88 Fortunes Megaways Slot
The 88 Fortunes Megaways slot by Shuffle Master is not only their debut to the Megaways-scene but also a reworking of their 2016 original.
88 Fortunes Megaways is a highly volatile Chinese themed slot using the Megaways™ engine to produce up to 117,649 ways to win. Each reel delivers between 2 and 7 symbols per spin and 3 or more identical symbols on adjacent reels from the leftmost reel award a cash prize. Winning symbols are removed from the board and replaced by cascading symbols.
As with most Megaways™ slots, the biggest wins come from a free spins round with increasing win multipliers. You can also greatly increase your potential winnings by opting to play with up to 5 high-value golden symbols added to the board.
In keeping with the Chinese tradition, there is plenty of usage for their lucky number 8. This includes the potential bet sizes which range from €0.08 to €88 per spin. You can play 88 Fortune Megaways™ from 23rd November 2019.
Design & Symbols
Shuffle Master has kept the main design elements of the original slot, using the same symbols, the same characters, and the same colour scheme (red). The gameboard is framed with elaborate gold detailing and is 6 reels across with an additional horizontal reel underneath reels 2-5. Above the gameboard is a Chinese money bowl, overflowing with gold coins. To the right of the gameboard are a horizontal row of buttons where the player chooses how many of the gold premium symbols they which to play. These choices are shown in the symbol table to the left of the gameboard. As you would expect, a pleasing Chinese, plinky-plonky tune accompanies the play.
Low-value symbols are the standard 9-A playing card values. Higher value symbols are ingots, turtles, junks, a jade sculpture of a bird and a golden platter. The 4 optional even higher value gold symbols are simply golden versions of the ingots, turtles, junks, and jade birds. The highest symbol is the golden jade bird, worth a little over 11x the bet size. The wild symbol is known as a ‘Fu Bat’ – the reason being that in Chinese, the word ‘Fu’ translates as both ‘Bat’ and ‘Luck’ – hence the symbol featuring four red bats on a blue background. The scatter symbol is a gong on a green background.
- Cascading symbols with Reaction Wins
- Golden Symbols
- Picker Feature
- Free Spins with Unlimited Win Multipliers,
After a win lands, the winning symbols disappear to be replaced by symbols cascading from above. Any new win created by this process allows the cycle to repeat – this is known as a ‘reaction win’. The cycle continues until no new reaction win is formed at which point a new spin begins
As previously mentioned there is an option to pick up to 5 golden symbols (if you choose not to, the golden platter is the highest value symbol). Playing at the minimum bet level per spin see below the incremental cost for the addition of extra golden symbols;
- One gold symbol (standard) = 0.08
- Two gold symbols = 0.18
- Three gold symbols = 0.38
- Four gold symbols = 0.68
- Five gold symbols = 0.88
The more golden symbols you play with, the higher the overall RTP which rises from 96.06% to 96.27%.
Each time a Fu Bat (wild symbol) lands a handful of gold coins sweep up across the reels into the coin bowl on top of the gameboard. This action can randomly activate a picker feature in which the screen transforms into a grid with 15 large gold coins. Underneath each coin is one of three characters, each representing a different number of free spins with a different win multiplier. The three characters represent the following spins/multipliers;
- 10 free spins starting with a 6x multiplier
- 12 free spins starting with a 4x multiplier
- 15 free spins starting with a 2x multiplier
Whichever character is first to be picked three times determines which of the above free spins options is awarded. During free spins the Picker Feature operates as in the base game except without the additional win multipliers.
Free Spins with Unlimited Win Multipliers
Other than via the picker feature, free spins are awarded for landing 4 or more scatter symbols. 4, 5, or 6 scatters award 8, 10, or 12 free spins. 3 or more scatters retrigger free spins during the bonus round with 3, 4, 5, or 6 scatters awarding 8, 10, 12, or 15 additional spins respectively.
The cascading reels also play out during the bonus round only this time with each reaction win a win multiplier is added. The multiplier remains even when the cascading win streak ends. Each subsequent win adds to the win multiplier until the free spins are complete.
Our Thoughts on 88 Fortunes Megaways
Anyone who enjoyed the original 88 Fortunes should be right on board with the Megaways™ version as it sticks very close to the original in terms of design and theme, only with a rocket-fuelled game engine. The one thing which is missing which could put off a few punters are the generous jackpots on offer from the 2016 release – other than that I view this release as an upgrade in almost every way.
It is highly volatile so be careful how high you choose to bet, especially if you’re intending to play a few of the golden symbols because the cost per spin really adds up fast.
Asian themed games are very popular so it seems like a smart move from Shuffle Master to offer a Megaways™ version of 88 Fortunes, and with the potential to deliver a 10,000x win, you can be sure plenty will flock to give it a try.
Design-wise this is nothing special, but the beauty of giving a Megaways™ upgrade to an existing slot is that it is supposed to resemble the original so the addition of super HD animations or cutting edge graphics isn’t expected in any case.
This is a decent first Megaways release from Shuffle Master. Playing it safe and going safe with an already familiar and popular slot is, in my opinion, a smart move.
If you’re into trying out familiar games which have been treated to a Megaways™ upgrade then why not try NextGen’s Medusa Megaways™, Rainbow Riches Megaways™ by Barcrest, or Blueprint’s Return of Kong Megaways™?