Working at Scientific Games must feel like coming home. NextGen Gaming has clearly hit a creative wall, because the company has used the chance to create a Frankenstein slot by splicing together components from a variety of different providers. The Moneyburst game engine, developed by WMS and licensed to the studio, serves as the backbone of the studio’s third or fourth (who knows) installment in the Merlin series. If you’ve been around for a while, the sight of Merlin’s Moneyburst will bring back memories of other old WMS games like Bruce Lee, Fire Queen, Glitz, or Queens Knight II.
Similarly, it has an unusual reel layout with 60 paylines and four single reels in a 2×2 pattern followed by three reels with four symbols each. Playable on all platforms from 30 cents t0 62.50€ per spin, this fairly childish appearing fantasy-themed game offers plenty of various features to keep you occupied throughout, such as respins, wild modifier bonuses, and a free spins game in which Mr Merlin himself makes an appearance.
Maybe even more so than in previous entries in the series, Merlin’s Moneyburst seems like an instructive computer game for 6-year old youngsters to learn their ABC’s. Your young child will like this game because of the cartoonish royal insignia, which include whimsical eyes that follow the movement of the mouse cursor. The visuals are fine, however they feel a little old, especially the cheesy wizard sequences.
A, K, Q, J, and 10 royal values (with eyes), together with timepieces, money bags, and bottles of potion, spin on the reels amongst a moonlight woodland. Five spell books on an active payline will return 8,33 times your wager. As could be expected, Merlin is the wild symbol and may replace all others save the scatter. You may earn 83.33 times your bet if you get five of him on an active payline.
Features of Merlin’s Wealth Explosion
Players may select from a variety of additional wagers with multipliers using the studio’s in-house created SuperBet function. This helps when the Merlin wild appears and multiplies your wins by up to 10 times. The betting options are as follows:
Play at Bet Level 1 for 60 cents to 15 euros each spin and get a 2x multiplier on all wins thanks to the wild symbol (95.75% RTP).
At the second-highest betting level, whereby bets range from one euro to twenty-five euro, the payout for each combination that includes a wild symbol is multiplied by four (96.00% RTP).
Bet Level 3: Play between 1.50€ and 37.50€ per spin; Wild symbols increase payouts by a factor of 6x (96.25% RTP) when used in a winning combination.
At Bet Level 4, where wagers range from 2€ to 50€, wild symbols increase payouts by a factor of 8x (96.50% RTP) for winning combinations that feature them.
Playing at the maximum Bet Level 5 (from 2.50 to 62.50€ per spin), the payout for each winning combination that contains a wild symbol is multiplied by 10 (96.75% RTP).
There are in total 3 features incorporated in Merlin’s Moneyburst. Despite being activated more often than any other function, Merlin’s Held Respins is the least appealing. It takes effect if there are two sets of identical symbols in a 2×2 arrangement on the reels. The symbols on the 2×2 configuration remain frozen in place for the first 5 respin attempts, while the other 3 reels keep spinning. As an added bonus, the Merlin may make wild substitutions at will. 3 scatters throughout the feature will add additional 5 respins to your total.
The Merlin’s Free Games feature is the game’s second greatest bonus and is activated when you get three claw scatter symbols on reels 3, 4, and 5 on the same spin. During the initial round of free games, which consists of 10 spins, Merlin can show up at random and add stacked wilds on reels 3, 4, and 5. You can also get additional 10 spins for free if you manage to retrigger the feature. The possibility of activating Merlin’s Held Respins also exists here.
The Merlin’s Wild Spins bonus game is the main attraction of Merlin’s Moneburst. This unusual bonus round, known unofficially as the “Double Bonus” among streamers, is responsible for some of the slot machine’s most memorable payouts throughout the years. If you get three scatters and two matching symbols on a single spin, then you trigger Merlin’s Wild Spins. When this feature is activated, the middle two reels become stacked wilds, and all symbols on the top two reels become wilds as well. This bonus round is retriggerable, giving you an additional 10 wild spins.
The Moneystorm Conviction of Merlin
When you combine the traditional Bruce Lee mechanism with the Merlin series, you get Merlin’s Moneyburst. While both games share similar core mechanics, Merlin is somewhat riskier thanks to its SuperBet feature. When compared to Bruce Lee, Merlin’s Moneburst has a lower RTP of 95.50% when the SuperBet function is turned off. Boosting the SuperBet makes the game more profitable, but it also makes it riskier and more expensive to play.
There’s a lot of untapped potential, much as with Bruce Lee. The rewards in the Respins feature and the Free Spins Game aren’t particularly thrilling, however triggering Merlin’s Wild Spins nearly guarantees you a 1000x-4000x feature. You do the arithmetic with the addition of the 10x SuperBet. To sum up, Merlin’s Moneyburst is a respectable reimagining of Bruce Lee that provides all the pleasures of the original while also satisfying the appetites of those who want their entertainment on the raw side. It’s a decent slot machine, provided you can get beyond the “child-friendly” aesthetic.