Bonanza Megaways Slot Game
Big Time Gaming brings us big time originality in this unconventional six reel slot, which has a variable number of rows, 96% RTP and more than 100,000 ways to win. This is a mining-themed online slot which is all about blowing up rock and collecting precious stones, with a couple of great bonus features that can lead to big wins. It’s one of the highlights of our collection of slot games here at Clover Casino, which also includes Rainbow Riches, Shamrockers, Finn And The Swirly Spin, Starburst and Cleopatra.
Bonanza Slot Game
You’ll want to find some safety goggles, protective overalls, hard hats and a canary for this; we’re going deep underground to play Big Time Gaming’s fabulous mining-themed Bonanza slot. This is a colourful and challenging slot game, which plays with your expectations of how a slot should work and what it should look like. If you want a standard 5×3 offering then head back to our library and choose something else; Bonanza is six reels of mayhem, where the number of symbols on each reel changes from spin to spin.
Bonanza does well with its theme; it’s a good looking slot game without going overboard. Because of the complexity of the layout, it’s important for each symbol and line to be visible and discernible from whats around it at all times, and the graphics manage to do that; each symbol is either a separately carved piece of rock or a gemstone which could be any size at all. Miners have no control over the size and shape of the things they find, and neither do you! The Bonanza mine is set into a grassy quarry, with a waterfall in the background to give you the impression you’re out among nature. Among the many things you might see on the reels are the playing card values 9 through to A, but they’re of low worth, and you’ll be far more interested in either a diamond or one of the colourful gemstones. There’s a dynamite wild which literally blows winning lines up after it completes them, and they’ll substitute for everything other than the scatters.
The scatters are part of a different game all on their own. They’re gold nuggets, and they have the letters ‘G’ ‘O’, ‘L’ and ‘D’ printed on them. Spelling the word GOLD across the reels comes with a separate prize, and we’ll talk about that when we go into details about the bonus features.
The unique and original layout allows this online slot to offer players a truly incredible 117,649 ways to take winnings away. That’s because there are seven different sizes of rock or jewel that could appear on any of the reels. Trying to work out precisely what reacts with what to create a winning line would take hours. Our advice is just to spin the reels, hope for the best, and smile when a winning line turns up!
Enough is going on on the reels already, but there’s even more action happening above them. A mining cart is on standby, carrying extra symbols to add to reels two through five on each spin. You never honestly know what you’re going to end up with until the spin is over, and the vast contents of the reels have been tallied.
Bonanza Slot Bonus Features
The Bonanza slot has two main bonus features, both of which are tied in with the mining theme, and both of which can suddenly and sharply escalate your winnings. Triggering the bonus is reliant on you finding at least three of the letters that spell ‘GOLD’ in order, but once it’s done, you should be in for a great time.
Bonanza Free Spins is the feature that triggers when the word is spelt, and it takes you to a new screen inside the mine, where you have twelve free spins. Find another scatter symbol during your free spins, and you get five more. What’s really exciting here is that every time you find a new winning line, the multiplier increases by a factor of one. Keep the spins going, and you would be working with a multiplier higher than x20 for each win. It all adds up very fast!
Reactions: This isn’t strictly a bonus feature, as it happens during standard play. When you make a winning line, the symbols involved in it are destroyed, and new symbols fall in from above, like a mine collapse. Those new symbols can then create new winning combinations, leading to consecutive wins until there are no more matching lines left, and it’s time to spin again. If your luck is in this can go on for a while, and if you’re fortunate, those new symbols might just be diamonds.
Bonanza Slot Developer
Big Time Gaming has been around the online slot word for a while now. They’re a vastly experienced slot game developer with several high profile successes within their catalogue of slot games. Three individuals in particular spearhead Big Time, all of whom have backgrounds in either slot games or software design that pre-date their involvement with the company, so they’ve been able to bring their own individual talents to the table and help push it forward.
CEO Nik Robinson has been professionally linked with the casino world since 1996. Big Time isn’t the first company he’s chaired; he founded a previous firm, built it from the ground up and then sold it to News Corp for a profit. Big Time Gaming was his next adventure in business. His right-hand man Huw McIntosh has past experience of working with Nik before either of them becoming involved in Big Time, and has over a decade of experience within gaming and casinos as well. The third of the management trio is Ian Schmidt; the company’ Creative Director, who once worked for Rockstar Games. That’s the same Rockstar Games who’ve produced the wildly successful ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Red Dead Redemption’ video games in the past. Those games are legendary for their creativity, and so we should expect some more boundary-pushing content from Big Time in the future.
Big Time Gaming’s most recent high profile project has been to create the official slot game of the revived ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ TV series, which returned to British TV screens in 2019, presented by Jeremy Clarkson. There have been official slot games based on the TV show before, but a new era calls for a new game, and Big Time will have been delighted to win the job. Bonanza is still likely the best known of all the slots the studio has so far produced, but Extra Chilli is also worthy of a mention.
