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Updated: 13th Jan 2020
Our Slot of the Month for December 2018 is Vikings Unleashed Megaways by Blueprint Gaming, the latest in a series of releases using the Megaways technology licensed from Big Time Gaming. The RTP is 96.5% and it can be played at spin values ranging from 20p to £10.
There are a great many Viking themed slot games around at the moment including the official Netflix series tie-in from Net Ent and Vikings Go To Hell and its two prequels by Yggdrasil; what sets Vikings Unleashed Megaways apart from the rest of them (just as you’d expect from any game that is anything to do with Big Time Gaming) is its insanely high variance. The graphics are OK but nothing special.
Vikings Unleashed Megaways works very much like Bonanza and other Megaways slots. The 6 reel array can show up to 7 symbols per reel and together with the extra positions above reels 2-5, this can produce up to 117, 649 ways to win. The reels cascade after a win; winning symbols explode, the rest of the symbols drop down (or move to the left in the case of the 4 positions above the reels) and fresh symbols drop in.
The Wild symbol in this game only appears in the 4 positions above the reels, not on the reels themselves but there’s also a special symbol, the Hammer, that can appear anywhere. All Hammer symbols that stop on the reels transform into the same random other symbol (but not a scatter).
As with all Megaways slots, although it is possible to score decent wins in the base game with 5 or 6 of a kind, the real excitement lies in the bonus round. If you can’t be bothered to wait for it, there’s a big red button marked “Freespins Unleashed – Press To Buy” which initiates another feature borrowed from Big Time Gaming slots – the ability to buy the bonus round. It’s not that simple though as there are 4 different options priced at 25x, 50x, 75x and 100x bet for 5, 8, 10 and 12 free spins respectively – the last being what you would start with if you waited for the bonus round to be triggered in the usual way by 4 scatter symbols.
Once you have chosen how many free spins to buy (or triggered the bonus round in the regular way), you then get to gamble for extra spins and/or a bigger starting multiplier – all the way up to the maximum of 27 free spins starting with a 10x multiplier. This type of feature was first introduced in Big Time Gaming’s Extra Chilli slot, but in Vikings Unleashed Megaways it has been made more elaborate as you gamble for one spin or multiplier at a time. Lose the gamble at any point and you’ll return to the base game with no free spins at all.
Once the free spins start, every cascade win increases the multiplier by 1 (so it can go up several times in one spin if there are repeat cascades). This results in the type of bonus round where the really big wins are likely to come right at the end.
The more free spins the player starts with, the more likely this is to happen and while it is possible to collect 5 or 10 extra free spins during the bonus round if 3 or 4 scatter symbols show up in the positions above reels 2, 3, 4 and 5, this is a low probability event. Trying to get up to the maximum of 27 free spins and/or advancing the multiplier by using the gamble feature repeatedly opens up the possibility of huge wins but it is also risky. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, the original Megaways game Bonanza offers a similar playing experience but without any option to buy or gamble the bonus round. These features, which offer the option to supercharge the variance of what is already a high variance game, are certainly not for the faint hearted!
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