance of winning the gamble is represented by green on the wheel, and the chance of losing is represented by red. The higher x bet the win, the more green will be present on the wheel.
If you win Free Spins through Win Exchange, you will then have a chance to win Enhanced Free Spins. If you lose this gamble, you play through normal Free Spins – you do not lose the feature.
Max Megaways Bonus
There are two Scatters available in Max Megaways – regular Gold Scatters, and the Diamond Megascatter, similar to that of Wild Flower and Pirate Pays Megaways. Land 3 Scatters in any position to trigger 10 Free Spins, plus an additional +2 spins for every Scatter beyond the third. If one of the triggering Scatters is a Megascatter, Enhanced Free Spins are awarded.
Before Free Spins begin, players must choose doors to reveal Free Spins Bonuses. In a regular Free Spins bonus, 2 doors are chosen, but if Enhanced Free Spins have been triggered, 3 doors are chosen.
Free Spin Bonuses are as follows:
- Double Multiplier (yellow) – Multiplier increments by +x2 after every reaction.
- Duplicating Wilds (red) – Every Wild turns every symbol in the reel below it Wild.
- 2 Scatter Retrigger (green) – Two or more Scatters award +4 Free Spins.
- Increased Ways (purple) – At least 5 symbols will occur on every reel.
- No Lower Symbols (blue) – Free Spins are played with 9s, 10s, and Js removed.
During Free Spins, the win multiplier begins at x1, and increments by +1 for every Reaction. If you have revealed the Double Multiplier Bonus, your multiplier will begin at x2, and increment by +2 for every reaction. The multiplier does not reset between spins. Landing an additional 3 Scatters awards +4 Free Spins, plus an additional +4 for every Scatter beyond the third. If you have revealed the 2 Scatter Retrigger Bonus, landing 2 Scatters awards +4 Free Spins, plus an additional +4 for every Scatter beyond the second.
Players in appropriate regions can fast track things and head straight into Free Spins with a choice of two Bonus Buys:
- 75x – 10 Free Spins
- 200x – 10 Enhanced Free Spins
If this first release is anything to go by, it seems the Max Megaways trilogy will be a success for the Big Time Gaming team. The base game offers enough to keep things ticking over – not inundated with complicated features, but there's enough to keep interest piqued, and to potentially see some huge wins roll in. The reintroduction of an Enhanced Feature is more than welcome too, giving players something to strive towards.
When Free Spins begin things really kick off, and each of the Bonuses available have their value, making a noticeable difference to the game round. However, there will certainly be favourable combinations for players – at the moment, I sit in favour of Increased Ways, Duplicating Wilds and Double Multiplier – having produced the best results of the combinations I witnessed. With 10 combinations, each player will no doubt have their own favourite in no time.
Two Bonus Buys offer a solid choice for those capable of using them, but it does seem odd that the Bonus Buy is 75x bet to trigger 10 Free Spins, but Win Exchange is 100x bet. That said, I didn't manage to trigger the Win Exchange when playing in demo, so it is possible that players may be able to randomly trigger the Enhanced Feature through this.
Overall, Max Megaways really makes the most of the Megaways mechanic, offering players a solid base game, a unique Free Spins round that can feel different each time, a highly volatile maths model, and wins in excess of 100,000x bet. This is all topped off with a fixed RTP of 96.37% – music to our ears these days. If you're a fan of the Megaways mechanic, this one will definitely be for you. If you haven't been convinced yet, Max Megaways might be able to twist your arm.
*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.