Benny the Beer: Slot Overview
If you've been following Hacksaw Gaming, you're no doubt familiar with Canny the Can, one of the studio's cartoon characters who has shown up in slots like Stick 'Em, Stack 'Em, and Drop 'Em. Now, you're about to be introduced to a new member of the Hacksaw Gaming family, Benny the Beer. Now, there's no mention if the two characters are related or even if they are aware of each other's existence. But if we were going to speculate, Benny the Beer would be like Canny's fun uncle, who brews his own beer in a garden shed, always has something funny if a little cringey to say, and sports a well-earned beer belly. Benny is the star of the online slot Benny the Beer, which is a rich brew that stirs in Hacksaw Gaming's Stackways feature with classic 'book of' gaming.
Like Stack 'Em, Benny the Beer takes place in an idyllic outdoor location, the kind of spot where you sit down in thick green grass beneath a tree, place your beverage to the side before lying back and watching wind ruffle the leaves. It's a long way from a crowded bier haus, in other words, though the pumping oompah tunes and the crowd sounds celebrating big wins remind players of Benny's lively Biergarten connections. Benny bops up and down on the left of the screen, happily holding his belly, while an old school camera pal stands on the right in what is a cosily familiar Hacksaw Gaming scene.
Benny the Beer is a 5-reel, 4-row slot with 1,024 all the way up to 100,000 ways to win at full expansion. The reason ways to win can vary so much is due to the Stackways mechanic – more info to come. Regular wins pay left to right from the leftmost reel and occur at a frequency of 37.79% on the 96.17% RTP model, though three lower configurations are also available. Rated 3/5, volatility is medium, in general, and players may choose a stake of 10 p/c $/€100 per spin.
Making up the 8 regular pay symbols are J-A card ranks, a padlock, an alarm clock, a camera, a bomb, and Benny. Five-of-a-kind wins made up of royals are worth 0.7 times the bet, while character symbols, when landing in lines of 5, pay 2 to 4 times the bet. Not the biggest values ever seen in 'book of' slots, that's true, but there are a few ways of improving returns. Wilds are not one of them, though, since Benny the Beer does not have wilds at any stage.
Benny the Beer: Slot Features
Stackways symbols land in two forms – Normal Stackways and Revealing Stackways. As well as these special symbols are the Book of Stackways round, the Super Book of Stackways round, and bonus buys.
Regular Stackways symbols land with values of 2, 3, or 4, whereas Revealing Stackways symbols have values of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10. The number they display is the number of symbols the Stackways symbols fill the reel with. The symbol type that Stackways transform into is the one which would create the longest winning combination amongst the symbols present on the reels when Stackways activates. If there is more than one candidate, a symbol is chosen randomly from the possible options. Stacking only occurs when a win would result.
Book of Stackways
Landing 3 FS symbols in the base game activates this round with 10 free spins. When it begins, 2 pay symbols are randomly chosen to be the Special symbols. When Special symbols land on at least 3 reels at the same time, a number is shown on the corresponding reels from 2-10. Those reels are then stacked with the amount of symbols shown by the number. Stacked symbols pay as if they were connected left to right. If more than 1 Special symbol lands on 3 or more reels at the same time, they stack and pay one at a time. Landing 2 FS symbols awards +2 free spins, or landing 3 FS symbols awards +4 free spins. Manage to hit 4 FS symbols, and the round is upgraded to Super Book of Stacks, plus 4 free spins are awarded.
Super Book of Stackways
When triggered from the base game, 4 FS symbols are needed to do so. The rules of this round are the same as Book of Stackways, except 4 symbols are randomly chosen to be Special symbols, not just 2.
Benny the Beer serves up 5 feature buy options:
- BonusHunt FeatureSpins – 3x the bet where each spin is 5x more likely to trigger a bonus game. Highly volatile, with a default RTP of 96.39%.
- Double Stack FeatureSpins – 25x the bet where each spin guarantees at least 2 Stackways symbols land. Highly volatile, with a default RTP of 96.35%.
- Triple Stack FeatureSpins – 75x the bet where each spin guarantees at least 3 Stackways symbols land. Very highly volatile, with a default RTP of 96.38%.
- Book of Stackways – 120x the bet. Highly volatile, with a default RTP of 96.29%.
- Super Book of Stackways – 300x the bet. Highly volatile, with a default RTP of 96.33%.
Benny the Beer: Slot Verdict
Every aspect of Benny the Beer is classic Hacksaw Gaming. From the outdoor setting to the amiable characters, the sort of woody, almost 1970s-ish symbols, the particular bleeps, and the cheerful mood. Benny the Beer felt like it was effortlessly designed, not because it's a basic, half-effort slot or anything, but rather because it's come from a studio that has found its groove, that has a history to draw on, an arsenal of entertaining features it can reuse, all while keeping an eye on future innovation. A bit like a coder in the zone, wraparound headphones blasting The Algorithm, fingers dancing along a keyboard like Frédéric Chopin.
The gameplay is classic Hacksaw Gaming as well, and Benny the Beer arguably makes the most entertaining use of Stackways so far. FeatureSpins are provided for players who want StackWays to hit on each spin but maybe handle them with care as they might be scarily hit or miss. Pricey, too (up to 75x per spin, ouch), yet optional, they can burn a balance, but occasionally, masses of Stackways are possible, too, popping out a decent win. Blending Stackways with 'book of' pay anywhere rules makes perfect sense as well, and free spins have an excellent old meets new dynamic going on. Purists get a blast of the past, while 'book' enthusiasts looking for the next new twist find one as well. Hacksaw Gaming's mathematicians have neatly juggled the possibility of creating a ton of ways, far more than the usual 10 or so, with far lower symbol values found in these sorts of games, with winning potential of 10,000x the bet - which is possible in both bonus rounds as well as in the base game, with a bit of luck, or a lot.
It's funny, expanding pay anywhere symbols have been around for like ever, but the way developers, some developers at least, can keep using the format in new and interesting ways is impressive, and Benny the Beer is a prime example.
Benny The Beer cleverly blends newer and older features, presenting them in a charmingly personable environment.