Hand of Anubis: Slot Overview
It's interesting, a lot of the time, the Ancient Egyptian god Anubis is presented in a benevolent fashion. In slots, for example, Anubis is often found in his jackal statue form. That can't have been edgy enough for developer Hacksaw Gaming which has chosen a completely different way of using the god in their online slot, Hand of Anubis. Lest we forget, Anubis was the deity who weighed the recently departed's heart against a feather, thereby determining what sort of eternity they would enjoy in the afterlife. That is some awesome power and responsibility right there since eternity is a really long time.
Players picking Hand of Anubis might wonder if the weight of their deeds have come up short because the jackal-headed god does not look overly pleased in this game. On one side of the grid stands a steely blue-eyed jackal-headed deity, while an equally steely red-eyed one stands on the other side. Hacksaw has used a very dark palette throughout the whole game, and whilst there's a pyramid in the background, Hand of Anubis is the very antithesis of what Egypt themed games usually look like. There's a Stakelogic's Gods of Death meets ELK's Cygnus, meets ripped jackal sort of thing going on. It's heavy, foreboding, and perhaps not for the faint-hearted Egypt fan.
The game's layout is also vaguely reminiscent of ELK too, as each spin sees 30 symbols tumble into a 5-column, 6-row panel, with the goal of landing clusters of at least 5 adjoining matching symbols. Volatility has been rated 5 out of 5, and in a Hacksaw slot, that's no joking matter. Check for RTP, as it comes in four settings, topping out at 96.24%, alongside a hit frequency of 36.92%. Bet levels can be found as low as 10 p/c before going as high as $/€100 per paid drop, while any device may be used to host the action.
To build clusters, players are equipped with ten normal tiles to do so. 10-A card ranks are provided on the lower side of the paytable, with five golden jewelled Egyptian style tokens as the highs. Entry-level wins made up of 5 low symbols are worth 0.1x the bet, up to 15x the bet for 11+ symbols. Landing 5 high pays will get you 0.3-1x the stake, up to 11+ sized premium clusters worth 20-60 times your stake.
Hand of Anubis: Slot Features
Features in Hand of Anubis include Soul Orbs, an Underworld bonus game, a Judgement bonus game, and feature buy options.
In the base game, there is a chance a red Soul Orb, a blue Soul Orb, or both may randomly hit. Orbs are wild symbols with progressive multipliers. The red Soul Orb's multiplier increases by +1 for every symbol in each winning cluster, while the blue Soul Orb's multiplier increases by +1 per winning cluster. Multipliers are applied to any win the Orbs are part of, and they multiply each other if more than one is involved in a win.
Landing exactly 3 bonus symbols activates the Underworld bonus round which takes place in an even more wicked-looking place than the base game. The first thing to note is five numbers located below the grid; each is a multiplier starting on zero. Whenever a winning cluster hits, the number of winning symbols on each reel is added to the corresponding multiplier below it. Also, Anubis Skull symbols can land; when they do, they multiply the number below them by x2, x3, x4, x5, or x10. However, these lower multiplier values are inactive at first and need a green Soul Orb to land above them on a corresponding reel to activate. Each time a number is activated, +3 spins are awarded. Just as importantly, if not more so, the sum of all active multipliers is applied to winning clusters. The max value of each multiplier is x9,999.
Landing 4 bonus symbols triggers Judgement. In this game, regular symbols are removed, and only blank blocks or special blocks land. This hold & win round starts with 3 spins with multipliers above each reel (similar in fashion to Chaos Crew). Now, when Multiplier Modifier Blocks land, they increase the multiplier above them. There are four types:
- Skulls increase the value directly above them by +1-100.
- Epic Skulls add +1-100 to all multipliers.
- Anubis Skulls multiply the value above them by x2-x10.
- Epic Anubis Skulls multiply all values by x2 to x10.
When an Ice Block drops, it disappears, and a Multiplier Block fills the empty space, taking the value of the multiplier above it. At the end of a spin, Multiplier Blocks stack at the bottom of the grid while blank blocks are removed. Then the next drop occurs. Moreover, Crusher blocks may land, smashing Multiplier Blocks beneath them and collating their values into one block. Crushers also reset the spin count to 3. Three consecutive spins without landing a Multiplier Block, Multiplier Modifier Block, or Crusher ends the bonus.
Where possible, players can use the feature buy button to buy their way strong into the Underworld bonus for 129x the bet (RTP 96.29%) or Judgement for 200x the bet (RTP 96.18%).
Hand of Anubis: Slot Verdict
You have to admire Hacksaw Gaming's creative spirit. There might be as many Egyptian themed slots as there are grains in a handful of desert sand, but none are like Hand of Anubis. The studio has done away with all the flash, golden, physical slot trim that often accompanies these sorts of games, and there's not a single expanding symbol in sight. Well, it's a cluster pays game, but you get the point. Hacksaw once again proves they are masters of designing dark, brooding slots, which are a joy to lose yourself in.
They are also masters of the sort of frighteningly good features you find in Hand of Anubis, and it's hard to think of another game we used the word 'multiplier' so extensively in a review for. Multipliers are extensively used in Hand of Anubis during all phases of play. Obviously, much more in bonus rounds, and our very first Underworld trigger was an excellent example of the sort of magic they can perform when an x500+ multiplier was produced. Fortunately, several green Soul Orbs had activated their values meaning they could be used to boost wins. One can only imagine the torment of building huge multipliers only to have them locked until the feature ended.
Perhaps that positive first result clouded our judgement, but Underworld did tend to be more nail-biting than Judgement. Both bonus rounds have echoes in previous Hacksaw Gaming slots, yet the Hand of Anubis' outrageously rich atmosphere, plus gameplay tweaks, make it a highly unique experience and a hugely enjoyable one at that. Jacking active multipliers in Underworld to their x9,999 limit means Hand of Anubis could have challenged the likes of Tombstone RIP as the alpha slot. As it is, there's little doubt this is a game capable of pummelling its 10,000x win cap.
And so, Hand of Anubis is another monster of a game from Hacksaw. Make no mistake, Hand of Anubis can punish unsuspecting players with remorseless brutality, but it's also got the goods to produce some truly heroic moments as well.
Hand of Anubis blasts a breath of fresh air through the Ancient Egypt genre, pairing diabolically good features with a highly creative approach.