Snakes and Ladders Megadice: Slot Overview
Snakes and Ladders is a classic board game introduced to Europe in the nineteenth century, originating in India, under the name of Moksha Patam. If you are unaware of the game, players roll dice to move their piece around a numbered board with the goal of being the first to reach the final square. What mixes up the action is landing on a ladder, moves your piece up a number of squares, while landing on a snake pushes you back. It’s a game played around the world and has appeared in one or two slots in the past. This incarnation of the popular game comes courtesy of Pragmatic Play and partner Reel Kingdom in a slot simply titled Snakes And Ladders Megadice which gives players the chance to win cash from an actual Snakes and Ladders board during its bonus round.
Before getting to the showpiece, the base game is played on a 5×3 game grid, with 10 fixed paylines. There is a touch of retro 8-bit gaming going on, created by the font used for the low pay symbols and in-game messages, as well as some of the graphics in general. Not unusually, Reel Kingdom refused to stick to one genre or approach, so there is a clash of visuals going on. The look kind of gels with the fact Snakes and Ladders is an old board game, but also looks confusedly dated as well. Overall, the initial impressions didn’t blow us away, but other’s might appreciate the eccentric potpourri.
Due to the up and down nature of Snakes and Ladders Megadice, one minute you’re winning, the next a pesky snake has dropped you back. A few rounds later, a fortunate ladder pushes you into the winning position. Such capricious gameplay has been matched with a highly volatile math model for the slot version. Default RTP is rock solid at 96.68%, while potential isn’t bad either. Players may use any device to tackle the classic, picking bets that range from 10 p/c up to a maximum of £/€100.
The symbols have a sense of randomness to them, which isn’t out of character for Reel Kingdom. Low pays are 10 to Ace 8-bit styled card royals, paying 5-10 times the stake for a five of a kind hit. Highs are comprised of ladders, snakes, bananas, and Gorilla Kings, where a full line of five is worth a payout of 15-50x the bet. Better yet, Wild Dice symbols pay the most at 500x the bet if you hit five along a payline. In addition to substituting pay symbols, Wild Dice land with 1, 2, or 3 dots on them, like normal dice. The number of dots represents a win multiplier of x1, x2, or x3.
Snakes and Ladders Megadice: Slot Features
Triggering the Snakes and Ladders bonus round is the main goal which is accomplished by landing the right number of scatters or via a progressive feature.
At the start of the game, or when the stake is changed, the 11 sections on the snake above the reels are inactive. When Wild Dice hit, the number of dots they display fills sections of the snake. Depending on how many Wild Dice dots land, it is possible to trigger the bonus game and win extra rolls if you overfill the snake. Changing bets starts the snake fill process from the start, but progress is saved if you go back to a previous stake.
Snakes & Ladders Board Bonus
This is triggered by filling the snake or landing 3 bonus symbols on the reels. If filling the snake activated the round, you get 12 dice rolls plus any retriggers up to 17 at the most. If activated by bonus symbols, then 3, 4, or 5 triggering bonus symbols awards 12, 14, or 16 dice rolls, respectively.
The bonus is played on a 12×12, 144 spaces snakes and ladders board. Players are represented by a gorilla head token which starts on square number one. One each turn, two dice are rolled, and the token moves the applicable number of squares. Square are either blank or display one of these:
- Money Award – a win of 4x to 100x the bet is added to the total round win.
- Multiplier – a multiplier value is applied to the total win collected up till that point.
- Ladder – moves the player from a lower square to a higher one.
- Snake – moves the payer from a higher square to a lower one.
- Banana – adds random Money Awards to the grid and removes other Banana symbols.
- Skyscraper – appears randomly on any square. If landed on it moves players to a random higher position.
The bonus game ends when there are no more dice rolls to play or when the token reaches the last square. If the latter case, then the round ends, but players have the chance to retrigger it. Two dice roll, and if the result is not a double, the bonus round is retriggered. In addition, the Snakes & Ladders Board Bonus has a bet win guarantee. If the round ends and the winning total is less than 20x the stake, players are taken to Rage Mode. When this happens, the gorilla token moves along to the final square collecting all of the prizes along the way.
Snakes and Ladders Megadice: Slot Verdict
Well, there’s dice, there’s rolling, there’s buzzing around a board zipping up ladders and down snakes, with the added bonus of potentially collecting cash money along the way. Therefore, any players who ever expressed a desire to merge Snakes and Ladders with an online slot get an intriguing option to test drive. There are caveats, of course, and Pragmatic Play/Reel Kingdom collaboration are unpredictable. In the case of Snakes and Ladders Megadice, the look might be one dividing factor. The retro angle kind of works though it’s debatable whether they’ve managed to completely pull it off. Snakes and Ladders Megadice certainly doesn’t have quite the same panache of something like Hellcatraz or Santa’s Stack, for example. The look will either be part of the charm or could well be a deal-breaker.
On to the gaming, and Wild Dice are a nice addition to the base game. Not only because they are one way of triggering the bonus game, but due to their multipliers fire off a thrill or two here and here. Of course, the base game is little more than a sideshow to the bonus round where the board game element has been done quite well. Players get a good number of dice rolls; the up and down nature of Snakes and Ladders is there, resulting in a grown-ups version of the classic board game. You could boil the feature down to an old school bet multiplier trail, though it is more elaborate than usual. Topping it all off with a potential of 5,300x the bet means Snakes and Ladders Megadice is worth a look if this sort of gaming is your thing.
To sum up, SNLM is pretty slow paced, and somewhat average looking. However, as far as board game/slot crossovers go, there are bound to be some out there that will be all over this. Monopoly slots remain popular for better or for worse, after all. In the end, if you’re keen on the game’s retro look and up for a bit of Snakes and Ladders inspired action, this should scratch the itch.