Xpander Slot (Hacksaw Gaming)
Hacksaw Gaming is known for its Pocketz series of slots, and the new addition here is a slot titled Xpander. It is a simple looking slot machine game that is playable using any device.
In Xpander, the developer has gone with a retro-futuristic inspiration, and they have set the slot on 7x7.
Features are also good, and among those that I got to work with include Free spins bonus, Cascading Reels, Buy Feature, Cluster Pays, and Increasing Multiplier Wilds.
Betting and Prizes
Xpander is a highly volatile game but it also offers a fair RTP of 96.25%.
Bets start from as little as $0.20, but if you want value as a real money player, you can go for the maximum bet prize which is $100 per spin. Max win that you can get here is $10000xs the stake.
The slot relies on the cluster pays system to form wins, and I need 5 or more symbols connect horizontally or vertically anywhere on the grid.
Then there is the tumble feature, and as usual, it removes the winning clusters and brings in new ones. This process goes on and on until there are no more new wins.
The slot also offers Hopper feature that offers a x2 multiplier on the regular symbols. It starts from 1x1 and will grow as you advance in the game.
size and moves to a new position between free or paid spins.
If it sits on top of a symbol which is part of a winning cluster, the payout of the cluster is multiplied by the Hopper's current value.
Also landing in the game are several symbols that increase the size and value of the Hopper's multiplier. Double Up symbols land anywhere to double the current multiplier up to a maximum of x128. It is possible to land multiple Double Up symbols at the same time.
Keep an eye out for the green arrow which is the Grow Symbol. When it lands, it is collected. Every 3 Grow Symbols collected in a tumble sequence increases the size of the Hopper from 1x1 to 2x2, 3x3 and then 4x4. Every time the multiplier grows in size, players are also awarded a respin. The Hopper symbol resets in size and value in between paid spins.
Landing at least 3 free spin symbols in the base game awards the free spins feature. In this one, the multiplier value or size never reset, though both characteristics have the same limits – x128 and 4x4 dimension. When the round starts, players get 5 free spins, and landing 1UP symbols adds +1 free spin.
Where available, players can choose to buy free spins rather than wait patiently for them to trigger. The cost for doing so is 129x the bet.
Theme and Design
The symbols used in Xpander are about as sterile as the background image, where, from low to high, are cherries, lemons, grapes, watermelons, bells, horseshoes, 7s, and diamonds. Scoring clusters of 15 matching symbols or more is the optimal result, triggering payouts of 20 to 80 times the stake. A blank hand of cards is the wild, substituting all symbols except the free spin scatter.
It didn't take long for Hacksaw Gaming to follow up their hit release Hop'n'Pop with another catchy slot featuring the Hopper concept. While the two are very close, Xpander offers something that neither Hop'n'Pop nor too many other slots offer. Namely, a multiplier symbol that grows in both size and value, as it hops to new positions. The Hopper has the feel of a multiplying Gargantoon Wild as found in Reactoonz 2, but Xpander uses a simpler system, and reaching the upper x128 level would make the coolest cucumber sweaty.
One reason for all the intensity is that like Stack 'Em you get just five short, sharp free spins to make it all work. Hacksaw has jigged the maths, so there were generally a decent number of tumbles during the review to elongate the bonus round. Just don't expect much from them until the multiplier has moved up a few levels. In addition, 1UP symbols were fairly numerous as well. However, Xpander is just as unforgiving when it's not in the mood as anything else Hacksaw has done, with the exception perhaps of Born Wild.
When Xpander is firing, though, the action on the grid is good enough to take your mind off the prosaic visuals and sleepy soundtrack. This isn't one of Hacksaw's mind-blowing potential slots, yet few will be complaining about the 10,000x it has to offer. Factor in footage of other Hacksaw releases going mental like sister slot Hop'n'Pop and there's no doubting Xpander can pop with the best of them on its day. All up, Xpander is a well-made game that typifies everything the Pocketz range is famed for, making it a logical choice for fans of the series.