|Game Type:||Video slot|
|Bet Levels:||0.20 - 20|
Western Gold Megaways is the latest video slot created by iSoftbet, and is set to be released in September this year. The game plays over 6 reels, against the backdrop of a classic western saloon, and offers up to 117,649 paylines. This video slot is considered a follow up to the highly rated, Aztec Gold Megaways, released by the same software provider in December 2019.
While Western Gold Megaways employs the same layout and number of betways as its predecessor, the game is less volatile and offers lower payouts – attributes that will conjure up mixed feelings amongst avid players. However, the game does come with a few enhanced features such as the Bonus Buy-in option.
As its title suggests, the slot features the increasingly popular ‘Wild West’ theme. Western Gold Megaways forges its own path though, and gives the theme a refreshing makeover by incorporating cartoon-style HD graphics and a slightly upbeat western rhythm. The result is a western-themed Megaways video slot with a cheerful vibe that doesn’t feel as heavy and serious as its western contenders.
Symbols & Payouts
The number of symbols that reflect on each reel varies with each spin. To land a winning combination a player must hit at least 3 adjacent matching symbols, starting at the first reel. The game uses symbols which draw on the theme for inspiration.
The lowest paying symbols are made up of the regular royals: 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A, with pays ranging from 0.2x up to 3x the stake when a winning combination is formed. On the high end of the spectrum the symbols consist of the spurs, hip flasks, cowboy hats, and pistols, in ascending order. Landing 6 of the coveted pistols pays 25x the bet, and the maximum win on a single spin is capped at 12,000x the bet.
The scatter symbol is represented by a Sheriff’s badge, while the Wild symbol is labelled ‘Wild’ and easy to identify. The wild icon appears on reels 2 to 5, and substitutes for all symbols except the scatter. Wild symbols have no worth if they don’t substitute for another symbol, but when they appear they significantly increase the chances of hitting a winning combination, which makes them quite valuable.
The Cascading Reels feature forms part of the base game and sets off a chain reaction every time a winning combination lands. Once the payout has been allocated, all the symbols involved in the win explode, leaving gaps on the screen. The empty slots are filled by new symbols, giving the player another opportunity to strike a winning combination. This can result in consecutive payouts on a single spin. The process continues until no new winning combinations are hit. Players must then hit the spin button to continue betting.
The highlight of the game is the Western Gold Respins feature. The feature is triggered when 5 or more scatters appear anywhere on the reels. When this happens the scatter symbols become locked on the screen and all the other symbols fall away. The feature begins with 3 spins, which are represented by 3 bullets in the gun chamber to the left of the screen. Each time a scatter symbols lands, the number of spins is reset to 3.
The goal during the Respins feature is to fill an entire reel with scatter symbols. This activates all the scatters on that reel. When this happens, the ‘sheriff’s badge’ above the reel will reveal a value, and all the scatters in the reel will be multiplied by that value. The fixed jackpots also come into play during the feature, with the Mini, Major, and Mega jackpot paying out 10x, 25x, and 50x the bet respectively.
At the end of the feature, all the scatter values on the screen are multiplied by the player’s bet value which results in some astronomical wins, especially if the major jackpot scatter has been hit. Western Gold Megaways also offers a Lock-in feature, as well as a Bonus Buy-in feature that costs 50x the bet, guarantees a Bonus Feature, and increases the RTP to 97%.
Verdict: Western Gold Megaways
The fact that Western Gold Megaways is less volatile than most Megaways slots, combined with the low starting buy-in of 0.20 per spin, will make this slot accessible to a larger group of gamers. The addition of the Bonus Buy-in feature at the reasonable price of 50x the bet definitely adds to the slot’s appeal – not to mention the increased RTP of 97% when the buy-in is selected.
The animated HD graphics and fun tune make the game pleasant and results in an engaging session. The Respin Feature has a decent length and the excitement builds as the scatters pile up. Many players might be put off by the lack of special features, and others will be relieved to find a Megaways Slot that doesn’t feel overcrowded. Overall, the game is a good follow up to Aztec Gold. It provides a few enhanced features and a relatively unique experience.