Canny the Can and the Book of Time: Slot Overview
After being dragged through the underworld, fighting warriors, and doing a spot of time travel, it was quite a surprise to see Hacksaw Gaming revive the character of Canny the Can. If you didn't know, Canny was one of the studio's original characters, appearing way back when in games like Stick 'Em. Back then, Hacksaw Gaming was still in an earlier transition phase between scratch cards and online slots and was yet to become the powerhouse we know today (which some argue can be attributed to shady marketing deals with Stake and their lineup of fake money streamers pushing Hacksaw slots). Either way, Canny appeared again in Stack 'Em and is back now for today's review of Canny the Can and the Book of Time. This mouthful of a title reveals some of what to expect, that is, expanded symbols in free spins. However, the game also has a secondary bonus round going by the name of 'What Time Is It?', thus adding a bit of mystery.
Of the previous Canny releases, Canny the Can and the Book of Time (from here referred to as Book of Time for brevity's sake) more closely resembles Stack 'Em. Both spend their base game outdoors, with background nature imagery looking like it was produced by a painter using oils, with a bunch of odd, almost misplaced symbols tossed on the reels. The symbols in Book of Time have a witchy, Halloweeny feel to them, apparently random unless we are missing some obvious clue. The bonus rounds flip to indoor settings, like a museum, library, or art gallery, and the whole thing feels like a bunch of random components chucked into a hat, shaken about, and poured on screen. Not in a bad way, necessarily. The randomness definitely has a charm to it, with an enjoyably old-school animated Disney feel going on accentuated by a jolly oompah-style backing track.
When giving Book of Time a crack, any device may be used to do so where stakes vary from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin. It's played on a 5-reel, 4-row gaming panel, possessing 20 paylines for landing matching symbols across. Not the most volatile machine in the Hacksaw Gaming stable, Book of Time has nevertheless warranted a rating of 4 out of 5 on the studio's volatility meter, while its maximum RTP when playing normally is 96.13%. Hacksaw Gaming slots tend to have variable RTPs, but this can easily be checked when browsing the paytable info.
Other info on the paytable includes pay symbols. The first five are 10-A card ranks, worth 5-15 times the stake for five-of-a-kind, then a wand, hat, dead animal, serpent severed hand, and a mouse are the high pays, shelling out 50 to 250 times the bet for five-of-a-kind. Being a 'Book of' style game, in parts, the Book symbol in Book of Time doubles as the wild and scatter. As the wild, it replaces any regular pay symbols to help complete a winning line.
Canny the Can and the Book of Time: Slot Features
As the scatter, landing 3 or more Book symbols activates the It's a Classic! feature; landing 3 Book symbols awards 10 free spins with 1 special symbol, landing 4 Book symbols awards 15 free spins with 2 special symbols, or landing 5 Book symbols awards 20 free spins with 3 special symbols. Low or high-pay symbols are randomly picked to be the special symbols, which get a golden frame and a different colour.
During free spins, if special symbols land on at least three reels, they expand to cover all positions on their reel after any normal wins are paid. After they have expanded, special symbols pay on all lines from any position. If more than one special symbol lands on 3 reels on the same free spin, they take turns spreading and creating wins. Landing 3 Book symbols during the feature awards +5 extra free spins and picks 1 additional special symbol. If all symbols end up being picked, then no more retriggers will be awarded.
What Time is It?
Landing 3 Clock Man scatters in the base game triggers What Time Is It?, which comes with 10 free spins. Above reels 2, 3, and 4 in this feature, a clock is displayed, showing a different time on each spin. When a Clock Activator symbol lands on reels 2, 3, or 4, wild Multiplier Clock symbols spread down from the top, replacing all symbols until reaching the Clock Activator, which they also replace. The multiplier value is determined by the time shown on the clock, which can be x2 to x12. If more than one Multiplier Clock is used in a payline, the values are added together before being applied.
Clicking the bonus buy button, where available, provides these five options:
- Bonushunt Feature Spins – 3x the bet where each spin is 4 times more likely to trigger a bonus game. Highly volatile with a maximum RTP of 96.27%
- It's A Classic! – 100x the bet for 10 free spins and 1 special symbol. Highly volatile with a maximum RTP of 96.39%.
- Even More Classic! – 200x the bet for 15 free spins and 2 special symbols. Highly volatile with a maximum RTP of 96.35%
- The Most Classic! – 400x the bet for 20 free spins and 3 special symbols. Medium volatile with a maximum RTP of 96.37%.
- What Time Is It? – 200x the bet. Very highly volatile, with an RTP of 96.25%.
Canny the Can and the Book of Time: Slot Verdict
The fact Canny the Can was back was the first curveball in a slot that launched several other curve balls as the game progressed. If you like slots which provide firm ground to stand on, Book of Time's randomness might induce a form of motion sickness. What we mean is the theme is not as straightforward as, say, fruit, pirates, or mythology. It's more like a family-run travelling circus that's been picking up random acts and side shows over the years until the whole shebang's morphed into something no one's quite sure what it is. Entertaining for sure, though one which is tricky to pigeonhole.
But that's all part of Book of Time's charm, being a mix of classic gaming and newer parts, with a nod to highbrow culture such as sculpture, and books. Viewed as a 'Book of' slot, it's worth a look for fans of the expanding symbols format. Having more than one special symbol at once isn't unique, yet it's not super common either, and being able to buy up to 3 special symbols from the get-go with 20 free spins, no less, could be a temptation for some. Symbol values are decent, too, where a full screen of the mouse symbols would lead to a 5,000x the bet hit, which is about the de facto benchmark figure for a 'Book of' game. Interestingly, better results came from What Time Is It? feature during our test runs, though others may find the opposite, of course.
Book of Time comes with a top figure of 10,000x, possible in both bonus rounds, and hitting their win cap is something we've seen Hacksaw Gaming slots do on several occasions in the past. With Book of Time, Hacksaw Gaming again proves it's happier doing its own thing rather than following the herd. It's common for 'Book of' slots to come with some sort of twist, but rarely do they also follow up with a completely separate bonus game. If a slot like Book of Dead represents the pinnacle of 'Book of' action, then Book of Time might just deviate a little too far from the norm. If not, then there is intrigue to be found here in a mysterious game that can be charming, tough, classic Hacksaw Gaming, really.
Book of Time serves up an odd yet oddly enjoyable mix of classic gameplay and newer features, wrapped in a classy jumble of sights and sounds.