The Respinners: Overview
The Respinners is a concert inspired entry into Hacksaw Gaming’s Pocketz series of slots. The Pocketz series has been designed with mobile gaming in mind, for a broad range of players. Graphics are minimal, but charming, using basic yet clever formats that don’t leave you second-guessing. While they aren’t overly complicated, they aren’t exactly feature-less fruit slots either. Making things more interesting this time is a Crowd Goes Wild feature and Respins which can lead to a full-blown round of free spins.
It takes about 2.7 nanoseconds to know you are spinning a Pocketz slot. Each one has been crafted in a way to be individual, yet recognisably part of the range. When playing on a mobile, the screen on portrait mode is dominated by the 5-reel, 1,024 win ways grid, while the band jams along the top. Flipping it to landscape mode presents a smaller reel set surrounded by rigging and a cheering crowd.
Since this is a slot based around a band, how does their music sound? Well, surprisingly good, after a while. The music starts off a little sparse, yet it quickly grows if you were ever into certain 80s or 90s bass lead songs. The soundtrack has a distinctly Pixies-ish vibe, which floats along slowly a lot of the time until wins start pouring in, then it steps up the tempo. Wait for that minor chord change too, it’s a subtly enjoyable shift. Like the rest of the game, the music is also overly simple, but it’s Pocketz, so it works.
Even though the game is designed to be played on the go, it can be enjoyed on any device – not just mobile – from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin. RTP, meanwhile, clocks in at a solid 96.4% which must be considered quite generous these days, especially coming from a relatively small provider. Wins in The Respinners come often enough, triggering certain features, but symbol values are kept low to counterbalance this effect.
The symbols are a mix of high pay band members and low pay musical notes. The lows are quavers, double beam notes, crotchets, semiquavers, and triple beam notes. All payout the same amount from 0.05x to 0.15x for three to five of a kind. Next are the higher paying band member symbols – the guitarist, drummer, guitar keyboardist, and Wild Mike the lead singer. Land 5 of a kind from this group for payouts of 1x to 4x the bet. The wild rounds this section off, substituting for any other symbol. It’s only mentionable quality is that you hardly ever see it in action.
The Respinners: Features
Features during The Respinners occur regularly – after every win in fact. They either don’t tend to accomplish much, or they go all the way and trigger free spins. It’s all or nothing at this concert. First up, the Crowd Goes Wild feature is awarded arbitrarily in the main game. When active, a random number of up to 12 wild symbols are added to the reels.
Next, respins are triggered after every win involving the high pay band member symbols. The corresponding muso is highlighted above the reels to track your progress. Exactly one respin is awarded, and if a new band member combination lands, another respin is awarded. So on, until no new bandmate combos appear, or all 4 are lit up on stage. When that occurs, 12 free spins are awarded.
In free spins, each band member comes with their own win multiplier. When you land a band member combo, the respective multiplier is applied to it, then the multiplier is increased by +4.
The Respinners: Verdict
It seems Hacksaw Gaming has landed on a formula that works well for them and Respinners is undoubtedly another quality Pocketz slot. More importantly, it works well for a lot of players too, especially the mobile crowd the range is aimed at. Once again, The Respinners is the kind of game commuters hunch over on their way to work, on breaks, then on the return journey. It looks cheerful, it has personality, playability and that recognisable Hacksaw charm. For the icing on top, potential is solid at 5,150 times the stake. Though with the way features work, you might have a better chance of reforming the old high school band and winning a Grammy.
As well as the highlights there are some irritants and issues that might put players off. Let’s address the symbol values which are low, like really low. Unless you are hitting the lead singer a lot, it can feel like a whole lot of nothing is making its way to your pocket. Counterbalancing that is the number of respins you get. They don’t often lead to the full band under lights and triggered free spins, but they are frequent enough to keep hopes alive.
Funnily enough during testing, the bonus game was triggered after around 10 spins which turned into a double-edged sword. Good because it didn’t take long to get a feel for all aspects of the game, bad since The Respinners can get repetitive after you’ve seen what it’s capable of. Because everything is so light, if the game doesn’t get a hook in early, it is easy to dismiss as too lightweight.
On the other hand, for a quirky, light-hearted punt it’s hard to beat the Pocketz series. They don’t linger in your consciousness for long after you’ve finished playing, but they are slots you slip in or slip out of effortlessly. In that regard, The Respinners is as good as any other in the range, plus its soundtrack might inspire you to dust off some old LPs for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.