Who Wants to be a Millionaire Slot Review
In 2018, Big Time Gaming, the Australia-based developer responsible for creating the Megaways engine, announced that they would release the most anticipated branded online casino game in history in November of that year. The slot based on the international TV game show franchise landed at Leo Vegas Casino, exclusively for the first two weeks, and then spread like wildfire on platforms around the internet. The company had to fight off some stiff competition to get this license from Sony Pictures Television, so let us analyze if Big Time did a good job, pleasing both hardcore and casual fans of the show.
Theme & Design
British entertainment company Celador, whose name is a re-spelling of – cellar door, conceived the concept of what would become one of the most popular game shows in TV history. The Dutch company 2waytraffic acquired its rights in the mid-2000s, which later on spilled over to Sony Entertainment, once they purchased 2waytraffic for £137.5 million. The show premiered on TV screens in 1998 and became a worldwide phenomenon. In the 1999-2000 season, the quiz show was the most watched TV series on US television, averaging 28.53 million viewers a week.
The Big Time Gaming offering does its best to squeeze out everything it can from its Sony license, utilizing every piece of show music and soundbite imaginable, as well as all the familiar graphics. The reels in this game spin in front of the empty Millionaire studio, and once you enter the Free Spins, you’ll see all the famous lifeline and question animations.
The reel grid is in the middle of the screen, held together by an embossed metal frame, or what looks like one. The spin button, the bet adjuster, and the settings panel are all under the Millionaire logo on the right side. You should be able to see your balance and win information on bars at both the bottom and top of your screen. The mute option is in the top right corner.
Specs & Gameplay
The game plays out on a six-reel grid, where the symbols per reel vary from two to seven. There is also an extra row below the regular grid, extending from reel two to five. The whole grid layout allows for the possibility of 117,649 paylines, thanks to Big Time Gaming’s patented Megaways engine, as wins benefit from the Avalanche feature. The amount of paylines gets randomly determined on every spin, depending on the number of symbols in play. The RTP here is 96.24%, the variance is high, and the max exposure is x 50,000. Bet sizes on this slot range from $0.2 to $10.
You need to land three to six matching symbols, left to right, on a payline to hit a win. When you do, once a winning combination explodes, they make room for new ones to drop into place, which will continue as long as new winning combos happen. Wins get accumulated from all avalanches, and they get paid out before the next spin starts.
When it comes to symbols, they are your usual Big Time Gaming ones. The low-paying ones are shiny card suits, 9s, 10s, As, Ks, Js, and Qs. They provide prizes that range from x0.8 to x1.75 for six on a line. The different colored gemstones are the high-paying symbols, and they provide wins ranging from x2 to x50 for six on a payline. The purple diamond is the most valuable of this bunch. The Wild symbol has a question mark and the word wild underneath it, and the Scatter is the Millionaire logo.
If you land three Scatters, you activate the Free Spins mini-game. Initially, you get eight free spins, and you can choose to walk away with these spins or gamble in hopes that you may win up to fifty complimentary reel rotations. Big Time Gaming calls this the Hot Seat Free Spins Gamble, and it uses life-lines and questions as those featured in the actual TV show, transferred over to fit the slot format. There is a twelve-step free spins ladder, and you win a growing number of spins with every step you take.
You can walk away at any time or choose to risk your accumulated spins. There are two safe levels, at ten and twenty spins. Once you reach these, you cannot lose that amount. The slot will display four answers and the three lifelines. It will choose a lifeline at random, and it will show you the most probable correct answer. You have to make the final decision and wait as the game tells you if you’ve made the right call or not. Players have to lock in one answer and will climb the ladder by one step if they selected the correct one.
When you begin playing using your earned spins, an unlimited multiplier will increase by x1 after each avalanche win. If Scatters appear on the extra row, you can win more free spins during the feature. Three and four such symbols will get you four and eight free spins, respectively.
Big Time Gaming decided to go all-in with this branded slot. Since they manage to acquire this much-desired license, they decided to create as authentic as possible experience to that of the TV show, as much as the slot format allows. If you are or ever were a fan of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, then you have to try out this game. Some players may gripe that this is nothing more than an Extra Chili clone, and they have a point, but this title is more about capturing the magic of the TV game show than it is about innovation. At that, it does a decent job.
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