The Big Dawgs

Provider:  Pragmatic Play
RTP:  95.97%
Variance:  High
Max Win:   x10000.00
Betways:  2304
Release Date:  2024.01.08

Human’s best friend, doggies, are bounding back to flick fleas all over players in the hip hop slot The Big Dawgs from developer Pragmatic Play. Right off the bat, there’s some game spotting going on, with instant parallels drawn between The Big Dawgs and Relax Gaming’s hip hop dog slot Top Dawg$. It doesn’t end there, though, as The Big Dawgs reawakened memories of numerous other gaming experiences, not only from its appearance but through features and gameplay, resulting in quite a varied dog bowl overflowing with recognisable devices.

The first is looks, and here The Big Dawgs has a back street, graffitied walls, sports, bandanas, snapback caps, and headphones vibe going on. Sonically, it’s hip-hop and scratched records the whole way, a musical subset that suits sassy canines to a tee. It’s been done before well, in Top Dawg$, for example, and works in The Big Dawgs just as successfully. Perhaps we’ve got artists like Snoop Dogg to thank (or blame) for the association of dogs and hip hop, but dogs and gambling games go back even further, at least as far back as Coolidge’s Dogs Playing Poker painting of 1894. And likely, The Big Dawgs won’t be the last time we see the combo on the reels.

The Big Dawgs is played on a 5×5 aligned game board that does not use ways or paylines as such to create winning combinations of symbols. Instead, a win is formed when 3 or more matching symbols are connected in vertical or horizontal lines, starting from any position, much like Moon Princess and its ilk. The math model is highly volatile, producing a default RTP of 95.97% when wagering 20 c to $/€240 per paid game round.

A selection of oddball items make up The Big Dawgs’ low pay symbols, such as a paw-shaped key chain, scissors, a bat and ball, knuckle dusters, and a grenade in a dog bowl, paying 2.5 to 5 times the bet for a 5 symbol win. Next, the high plays are 5 dog character symbols, awarding 10 to 25 times the bet when a 5 OAK result lands on the grid. Two 1×1 size wild types grace all reels as well – both pay 25x the bet for a 5 wild winning line. The regular wild simply substitutes for any pay symbol, while the multi wilds do the same but multiply any win it is part of by x2.

The Big Dawgs: Slot Features

Winning combinations are linked to the tumble feature, which in turn is needed for triggering free spins, of which there are two types of rounds. In addition, keep an eye out for Big Dawg Colossal Wilds, the screen clear multiplier, and bonus buys.

Tumbles

On each spin, winning symbols are cleared from the reels while the remaining symbols tumble down to the lowest possible position. Note that new symbols do not enter the screen from above on tumbles. Any winning combination with one of the dog symbols leaves behind a multi wild, while wins with low pays leave behind a regular wild. Tumbles continue until no more wins occur or the screen is clear of symbols.

Big Dawg Colossal Wild & Screen Clear Multiplier

At random on any spin, before tumbles, a 2×2 or 3×3 sized Big Dawg Wild may appear on the reels in a random position. Also, if at the end of a spin and any tumbles the screen has only wilds or multi wilds in view which cannot form a win, a random multiplier of x2, x3, or x5 is applied to the total win of the sequence.

Free Spins Trigger

Hidden beneath the symbols on the reels is the word DAWG written both horizontally and vertically. Revealing one of the DAWG words triggers Dirty Dawg free spins. Revealing both DAWG words triggers Double Dawgs free spins.

Dirty Dawg Free Spins

This round begins with 5 free spins. During it, a total multiplier is applied to all wins in the sequence. The multiplier starts at x1 and increases by +1 for each winning tumble. At the end of a free spin, the multiplier returns to x1. Revealing one of the DAWG words during the feature awards +5 free spins. Revealing both DAWG words triggers Double Dawg free spins when the current round ends. If more than one Double Dawg free spins round is triggered this way, they play one after the other.

Double Dawg Free Spins

This round awards 10 free spins. The rules are the same as Dirty Dawg free spins, except the win multiplier does not reset at the end of each free spin.

Buy Free Spins

From the bonus buy section, players can buy a spin that triggers Dirty Dawg free spins for 80x the bet (RTP 96%) or a spin that triggers Double Dawg free spins for 250x the bet (95.95%).

The Big Dawgs: Slot Verdict

The Big Dawgs is an absolute mongrel of a game which pulls in influences, echoes, and repeats from all over the place. From the graffiti stylising of a punk Hacksaw Gaming slot, Top Dawg$ from Relax Gaming, Play’n GO’s Moon Princess range as well as Golden Ticket 2, East Coast vs West Coast… take your pick, it’s got DNA strands from across the iGaming spectrum. Like the way works of literature benefit from having a virile civilisation to arise from, The Big Dawgs springboards from the patchwork quilt of previous slots that contributed to its existence to lead willing participants on a bouncy, canine, hip-hop caper.

In action, The Big Dawgs has the same frantic sprint to the finish line effect found in Moon Princess, where the aim is to clear the grid, or at least clear the DAWG words, thereby graduating to the bonus round phase of play. What’s nice in The Big Dawgs is that each win leaves a wild symbol behind – regular for low-pay wins, multi wild for high-pay wins. Also, when clearing the screen, you don’t get a set prize amount. The awarded multiplier for doing so applies to the whole win of the spin, which could be substantially higher. This makes buying free spins a tempting proposal as well because you don’t go straight to free spins. No, no, a spin guaranteed to reveal DAWG words occurs, which might be fairly profitable in its own right. One slight letdown is The Big Dawgs’ 5,000x the bet max win, which, while nothing to cock a leg at, is outshone by some of its competitors/influences.

We could be cynical and say The Big Dawgs is too close for comfort to too many other games. However, if you’re a dog owner, or admirer, or whatever, take a look at poochie over there, sitting on the couch, sniffing its balls, before trotting over to nuzzle you for a walk, a pat, or just to share some love. Are they purebred? Chances are they’re not, and even the most confusingly blended breed of dog can be just as loveable as a purebred one. Maybe more so, in some ways, since they’ve got characteristics all of their own. The point is… sorry, got lost in a haze of dog affection there; the Big Dawgs might not be the most original, heck, it might have blatantly nicked other studios’ ideas, but it’s still a playable game, bitey, with plenty of slobbery affection to give, if you’re in its good books.

 

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