Mystic Staxx: Slot Overview
As NetEnt has acquired Red Tiger, you’d be forgiven for thinking Mystic Staxx is some sort of follow on to the Staxx range of slots. However, aside from the name, it bears no resemblance – certainly, the set-up and features are completely different. Mystic Staxx is a simple Asian-themed game that starts small and grows, provided players are willing to stick around to build the requisite columns of symbols.
First impressions were positive due to a relatively tasteful design. The background, especially, is coloured in the deep crimson tones associated with Asian slots, while a dragon pattern twinkles during low moments, lighting up in a mystical way when the action increases. Next to the dragon design, gold decorations give Mystic Staxx an upmarket feel, like a high rollers room or a private booth at an expensive Chinese restaurant. Contrasting the ritz of the background image is the symbols on the 8×6 sized grid, which are theme-based but a teeny bit tacky. Slow-moving, Eastern-inspired music helps offsets that impression, and the overall effect is a pleasing one.
The big grid is a bit daunting, especially since there are just 40 fixed paylines to land winners along. The hit rate did come across as quite low, and with the way players have to build the symbol stacks, this can lead to a lot of tedious gaming until later on down the track. Default RTP isn’t a concern at 95.69%, and the math model has been classified as highly volatile. Potential isn’t bad either, though there are question marks over how it might be achieved.
Playable across tablets, smartphones and desktops, Mystic Staxx furnishes players with stakes ranging from 10 p/c to £/€20 per spin. Wins occur when three to eight identical symbols land left to right from the very first reel. In total, 11 symbols pop up in the game, a wild, a scatter, and 9 paying tiles. The first 5 pay symbols are coins on strings, while the remaining higher value symbols are increasingly intricate lanterns. Landing an eight of a kind line of lanterns triggers a payout of 10 to 20 times the stake. Combinations of wild symbols pay as well, up to 50x the bet for an eighth of a kind line. In addition, wilds substitute any symbol in Mystic Staxx, except the Expand symbol.
Mystic Staxx: Slot Features
Despite the name, the features found in Mystic Staxx are completely different from those used in NetEnt’s Staxx games, so don’t be on the lookout for respins with walking symbol stacks. Mystic Staxx is less complicated than most since it has no bonus game to speak of. Instead, the goal is to land special Expand tiles, thereby growing symbols stacks on each reel.
At the start of the game, symbols appear on all reels in stacks of 2 high. At random, 3×3 sized expand symbols may land anywhere on the board. When these symbols are fully in view, all symbol stacks on the reels increase by +1 symbol. Every time the Expand symbol lands, the procedure is repeated, adding 1 symbol at a time until the maximum stack size of 20 is reached. For the record, symbol stacks of the same type cannot land one right above the other on the same reel.
When stacks reach 20 symbols high per reel, the Expand symbols transforms into a 3×3 size wild symbol. Like the regular sized wild, the big wild tile can land in any position to substitute for all pay symbols.
Mystic Staxx: Slot Verdict
There are thrills of a sort to be found in Mystic Staxx when columns of symbols align to fire off a decent win. It is a slot you have to put in a bit of work to get the best out of, though. Don’t expect too much in the beginning when symbol stacks are just 2 rows in height. However, it doesn’t take an eternity to build around half a dozen or so, which is when things started to get more interesting. Real stamina is required to hit the full 20 symbol stacks, thereby triggering the large wild symbol. Players who don’t mind a wait, or a highly repetitive game, might enjoy the challenge. Occasionally, decent rewards are to be had, yet Mystic Staxx isn’t what you’d class a hugely profitable game.
Turning to the subject of potential is where things get a bit puzzling. The help files claims wins as high as 4,473 times the stake are achievable when playing Mystic Staxx. Yet when busting out the abacus and flicking a few counters, it’s hard to see how this is possible. For instance, a dream spin landing wild symbols on every grid position is worth 2,000x the bet – a decent return from a single spin, but less than half of the claimed max win. Since there is no bonus game, that appears to be as good as it gets.
Perhaps players with the perseverance to sit through a significant number of spins to build 20 symbols stacks won’t be overly concerned about the numerical discrepancies. The rest of the game isn’t bad if you like the idea, but Mystic Staxx does get monotonous if you’re not fully sold on the concept.
The game isn’t bad if you like the idea, but Mystic Staxx does get monotonous if you’re not fully sold on the concept.