Introduced by Big Time Gaming (BTG), Megaclusters are a fairly new concept in gaming. They give you the chance to expand the number of available symbols by racking up wins.
Megaclusters have the potential to revolutionize gaming. At the very least, this mechanism should spawn similar slots.
Of course, the chance always exists that Megaclusters won’t have much of an impact and fade away quickly. I’m going to discuss more on this mechanism along with if it’ll become a hit or quickly disappear.
How Do Megaclusters Slots Work?
Most real money slots offer a set amount of positions or symbols. A five-reel, three-row (5×3 grid) slot, for example, offers 15 positions no matter what.
However, Megaclusters work differently from the average slot and do offer more positions. You can read about their finer points below.
If you’ve played a cluster pays slot before, then you shouldn’t have much trouble figuring out Megaclusters. A clusters game doesn’t offer traditional paylines.
Instead, it features a square grid. For example, BTG’s Star Clusters Megaclusters starts with a 4×4 grid.
You score payouts by landing clusters of matching icons going vertically or horizontally. Each cluster must include five or more symbols.
Everything Begins With the Avalanche Win
Once this happens, new icons fall from above to fill out the vacant spaces. The game re-evaluates the reels to determine if any new payouts are possible.
Avalanche gives you an opportunity to score more winning combinations in a round. As you’ll see below, it also unlocks additional positions.
This process continues until no more payouts can form. Afterward, the grid reverts back to its original size.
One Position Becomes Four
Under normal circumstances, avalanche would cause new icons to drop from the top of the reels to fill empty spaces. However, a Megaclusters slot works slightly differently in this regard.
Symbols from winning combos still vanish. The key difference, though, is that four new icons appear to take their places.
Here’s an example of this phenomenon:
- You land 10 clusters in a winning combination.
- Each symbol involved vanishes.
- 10 x 4 = 40
- You now have 40 positions in place of the previous 10 that vanished.
The Grid Keeps Expanding
As mentioned before, Stars Clusters Megaclusters begins with a 4×4 grid (64 positions). However, this area expands as more avalanche wins form.
The base game allows the grid to grow as large as 8×8 (64 positions). You can grow it even further in the bonus round (covered next).
Bonus Offers Even More Opportunities
Star Clusters awards two free spins every time that you net five consecutive avalanche wins. The default grid expands to 8×8 during the bonus.
Megaclusters, of course, are still active during free spins. You can increase the grid up to 16×16 (256 positions).
What Is the Potential Behind Megaclusters?
You can see that these slots are quite unique. But what do they offer besides simply being interesting? Here are the biggest benefits to Megaclusters slots.
More Ways to Win
A 4×4 slot is pretty boring for the most part. Therefore, you may not be thrilled upon first opening up Star Clusters.
However, you’ll eventually grow the number of positions and have more opportunities to win. At 8×8, you’ll have lots of area to score matching clusters of five symbols or more.
The bonus round is even more exciting. Not only does the grid begin at 8×8, but it has the potential to reach 16×16.
A 16×16 grid is unheard of in the gaming world. I’ve never seen a grid slot go beyond 8×8 up until this point.
Potential for Big Payouts
The average slot offers a top payout worth around 5,000x your stake. BTG’s Star Clusters Megaclusters blows the doors off this standard max win.
You can earn up to 23,000x your stake when accounting for features, avalanche wins, and Megaclusters. Assuming you’re betting $1 per spin/round, you can win up to $23,000.
Star Clusters offers a max stake worth $20. That said, you can earn up to $460,000 when using the top bet size.
Exciting Side Features
BTG is one of the best when it comes to revolutionary slots features. They haven’t sold players short with Megaclusters either.
As mentioned before, you can trigger free spins with five straight avalanche wins. You’ll receive another free spin for each avalanche win past five.
This game also boasts a gold multiplier wild. The multiplier can increase wins up to 10x, at which point, you’ll receive more free spins for additional avalanches.
Reasons Why Megaclusters Could Be Forgotten
The Megaclusters engine has a lot going for it. However, the following reasons could prevent this mechanism from gaining widespread popularity.
Small Sample Size
BTG has only released Star Clusters Megaclusters at the time of this writing. And while Star Clusters is popular already, it’s just one game.
More slots are needed before Megaclusters slots have truly made it. Only time will tell if this mechanism becomes as popular as BTG’s famous Megaways engine.
Megaways Are Still Hot
Dragon Born introduced gamblers to Megaways slots in 2016. Ever since, Megaways have been the hottest thing in online gaming.
Gamblers have flocked to play these slots. In turn, other developers now pay BTG to license the Megaways format.
Nothing is to say that Megaclusters can’t thrive at the same time. However, the widespread number of Megaways makes for a more crowded gaming industry.
Symbols Are Hard to See
If you’re like many other gamblers, you like playing slots on your smartphone. You’ll find that Megaclusters are hard to see on a 5.5-inch phone screen.
I’ve played Star Clusters on my PC and had trouble making out the details in the smaller symbols. This matter only becomes more of a struggle when dealing with a smartphone.
You’ll barely be able to see anything once the grid grows beyond 8×8. Assuming you’re somebody who values the little details, you may hate this aspect.
Will Megaclusters Ultimately Be Successful?
Megaclusters aren’t perfect when considering the downsides covered above. However, they still offer loads of potential.
Megaways, which see reels hold varying numbers of symbols, prove that players love changing grid sizes. Megaclusters also introduce this grid-changing aspect.
The base game begins with a rather simple 4×4 setup. But the latter quickly grows any time that you score a payout.
Even a five-symbol cluster turns into 20 positions. You can look forward to many more positions after getting 10+ symbol clusters.
BTG has also added extras that spice up the action. For starters, avalanche wins gives you the chance to keep earning payouts in a given round.
Gold multipliers not only substitute for other symbols but also multiply your wins. You can get a multiplier worth as much as 10x. Free spins become available when you net five consecutive avalanche payouts too. The default grid grows to 8×8 during this bonus.
Overall, Megaclusters slots seem to have all the ingredients to be very successful among players. But a larger sample size is needed before we truly know whether or not this is the case.
The past decade has seen plenty of revolutionary slots developments, including avalanche, Megaways, and expanding wilds. Megaclusters could very well be added to this list in the future.
These games see cluster wins vanish and make way for 4x the amount of symbols in their places. The end result is that you have more available positions and chances to win.
Megaclusters slots also offer added features, like win multipliers and free spins. Simply put, they boast lots of action, frequent wins, and the chance to score huge payouts.
The ultimate success of Megaclusters will hinge on future games. However, the first slot, Star Clusters, is already proving quite popular.