The border between the United States and Mexico in California is strictly enforced these days, but it hasn’t always been that way. Back in the days of the American Frontier or Wild West, people would travel freely between the two countries to work, visit friends, or drink in their favourite saloons. The Mexican part of the Wild West story doesn’t receive much attention compared to the American side, but back in the day, it would have been a terrifying reality for those living close to the border. Stakelogic has decided to give the Mexican side some attention with their new El Cowboy Megaways video slot, which blends elements of both US and Mexican culture on an enormous 6x6 playfield. This setup looks pretty unusual until you spot the Megaways logo in the corner, meaning there are up to 117,649 pay ways. The RTP is slightly above average at 96.21%, whilst the stated win cap of 10,000x suggests this is a highly volatile game.
We’ve all played a few Megaways slots by now, so the big question whenever a new one is released these days is always going to be, “what’s new?”. Sometimes developers will re-skin the standard Megaways design without any real attempt at creating a fresh experience – that’s fine for a quick blast but seems unlikely to attract new players for the long term. Thankfully that’s not how Stakelogic has tackled their El Cowboy slot game – the bonus round has a new win multiplier reel, whilst action symbols trigger random modifiers in the base game.
Are you excited to play the latest in Megaways online slots? Or are you tired of these machines at this stage? If you haven’t played a Megaways game for a while, then this could be the one to tempt you back – give our free demo slot of El Cowboy Megaways a try below:
el cowboy megaways slot theme, stakes, pays & symbols
We talked a little about the theme of El Cowboy in the opening paragraph, but whole books could be filled with discussions about the Wild West and Mexico’s part in what must have been a terrifying era to live through. The cowboys and guns typically used to portray the Wild West are included on the reels here, as you would expect, whilst Mexican imagery such as the Calavera (Mexican Skull) gives this game a unique look. Comparisons to the Dead or Alive and Money Train franchises will always be made with a game such as this, but I feel that the Mexican/Spanish elements are enough to make El Cowboy stand out from the crowd.
Of course, the presentation and graphics can only take a game so far when it comes to online slot machines. For a game like this to be successful, it needs to have some big hits on the paytable, but Megaways slots are notoriously difficult to gauge just by looking at the numbers alone. For example, the highest-paying symbol offered in El Cowboy online slot is the red outlaw with a return of 5x your bet for each complete pay way of six-of-a-kind. The cyan outlaw drops to 2.5x for all six, followed by 2x for the purple outlaw and 1.5x for the green one. This obviously isn’t the sort of game where you are hoping to hit a single big combination – you’ll need to win on hundreds of pay ways simultaneously to hit it big.
Wagering options are surprisingly limited, with just nine different values offered between the minimum bet of €0.20 and the maximum of €100.00 per round. This could be a quirk of the game's demo version, as it seems strange for Stakelogic to limit the available bets so strictly.
base game & modifiers
The base game of El Cowboy feels particularly crazy, even when compared to other Megaways slots! After hitting spin, you will see the normal reel set spin vertically as usual, whilst the additional top row seems to spin from right-to-left, and the bottom row moves in the opposite direction from left-to-right. Most Megaways games only include a single additional row at the top of the regular reel set. In contrast, in El Cowboy, you will need to line up an Action Symbol on the top bonus reel with a wild symbol on the bottom bonus reel to trigger one of the base game modifiers:
expanding wilds modifier
The wild symbol will expand to cover the entire reel below the action symbol. Catching two or more of these simultaneously can result in a huge number of winning pay ways, especially if you are lucky enough to land them near the left side of the reels.
dropping wilds modifier
Five wild symbols will be added to the reels before automatic re-spins are triggered. Each time a re-spin completes, the wild symbols will drop down one position, after which another re-spin is awarded until all wild symbols have dropped out of view.
multiplier wilds modifiers
A random number of multiplier wild symbols will appear on the reel below the action symbol. If more than one multiplier forms part of a winning combination, the multipliers are multiplied together. The multiplier value can be 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x.
el cowboy megaways slot bonus features
The main bonus round is triggered whenever four or more scatter symbols land on the reels. The minimum of four will award 15 free spins, whilst 20 or 25 spins are given for hitting five or six scatters, respectively. During the free spins feature, one reel will always have a dynamite action symbol positioned above it, and the bottom bonus reel will contain multiplier wilds and the regular wilds that appear in the base game.
There are additional action symbols, too, with new modifiers, including a 15 wild symbol mod and an enhanced multiplier wilds modifier that spreads out the wilds it drops across reels two through six rather than just the triggering reel.
The biggest draw of the free spins feature is the win multiplier reel which will multiply the value of every winning combination by a random amount between 2x and 100x, making this mode far more profitable than the base game.
bonus buy feature
If the bonus buy feature is available in your jurisdiction, there are four options to choose from; the first option costs 100x the stake and will award between 15-25 free spins depending on how many scatters land, whilst option two works the same but guarantees a minimum of 5,040 pay ways on each free spin for a cost of 300x the regular bet.
Option three ups the guaranteed payway count to 117,649 but costs a staggering 1,000x the regular wager to purchase. That’s a lot of money, but it does guarantee a lot of payways as well – I tried this option several times during testing and came out in profit roughly 50% of the time, but you will have to decide if the risk is worth the potential reward.
Finally, for 250x the regular bet, you get a random shot at any of the above features. Sometimes this works out great as you get the 1,000x feature for a quarter of the regular price, but it isn’t so great if you only receive the 100x feature and have paid more than double its usual price.
el cowboy megaways slot review final thoughts
Stakelogic has made a solid attempt to differentiate El Cowboy from previous Megaways slots. The result is a fun online slot that should entertain even the most experienced Megaways veterans. Recommended!