Companies who display an aptitude for the inventive are rarely far from awards ceremonies, and so Big Time Gaming has made a habit of being recognised by their peers for their achievements. At the Meister Awards ceremony in 2017, they placed both first and second for ‘Best iGaming Software Experience’, with Bonanza taking the top prize and Danger High Voltage coming second.
With everything the slot game has achieved for them, Big Time Gaming is extremely proud of Bonanza. They reserve special praise for the slot on their website, saying:-
“Bonanza is one of Big Time Gaming’s greatest creations to-date with the combination of Reactive Reels and MEGAWAYS™, it creates a whole new variety of gameplay never seen before in gaming. The resulting combination brings a rich and exciting gameplay experience to the world’s leading online Casinos.
The 117,649 Ways game is set in inside a beautiful mountain diorama, with the action firmly set on how many symbols land in position. Dual reactions – also a new feature – are formed by mining carts that move horizontally to react with the vertical reels. The more symbols that land in the reels the more reactions take place, making for tremendously engaging gameplay.
The Bonus is brand new too, with an unlimited multiplier that is increased by the reactive reels, allowing for new records to be set in free spin wins.”
There isn’t quite enough description within those paragraphs to describe what happens on the reels, but then we don’t think anything accurately can. With so many winning lines it’s impossible to know what will pay off and what won’t, all you can do is keep spinning and hope for the best, but it’s a very entertaining process. We may not completely understand Bonanza, but knowing everything might ruin some of the fun. It’s a smart, enjoyable and rewarding slot game. Isn’t that what we’re all here for in the end?
Slot Games Similar To Bonanza
This is a difficult category to judge. There are many slot games out there which use mining as a theme, and so in principle, there are a lot of slots that could be compared to Bonanza. None of them has the same unusual layout and features that Bonanza does, though, which makes a genuine like-for-like comparison difficult.
Big Time Gaming themselves haven’t yet made a direct sequel to Bonanza (although the slot is less than three years old, so don’t rule it out yet), but they have used the same design principles on Extra Chilli, which is another one of their most popular slot games. We’ll start by looking at the Extra Chilli slot, and their other mining-themed slot game, and then we’ll examine some other mining-themed slots from elsewhere.
It’s true that Big Time Gaming released Extra Chilli some time after Bonanza, and so we can see why some people appear to believe that it’s a sequel, but it really isn’t. It’s set in a completely different world and is inspired by the sights, tastes and sounds of Mexico; Mexican cuisine in particular. What makes it so similar is that Big Time now sees the unique reel and row layout used in Bonanza as a trademark, and have called it ‘MEGAWAYS’, so expect to see it in more of their slots in the future. Extra Chill is also a 6×7 slot, and also has 117,649 ways to win for the same reasons Bonanza does. The Extra Chilli slot has even imported the same free spins feature that Bonanza offers, but has made it slightly easier to trigger; some players felt that finding the final ‘D’ to spell ‘GOLD’ in Bonanza was too difficult, and so only three letters (‘H’, ‘O’ and ‘T’) are called for here. It’s atmospheric, it’s clever, but in reality it’s just Bonanza wearing different clothes. We like the fact that it’s easier to trigger the ultra-generous bonus feature, all the same.
Big Time Gaming’s other visit to the theme of mining comes in Diamond Mine. This takes the game world of Bonanza and scales it down, back towards a more conventional online slot experience. Many of the visuals in Diamond Mine are the same as they are in Bonanza, right down to the symbols on the reels. Diamond Mine also includes extra symbols; the same way Bonanza holds extra symbols above the reels in the mining carts. The bonus symbols and the exploding wilds will all be very familiar to Bonanza players too. This feels like an attempt to take Bonanza and make it more accessible for people who like the idea, but are put off by the complexity of the structure. How much you’ll enjoy it will depend on what your favourite aspects of Bonanza are. If you find yourself craving something similar to Bonanza but easier to spin and understand, Diamond Mine may be a better ‘fit’ for you.
Where’s The Gold:
If there’s such a thing as a ‘traditional’ mining-themed online slot, then Where’s The Gold from Aristocrat Games is an example of it. Aristocrat is one of the smaller developers, and they’ve kept things relatively simple with this slot, which is a few years older than Bonanza. Graphically it isn’t a patch on Bonanza, but if you’re a traditionalist, you may find the gameplay to be more comfortable. It all happens on a standard 5×3 layout, with a couple of bonus features added in for good measure including a double-or-nothing gamble option, and a free spins feature that incorporates a wheel of fortune. This slot has character, but it’s not on the Bonanza level.
