Mayan Stackways: Slot Overview
The Mayans resided in Mesoamerica, which is considered by some as one of the world's cradles of civilisation. Depending on the source, other cradles from around the planet include places like Ancient Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. Interestingly, not only were these places fertile ground for the building of civilisations, but they've also provided fertile ground for online slot development. Today's slot Mayan Stackways takes place in the central part of the American continent and comes courtesy of software provider Hacksaw Gaming.
Mayan slots are nothing new but rarely do they look as intense as they do in Mayan Stackways. The main reason is the huffing and a puffing undead zombie chieftain lurking on the right-hand side of the screen. Mayan Stackways could have been like a dozen other Mayan/Aztec games without this guy, though, as the rest of the view is made of the thick jungle and rich carvings typically found in this slot genre. For example, play on a tablet or mobile, and the screen cuts the zombie character out, losing much of its character. Hacksaw Gaming can effortlessly flip from cute to sinister as the mood strikes, and Mayan Stackways sits amongst games like Hand of Anubis or Stormforged in terms of atmosphere – when played on a desktop device.
Hacking a little deeper into Mayan Stackways, we find a math model with a general volatility rating of 4 out of 5 or medium-high, but this can vary depending on feature buy. The RTP varies as well, though the default value is 96.23% when betting 10 p/c to $/€100 on each individual paid spin. The game is played on a 5-reel, 4-row grid matrix laid against a stone wall, possessing a win-all-ways pay system rather than paylines, capable of expanding up to 100,000 payways. When matching symbols land on adjacent reels starting from the left side of the board, wins are formed.
Landing five pay symbols up along all five reels award players 0.7 times the bet for the low pay 10 to A card ranks, or 2 to 4 times the bet for the three high pay animal statues and two high pay character symbols. Mayan Stackways does not have a wild, but there are several other special symbols hit at various points during the game.
Mayan Stackways: Slot Features
One of those special symbols in the Stackways symbol, arguably Mayan Stackways' most innovative element and one of the most critical parts of the game. As well as Stackways, keep an eye out for Stack Spins, Mayan Gold Bonus feature, A Golden Opportunity, and the bonus buys
Whenever a Stackways symbol lands, it stacks 2 to 10 symbols of a kind on each reel it lands on. Extra symbols means extra ways to win, and at full blast, it is possible for up to 100,000 winning ways to be activated. The symbol that would create the longest line is the one chosen to be stacked. If more than one symbol qualifies, one of them will be randomly chosen. Stacking only occurs when a win would result and only one type of symbol is stacked at a time on all reels.
Landing 3 Skull scatter symbols in the base game triggers 10 free Stack Spins. During Stack Spins, there is a higher chance of landing Stackways symbols. Also, landing the Reel Activator symbol activates its reel, guaranteeing a Stackways symbol lands on that reel for the rest of the round. Hitting 3 Skull symbols awards an additional 4 free spins.
Mayan Gold Bonus Feature
Landing 4 Skull scatter symbols in the base game activates this feature. Here, you want Coin symbols to land, as each Coin contributes its value to a reel counter above it. Bronze coins have values of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5; Silver Coins have values of 10, 15, or 20; and Gold Coins have values of 25, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 500, or 1000. Landing a multiplier symbol multiplies the number above the reel it lands on by 2, 3, 4, or 5.
When a Stackways symbol lands, it fills its reel with Coins, and each Coin takes the value from above the reel. When a reel is stacked, it no longer spins. However, landing a Collect scatter symbol collects all Coins on the locked reels and stores the total value in the Vault below the reel. Collecting Coins unlocks the stacked reels again. The feature ends when all reels are locked by stacked Coins. Then, the values of all stacked Coins plus the value of the Vault are awarded.
A Golden Opportunity
Landing 5 Skull scatters triggers the Mayan Gold Bonus feature, where each value above the reels starts at 50. This bonus can be won by natural play or in one of the FeatureSpins modes.
The bonus buy offers 4 different ways or modes of playing Mayan Stackways. These are:
- BonusHunt FeatureSpins – each spin is 5 times more likely to trigger a bonus game. The cost is 3x the bet, is highly volatile, and the max RTP is 96.33%.
- StackWays FeatureSpins – each spin guarantees at least 2 Stackways symbols land. The cost is 40x the bet, is very highly volatile, and the max RTP is 96.27%.
- Stack Spins – costs 110x the bet, is highly volatile, and max RTP is 96.32%.
- Mayan Gold – costs 200x the bet, is medium volatile, and the max RTP is 96.32%.
Mayan Stackways: Slot Verdict
This is the first time the studio has gone Mayan (though Aztec Twist might be considered a fairly close relative), and while the topic might be new for them, Mayan Stackways' gameplay is very Hacksaw Gaming. However, there are innovations and stretched versions of what came before. This approach in itself is typical of Hacksaw Gaming, a studio that is very good at building, morphing, and tweaking the features in its considerable arsenal of gaming components. One of the innovations is the Stackways symbol. A parallel may be drawn between it and the xSplit action Nolimit City has been pulling off for a while, yet Stackways isn't exactly a copy. In some ways, it's kind of close to the expanding full reel symbols found in a 'Ra' game. Except here, it doesn't just count as only 4 symbols, but can be anything from 2 to 10, and it'll transform into the symbols that will make the longest win. Not bad at all.
Moving onto Mayan Stackways' bonus games. Stack Spins are like shifting up a gear or two since it is basically the main game, though with technically a higher chance of Stackways symbols bobbing around. That is unless you manage to land one or more Activator symbols, thereby guaranteeing Stackways will land. Next, we come to the Mayan Gold Bonus feature (and A Golden Opportunity), which is a classic Hacksaw Gaming round. The stacking multipliers above reels concept really kicked off around the time of Chaos Crew and has appeared in a few Hacksaw Gaming slots since. As a salty alternative, Cursed Seas is one released around the same time as Mayan Stackways for players more into pirates.
However, Hacksaw Gaming isn't really one to just chuck in the same old features again and again. Mayan Stackways is no different, and the collecting Coins/stacking sticky Coins bonus is one to try for fans of this style. Once again, Hacksaw Gaming has jimmied about with the rules to create an updated version of what preceded it. No matter what phase of play is active, the info screen makes it clear that Mayan Stackways' max win of 10,000 times the bet is achievable in the base game, Stack Spins, or Mayan Gold game modes. Positive news for players interested in taking on a well-made slot which extends some of Hacksaw Gamings' ideas while introducing exciting new others.
Mayan Stackways extends some of Hacksaw Gamings’ ideas while introducing exciting new others.