New Game Reviews: Cash Machine and 88 Fortunes Megaways
iGP slot guru Frank Legato takes a look at two popular online casino games: the popular Cash Machine from Everi, and the Asian-inspired 88 Fortunes Megaways from SG Digital.
Every week, iGaming Player gives you the lowdown on the great games available on New Jersey’s iGaming sites. This week, slot-makers Everi and Scientific Games step up to the virtual plate with online games.
Cash Machine is one of Everi’s big hits, and is loved by casino players for its simplicity. This three-reel game’s symbols show up as dollar amounts—it’s branded “Win What You See,” and that’s just what it means: 10-blank-blank returns $10. 10-blank-0 or 10-0-blank return $100. The top award on the game is for 10-5-00, for a jackpot of $10,500 at max bet.
There are two different “respin” features active in the base game. Any losing spin that displays only a zero on the reels triggers a Zero Respin, in which the reels with the blanks respin. And randomly on a winning spin, one of the reels will respin to award a larger prize, in what’s called the Red Respin.
This has mainly been a dollar mechanical reel-spinner on the casino floor, but Everi’s offering the online version in denominations ranging from quarters all the way up to $100. But it works best in dollars, so odds are that’s what you’ll find on the iGaming sites.
See a brief demo here:
Cash Machine: Three-reel, single-line game; base-game respin features; “Win What You See” line combinations
Denomination: .25. .50, 1.00, 2.00, 5.00, 10.00, 25.00, 50.00, 100.00
Max Bet: 10
Payback Percentage: 88%-98%
Hit Frequency: 41.72%-45.78%
Top Jackpot: 10,500 credits
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88 Fortunes Megaways
How about a new take on the “ways-to-win” format, using one of Scientific Games’ most popular game themes, the Asian-inspired 88 Fortunes?
This version employs a new game mechanic called “Megaways,” which uses a novel reel setup that results in a possible total of 117,649 ways to win on every spin.
The reel setup consists of six main reels. Reels 1 and 6 can each show between two and seven symbols per spin. The inner reels can show between two and six symbols per spin, and there is an additional “bottom reel” which consists of four rows, and spins horizontally. The bottom reel acts as an extra row of symbols for reels 2-5.
When you get one or more winning combinations, the winning symbols explode, and new symbols cascade into their spots. Wins are calculated before the winning symbols explode and after the new symbols are in place. The total win for the spin is calculated when no more cascades occur.
The popular symbols from the original 88 Fortunes game appear in the online version: The Fu Bat symbol is wild, substituting for all symbols, including scatter symbols. It appears on all of the inner reels. When one or more Fu Bat symbols land on the reels, it randomly can trigger the Picker Feature bonus. The Gong scatter symbol can lead to the other bonus feature—four or more Gong symbols trigger the Free Spins feature.
When one or more Fu Bat symbols appear, coins are added to the “Coin Pot.” One of these actions can randomly trigger the Picker Feature. You’ll see a screen with 15 coins that hide win multipliers of 2X, 4X and 6X, or icons to award 10, 12 or 15 free spins. You pick coins until three awards match. If the Picker Feature is awarded on a free spin, the coins hide credit awards, and you go back to the free games after matching three.
The main Free Spins feature is triggered by four, five or six Gong symbols on consecutive reels, awarding eight, 10 or 12 free spins, respectively.
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88 Fortunes Megaways: Six-reel, ways-to-win game; maximum 117,649 ways to win per spin; picking and free-spin bonus events
Max Bet: 88.00
Payback Percentage: 96.06%-96.36%
Hit Frequency: Approximately 50%
Top Jackpot: $250,000
Check out the demo below:
Slot Dictionary: Terms to Know
- Payback percentage—also known as return to player or RTP—refers to the percentage of wagers that are returned to all players over the active life of a game. A 94 percent payback percentage doesn’t mean you’ll get 94 percent of your money returned to you every time. It means there’s a 6 percent house edge on the game. (Even a 100 percent payback doesn’t guarantee you’ll win—it means there’s no house edge. It’s like the flip of a coin.) Manufacturers offer operators a range of percentages, and it’s up to the operator to pick which to offer players.
- Hit frequency refers to the percentage of all spins that result in a win of some kind. Remember, these wins can often be less than your bet (and if that happens too often, find another game!). Some manufacturers don’t provide this statistic.
- Volatility means how wins are distributed on a slot. Low volatility means there’ll be lots of little hits, with wins of some kind very frequently (again, watch for too many wins less than your bet). High volatility means the hits are fewer and farther between, but there are more huge wins—the kind that can turn a losing game into a winning session.
- Ways to Win refers to a game with no paylines. In this style of game, adjacent matching symbols on the screen register wins, and the number of spots on the entire reel set determines how many ways you can possibly win on each spin.
- Cost to cover refers to the level of wager required to activate all the paylines on a screen. The good advice was always to wager enough to activate all the paylines, but these days, most games use this figure as a minimum bet (in the past, too many people were betting a penny on a penny game).