Please, someone tell me why I like Stack´Em so much. It’s such a basic cluster pay game but I think the sticky win and growing win multiplier aspects of the game have something to do with it. I should give you a bit of a warning right here, Stack’Em is seriously addictive.
Canny the Can and his friend Mona the Mouse flank the playing area and every time you win, Canny will give a whistle. You might remember these two from earlier Scratch Cards released by Hacksaw. This shows how far the game studio has come since it was founded in 2018. Hacksaw Gaming released Stack´Em in May, 2021, and the slot already has a cult like following. After the game has loaded, if you listen really closely, you can almost hear the chant of a thousands of voices saying: “Join us!” In this review, I hope to explain why this slot has become so popular
I would like to start by going into some basic Stack´Em data and let you know some pros and cons before diving head first into the fine details of what makes this slot comparable to online casino heroin. Seriously! It’s that addictive and fun to play.
Did you ever play with blocks with letters and pictures on them as a kid? That’s pretty much the theme of Stack ‘Em. It brings you back to a time when life was simpler. Long before you ran a guild in World of Warcraft and had to lead people on raids and deal with diehards who would stop at nothing to ruin it for everyone.
Another reminder of childhood innocence is the trees in the background, opened in an inviting glade, or the yellow field when you’re playing free spins. Even though the backgrounds are really easy on the eyes and bring back some nostalgic memories from years ago, they are not distracting from the play area.
The game mechanic isn’t something new. Stack ‘Em basically follows a certain slot that was released back in 2011 but adds a bit of a modern twist to it. Here’s how it works. Blocks fall down from the top and you need to hit a winning cluster of at least 5 matching symbols.
When you do, all other symbols are removed and your winning symbols are left at the bottom. Under each reel you will see a number that shows how many winning symbols are on that reel. These numbers are added together and converted into win multipliers to each win.
New symbols fall from the top of the screen and if they match and add to your winning stack of symbols, you win again, and your win multipliers below the reels will grow accordingly to the new number of symbols are on the reel. This process will continue until you no longer expand on your winning stack or stacks.
Different symbols will pay more than others. There are also wild symbols available to help you stack huge combinations.
As you can see, the gameplay is really simple. But therein lies the danger. Don’t forget that this is a highly volatile slot and it can turn on you faster than you can say Dun Morogh. One moment it sounds like Canny the Can can’t stop whistling in your winnings, the next there’s nothing but silence, like the Darkmaul Plains.
The Stack’Em free spins are quite different from how the base game is played. You start with 5 spins and every spin removes 1 heart above the play area. Once you run out of hearts, you run out of spins. It may sound easier to defeat Uu’Nat in the Battle for Azeroth’s Crucible of Storms than hitting the 10,000x max payout during free spins, but you’d be surprised.
During free spins you still need to hit winning stacks of at least 5 symbols, but the rest of the symbols aren’t removed. Instead every symbol that was part of any winning combo is counted and added to a win multiplier on top of the screen. You will have plenty of added wilds during the bonus feature so hitting winning stacks is not the issue.
There are 2 other special symbols that you need to be on the look out for, these are the X and the ? because these 2 will either make or break the entire free spins feature. Particularly the ?. When you hit an ? symbol it will flip over to reveal either a +, an x, or a heart followed by a number.
The + will simply add the number to the total of your win multipliers on top. The x will multiply its number by your accumulated total, and the heart will add more life at the top of the screen. More life means more spins. But what really sucks is that you can never have more than 5 hearts. Any number that would have increased the maximum of 5 is simply lost.
Now, for the X symbol. If this symbol is part of a winning stack of symbols, the payout of that stack is multiplied by the total number of multipliers you currently have at the top of the screen. The problem is that the X is not a wild, so it needs to connect with a stack of at least 5 symbols. This can be infuriating. For example, let’s say you have 4 matching symbols on top of each other on reel 1, then the X and then another symbol that matches the other 4 on top of the X, the stack doesn’t qualify, and you don’t win a dime.
Needless to say, for a round of free spins to be rewarding, you need to build up a massive amount of multipliers and then hit winning stacks that connects with the X. It’s a lot easier said than done, especially since you’re not guaranteed to have the X symbol on every spin during free spins.
Stack´Em is truly exciting to play. I think it’s because it’s so simple and you will be able to understand exactly what needs to happen to hit those really big wins. It just gets really frustrating when it doesn’t happen. Still, when things are going your way, you’ll feel like you did the first time you and your raiding party slayed Uu’Nat.
I think Hacksaw has proven that they are here to stay. They have released several great titles in a very short period of time and I’m really looking forward to what’s to come. If they keep adding modern twists to classic game mechanics and stick to the 10,000x max win formula, they could really be on to something.
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