Gone are the days where the vast majority of online slot games were made up of a standard 5x3 reel configuration with 9, 15 or 20 paylines. Now, there are tonnes of different systems out there to bring the reel mechanics to life, the most famous of those, coincidentally or not, being produced by Australian developers Big Time Gaming.
Those two reel mechanic systems are named Megaclusters and Megaways. Mega they are indeed, as both incorporate just about every functionality of a slot machine that one could possibly imagine: payouts in all kinds of different directions, expanding reels and absolutely tonnes of ways to win.
Both Megaclusters and Megaways slot games can be found all over the internet and in brick-and-mortar slot locations such as land-based casinos, pubs and arcades. In fact, some of the best online slot games in history have been made using one of these different systems.
If you haven’t come across at least one of these slots before then you may well have been living under a rock for quite some time as they really are the very best in the business.
Big Time Gaming - the Pioneers Behind Megaclusters and Megaways
Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, Big Time Gaming are most famous for their work with their reel mechanics, but what a lot of people do not know is that these guys actually develop online slot games as well, and very good ones indeed at this.
Not only do Big Time Gaming get the behind-the-scenes part of an online slot game right more than anyone else in the business, but they also create slots with great graphics and cool bonus features as well.
Some of our favourite slot games from Big Time Gaming can be seen in our list below. Go ahead and check it out, you might recognise some of them:
- Mr Multiplier Reactor
- Queen of Riches
- Temple Quest
About Megaclusters Slots Format
The cluster pays system is one of the coolest in online slots as instead of having to line up symbols in the conventional way, in a row from left to right, you can connect symbols in literally any direction with clusters, as they need to connect in a group instead of a row.
Typically with Megaclusters, clusters of symbols will need to be to the tune of five or more which is, of course, more than you would need in most slots rows, but being able to match them in all sorts of directions balances that out.
In Megaclusters, the reels start at 4x4 but can reach 16x16 if you rack up combination wins which is achieved when after a win, new symbols fall into the places of winning symbols and create a new cluster meaning multiple wins from one spin. This is what we call ‘cascading reels’.
About Megaways Slots
Now this is probably the more famous of the two - the chances are, you will have seen more online slot games using the Megaways engine than that of Megaclusters. Right off the bat, it’s appealing thanks to having up to an incredible 117,649 ways to win, which is almost as many as any other slot mechanism in the world.
What differs between Megaways and Megaclusters is that Megaways uses standard spinning reels so you will need to line up symbols in a row from left to right. Those reels can still expand, however, if you rack up combination wins from the cascading reels, and that is how you reach that crazy top level of 117,649 ways to win in a Megaways online slot game.
Megaclusters vs Megaways - Which Reigns Supreme?
In both mechanics, you can get combination wins thanks to the cascading reels, and in both the reels can increase to huge sizes allowing for tonnes of ways to win. Megaways does have the best games attached to it such as the following:
However, in our opinion, we ever so slightly prefer Megaclusters and the simple reason for that is the satisfaction of paying out in clusters. That is completely down to personal preference, however, and realistically it’s impossible to call as both of these reel configurations are absolutely epic.
At the end of the day, we fully recommend checking out both Megaclusters and Megaways if you have not before, they are both game-changers. Why not start with the list of Megaways slots we mentioned above? They’re some of the best online slots in the world!