Fantasma Games, located in Stockholm, is a design firm that takes a unique approach to Big Time Gaming’s ubiquitous game engine. The absence of the word “Megaways” in the names has led some to incorrectly conclude that they are one-offs. Both the fast-paced Flower Fortunes and the more sedate Medallion Megaways presented novel twists on the mechanism. Like its forerunners, Maze Escape Megaways is an out-of-the-ordinary puzzle game. This time around the crew has taken one of their favorite genres, mythology/fantasy, and combined it with Megaways to make something equally as fresh. Again, not everyone will like what it produces, but it’s worth a go nonetheless.
When it comes to creating a vibrant setting for their games, Fantasma never fails to impress. Similarly, the setting of Maze Escape Megaways is composed of mountains and ruins, while the music is classically influenced. In the center of the picture is a 6-reel, 7-row grid where everything happens. The grid takes up much of the screen real estate, so the view from a mobile device isn’t quite as breathtaking as it would be on a desktop. Although simple math suggests there might be as many as 117,649 possible winning combinations, this information is not provided by the game’s developers.
King Minos of ancient Crete is the inspiration for the maze in Maze Escape: Megaways. Turning his back on the gods, he sealed a man-beast within his famed labyrinth. Daedalus and his son Icarus, the guy who flew dangerously near to the sun, constructed the maze. Fantasma’s decision to base Maze Escape on a well-known tale opens the door for the inclusion of gods, heroes, and mythological animals.
Fantasma has matched the difficulty of escaping Minos’ Labyrinth with a level of volatility that is far higher than in either of their two prior Megaways slots. As with an Avalanche roll, the tremendous volatility serves you well in Maze Escape. As a result, players that stick it out (or get fortunate) will be rewarded, but the game is not as easy or welcoming to casual players as its predecessors. The return to player percentage is a rock-solid 96.15%, and wagers can range from 20 percent to $40 USD or Euros.
In Maze Escape Megaways, you win when three or more identical symbols appear in a winning formation from left to right, beginning with the first reel. While the basic and bonus games don’t usually have a traditional response feature, the Shifting Maze Avalanche function is triggered when winnings line up in specific spots. Meanwhile, there are three sets of three pay symbols. Lambda, Theta, and Omega are the lowest paid Greek letters, followed by axes, wreaths, and helms, respectively. Last but not least, the highest paying symbols are the three character symbols, which pay out 2–3 times the wager for a full house.
Slot Game Features, Megaways’ “Maze Escape”
A 1×1 tile on the first reel will be surrounded by a golden frame at the beginning of each spin in the standard game. The Shifting Maze Avalanche is triggered whenever a winning combination includes a symbol that lands within a tile. The grid is cleared of all normal symbols save the selected one, and the reels shift to the left by one position. When two of the tiles in the way are taken out, making room for new symbols, the game is restarted. You can increase your chances of entering the bonus game by collecting Scatters and saving them for the spin sequence. This procedure will continue as long as the highlighted symbol is responsible for any new victories.
Certain tiles used as blockers will have unique icons shown on them. When one of these barrier tiles is eliminated, a change occurs:
With Athena’s advice, you’ll see anything from one to four specialized icons appear on the reels.
The Minotaur Wild feature turns a whole reel into a wild. The minotaur wild reel may award a multiplier anywhere from 1x to 7x.
If you get three scatter golden discs in a row, you’ll trigger 10 Labyrinth Free Games. All winnings during free spins set off Shifting Maze Avalanches, and the win multiplier throughout this round increases from 1x to 3x. During the round, the blockers will now display a Wings of Icaros symbol. The removal of the wing blockers results in either one to three free spins or a one to three times rise in the win multiplier.
Slot Review: Maze Escape on Megaways
Fantasma Games has, once again, done the unexpected with the Megaways franchise. Even visually, Maze Escape doesn’t appear like a normal Megaways game. In reality, it has the feel of a grid slot machine, which might be frustrating for players who are looking for a quick game over and over again. Some players may be discouraged by the added degree of complexity. Those on the lookout for a fresh take on Megaways or a novel gaming experience will find plenty to like in Maze Escape. If you’re even somewhat interested, you should check it out.
There’s no denying the uniqueness of Maze Escape. The visuals are stunning (on a large screen), it’s dripping with mythology, and the bonus content is intriguing. The Shifting Maze Avalanche feature allows for long chains of repeated combinations, and at times it almost has the feel of a grid slot machine with the way winnings continue to roll on and activate modifiers when the correct blocker tile is removed. Financially, they might add up as well. With a possible win of up to 25,000 times the wager, Maze Escape is by and away the most lucrative Megaways slot released by the developer to yet.
The success of Maze Escape Megaways has only served to further Fantasma’s reputation for independence. A bull and some gods might have been slapped onto a Blueprint-style Megaways slot, and the company could have called it a day. Whether or not the gameplay ends up being your cup of tea, you have to admire Fantasma for not being afraid to try anything.