Hypernova Radial Reels: Overview
Australian developer ReelPlay continues their experimentation with reel arrangements in Hypernova Radial Reels. Instead of adding reels to a grid as they have done with the Infinity Reels range, the studio has chosen to use a circular design to power the action. It's a brave move since circular reels aren't completely new, but haven't exactly caught fire either. Will Hypernova Radial Reels live up to its name and blow up? Let's give it a few spins to see.
The title of the game might remind you of ReelPlay's other space slot Hypernova Megaways, and so do the visuals. Hypernova Radial Reels has the same sort of background - a blue swirling gas cloud on the left, a red one on the right. The audio too, has a similar cosmic orchestra sound to it, completing the connection between the two games.
From here on things start to diverge. For one, the action is played using their new mechanic dubbed Radial Reels, which are 3 circular rings divided into 12 segments each. On each spin, 12 symbols fill each ring, meaning a total of 36 at once. The game uses 12 paylines and wins occur when 3 matching symbols land on one. Combinations of up to 6 are possible if matching symbols land on paylines which are directly opposite of each other.
Bet settings come in multiples of 12, making them seem a little untidy at first. Players take part by selecting a stake from 12 p/c to £/€9.96 per spin. Hypernova Radial Reels can be played on any device, with its circular grid optimised to fit any mobile screen.
Where available, the game offers a bonus buy option which alters the RTP. On the standard mode, RTP is a decent 96.26%, increasing to a solid 97.30% when the bonus buy is activated. Officially, the hit rate is 1 in 3.77 spins, though it can often feel like a lot more. This might be because it takes a significant amount of time for the three rings to fill with symbols once you've hit the spin button. Volatility weighs in at medium/high and there are no arguments there. Sessions could just as easily coast in neutral as blast off – the latter is only possible during free spins though.
The paytable is made up of 10 regular pay symbols, all gems of various sizes and colours. The 4 symbols at the upper end are orange gems, gold gems, hearts, and diamonds. Landing six of these symbols are worth 16.67x to 33.33x the stake. The wild helps here, substituting for any other symbol except the scatter. You also win 41.67x the stake if six wilds land in a line. Wilds also play a critical role during free spins.
Hypernova Radial Reels: Features
Like Hypernova Megaways, Hypernova Radial Reels utilises a cascade feature which triggers after every win. Winning symbols explode off the reels, allowing new ones to rotate into the gaps. Consecutive winners are technically possible from a single spin, though two or more wins in a row was uncommon. Once no new winning symbols appear, the sequence ends, and the next spin can take place.
The Hypernova symbol is the scatter - 3 on a line from one side of the reels to the other triggers the bonus game. The round starts with 4 free spins plus a wild multiplier starting on x1. Each time a scatter appears, free spins are reset to 4 and the multiplier is increased. If you manage to collect 12 scatters, you'll reach the maximum multiplier of x300. If the wild multiplier does reach x300, scatters are removed from the game, meaning no more retriggers are possible.
Here are a couple of technicalities. Free spins can be triggered more than once per spin if an explosion creates another trigger. Finally, free spins can be triggered more than once if 3 or more scatters appear on separate pay lines. In this case, each free spins feature is played one after the other.
Where possible, players may have access to the bonus buy feature. For 66.67x the stake, a spin is played containing at least three scatters on a line. There is a 1 in 25 chance of winning 2 free spin features via the feature buy.
Hypernova Radial Reels: Verdict
Hypernova Radial Reels is one of those envelope-pushing games that needs to be played first hand to get a true feel for it. It's sort of like a mix of Hypernova Megaways and Yggdrasil's Avatars Gateway Guardians. You could maybe use those two slots as an indicator as to whether Hypernova Radial Reels might be for you.
There are some good parts, such as a reasonably priced feature buy and solid stats. But, there are a few not so great as well. One potential showstopper is the lacklustre base game. It ticks along at a glacial pace, where winning can seem impossible, and all there is to do is watch rings fill then empty endlessly. Despite the positive stats, it can be a real slog at times. What doesn't help is that the most you can win during the base game is 100x the stake.
Things can change drastically during free spins where potential skyrockets to 25,000 times the stake. It doesn't mean they will, of course, and some bonus games were nothing to write home about. Some were pretty rewarding though, especially when we'd built up a crazy multiplier. Keep in mind, the multiplier doesn't apply to every single win. It only applies to wins involving wilds, which to be fair is how you get a significant proportion of them anyway. If you aren't fully aware of this rule, it can be heart-breaking when you receive a tiny symbol win even though you're sitting on a 100x (or more) multiplier.
The unconventional Radial Reels mechanic won't excite everybody. Ultimately, Hypernova Radial Reels is one of those games you have to play to get a handle on. You might find you love it, or you might hate it. If anything Radial Reels is probably more polarising than Infinity Reels. Hypernova Radial Reels might not be for everyone, but it has its moments, so bravo ReelPlay for continuing to try new things.
The unorthodox format makes you work hard to see the best bits, but Hypernova Radial Reels can certainly blow up when lit.