Beast Below

(Hacksaw Gaming) Slot Review

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Beast Below: Slot Overview

Thalassaphobics, it might pay to take a few steps back because we are joining developer Hacksaw Gaming as it explores the wide blue ocean depths in Beast Below. Actually, blue might not be the best word to describe this patch of the sea. Beast Below is set in a dark, murky underwater world where goodness only knows what lurks in the shadows. We do know there are sirens and divers, though, as they are linked to some of Beast Below's features, which include expanded wild symbols and some multiplicative action, amongst other things.

As far as beasts go, the critters on Beast Below's reels may or may not be friendly, but they are certainly very spiky-looking. You really wouldn't want to accidentally step on one while snorkelling for fear of slashing a foot and attracting the local shark population. The game has an unusual vibe, murky, a little cartoony, kinda sinister. Beast Below is certainly no Canny the Can style game, yet it's not one of Hacksaw Gaming's terrifiers either, despite an ever-present skulking menace. For now, let's tread carefully lest we stir up Beast Below's submerged threats, or will we find rewards? Let's see.

Beast Below slot
Beast Below slot - base game

One of the last things you want to do while diving is panic and head rapidly for the surface, thereby triggering a bout of the bends, which really doesn't seem like fun. A cool hand may be required to get the most out of Beast Below as well due to a medium-high volatile math model (rated 4 out of 5), though this may change depending on the bonus buy chosen. Beast Below supplies four different feature buys, and its stake selection ranges from 10 p/c to $/€100 per spin. When played in the regular mode, players can expect a maximum return value of 96.29%, but again, this may change when buying a bonus.

Hosting all those spiky-looking aquatic creatures is a 5-reel, 4-row gaming matrix crossed with 14 fixed paylines. One goal is to land matching symbols along a payline, starting from the leftmost side on at least 3 adjacent reels. The symbols are partly made up of 10 to A playing card ranks as the low pays and 5 creatures of the deep as the highs. Players hit a winning combination of 5 matching symbols to receive a payout of 2 to 3 times the bet for the royals or 5 to 10 times the bet for the fishy high pays. Anchors are wild and may land on all reels. Wilds replace any standard pay symbol or award 20 times the bet for a 5-wild winning line.

Beast Below: Slot Features

Beast Below slot
Beast Below slot - free spins

When it comes to features, a lot of what's available in Beast Below is also available in several previous Hacksaw Gaming slots. Some of it's new, though, and when listed, the extras are Expanding Sirens, the Siren's Call Bonus Game, the Down Below Bonus Game, and the bonus buy.

Expanding Sirens

Sirens are wild symbols which expand upwards to the top of their reel; if doing so means the expanded symbol would be part of a win. Expanded Sirens display a multiplier value of 2x to 200x, which applies to any win the symbol is part of. When more than one Expanded Siren is used in a win, their values are added together before being used. Only one Siren can appear on a reel at a time.

The Siren's Call Bonus Game

Landing 3 FS scatter symbols in the base game triggers this feature with 10 free spins. During the feature, there is a greater chance of landing Siren symbols than in the base game. A Pink Siren symbol may also land. Expanded Pink Siren symbols stay on their reel but nudge up one row on each subsequent free spin. Pink Sirens can have values of x2 to x200. Hit 2 FS symbols to win +2 free spins, or 3 FS symbols to win +4 free spins.

Down Below Bonus Game

Landing 4 FS scatter symbols in the base game triggers this feature with 10 free spins. Here is where the Diver symbol may land. When it does, it expands into a full Diver reel which is a wild multiplier with a value of x2 to x200. Diver reels start with 3 Oxygen Charges and, at the start of a spin, may move to an adjacent reel, spending 1 Charge. When charges reach 0, the Diver is removed. A maximum of 3 Divers can be on the grid at once, and their values are added when more than one is used in a win. Landing 2 FS symbols awards +2 free spins, or 3 FS symbols awards +4 free spins.

Buy Bonus

The bonus buy menu lets players pick these ways of playing Beast Below:

  • BonusHunt FeatureSpins - 3x the bet where each spin is 5 times more likely to trigger a bonus game. Very highly volatile with a max RTP of 96.29%.
  • Siren FeatureSpins - 50x the bet for a spin guaranteeing at least 2 Sirens land. Very highly volatile with a max RTP of 96.32%.
  • The Siren's Call Bonus Round - 120x the bet. Very highly volatile with a max RTP of 96.27%.
  • Down Below - 200x the bet. Highly violative with a max RTP of 96.31%.
Beast Below slot
Beast Below slot - feature buy menu

Beast Below: Slot Verdict

Beast Below joins the ranks of previous Hacksaw Gaming slots like Stormforged, Temple of Torment, and Cursed Seas. All play around with the concept of expanding wild multipliers to varying degrees. The studio has vast expertise in taking an idea, then twisting it this way, then that way, stretching it, trying new things to get more mileage out of it or morphing it into something new. To help prevent this process from feeling stale or repetitive, Hacksaw Gaming is highly skilled at creating impactful game worlds to showcase its considerable vision and talent for dreaming up new features.

Beast Below is one which felt like we'd headed into a lesser treaded part of the planet, the sort of spot where Cthulhu might rise from the deep, as in the classic H P Lovecraft story The Call of Cthulhu. 'We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.' Something along those lines, and players who favour Hacksaw Gaming's darker take on the world as opposed to its cartoon-heavy slots will likely appreciate the pelagic location presented in Beast Below. As should gamblers who have enjoyed the expanding wild action on show in the 3 slots mentioned above because that's largely what Beast Below is all about as well. As can happen with its peers, solid multiplier action is possible in Beast Below, too, either singly or when wild multipliers combine powers in a win. The Diver feature is one of Beast Below's more original elements, too, and worth a look if you feel like what came before worked. The Divers' roaming ability is technically able to mix things up - positively, so should a Diver Reel move toward a win, less so if it seems like it's trying to avoid them.

Such is the random nature of online slots that Hacksaw Gaming is adept at tapping into. The studio has tapped pretty well with Beast Below, too, which might not be the most original thing the studio has done, technically speaking, but when considering the excellently presented game world, newer bits like the Diver and the nudging Pink Siren, Hacksaw Gaming fans get another sturdily made, slippery scaled slot to try.

Great

Beast Below delivers kind of more of the same but is executed so well it doesn’t really matter.

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