Hades Gigablox: Overview
Deep within the bowels of the earth you’ll find Yggdrasil Gaming’s Greek mythology slot Hades Gigablox. This is Yggdrasil’s second time using the shape-shifting Gigablox feature. The first was Lucky Neko, where players experienced a lighter side of Japanese culture. The studio has used a distinctly darker tone to develop Hades Gigablox, seriously ramping up the production values to produce a superb romp through the Underworld.
A rich cinematic intro lays the scene before finding yourself in a game world hosted by Hades himself. Next to Hades sits a 6×6 game area surrounded by an infernal device, reminiscent of the bone piano Andy played in The Goonies.
The jaw-dropping design and animations are some of the best we’ve ever seen in a modern slot. Along with great looks, the accompanying soundtrack is just as brilliant, layering on atmosphere via a dramatic music score. The voice actor needs a mention too, a very deep and sinister voice over has been added to give Hades life as he comments the action during your gameplay. The exceptionally high build quality drags you kicking and screaming into Hade’s kingdom whether you’re willing or not.
Playable on any device, Hades Gigablox provides stakes from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin. RTP is slightly less than Lucky Neko‘s was on 96.0%, joined by a medium volatility. On paper, the bonus game theoretically triggers every 400 spins, which sounds like a quite a challenge. And it often is. However, with the combination of the Gigablox mechanic, a hit rate of 20.5%, and the game’s intense sensorial impact working together, the wait is far more fun than you might suspect.
We’ll get to features in a moment, for now, a few basic rules. The first is that winning combinations are formed when three or more matching symbols land on one of the 50 paylines. Eight regular pay symbols are available, split in to high and low pay groupings. Low pays are four well-designed card suits – hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds, while the high pays are four nightmarish denizens of the Underworld. These are called monster symbols, worth 4 to 8 times the stake for six of a kind.
Hades Gigablox: Features
There might not be a huge number of features, but the transformative qualities of the Gigablox mechanic appear on every spin. Gigablox is partnered by the Hades Wild Hunt and a triggered round of free spins.
If you haven’t played a Gigablox powered game before, or if you’re new to slots, it might seem a little confusing at first. How it works is that symbols can land as a block from 2×2 to 6×6 in size. Sounds basic, but in action it’s rather effective since it means reels are in essence connected. For example, you might have reels 1 and 2 landing 2×2 sized symbols, while reels 4-6 have 3×3 sized symbols. The Gigablox feature changes on every spin, producing a huge variety of reel and symbol configurations.
Veteran players might experience a bit of Viking’s Go To Hell déjà vu when hearing about the next feature. At random, Hades may decide to fight monster symbols in the Hades Wild Hunt feature. When the reels stop spinning, he leaps into action and all defeated monster symbols turn wild. This applies to standard size monster symbols as well as the Gigablox versions. Wilds of all sizes are able to substitute for any regular pay symbol.
Landing 5 or more scatter symbols triggers free spins. Players are awarded as many free spins as there are scatters in view. Scatters are always calculated as individual blocks, so for example, landing a 3×3 scatter block equates to 9 scatters.
Once in, the Hades Wild Hunt is activated on every spin. The key here is to see Hades defeat as many monsters as possible as each defeated monster adds +1 point to the Multiplier Bar. Filling the bar not only increases the win multiplier, but also adds +2 free spins. The multiplier, which never resets during the round, starts on x1, moving up to x2, x3, x5, and finally x10. As before, monster blocks are calculated by symbol size, so a 2×2 block is worth 4 points. On a final note, each scatter you land during the round adds +1 extra spin.
Hades Gigablox: Verdict
Like the popular Vikings range, Hades is another darkly enjoyable Yggdrasil slot, heavy in atmosphere, irreverent humour, and with a huge fun factor. Each element of Hades Gigablox has been expertly designed, interlacing seamlessly into an outrageously playable slot.
As well as features, Hades himself is an extra piece of the entertainment puzzle. His constant callouts are amusing and the chap has loads of personality. He comes across as a loveable rogue, a little bit like Lucifer Morningstar from the tv show Lucifer. The only time you kind of feel like punching him in the face is during a weak bonus game count up as he smirks from his throne, surrounded by piles of gold coins.
Interestingly, when you head back to the base game, facing down a possible 400 spins for the next crack doesn’t feel so daunting. Part of the reason is that the Gigablox feature has come out swinging. It did a decent enough job in Lucky Neko, but it didn’t shine there as it does in Hades. Surrounded by epic graphics, the mechanic has a better chance to show what it can do, and it is impressive. There is a Megaways-ish feel, though Gigablox adds an additional level of unpredictability.
You never know what will happen on a spin, in any game, yet Gigablox amplifies that effect. How many symbols will land on a reel, will reels connect, how big will they be? The mystery keeps you on your toes, making the base game a lot more engaging.
The free spins frequency is low, but it doesn’t feel like the brutal slog it could have been. For one, volatility isn’t massive, and Gigablox’s ever-changing nature keeps it fresh while dishing out a good number of wins along the way. Multi-line combos are common, plus Hades dives in during the Wild Hunt from time to time. It adds up to an insane ‘just one more spin’ compulsion.
Yggdrasil Gaming has done an outstanding job with Hades Gigablox and playing it brings back memories of the first time an Yggdrasil slot blew you away. Few do dark mythology like the Swedish developer and Hades Gigablox is without any doubt one of their best.