Keep 'Em Cool: Slot Overview
Grab ya bucket and spade players; software designer Hacksaw Gaming is taking us to the seaside in an online slot titled Keep 'Em Cool, which is a sunny cluster paying grid slot with a chilly twist on the regular cascading wins dynamic. Frozen symbols are what shake things up, and they are joined by Cocktail Glass re-freezes, Blender symbol absorptions, a Sunset Picnic Bonus Game, and two buy bonus choices.
If you really wanted to be cool, would you make a move to a sunny tropical beach location? Anyway, a beach is where we're at, and quite a nice one at that. A little plain, though perhaps simplifying life is the goal when heading to this spot for some R&R. Everything necessary for laxing out is here – light blue water, golden sands, an inviting sky, palms, and, err, a pig. Yep, a pig in a scuba mask and floatation device, no less. Not sure at all why, yet it adds a touch, a minor touch, of personality in what would have been a pretty but pretty empty view. Initially, Keep 'Em Cool seemed like a mix between Slotmill's Super Fruit Smash and ELK Studios' Tropicool slots, though the gameplay is very different.
A visit to Keep 'Em Cool's paytable is where users are able to verify which RTP model they have before them. There are four possible values depending on the market, the maximum figure being 96.19%. In all of them, Keep 'Em Cool's volatility has been rated medium (3 out of 5), and the hit frequency remains the same at 31.12%. As a cluster paying slot, wins are created when at least 5 matching symbols are sitting adjacent to each other in vertical or horizontal directions.
The gaming is held on a 5x5 sized board, where stakes of 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin can be wagered. All of the pay symbols are fruits of various descriptions, such as apples, bananas, oranges, cherries, plums, dragon fruit, and strawberries. Five-of-a-kind wins might not be anything special, awarding 0.1 to 1 times the bet, but at the upper levels, a 21+ sized cluster is worth 400 to 5,000 times the bet. Wild symbols are not used in Keep 'Em Cool.
Keep 'Em Cool: Slot Features
What Keep 'Em Cool does have are Frozen symbols. This means each pay symbol is always in one of three states – unfrozen, half-frozen, or fully frozen. When a winning combination hits, the unfrozen symbols in a win are removed from the board. In addition, after wins have been awarded, all unfrozen symbols in view are removed, whether they were part of a win or not. Fully frozen or half-frozen symbols remain on the grid even if they were not in a win and drop to the bottom of the grid. These symbols change states, so frozen become half-frozen, and half-frozen becomes unfrozen. New symbols then drop down from above to fill in any gaps. This system repeats until no more winning combinations are on the grid.
Cocktail Glass Symbol
When a winning combination occurs with a Cocktail Glass scatter in view, all symbols of the winning type are converted into a fully frozen state. It is possible this happens to more than one symbol type at the same time. A number displayed on the Cocktail Glass represents the number of re-freezes it has left, with a starting maximum of 5. The Cocktail Glass is removed on the next symbol removed after the final re-freeze.
When the Blender scatter symbol hits, it is activated and picks one type of symbol to absorb. All instances of the chosen symbol are absorbed, and new symbols drop down from above, continuing until there are no more symbols of the chosen type. At the end of the spin, the Blender awards a payout equal to the number of absorbed symbols as per the paytable values. The Blender starts with a count of 2 and adds 1 for each absorbed symbol.
Sunset Picnic Bonus Game
When Picnic Basket scatters land in the base game, they are collected in a meter by the grid. If 3 Picnic Baskets are collected on the same base game spin, the Sunset Picnic bonus is triggered. Each Picnic Basket reveals a number of 3-5, and the total is how many free spins are awarded. During the Sunset Picnic bonus, Cocktail Glasses and Blenders have a higher chance of landing. Landing Picnic Basket symbols in the feature awards an extra 2 to 5 free spins per basket.
Keep 'Em Cool's bonus buy menu offers two ways of playing the game. For 3x the bet, players can activate Bonushunt FeatureSpins, which are highly volatile and where each spin is 5 times more likely to trigger a bonus game. The maximum RTP for it is 96.25%. The second is buying the Sunset Picnic bonus for 100x the bet. This is also highly volatile, with a maximum RTP of 96.22%.
Keep 'Em Cool: Slot Verdict
Do you ever feel like summer's too hot, winter's too cold, autumn's too windy, and spring has just a little too much chill in the air to be completely satisfying? Perhaps part of the human condition is often not being completely happy with where we are, always wanting to be somewhere else, experiencing something else. Maybe that's one reason why our ancestors upped and marched out of Africa 100,000+ years ago, or so they say, eventually wandering across almost the entire globe, even ending up in remote islands that took unbelievable amounts of courage to reach.
Such were the thoughts provoked by Keep 'Em Cool, and a wandering mind isn't always a great sign when reviewing an online slot. Keep 'Em Cool; not sure. It didn't have the same level of immersion Hacksaw Gaming slots usually do. It looks nice, if a little plain. The piggy character is a friendly addition, but it kind of felt like a panicked afterthought to give the game personality rather than playing a critical or logical role in the game. Frozen symbols are an interesting idea, and it wouldn't be terrible if they returned again. Keep 'Em Cool seemed like it might be a test case for them, where if they work out here, maybe Hacksaw Gaming would put them to use in a future project, one with a bit more oomph. The Blender concept is an intriguing one as well, though good luck chasing them down as they were elusive as fudge while reviewing Keep 'Em Cool.
A conspicuous absence of any multiplying feature, which is often a focal point in a Hacksaw Gaming production probably added to Keep 'Em Cool hollowness. The lack of any 'x-ing' meant Keep 'Em Cool had less of the usual suspense that Hacksaw Gaming slots load on, where the action can go from 0 to 100 miles per hour in a moment. What Keep 'Em Cool does is pretty neat; nothing wrong with it, but more thrilling times have been found among its competitors.
What Keep ‘Em Cool does is fine and dandy, but there’s a nagging feeling that something’s missing.