Published: 30/01/2013

Megaball is an online arcade game with a big difference. Not only does it offer eight-games-in-one, where each game has a different betting strategy, but also a progressive jackpot that starts at €20,000 and can build rapidly to huge sums. The game can be found exclusively at Playtech affiliated gaming web sites, such as Bet365 and PaddyPower.

The Megaball screen is quite unlike those seen for most arcade games. It has something of a factory motif, with brick walls as the background and machinery in the upper right that randomly “produces” six numbered balls every minute. There are 48 different balls possible and they come in three colors—yellow, blue and red.

A clock with a sweep hand ticks down the seconds until the next drawing, featuring a “red zone” during the last ten seconds when an alarm bell rings as a signal that the time to bet has expired. The sound of heavy manufacturing equipment can be heard as the balls are produced and drop down onto a conveyor belt.

Across the middle of the screen are eight illustrated tabs that can be used to select the games to be played. Below the tabs is a “ledger” with six lines for keeping track of bets made and their results. If more than six wagers are made, up/down toggles on the right side allow scrolling to see the additional wagers. Up to ten different betting strategies are possible for each drawing. The total amount wagered appears in the “Bet” counter beneath the Megaball logo at the upper left of the screen, while the funds available appear at the bottom left.

When one of the game tabs is clicked, corresponding betting instructions will appear in the ledger area. Each game offers the choice to play for a single drawing or multiple drawings—up to 50 repetitions in total, rather like an Autoplay function. Clicking on the “Confirm” button locks in the wager. Note, however, that during the last ten seconds of the countdown, no more bets can be placed.

Among the eight different games available, “Total” is one of the simplest and potentially most lucrative. The player chooses a range of totals for the Grand Total that will be made up by the sum of all six numbered balls. For example, a successful wager on “…50” will payout at odds of 1600X, while one on “251…” will win 5,200 times the bet. Intermediate ranges, such as “101…140” or “161…200,” are worth 2.75X or 3.25X, respectively. The betting starts at just €0.10.

Other games include “First or Last?”—betting on whether the last ball drawn will be higher than the first, or vice versa—and “Steps,” in which each ball must be bigger or smaller than the ball drawn before it. In the game called “Sixth,” the player may wager on the colour of the sixth ball drawn—yellow, blue or red—or else the number of the sixth ball, 1~48, at odds of 45X.

The game “Numbers” is a lotto type of wager. The player selects four out of the 48 numbers and is paid according to how many of them match the numbers drawn. The payouts are 7.6X, 71X, 820X and 12300X for 1, 2, 3 or 4 matches, respectively.

The colours of the balls come into play in the games known as “Colors” and “Cocktail.” For the former, the player simply selects a colour to back and how many times it will occur. A multiplier is paid accordingly if the correct number if balls are drawn of that hue. For the latter, the player must select either a single or double cocktail, meaning one ball of each colour will appear or exactly two balls of each colour will be drawn.

For some games, the amount wagered can range as high as €75, although for most the limit is €25~€50. Note that the “Jackpot” game, which features the opportunity to win the progressive prize, can be played only in the Real Money mode.

Published on: 30/01/2013

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