Star Clusters Megaclusters
Get ready for the arrival of a new reel mechanic on the slot from Big Time Gaming. Will Star Clusters Megaclusters be the start of a renewed frenzy to match the popularity of their Megaways games? It surely is a departure of what we have seen coming from the Australian studio since they introduced Megaways at the end of 2015. As casino lobbies seem to be bursting with such games lately, BTG originals or produced under licence, it is not overly surprising to see the Sydney-based developer attempting to start the euphoria all over again. Time will tell whether it will be indeed another trendsetter.
The new Megaclusters concept comes equipped with cascading symbols that divide into four smaller symbols after a win, cluster pays, reactive wins, progressive multipliers and a free spins round played on a double-sized grid that can lead to wins in excess of 20,000 times your bet.
You can try this slot exclusively for one week at Betfair starting 17th June 2020. The global release is scheduled for 24th June 2019.
|Deposit Bonus||30 No-Deposit FS + Bet £20 get 100 FS No Wagering|
|No Deposit Offer|
|Bonus available||Valid until further notice|
|Time to meet requirements||7|
|Operator||PPB Counterparty Services Ltd.|
|Max bet size||£5|
|Deposit bonus||No limits|
|No deposit max cashout||N/A|
|Deposit Bonus||No wagering|
|Free spins||No wagering|
Star Clusters Megaclusters is a cascading grid slot with a 4×4 format in the base game and an 8×8 size in the free spins. Wins are paid for clusters of five or more matching symbols landing connected horizontally or vertically (more to that shortly). You can reach for the stars on desktop or mobile from 0.20 to 20 credits per spin. The game has high volatility with an RTP of 96.54%.
As usual on BTG slots, the visuals are not real feasts for the eye but they are crisp and modern. A simple yellowish background is overlayed with a square game window held in a golden frame. Displays for the round progress on either side and the current wild multiplier should get your attention as they play a significant role in scoring big wins. The audio is a mix of reel sounds, EDM tracks and 80s computer games.
The pay symbols can be slightly confusing as they are all gems, albeit in different shapes, sizes and colours. At the low end, they are turquoise, yellow, orange and green, awarding 10x to 20x your bet for a cluster of 25+ symbols. They are followed by blue, red and purple gems at the high level. Hitting 25+ clusters will yield 25x, 30x and 50x your stake respectively.
There are two star wild symbols, a rainbow-coloured star and a gold star. While the former substitutes for all other symbols bar the gold star wild, the latter does so for any symbol and also activates a progressive multiplier (more to that shortly). The game has no scatters.
Star Clusters Megaclusters Slot Features
One can only imagine the brainstorming sessions at BTG HQ when they started looking at something that would maybe not outright replace Megaways but give them another blockbuster mechanic to add to their portfolio. Sticking to one concept will at some point become overused, especially since BTG licensed Megaways to about a dozen other game studios. The result is Megaclusters, which, I guess, you could call a grid slot on steroids, similar to how Megaways boosted standard reel slots.
At the core of the Megaclusters mechanic are cascading symbols and reactive wins similar to any other grid slot. To start a round, you will have 16 symbols dropping onto the 4×4 grid. Wins are awarded for clusters of five or more matching symbols landing horizontally or vertically connected. In a first step after the initial win is paid, each winning symbol will be replaced by four smaller random pay symbols or wilds, giving you the potential for maximum 16×4 = 64 symbols in the base game. Any new wins occurring will shatter and disappear after which the remaining symbols will drop down and new symbols cascade into the empty spaces. Don’t be surprised to see the background colours change as they adapt to the gem colour in the current winning cluster. The reactions will continue as long as more winning clusters land after a cascade. All split symbol positions will be reset to the default before the next spin sequence.
Boosting your wins are the Gold Wilds and the progressive multiplier, which starts at x1 and increases by x1 every time one or two Gold Wilds land in a winning cluster, no limits. However, only wins containing a Gold Wild will benefit from the multiplier. Should you have two Gold Wilds in a winning cluster, then they are multiplied by each other. In the base game, the multiplier will reset at the end of a spin.
Hitting five or more winning reactions in one spin sequence will trigger the Free Spins feature. Keep an eye on the indicators on the side of the game window to follow the progress. You will get 2 free spins for five reactions and an additional +1 free spin for each reaction thereafter. Before the round starts, the grid will increase to an 8×8 size, giving you a potential to have 256 symbols in play if you manage to split all 64 symbols into four. Plus, any accrued Gold Wild Multiplier is carried over into the round and will further increase following the same principle as in the base game, no limits. However, it won’t reset at the end of a free spin and will instead keep growing until the feature concludes. Should the Gold Wild Multiplier reach a multiple of 10, e.g. 10x, 20x etc, then it will retrigger +2 free spins, again no limits.
Well, the slot kitchen must have been rather busy at BTG headquarters as Star Clusters Megaclusters is indeed quite the departure from BTG’s usual game designs. If memory serves me right, it is their first grid slot ever. Trust the team to come up with some sophisticated twists and turns that will make it stand out from the crowd and just might be their next big thing, after all, it is in their company name Big Time Gaming.
Slot connoisseurs will probably point to Yggdrasil’s PopRocks slot which has been developed in collaboration with partner studio Avatar UX and comes with a similar splitting mechanic where more symbols are added to the game grid as a spin sequence progresses. While the two concepts look the same at first sight, they do have substantial differences in the gameplay.
Only time will tell, what path is destined for Megaclusters games. We will know more once Star Clusters is released in June 2020, probably again first as an exclusive at a handpicked casino before the entire gaming mob can have a go at it. Some players might need some time though to get used to the rather small symbol sizes once they are split.
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