Holy Diver was met with lackluster reception from the gambling community, thus it was quickly followed by The Final Countdown, which was both simpler and more explosive. Opal Fruits has everything necessary to unite every lover of vintage Big Time Gaming and win over newcomers, but only time will tell what happens next.
Nik, CEO of Big Time Gaming, is a man whose heart and soul is in every game the company makes, and whose enthusiasm is palpable in any conversation about his creations. This is a man who has dedicated his life to slot machines and whose greatest ambition is to make gamers swoon over his designs. Nik has informed us that he spent a lot of his youth avoiding school in order to play Defender, a shoot ’em up video game produced by WMS. What you get with Opal Fruits is therefore not simply an exciting slot, but also a nod to Nik’s youth and a simpler era.
The game’s nostalgic 1980s vibe is the first thing you’ll notice with Opal Fruits. There are, however, a lot of puns and references to figure out. The title, for instance, is a clever play on the old name for the popular UK candy Starburst, which was Opal Fruits when Nik was a kid and which he enjoyed munching on as he played.
You may be fooled by the superficial resemblance to Bonanza, but rest assured that the game is not powered by the Megaways engine. What you get instead is Triple Reaction, a patented idea that uses two additional reels above and below reels 2, 3, 4, and 5 instead of the usual one. In combination with the 6 reels, 3 rows, 5,625 possibilities to win, the reel design becomes fairly thick, in effect giving you a 3-5-5-5-5-3 configuration.
Like Bonanza, Opal Fruits comes with a response feature, a style of gameplay where winning symbols are blown away and replaced by new symbols, continuing until no new winning combinations emerge on the reels.
Opal Fruits isn’t a slot with a ton of extras, but it’s still really powerful. Here, the x3 Multiplier Wilds in the base game may really help you win big. Spell out F-R-E-E to activate the Free Spins bonus round, which comes with an infinite multiplier and a new option to retrigger the bonus. It’s available for wagers as low as 10 cents each spin and as high as 20 euros or dollars.
It visually borrows a color scheme from NetEnt’s Starburst, which was probably done on purpose given the pun. Soundtrack features authentic samples from Williams Electronics’ Robotron and Defender SFX, giving off a very ’80s atmosphere. The game’s visual style is largely typical of what you’d expect from Big Time Gaming, which has opted to take things easy in this respect.
You’ll find the standard 9 through A royal values on the reels of this space-faring Defender slot, along with a quartet of gemstone-style fruits: pears, plums, watermelons, and grapes. Nik suggests switching the watermelons and grapes to be the highest paying symbols because “you can’t really push purple Melons.” If you get six of a type with the grapes, you’ll win 50 times your bet.
Wild symbols come in two varieties, each of which is exclusive to the bonus reels:
The standard wild symbol may be found in both the main game and the Free Spins bonus round, and it substitutes for all other symbols.
This wild card has an x3 multiplier and is exclusive to the basic game. Although the chances are enormous, the x3 wilds double each other on various columns, essentially resulting in 6666×50 combinations, plus a few thousand more depending on what else strikes.
Features of Big Time Gaming’s Opal Fruits
In addition to the multiplier wilds that keep you on your toes in the main game, the Free Spins game is activated by getting the four scatter symbols that spell out the word FREE anywhere on the reels. With 10 spin and a multiplier of 1, the goal here is to build the multiplier by 1 with each subsequent response.
The feature is now retriggered and 5 more spins are added to your total whenever the multiplier meter hits a multiple of 10 (x10, x20, x30, etc.). Furthermore, triggering the Free Spins with an extra scatter will give the win multiplier an x5 increase as opposed to providing 5 extra spins. With each subsequent scatter, your bonus will increase by a factor of ten.
Judgment on Opal Fruits by BTG
What Big Time Gaming set out to achieve in this case, they did, and did very well. The final product is a basic, fast-paced, explosive, and thoughtless slot that sends a powerful signal to remind people who the genuine alphas of revolutionary game design are, thanks to its startling potential and a huge dose of nostalgia sprinkled in. Nik told us, “We could of overcomplicated it, but we just wanted a pure, unmistakable game that you feel genuinely entertained by,” in our discussions about the game with him.
Opal Fruits’ bare bones character is not off-putting. Actually, it’s the thing we’ve been waiting for without ever realizing it. It’s a welcome change of pace from the more feature-packed fare we’ve been given as of late, while still providing the same adrenaline-pumping action in its purest form.
Big Time Gaming fans: Royal Mint Megaways, Kingmaker Megaways, and Monopoly Megaways are all great examples of games powered by the Megaways engine.