Opal Fruits Slot
Big Time Gaming is back with another innovation with their latest offering; the Opal Fruits slot, released on 29th May 2019 exclusive to the SG Digital Network.
Opal Fruits has a retro space arcade game feel with fruity symbols and comes with 5,625 ways to pay. It has a unique 3x5x5x5x3 symbol set up, is of medium/high variance and comes with an RTP of 96.75%.
The configuration of the reels doesn’t follow Big Time Gaming’s Megaways™ mechanic but instead uses another trademarked set-up they call Triple Reaction™. The main 6x3 reel set is a traditional affair with reels spinning vertically downwards.
Both above and below reels 2, 3, 4, and 5 there are additional rows containing 4 symbols which spin horizontally. The top row spins from left to right, the bottom from right to left. Megaways™ fans are used to a horizontal reel of four symbols appearing either above or below the main reel set, but the Triple Reaction™ is new to us all.
The game has good potential in both the base and bonus games. The base game contains wild multipliers on the additional reels which can combine and multiply for some huge wins. The bonus game is a free spins round with increasing win multipliers with scope for multiple retriggers. With a max win possible of 36,000x the stake this is another BTG game with heaps of potential.
Opal Fruits is suitable for most bankrolls and is playable from €0.10 to €20 per spin at participating casinos.
Design & Symbols
The first thing to note is that the background colours and animations are very reminiscent of those in NetEnt’s Starburst.
I only mention this because as a Brit of a certain age I grew up in a time and place where the packet of chewy fruit flavoured sweets now known as Starburst was then called Opal Fruits.
It seems someone at BGT has a devilish sense of humour. Then again it’s a retro game; why not use a retro name?
Moving on, the design is fairly straightforward but effective. The gameboard is surrounded by a transparent facia in the shape of an old portable TV screen, perhaps representing a dashboard or viewing panel out into space on the spacecraft on which the player is presumably travelling.
During the bonus round the board and its surrounds hurtle through space, with familiar ‘hyperspace’ style animations from yesteryear. The soundtrack matches the mid 80’s arcade vibe of the slot, incorporating classic samples from games such as Defender and Robotron.
The music is described by BTG as “Daft Punk-esque”, and that’s pretty much spot on.
The reels and symbols themselves are quite familiar to BGT players and are in the same set-up and style as those in Bonanza or Extra Chilli – only with one extra additional reel.
Low-value symbols are the standard royals 9-A while high-value symbols are the fruits; pears, plums, melons, and grapes. Grapes are the highest value symbol with 6 adjacent symbols awarding 50x the bet size – a full 50x more than the next highest value symbol, the melon.
In fact, you’ll usually find melons paying more than grapes in a fruity set-up but BTG simply ADORE making purple symbols the highest paying, so they had to swap them!
The wild is a multi-coloured disc which can come with a 3x multiplier on the horizontal reels, and the scatters are letters spelling the word ‘FREE’
Both the base game and the bonus game benefit from ‘reactions’ whereby winning combos are replaced by cascading symbols. The base game also enjoys wild multipliers while the bonus game comes with increasing win multipliers and re-triggerable free spins.
This may not be a Megaways™ game, but it does share a fair bit of its make-up with the popular slot series, and reaction wins are one of them. Often known as ‘Cascade wins’, when a win lands, the symbols making up the win disappear and new symbols cascade into their place. A new win created by the cascade repeats the cycle which continues to repeat until no new win is created.
Wilds appear only on the horizontal rows above and below the main 6x3 reel set and often appear with a 3x multiplier. If 3x multipliers land on both the top and bottom rows on the same vertical then they will be ADDED together to create a 6x multiplier. However, multiplier wilds on different vertical reels are MULTIPLIED together. Therefore if 3x multiplier wilds landed as all 4 symbols on the top and bottom rows then a 1,296x multiplier could be applied to a win! Although wilds are in play in both the base and bonus games, multiplier wilds are exclusive to the base game.
Opal Fruits Free Spins
Landing 4 scatters to spell ‘FREE’ activates the bonus round and awards 10 free spins. If one additional scatter lands, the bonus round will start with a 5x win multiplier. Any further scatters landed on the triggering spin will increase the win multiplier by 10x.
During free spins, each win landed will increase the win multiplier for further wins by 1x. When the win multiplier reaches 10x 5 additional free spins are awarded. Furthermore, there are no limits on the number of times these free spins can be retriggered. As each spin can result in multiple wins via the reaction win mechanic, many extra free spins can be awarded
Our Thoughts on Opal Fruits
Opal Fruits is another thoroughly enjoyable romp of a slot from Big Time Gaming. It’s a subtle move away from Megaways™ but similar enough to be familiar to fans of the popular mechanic. With 5,625 ways to win and 36,000x potential, there is still enough going on to satisfy almost any slot fan.
In fact, in many ways, we enjoyed Opal Fruits a tad more than some Megaways™ creations. The base game isn’t just a grind to the free spins, with those 3x multiplier wilds really spicing things up.
It is, however, the free spins round where the most hay is made. We’re certainly familiar with most aspects of this round (reaction wins, increasing win multipliers etc.), but I found the method of triggering additional free spins very agreeable and eminently achievable.
Of course, we’re not suggesting you’ll win more on Opal Fruits than any other slot bearing a similar RTP, but the way the spins retrigger seems more engaging than most and certainly helped keep up the excitement levels.
The new Triple Reaction™ mechanic is a smart innovation for sure. It’ll never be as game-changing as Megaways™, but at this stage, it’s often going to be about the subtle changes and innovations which move things forward. And it certainly seems that for now at least, it’s Big Time Gaming who are really pushing the envelope.