Of all the ‘megas' Big Time Gaming have introduced across the years, their flagship mechanic Megaways has proved, and continues to prove, so popular that a variety of different providers have released their own Megaways editions. Thankfully, the team at Big Time Gaming don't just leave it to others to continue what they started, continuing to release their own Megaways games year after year, most recently with Gold Megaways. Now, we're taking to the high seas to battle for gold, heightened with the potential for wild reels, an enhanced bonus feature, incrementing win multipliers and wins in excess of 100,000x bet in Pirate Pays Megaways. Let's take a look at what players can expect from this high volatility release, topped off with a solid 96.23% RTP.
Visually, we're atop clear blue seas on board a magnificent pirate ship, adorned with gold details. The skies are clear and the atmosphere is friendly, so perhaps this is one of the ships we wouldn't mind calling for help if we found ourselves stranded. When we move into the free spins feature, the sun begins to set, greeting us with a picturesque setting we would be unsurprised to see framed. Symbols are fitting enough to the theme without being too distracting, making the resultant experience bright and pleasing.
Pirate Pays Megaways Base Features
Taking place across 6 reels with an additional horizontal reel across the bottom, up to 7 symbols can land on each reel. This gives a potential for up to 117,649 ways to win – with wins formed by matching at least 3 matching symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel. Symbols involved in wins include the lower paying 9, 10, J, Q, K and As, rewarding players with wins between 0.1 and o.2x bet for 3 of a kind matches, whilst landing 6 of a kind will award values between 0.5 and 0.8x bet. At the premium end symbols are (unsurprisingly) green, blue, red and purple – as classically ‘BTG' as the Megaways mechanic itself. Each premium symbol is a nautical shape with the relevant coloured gem in the centre – landing 3 of a kind green, blue or red gems will see pay outs between 0.25 and 0.5x bet, increasing to win values between 1 and 5x bet for 6 of a kind matches. Purple gems pay out at the highest level, rewarding players with 1x bet wins for 3 of a kind, up to a whopping 50x bet for 6 of a kind wins.
Wild Compass is available to land on the extra bottom reel only, and once it has landed it will reveal a direction – north, south, east or west. Bird Wilds will be added in all available positions in the chosen direction, substituting for all symbols except Wild Compass and Scatters, represented by treasure chests.
Helping to keep things moving forward during the base game is the Reactions feature, wherein every symbol involved in a winning combination is removed from the reels, allowing new symbols to fall in and take their place, for a chance to form additional wins.
Pirate Pays Megaways Bonus
Two different Scatter symbols are available within Pirate Pays Megaways – a regular gold chest Scatter that can land in any position across reels 1-6, and a purple chest Megascatter, which can only land on reel 6. Landing 3 or more Scatters in any position awards the Kraken Bonus Round.
At the beginning of the Kraken Bonus Round, 2o different free spin outcomes are shown, with one removed for each additional Scatter beyond 3 in the triggering spin. Options are:
- 6 Free Spins x1
- 8 Free Spins x1
- 7 Free Spins x3
- 10 Free Spins x1
- 7 Free Spins x5
- 12 Free Spins x1
- 10 Free Spins x3
- 7 Free Spins x8
- 10 Free Spins x5
- 8 Free Spins x8
- 7 Free Spins x10
- 8 Free Spins x10
- 10 Free Spins x8
- 10 Free Spins x9
- 12 Free Spins x8
- 18 Free Spins x5
- 15 Free Spins x10
- 25 Free Spins x3
- 25 Free Spins x5
- 25 Free Spins x10
Cannons will then remove up to 5 of these choices at random, and you will then be shown a free spin offer. This will be an offer of an amount of free spins, a starting multiplier, and an additional cash offer where necessary. You can take the free spins offer, or reject it. If rejected, cannons continue to remove choices until an offer is accepted, or until only two chests remain, at which point players much choose one of the two chests to receive their free spins feature.
Once the free spins feature begins, things work much the same way as the base game, with Wild Compass and Reactions. Alongside this, the multiplier awarded at the beginning of the free spins is simply a starting point – there is an unlimited win multiplier active which increments by +1 for every reaction. Landing 3 or 4 Scatters during any free spins feature will retrigger the feature, awarding additional +5 or +10 free spins, respectively.
If the Kraken Bonus Round is triggered with a purple chest Megascatter, an Enhanced Bonus Round is awarded, wherein the lower 10 free spin options are automatically removed at the beginning, giving players the chance to trigger any feature between 7 spins x10 multiplier and 25 spins x 10 multiplier.
The pirate theme certainly isn't a new one, but it isn't often we see such a friendly adaption of this popular choice. Big Time Gaming have chosen to ignore the standard ‘battle at sea' element, instead bringing us a calm release. We know from a studio this established that we will always be treated to superb graphics and audios, and on this front we have no complaints.
The features themselves do enough to keep things moving in the right direction, without being difficult to comprehend – Wild Compass ties into the theme well, whilst also offering the chance of full reels of wilds. There's nothing to say 4 of these symbols couldn't land side by side, giving the potential of 4 wild reels, although we haven't been lucky enough to see this so far. Moving into free spins, and the feature choice at the beginning is reminiscent of Deal or No Deal, which has proved reasonably popular over the years. This will inevitably be heightened by the fact that players need not choose which options to remove themselves, therefore eradicating any difficult decision making, but also with all 20 options being free spin options – when this feature is triggered, players are guaranteed at least 6 free spins.
Triggering the highest possible outcome of 25 spins x10 will undoubtably pay off for those lucky enough to do so, particularly when considering the multiplier continues to increment by +1 for every reaction – which incidentally is one of the best parts of a Megaways release. The enhanced round doesn't play out differently, instead giving somewhat of a head start, which is good news for players who don't trigger the enhanced bonus round – the potential remains the same, should you then be lucky enough to land one of the top 10 options. Of course, on the other side of this coin players may be disappointed to trigger the Enhanced round and receive a lower free spin feature than in their regular bonus.
As with all BTG releases, Pirate Pays Megaways is statistically solid – RTP is a nice 96.23%, volatility is high, and wins in excess of 100,000x bet are available, making this a great addition to their catalogue, even whilst not being groundbreaking.
*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.