One of the better-known mining slot games out there is called Gold Rush. It would have to be by default; six different slot games are using the ‘Gold Rush’ name! Most people agree that the best of them is the Pragmatic Play version, and that’s the slot we’re talking about here. Gold Rush is set during the California Gold Rush, and so you can expect to see excited bearded prospectors on the reels, ready to take their pick axes to the tunnels in pursuit of gold nuggets. It’s a five-by-three layout which contains 25 fixed paylines, and contains an intriguing free spins feature where you collect prospector symbols. The more prospectors you have, the more ‘digging’ you can do, and therefore the more you’re able to win! It may not be as original as Bonanza slot is, but then hardly anything is. Gold Rush is a very good slot game.
This may not strictly speaking be a mining-themed slot, but Net Ent’s Hot Gems does have a couple of things in common with Bonanza which makes it worthy of comparison. The most obvious is that it also contains precious jewels as a theme, but the most striking similarity is that when you create a winning line, the symbols involved in that winning line disappear and are replaced by fresh symbols which land on the reels from above. That’s the basis of the ‘Reactions’ feature within Bonanza, and it works in the same way, carrying on and making fresh winning lines until there are no more left to be found, at which point players have to spin again. It’s one of Net Ent’s older online slots, and it does show its age a bit in places, but you could see this as an inspiration for Bonanza.
Bonanza On Mobile
Bonanza is only a couple of years old, and so mobile slot players should have been taken into account during its design stage. However, with such an unorthodox layout, it was probably a more significant challenge for Big Time Gaming to adapt this slot for use on mobile devices than it would be for a more standard slot game. So how has it turned out?
‘Very well’ is the answer to that question! Even though the layout of the reels is busy, it doesn’t take up any more space on a computer or mobile screen than a ‘normal’ slot game, and so it works fine. We were able to play the slot game on a smartphone and keep up with play without noticing any loss of sound or graphics quality. It would be a shame to play Bonanza without its oddly charming banjo backing track, and we’re glad we don’t have to.
Bonanza can be played as a mobile slot with either a portrait or landscape orientation, but we feel it performs a little better in landscape mode. Gameplay is fine in either orientation, but if you want to adjust anything (i.e. change the size of your stake or switch on autoplay), it can be a little fiddly in portrait mode because the fonts have been shrunk down. Go into landscape mode, and you won’t have any issues. We commend Big Time Gaming for making the slot work whichever way up we’re holding our device, because not every developer goes that far, but one way is definitely better than the other.
Bonanza In The News
Competition for space in both the mainstream and industry press is fierce for slot games and their developers, and it usually takes something unusual to catch the eye. Fortunately for Big Time Gaming, Bonanza definitely counts as being unusual, but some time has passed since the slot was first released. There were plenty of people and publications writing about Bonanza when it was brand new, but that attention has since faded.
The slot does still find its way into reports by way of mention, though. One of the key features of the Bonanza slot is the inclusion of the ‘Megaways’ system, which is what Big Time Gaming call their variable row system that allows for so many different winning lines. Up until very recently, it’s been the intellectual property of Big Time Gaming alone, but as per the Gaming Intelligence website, a deal has been struck between Big Time Gaming and Red Tiger Gaming which will allow the latter to use the system within their own slot games. To the outsider, it’s hard to understand why Big Time would part with something that made their slot games so unique. We can only assume there was an excellent financial incentive for them to do so.
When Extra Chilli was released in 2018, it prompted fond memories of the launch of Bonanza for many in the gaming press. The iGaming Business website, in particular, was very enthused by the slot, taking the time to do a full write up about the health of the company in which the continually excellent performance of Bonanza was praised. The phrase ‘on fire’ was used to described Big Time’s recent form, and even better times were said to be ahead. If we’re to believe the expertise of iGaming, we should keep a very close watch on the performance of Big Time during the next twelve months.
Join Clover Casino To Play Bonanza
We’ve written this review in the full knowledge that not everybody will fall in love with Bonanza. Some players just don’t like it when a slot game deviates too far from the norm, and Bonanza is such an unusual slot that even we can’t say for sure exactly how winning lines are calculated. If you’re one of them, that’s OK. Head back to our massive library of online slots, where you’ll find something more to your tastes. Clover Casino has slots to suit every mood and every theme, waiting to be discovered.
If you are ready to head down the mines for an unusual experience, though, then it’s time to get registered as a clovercasino.com player and hit the reels. We’ll give you 20 free spins on our Finn and the Swirly Spin slot as a thank you for joining, and then we’ll match any deposit you make into your new account up to a maximum of £100. That’s double your money and free spins as a welcome!
Whether you’re at Clover Casino for our Irish-themed slots or just because you want to browse one of the greatest collections of online slots anywhere on the internet, thanks for visiting us today. You’ll find the registration link at the top of this page. Join the party!