The idea of magic has always been a intriguing one for people worldwide. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, there was a period of time known as the ‘Early Modern Witchcraft Craze', where widespread fear, superstition and belief in witchcraft was rife. As a result, people suspected of witchcraft were persecuted and often tortured or murdered.
Of course, popular opinion changes, and Harry Potter is now the highest-selling book series ever written, having sold more than 500 million copies – proof that we don't quite regard the idea of witchcraft as so frightening anymore, but rather entertaining.
Pragmatic Play are tapping into this intrigue today as they bring us another in a long list of Megaways releases. Over the years, more of these games have been released than we can quite count, with Pragmatic Play being responsible for a great number of them. Now, this team are leaving behind the buzz of Sticky Bees to bring us Power of Merlin Megaways.
With RTP options available up to 96.09%, this highly (5/5) volatile release can produce wins up to 40,000x bet.
We're in a forest today, with no better word to describe it than ‘enchanted'. A pale blue light casts a shadow over the dark green foliage, as various artefacts and sculptures shine brightly – including a sculpture of a man with a sceptre. All of the rest of the attention is given to the reels, with owls, potion bottles, flaming books, wands, sceptres, crystal balls, and Merlin sitting proudly upon them.
An upbeat and magical tune comes in to tie it all together. It's not the most striking of any releases we've seen, but it paints a nice picture.
Power of Merlin Megaways Base Features
Taking place across 6 reels, wins are formed on Power of Merlin Megaways by matching 2 or 3 symbols across adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel. Each reel can hold up to 7 symbols, including the top row across reels 2-5, producing 117,649 ways to win. Symbols available begin with non premiums, with 9s, 10s, Js, Qs, Ks and As, awarding wins between 0.10 and 0.20x bet for 3 of a kind matches, increasing to values between 0.60 and 1.50x bet for 6 of a kind wins.
At the premium end there are potion bottles, sceptres and owls, awarding wins between 0.25 and 0.50x bet for 3 of a kind matches, increasing to values between 2 and 5x bet for 6 of a kind wins. Merlin is the highest paying symbol and the only to pay for 2 of a kind, awarding wins between 0.50 and 20x bet for matches between 2 and 6 of a kind.
Finally, crystal balls act as Wild Symbols and substitute for all symbols except Scatters and Lightning Bolt symbols. Wild symbols can land on reels 2-6.
There are a couple of different things to cover in Power of Merlin Megaways, beginning with Tumbles. On every spin, all symbols involved in a win will be removed from the reels with all remaining symbols dropping down to the bottommost position on their respective reels.
New symbols will then drop in from above to fill all remaining gaps, with tumbles continuing until no new wins are formed.
Unlike many Pragmatic releases, Power of Merlin Megaways has no Ante Bet, which means players will just have to wait for Free Spins to land with no opportunity to increase this chance.
Free Spins will land on average 1 in 418 spins.
Next up is the Lightning Bolt Feature. Lightning Bolt symbols can only land on the top row above reels 2-5, and they do not hold any win value themselves.
However, when a Lightning Bolt symbol lands in view, it will activate the Lightning Bolt Feature.
Whenever this feature is activated, either at the start of the spin or as a result of a tumble, all instances of one random paying symbol on reels 2-5 will be replaced with Wild symbols.
Only the instances on reels 2-5 will be replaced – reels 1 and 6 will remain unaffected.
If as a result of a tumble the Lightning Bolt symbol moves to a different position on the top row, it will activate the Lightning Bolt Feature again and replace all instances of another symbol on reels 2-5 with Wild symbols.
Once the Lightning Bolt symbol has reached the far left position of the top row, it will be removed with tumbles.
Power of Merlin Megaways Bonus
Land 4 or more Scatter symbols to trigger Free Spins:
- 4 Scatter Symbols – 10 spins
- 5 Scatter Symbols – 14 spins
- 6 Scatter Symbols – 18 spins
- 7 Scatter Symbols – 22 spins
- 8 Scatter Symbols – 26 spins
- 9 or more Scatter Symbols – 30 spins
If fewer than 30 spins are awarded, it is possible to gamble for additional spins – up to a maximum of 30 spins.
Players will have to gamble to progress to the next number of possible spins, but can collect at any point.
If the gamble loses, all spins are lost and the bonus round will end.
- When gambling from 10 to 14 spins the chance of winning is 63.10%
- When gambling from 14 to 18 spins the chance of winning is 69.37%
- When gambling from 18 to 22 spins the chance of winning is 73.95%
- When gambling from 22 to 26 spins the chance of winning is 76.58%
- When gambling from 26 to 30 spins the chance of winning is 78.92%
During Free Spins a win multiplier becomes active, increasing by +1 for each winning tumble. After each tumble, the active win multiplier is applied to the total win.
There is no upper limit to how high the win multiplier can climb.
Aside from this, the Lightning Bolt Feature remains possible to activate in Free Spins, and landing 3 Scatter symbols will award an additional +4 spins.
Buy Free Spins
Players in appropriate regions can skip straight to the action with the option to Buy Free Spins, wherein for a cost of 150x bet, players are guaranteed entry to Free Spins with 4, 5, 6 or 7 Scatters randomly.
When using Buy Free Spins, players still have the opportunity to gamble, although any gamble lost will forfeit all spins. In the 96.09% setting, RTP is 96.08% when using Buy Free Spins.
The maximum win available in Power of Merlin Megaways is 40,000x bet. If the sum of a single game round exceeds this, the game round will end and 40,000x bet will be awarded.
There's nothing overtly unique in Power of Merlin Megaways. We've all seen the Megaways mechanic before, although it is, at this point, worth pointing out that it remains as popular as ever. The theme and features are also fairly common, relying on tumbles, Wild symbols and a win multiplier to amp things up.
In the base game, Wilds and tumbles do enough work to keep things ticking over – not offering a great deal of excitement most of the time, but not any less than other Megaways releases on the market.
When Free Spins and the win multiplier kick in things get considerably more exciting, with no upper limit on how high the multiplier can climb and up to 30 spins available for those willing to gamble.
Combine this with tumbles, up to 117,649 ways to win and the Lightning Bolt Feature, and it's easy to see how big wins can happen. When the right combinations occur, wins are possible up to 40,000x bet – much higher than one might expect from this team.
Finally, maths is highly (5/5) volatile, and RTP options are available up to 96.09%, so as always it's worth checking this. If you're a fan of the Megaways mechanic and the chance to gamble for additional spins, Power of Merlin Megaways could be for you.
*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.