Christmas, the Season of Goodwill, Possibly Not in the Festive Themed Scrooge Megaways Slot?
Mr Vegas Casino and Videoslots casino are preparing to add the latest in the Twisted Tale series of slots from iSoftBet to their casino. This time around, we get an appearance from the classic tale of Scrooge just in time for the Christmas period in the Scrooge Megaways slot.
Scrooge Megaways is scheduled for release on the 30th of November 2021, but you may also be able to get an earlier exclusive peek of this slot over Mr Green Casino ahead of the official launch date!
The classic tale of Scrooge might be seen as a potential hazardous decision when making an online slot, but let's be clear the focus and theme here is that we will be taking money away from Scrooge hopefully, and this isn't just a tight slot that never pays!
Scrooge Megaways - Base Gameplay
As the title suggests, the Scrooge Megaways slot relies heavily on the Megaways payline system. In terms of design, this is a reasonably standard megaways system giving a maximum total of 117,649 ways to win in the base game.
There is a lack of a top tracker, which was a fairly standard feature on slots such as Bonanza. Instead of on Scrooge Megaways, you have the text Past, Present, Future, which is just an indication of the stake based "Scrooge themed Jackpots" rewards that are on offer and their values.
The base gameplay is standard vanilla megaways with cascading wins, dropping in new symbols and a random number of ways created each spin thanks to the Megaways system.
There is the addition of a randomly activated feature called Hauntings Of Christmas which offers two unique features. The first is a guaranteed max megaways spin. The second adds additional scatters to the reels, increasing but not guaranteeing your chance of a bonus trigger.
The bonus round is, of course, the primary source of big wins on this machine and requires five or more of the Scatter symbols to trigger. Rather than a regular free spins round with rising multipliers, you have a Scrooge Respins feature that plays out in a very similar style to the Aztec Gold Megaways slot.
Scrooge Megaways is being pitched as a medium to high variance machine with an in house volatility rating of 7/10. The max win seems to be capped at 12,000x, and with a hit frequency of 32.3%, you can expect regular and frequent wins.
The premium Scrooge symbol pays out 25x stake in the base game for a 6 of a kind win, but also factor in with Megaways this can be multiple winning payline combinations as well.
Triggering the bonus round requires five or more of the special scatter symbols, which are easily identified with number multipliers and gold edges such as 1x, 2x, 3x marked on them, but can also include the higher value Past, Present, Future symbols which are worth 10x, 25x and 50x respectively.
In the screenshot shown above, we have 4 scatter symbols in play. The "scatter tease animation" is showing in the empty symbol areas in anticipation for a 5th scatter symbol to drop into view, which will signal a Scrooge Respins bonus round trigger.
The Hauntings Of Christmas feature can occur randomly during any spin in the base game, signalled by the screenshot shown above.
Scrooge will then select one of the two different modifiers. The first will add more Scatter symbols onto the reels to increase the chance to trigger the bonus round. Although this still doesn't guarantee a bonus trigger, it simply increases your chances.
The second mini-feature here is a Max Megaways spin with 117,649 ways in play, so all reels will have the maximum number of symbols on them, increasing your chances of a win or several wins thanks to the cascading symbols.
The Scrooge Respins is the main bonus feature on this slot, triggered by landing five or more of the scatter symbols from the base game.
This feature differs significantly from a regular free spins round. You are awarded three initial spins with the number of available spaces on the reels fixed as they appeared on the triggering spin.
In essence, this means the more Megaways that are in play on the bonus trigger spin, the better as it provides more places for the scatter symbols to land during the bonus round.
During this bonus feature, the reel strips are replaced with scatter symbols and blanks, every time a scatter symbol lands in view, it is held on the reels, and the respin counter will reset back to 3.
This process continues until either the reels are full or you have three dead spins, and no new scatters land in view.
Above each reel is a multiplier equal to the number of spaces on that reel this is decided on the triggering spins.
If you manage to completely fill an entire reel with Scatters symbols during the Scrooge Respins then the multiplier will activate and immediately multiply all the values on that reel.
This feature is easy to track given the extra-bright golden border that is applied once the multipliers are activated.
In addition to the regular Scatter bet multiplier values such as the 1x, 2x, 3x values, it is also possible to land higher rewards thanks to the Past, Present & Future Jackpot symbols.
These are worth 10x, 25x and 50x bet respectively, factor in that these can also get multipliers by the Reel Multipliers.
For example, the future symbol worth 50x stake normally, can be multiplied by 7x by a full reel multiplier, boosting its value to a much more impressive 350x value (7*50).
Potentially this could occur on multiple reels with multiple jackpot symbols as well.
In countries where still permitted, there is a bonus buy option. This is stake based and will bypass the base game triggering the Scrooge Respins feature immediately.
The cost of this feature is 50x the current stake and should give you a fair indication of the average bonus round wins based on this cost to buy.
In our playtests, we played at €4 stake making the bonus buy feature cost €200.
The theoretical maximum win for the Scrooge Megaways Slot is 12,000x bet, This looks to be capped win limit, most likely from a combination of many jackpot Symbols and reel multipliers during the Scrooge Respins feature.
The maximum total win in a single game is capped at 240,000 coins
Scrooge Megaways Slot Review
Scrooge Megaways Overall Opinions
The Scrooge Megaways slot from iSoftBet is another visually superb release in the Twisted Tale series of slots, with Moriarty Megaways being possibly our favourite from this series of slots.
While the visuals are top-notch, the gameplay seems somewhat laboured with nothing really new or unique in terms of special features, its vanilla megaways with an even more, cut down bonus round feature.
A megaways slot looking to fill a medium to high variance niche will always be a tough slot to balance well. Generally, they tend to be high variance with insane multipliers. The bonus buy option on Scrooge costing just 50x stake gives you a rough idea of what you will be expecting to win during this bonus feature.
Of course, there is potential given the multipliers that can be awarded for filling reels during the Scrooge Respins. Still, the bonus rounds generally feel lacklustre, with 1x and 4x wins accumulating and occasionally filling a reel and getting these multiplied. The benchmark for those respin style bonus round has to be the Money Train 2 series, is the gameplay isn’t close to as engaging as this, then it’s below par.
We didn’t want to make obvious references to this slot feeling tight given the Scrooge Name, but after testing numerous bonus buys, it seems winning your stake or more back is rarer than Christmas on this machine. The mechanics during this process are just not engaging enough to make it fun. Even the jackpot prizes aren’t that exciting when they land unless they get multiplied. 50x in the current high variance climate doesn’t get many people excited.
Visually it’s the usual high quality we now expect from iSoftbet. Still, in terms of gameplay, it needed way more impacting features to be an engaging Christmas slot to recommend playing and a title you will go back to play after the Christmas season.
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