Shamrock Holmes Megaways Slot Review
Microgaming has announced that they’re looking to launch Shamrock Holmes Megaways in January 2021. What makes this game a huge deal, is that it’s their first slot machine to include the Megaways mechanic. It doesn’t get any bigger than Microgaming in this industry, and the fact that they’re backing this very popular mechanic means that Big Time Gaming’s innovations will reach another 800+ operators that rely on the giant’s platform and games. Theme wise, we’re going to see an Irish themed slot machine.
As for the type of game that we end up with, 6 reels will feature as many as 117,649 Megaways in a single spin. The slot includes re-spins, free spins, unlimited multipliers and wilds, along with a Rolling Reels mechanic which is common enough these days. You are going after a very tempting top prize, worth 28,000x the stake, and while it’s a higher volatility experience, there is a 96.44% RTP which would be considered above average.
Shamrock Holmes Betting and Prizes
You start with wagers from a minimum value of $0.20, and then you may go as high as $20. No matter what’s the bet level that you’re stopping at, all ways to win are available, so nothing changes there.
What you want to see in a Megaways slot, is a big reward, to go hand in hand with the huge number of potential combinations that can form. Add the unlimited multiplier from the free spins, and there is potential for some players to walk away very happy from Shamrock Holmes. Apparently, as much as 28,000x the stake can be paid in a single spin.
While the volatility will be high, it can’t be helped at this level, there will be a Return to Player which is above the average, at 96.44%.
To create a winning combinations, you need symbols of the same type landing on 3+ reels, from the leftmost position towards the right.
This system, which was called Megaways by Big Time Gaming (its creator), allows for the game’s 6 reels to randomize the number of symbols in each case. One reel might have 2 symbols, the next one could have up to 7, and as each one gets you a random number, the number of megaways will vary wildly. Up to 117,649 combinations could form, in theory, with all reels at their maximum size. An extra horizontal reel is placed at the top of the reels 2-5, on which you can get regular and special symbols.
When a combo does form, you get paid and then the Rolling Reels mechanic will remove the symbols which were a part of it. New symbols come in, and if additional wins trigger, the Rolls keep going.
The Re-Spins are a possibility when you get three scatter symbols, so not quite enough to reach the free spins, and at the same time you have one or two symbols present on the horizontal reel. You can get the pixie there, and that would result in a re-spin with 10,000 Megaways guaranteed. With the leprechaun visible, the re-spin has 32,400 Megaways guaranteed. Get both of those symbols on the horizontal reel, and the re-spin is guaranteed to be at its maximum size, with 117,649 ways active.
Ideally, you’d want the free spins though, which you trigger via 4 to 6 scattered Gold Coins. The game gives you 10, 12 or 14 free spins as a result, with a 2x starting multiplier. As you form wins, the multiplier goes up by 1x following each Rolling Reel trigger. There is no limit to the size they can reach, and there is no cap on the number of times you can retrigger the free spins either. Of course, you have that top jackpot cap, at 28,000x, so there is a ceiling that you can hit.
Theme & Design
While it’s not a very interesting or fun theme, and we’ve seen Irish slots way too often at casinos, I think you will love the enchanted forest vibe, along with the excellent quality of the symbols shown on those reels. It’s above the average Irish themed slot machine in that regard, which I appreciate.
Symbols deliver images of the gold coins as scatters, the W logo for the wild, along with images of the Shamrock Holmes leprechaun, a fairy, clovers and flowers. Moving on to low symbols, we get the 9 to A Royals.
Shamrock Holmes Megaways is a decent first attempt at a high volatility slot machine with this new mechanic, and it should be quite popular at Microgaming online casinos. If you compare it with other slots of this type, there isn’t a lot that could be called unique about it, so I’m hoping that they’re just warming up, and more interesting games will follow.