When I first chanced upon the Hacksaw Gaming slot called Xpander, the first ideas and impressions that came to mind were grand design, huge payouts, and bigger-than-usual paying symbols. Well, almost but not quite. Welcome to another interpretation of the classic fruit machine! In this slot, the classic game takes on a bigger and more adventurous feel. A quick check reveals that this title comes with a massive 7×7 grid with all the standard fruity items as the paying symbols. Since the play area is bigger, it uses the Cluster Mechanic to generate wins for the players. You need five or more identical symbols to strike a win.
Also, this release is still part of the Pocketz series of games from Hacksaw Gaming which means that these titles are playable across devices. I think this is already a given in this highly competitive industry, so it tries to add a few surprises.
This game comes with a Hopper feature, a multiplier of up to 128x, and a standard Free Spins which can provide non-stop entertainment. Also, it’s a high variance game which can be a challenge for some players so read up first before you play.
Hacksaw Gaming goes back to the basics in delivering the game. But as part of my review, I try to be objective and see what makes this title different from similar titles.
As mentioned, this takes inspiration from several classic slot machines. I can see this in the choice of the overall theme, with a dazzling display of fruits, Diamonds, and Number 7s as the primary paying symbols. Like other classic slots, Xpander relies on colors and visuals to bring entertainment and shows. The game’s background is a city landscape, although it’s not as clearly shown or visible.
It is also admirable that the game uses festive graphics and sound effects when spinning the reels. This vibe gives you an entertaining anchor when looking for big wins in this high volatility slot. While you are navigating the epic city, look for the Hopper Feature. It will hop, land on a winning cluster, and increases the Multiplier of up to x128!
This Hopper feature reverts to its default size of 1×1 and x2 value in between paid spins.
With its 7×7 grid, Xpander relies on the Cluster Pays. In this game, a winning cluster starts with at least five identical symbols. If this happens, the clusters are immediately taken out from the screen using the Tumble Feature. With this, new and existing paying symbols will drive from above the screen to take on the gaps. This process is entertaining to watch, and it’s made even more electrifying thanks to the use of 1980s sound effects in the background!
Again, this is a friendly game with bets that range from 0.20 up to 100.00 credits per spin. All the important buttons here from the Spin, Bet, and the ‘Buy Bonus’ are easily accessible at the bottom of the playing screen. Also, the unique ‘Buy Bonus’ option is highlighted in green, making it easier to spot.
In one of my sessions playing the game, I noticed that it comes with a ‘Buy Free Spins’ option. When I tried this out, I was charged 129x my total stake, but in exchange, I was guaranteed three Free Spins Scatters which I will explain below. However, this feature is not available to all players from all territories, which can be an issue to some.
In Xpander, you need three Free Spin symbols to enter the bonus and win three spins during the base game. Once you start the round, you begin with five spins, and if you luckily land the 1UP symbol, this will instantly award you an extra free spin. Well, this is your only chance to grow your spins count in this game so pay attention.
However, I have a few complaints about this bonus round, and I am not just talking about the small allocation of Free Spins for a start. During this round, the Multiplier value or size does not reset, which cannot help you potentially snatch big wins.
It’s always nice to go back to basics when playing slot machines. However, if I will play one, I want to make sure that something grand and better is waiting for me as a player. Well, in the Xpander slot, this game starts quite well with its fun 1980s vibe and straightforward selection of paying symbols like Watermelons, Bells, Lemons, and Grapes. And yes, it also brings in the traditional favorites from classic Free Spins and Multipliers! Other than these, there is nothing more to see in Xpander, and if you are the type of slots enthusiast who is hard to impress, this can be disappointing.
So is this a great and entertaining game from Hacksaw Gaming? I think that Xpander is fun and sweet. And i know there is some crazy potenial in this slot. So let´s try to get that x10,000 your bet!