Aztec Twist: Slot Overview
The team at Hacksaw Gaming turn their attention south of the Rio Grande to the Central American Empire of the ancient Aztecs. Aztec Twist isn't a game that deep dives into the culture but instead uses its propensity for colour and stonework to drive a unique grid slot. In true Hacksaw Gaming style, Aztec Twist has a Spartan look, belying a fiendish bonus game that can produce solid, albeit not outstanding, results.
If you're partial to motion sickness be wary - once you hit the play button, you'll see where Aztec Twist gets its name from. Instead of spinning reels, or dropping symbols onto its 5-column, 8-row grid, the whole thing twists to reveal a new batch of symbols. Aztec Twist's movement is a little reminiscent of Cubes 1 or its follow-up Cubes 2, though with more twisting going on than shuffling.
The rest of the game is pretty basic, as we've come to expect from Hacksaw, where a bit of foliage has been sprinkled in to brighten up the view – on a desktop at least. On mobile devices (Hacksaw's main area of interest), the grid takes up virtually the whole screen. Another thing we've come to enjoy about Hacksaw is their talented sound team, though they've been a bit more subdued in Aztec Twist than usual. Here the focus is on rotating the grid and linking up wins.
This occurs when 5 or more matching symbols land connected horizontally or vertically anywhere on the grid. Instead of a cascade feature kicking in when wins hit, Hacksaw has come up with an alternate symbol locking system to pep up payouts. Combinations as high as 21+ are possible, and using the higher paying mask symbols to do so triggers a payout worth 40 times your stake – all have the same value. It's the same case with the lower value shape symbols, which are worth up to 15x for a 21+ sized combination. A hand pattern wild symbol helps here by substituting all symbols except the free spins tile.
Behind the scenes, the game is highly volatile, which can hit impressive wins during free spins. Bearing in mind, Aztec Twist isn't exactly Hacksaw's highest paying slot, even for a non-jackpot. An RTP value of 96.36% is on hand during default mode, rising to 96.57% if the bonus buy is engaged. Clicking the arrows next to the play button sets bets from 20 p/c to £/€100 per twist, available on desktop, tablet, or mobile devices.
Aztec Twist: Slot Features
Sticky symbols in one form or another are prominent in Aztec Twist, climaxing in free spins, where progressive golden mask symbols trigger a couple of prize cylinders. In the base game, if you land a full row of the same symbol, the row and any matching symbols attached to it turn sticky. Respins are awarded until these winning clusters do not grow any further, then a payment is made. In addition, each sticky row full of the same symbol gets a random multiplier of x2 to x5. If there is more than one full row involved in the cluster, the multipliers are added together before being applied.
Sun symbols are scatters, and 3 in view award 8 free spins. A couple of changes occur here, one being the addition of 2 cylinders at the top of the grid and the introduction of golden mask symbols. When golden mask symbols land, they lock in place to cover all of the positions in their respective row. This lessens the space available to make clusters, but the benefit is golden masks trigger the 2 cylinders at the top of the grid. The one on the left spins to award a multiplier of x1 to x8, while the right-hand side one displays a starting prize value of 10x, which then gets multiplied by the first number. The produces a bet multiplier used to calculate a payout. Each time golden masks triggers the cylinders, the prize value moves up from 10x, to 20x, 30x, 40x, 50x, 100x, 250x, and 500x. Also, +2 spins are awarded each time.
As mentioned previously, Aztec Twist also comes with feature buy functionality. Forking out 115 times your stake will bypass base play and instantly trigger 8 free spins.
Aztec Twist: Slot Verdict
With Aztec Twist, Hacksaw Gaming once again goes about the business of creating slots that break ever so slightly from tradition. The studio refrains from completely pushing the boat out like, say, Crazy Tooth, yet they certainly don't closely watch their competitors for inspiration. Aztec Twist's individuality is entertaining in the base game and tightens its focus during a malevolently simple bonus round.
The simplicity of the free spins game can lead to rewards just as effortlessly as hinder your chances of getting anywhere. Cluster wins take a back seat as you cross your fingers for the golden mask symbols to appear. In fact, after a while, you kind of stop thinking about cluster wins at all – especially if several golden masks have split the grid up, making it tough to pull symbols together anyway. Then it's all about landing full rows of golden masks to coax the prize cylinders into producing what can be pretty sizeable wins. Obviously, the ideal situation is reaching the 500x level in conjunction with an 8x multiplier. At most, Aztec Twist is capable of producing wins of over 6,800 times the stake, which is good though less than much of what Hacksaw has been doing recently, most notably its jackpot stuff.
Aztec Twist is unlikely to shake the grid slot world up, yet you never know, Chaos Crew didn't look overly impressive at a glance either, but its attitude and gripping bonus game managed to shine. Footage of Chaos Crew hitting its cap certainly helped establish its big win credentials. On the other hand, Aztec Twist doesn't have the same attitude, nor is its bonus game quite so infectious or lucrative. Still, there are aspects of Aztec Twist you don't find elsewhere, and mobile players can count on it to deliver gratifying action.
Aztec Twist is another good, if not great, example of the quirky, minimalist, yet potent slots Hacksaw Gaming excels at.