Posted in Game Reviews, New Games June 22, 2019
NextGen Releases Merlin’s Money Burst Slot
Playing traditional 3-reel slot machines can never get boring, but it’s always worth exploring new games and experiencing the latest technologies. Even if you’re not a fan of the modern, animated look of new slots, they are definitely worth a try. Developers and designers use the latest technologies to make them entertaining and visually appealing.
While there are many software providers in the industry, there are a few companies that regularly release new titles to prove their excellence. One of these leading companies is NextGen Gaming. With over 45 years of experience in producing entertaining software and hardware products, NextGen Gaming has established itself as one of the top players in the online gambling industry.
Merlin’s Money Burst’s Design
Let’s take a look at NextGen Gaming’s most recent release — Merlin’s Money Burst. The design is the first thing to notice. Slot machines nowadays focus heavily on appearance, as loading 3D animations and intricate details requires fewer resources than before.
The title suggests that players are about to enter a magical world where the popular character Merlin takes center stage. The reels are set in a magical forest, with crystal dust floating across the screen as you play the game. The transparent reels allow winning combinations to pop out and grab the players’ attention, while the remaining symbols recede into the background.
The user interface and overall user experience are well-designed and fit perfectly on the screen. The only minor issue is with the menu circle, which features a large “Play” button in the center (or a “Stop” button during spins). The circular menu looks great, but the three lines used to access the main menu of the game slightly overlap with the reels. Hopefully, NextGen will address this before the official release.
The game structure is quite intriguing. Instead of the expected 5×3 or 5×4 format, NextGen presents a completely different structure. The machine has a 2-2-3-3-3 structure, with a small box on the left containing four symbols presented in a 2×2 square. Next to it is the main reel with four symbols on each reel. So, a total of 16 symbols can land on the machine in one regular spin.
NextGen integrated 60 fixed paylines into the reels. This is a different approach than using ways-to-win systems like 243, 1,024, or 2,048 paylines. The inclusion of fixed paylines allows for better handling of prizes and winning combinations. The Return to Player (RTP) for Merlin’s Money Burst is 96.75%, which is relatively high compared to other new slot machines.
Symbols and Features
The slot features five picture playing cards, including the ace, as well as unique symbols designed by NextGen. The value of each symbol can be found in the paytable. Merlin is the wild card, substituting for all regular symbols except the scatter gem, which activates bonus features and awards free spins.
The betting range is one of the crucial factors for many players when trying out a new slot machine. NextGen provides options for everyone, with the lowest bet set at €0.30, which is exceptionally low for a 60-payline machine. The maximum possible wager is €62.50, achievable with the SuperBet feature, which allows players to increase their bet size and activate bonuses on wild combinations.
Some bonus features are activated by landing three or more scatter icons on the screen. Merlin’s Held Respins is an interesting feature where matching symbols in the 2×2 box on the left side trigger the respin feature. During this feature, Merlin randomly turns regular symbols into wilds.
Getting at least three scatter symbols awards 10 free spins, while combining a 2×2 matching symbol box with three scatters triggers Merlin’s Wild Spins bonus feature.