Bass… why, why did it have to be more bass…? Sorry, back now, and it’s time to review Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways, an online slot from the dynamic duo of bass fishing Pragmatic Play and Reel Kingdom. If you’ve been holed up in a nuclear bomb-proof bunker eating canned goods till now, you might be unaware of the phenomenal rise and rise of bass fishing-themed slots. Largely to thank (or blame) for this situation is Big Bass Bonanza, a seemingly unassuming fishing game that freaking exploded to start a revolution, sending the series which followed on all sorts of twists and turns. One climax of all that twisting and turning is Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways, which mixes Fish Money symbol collects + Fisherman symbol collects in free spins, a Hold & Spin feature, and developers’ favourite, Big Time Gaming’s Megaways game engine.
First and foremost, Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways is built on the foundations laid down by Big Bass Hold & Spinner, but right away, there’s a load of extra stuff happening on the screen. Megaways is one reason why, and Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways is a biggin, consisting of a 6-reel gaming panel in the lower part of the screen and a 4-reel, 3-row upper grid tacked on top. The rest of the experience is classic Big Bass Bonanza – bubbling water, swimming fish, a cloudy sky, a jolly tune, the usual.
Cast off time, and in Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways, bets vary from 20 p/c to £/€250 per spin, plus two bonus buys are available. No matter how you play, though, the default RTP clocks in at 96.7%, while the volatility is high (5 out of 5). On the main reel set, up to 6 symbols may land. On top of reels 2-5 sit 3 more rows of symbols. The topmost row contains only wilds and blanks, while the other 2 rows can contain any symbols. The top three rows spin right to left and are locked or unlocked at random. Only symbols on unlocked rows can be used in a win, where at max, up to 147,456 ways to win are possible.
After a regular win hits, the symbols involved are removed by the tumble mechanic and replaced. If a new win occurs after a tumble, the process repeats itself. As for symbols, thickly fonted 10 to A royals are used, followed by a combination of Fish Money symbols, a tackle box, a dragonfly, a reel, and a float. Six-of-a-kind wins award 1 -1.5x the bet for the royals, 1.5x for the fish, and 2 to 50 times the bet for everything else. Wilds, when they hit, may be used to replace any regular paying symbol.
Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways: Slot Features
Just as the planet is not short of bass slots, so Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways is not short of features. What it’s got is Fish Money symbols, Mystery symbols, free spins, a Hold & Spin Bonus, and bonus buys.
Fish Money Symbol
Fish Money symbols land with values of x2 to 5,000x the bet attached. Their values can be won in free spins. In the base game, Fish Money symbols explode and tumble when they make winning ways. However, in free spins, they do not explode but fall to the bottom of the screen as tumbles happen.
Mystery symbols can land randomly in the base game or in free spins. In the base game, Mystery symbols transform into the same paying symbol. In free spins, after a spin that has no Fisherman symbols and no Fish Money symbols, Mystery symbols can randomly appear, transforming into any other random symbols.
Landing 3, 4, 5, or 6 scatter symbols awards 10, 15, 20, or 25 free spins, respectively. In free spins, is where the Fisherman symbol may appear on all reels but not the topmost row. Each Fisherman symbol that hits collects the values of all Fish Money symbols in view. Fisherman symbols get collected, too. For each 4 Fisherman symbols collected, +10 more free spins are awarded. In addition, the first, second, and third times this occurs, a multiplier of x2, x3, and x10 is awarded. From the fourth retrigger onwards, the multiplier increases by +10 without limit. Multipliers come into effect on the retriggered batch of spins and apply to Fish Money symbol collections. Retriggered batches of spins take place when the current batch of free spins ends. At random, when there are only Fisherman symbols on screen but no Fish Money symbols, Fish Money symbols may be added to the reels.
Hold & Spin
Coin Money symbols appear on all reels except the topmost reel displaying prize values. When 3 or more Coin Money symbols hit, they trigger the Hold & Spin Bonus. The round is played on a grid where only Coin Money symbols, Diamond Money symbols or blanks land. The triggering Coin Money symbols have their values added to the total win, then they are locked to the grid, and 3 respins are awarded. When a new Coin Money symbol lands, the respin count resets to 3, and the value of each Coin Money symbol on the screen is added to the total win. Diamond Money symbols may also land with prize values attached, from 50x to 2,000x the bet. If the round ends and the total win was below 20x, 3 repsins are awarded.
Both of the features may be bought from their respective buy menu. Free spins cost 100x the bet and will be triggered by 3, 4, 5, or 5 scatters, while the Hold & Spin costs 120x the bet to have 3-6 Coin Money symbols trigger the feature.
Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways: Slot Verdict
If there was an air of inevitability about a hold ‘n win round being attached to the Big Bass range, then going one further by adding Megaways to the result also feels like it had a high likelihood of occurring as well. Pragmatic Play is nothing if not a tinkerer, happy making something new, remaking old stuff, twisting ideas, reusing ideas, cloning previous work, borrowing ideas, anything it can do to keep its foot on the release gas like virtually no one else in the gambling business would dare contemplate.
It’s an interesting approach, and some of what Pragmatic Play slings against the wall sticks, some slides into irrelevance. Not much has stuck like the Big Bass stuff, which explains why the range has grown so vast and so quickly. Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways is like a higher-end, deluxe addition to the range, sort of what Floating Dragon Megaways Hold & Spin was to Floating Dragon. The game is packed with features and mechanics, topped by the star power Megaways brings when it’s on board. Both bonus rounds are bolstered by all the extra space a Megaways game board bestows. This style of free spins round is old news by now, but the way the multiplier value can increase beyond the third retrigger is quite exciting. The Hold & Spinner is interesting, too, because it’s not a completely straight hold ‘n win, land money symbols, and collect their values at the end round. Key to note is that when new money symbols land, they do not stick to the reels. Instead, when new symbols land, all values in view are added to the round total win, then they spin off, leaving space for more to hit later, perhaps. The final reveal is winning potential of 20,000x the bet, available in the base game, free spins, and the hold & win bonus.
And that wraps up another Big Bass-related slot review. Pragmatic Play and pals Reel Kingdom are firing these games off like they are going out of style. Maybe they are? But if not, then Big Bass Hold & Spinner Megaways is one of the bigger, more deluxe versions for fans to sink their teeth into.
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