Extra Chilli Slot Review
The word innovator gets easily thrown around in the interactive gaming space, but it most certainly applies to Australia’s Big Time Gaming. It is the company behind the Megaways engine, which it licenses to several other top providers such as NetEnt and Relax Gaming. Though Big Time Gaming has been active in the industry for a decade, they only have less than fifty slots to their name. Extra Chilli, which came out in April of 2018, is their third-most-popular product behind Bonanza and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Like those two, it also utilizes the Megaways engine. In the first year of its release, Extra Chilli managed to maintain a top ten ranking. Though it has now fallen out of the top 100, it is still quite popular. Let us look into why.
Theme & Design
As its name suggests, the theme here is chili peppers (not the band). Since their origin can be traced back to Mexico some 6,000 years ago, Mexican culture is a big part of this game. The soundtrack here features upbeat Mariachi-style music. You can hear La Cucaracha playing as the reels spin inside a food vendor’s cart that has bundles of garlic and peppers hanging on each side. The backdrop seems to be a food market or a festival setting of some sort. There’s a Mexican bell tower in the background, along with other carts peddling food and clothing. Though there are no people in view, you can hear chatter in Spanish when you are not spinning.
It’s daytime during the base game, but the sky switches to night-time once you enter the bonus round. The game utilizes 3D graphics, made to look painterly. It is a unique visual feel that we like. When playing on a desktop computer, all the buttons are on the right side of your screen. On a mobile phone, they move to the bottom. The Feature Drop option is at the top of this stack, followed by the bet-adjusters. On the bottom of the set is the spin button, the largest one of all. Above it are the auto-spin button and the settings ones. What we found annoying is that there is no mute button in Extra Chilli. You have to enter the settings page and turn off the sound in the options tab. Also, Big Time Gaming could update the design of this panel. The beveled-edged look seems a bit outdated.
Specs & Gameplay
Extra Chilli is a six-reel slot that utilizes the Megaways engine, complete with the reactive/cascading mechanics. That means the number of symbols per reel varies (2-7), and when a winning combination forms, those symbols explode, and new ones fall in their place. There is also an extra four-reel row under the base grid. In the best-case scenario, this game features up to 117,649 ways to win. The RTP here is a decent 96.41%, and it jumps by 0.41% if you pay your way into the Free Spins Bonus Round. As expected, this is a high variance title that has a max exposure of x20,000. However, the max bet here is only $40. So, that is nothing super-impressive. The minimum wager that you can place on Extra Chilli’s reels is $0.2.
The low-paying symbols in this game are your typical A-9 royals. They pay out a prize that is worth x0.8 to x1.75 for six-of-a-kind. The high-paying symbols are four chili peppers (green, blue, red, and purple). The latter is the most valuable from this bunch, and for six purple peppers, you win a reward worth x50 of your bet. Note that what is unique about the purple pepper is that it is the only symbol that pays out a win when it appears on two adjacent reels (an x2 prize).
The firework symbol is this game’s Wild, and the Scatters are the letter H.O.T.
If you spell out H.O.T on the grid, you will activate the Free Spins Bonus Round, and you will get awarded eight complimentary reel rotations. Any extra Scatter you hit will award you four more free spins. For example, if you land, let us say, five. You will get sixteen extra spins in total.
Once you activate this mode, you can try and win more free spins via the Gamble Feature. Though, this depends on how many reel rotations you had when you entered this round. If you have gotten in with the full twenty-four, then this feature is unavailable. It is a wheel-of-fortune type deal, where you can win four more free spins, if lucky, or lose some of your already earned ones.
The cool thing about the Free Spins Bonus Round is that there is an unlimited progressive multiplier in play here. Every winning cascade/reaction increases it by x1, with no max limit. There is also a Free Spins Scatter in this round that is a bowl of red chilies. If you hit three or four bowls on the grid, you get four and eight extra free spins, respectively.
The cost of utilizing the Bonus Buy option, or what Big Time Gaming calls the Feature Drop, is x50 your stake. Though by landing Feature Drop symbols as you play, you can reduce this price.
Allegedly, this is a sequel to Bonanza, even though the two games have wildly different themes. That said, both games are similar in style and are equally fun to play. Extra Chilli looks nice enough and features a decent win potential. We love Megaways games, so it gets extra points for simply being one. Though, in all honesty, we cannot say that this Big Time Gaming release wowed us. Yet, we can see why people like it. We do as well, just not as much as most. It gets our recommendation, despite having a, been there, done that feel to it.
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