Razor Returns: Slot Overview
In 2019, software developer Push Gaming ventured into deep waters and emerged with one of its landmark releases, the infamously volatile online slot Razor Shark - a game which has since earned a ferocious reputation, maybe a bit too much for some, becoming a darling amongst the hardcore crowd. Well, our toothy friends (or foes) are back to terrorise players in Razor Shark's follow-up Razor Returns, and you might want to pull your toes out of the water so they don't get nibbled for this one. Then again, one of Razor Shark's main lures was the thrill of adventure, the chance to not only be raked over coral by creatures of the sea but to perhaps outlast them and share in the ocean's seaweedy bounty.
Warning bells were already ringing after a glimpse of the new and improved(?) shark characters. Each has undergone a sort of cybernetic augmentation; the Wild Shark symbol, in particular, has a gold-encrusted metallic jaw, a bit like the crime lord Finn from Netflix's hit series Arcane, and looks rather intimidating. The intimidation lessens, to a degree, when the game loads and players descend to an underwater space full of rock shelves, coral, and, err, mines floating on chains. It's all sort of the same, sort of different, like a best friend you haven't seen for a while who's got a new haircut and pierced their eyebrow. Fans of the first can enjoy a warm homecoming, whereas new players get a more refined look than the original had. Not hugely so; the original was a bit of a looker, too. But Razor Returns has a more detailed, crisper look to it, not to mention an outstanding soundtrack.
Floating cautiously along, we come to bet selection where the options are 10 p/c to £/€100. Players are also free to activate the Push Bet, which ups the base bet by 10%, increasing the chance of triggering free spins. Have a good think about whether or not to use it because with the Push Bet on the RTP increases from its default 96.16% to 96.55%, and the odds of hitting Razor Returns' max win significantly change as well. In a shock move, Push Gaming has eased up the volatility to come in at 'low'. Sorry, just yanking your chain there. Of course, this thing is a highly volatile, pointy-toothed beast.
The grid's bigger too, now using 5-reels holding 5 symbols each and crossed with 40 paylines. Matching symbols landing from the first reel onwards on adjacent reels along a payline trigger a win. Like the expanded playing area, Razor Returns' low-pay symbols have been altered too. Now we get an anchor, a compass, a periscope, and a diving helmet as the low pays, and while the 4 high-pay sharks might be back, more or less, they've been toughened up for the sequel. Hitting a winning line consisting of five identical pay symbols pays 0.8 to 1 times the base bet for the low pays or 2.5 to 7.5 times the base bet for the high pays. The sinister Wild Shark symbol returns, too, and it can land on any reel. Wilds substitute all regular pay symbols and are worth 12.5 times the bet for a 5 OAK wild win.
Razor Returns: Slot Features
Like some book-to-movie crossovers, much of Razor Returns' features will feel familiar, but Push Gaming has embedded a bunch of new bits as well. Here we find Mystery Symbols, the Nudge & Reveal feature, the Razor Reveal feature, Torpedo Scatter symbols, a Gamble feature, free spins, and the bonus buy.
Mystery symbols can land on the reels in the base game or in free spins in stacks of 5. When Mystery symbols land, the Nudge & Reveal feature is triggered.
Nudge & Reveal Feature
When this feature triggers, Mystery symbols open to reveal either pay symbols, Wild Shark symbols, or Golden Shark symbols. If pay symbols are revealed, any win lines are paid. When players press spin, the Mystery symbols nudge down 1 position while the other reels spin normally. This repeats until no more Mystery symbols are in view.
Razor Reveal Feature
When Golden Shark symbols are revealed by Mystery symbols, the Razor Reveal feature is triggered. Each Golden Shark position spins to reveal Instant Prize symbols, Multiplier symbols, Collector symbols, Converter symbols, Nudge Up symbols, or Torpedo scatter symbols. They behave like so:
- Instant Prize symbols – these are bet multipliers possessing values of 1x to 5,000x the bet.
- Multiplier symbol – these symbols multiply the value of all Instant Prize symbols and Collector symbols in view by x2, x3, x5, or x10.
- Collector symbol – this symbol collects the values of all other Instant Prize symbols, then transforms into an Instant Prize Symbol at the end of the current respin. All Instant Prizes are removed from the reels after being collected. The empty positions spin again through all of the possible prizes.
- Converter symbol – this symbol spins through all pay symbols currently on the reels. When one of the pay symbols lands, all pay symbols of the same type are converted into Golden Shark symbols, and the Razor Reveal feature will continue. When the feature ends, all converted symbols are converted back to their original type.
- Nudge Up symbol – these symbols can only land in the Free Spins feature. Each one nudges the Mystery Stacks up by 1 position.
Torpedo Scatter Symbols
Landing at least 3 Torpedo Scatter symbols in the base game or the Razor Reveal feature triggers the free spins round. Landing 3 scatters starts free spins with an x1 win multiplier, 4 triggering scatters start it with an x5 initial multiplier, while 5 trigger scatters start the round with an x25 starting multiplier.
When free spins are awarded, players have the chance to gamble for a higher prize. When triggered, a Gamble Wheel is displayed with No Prize segments, and segments with Free Spins Prizes higher than those awarded by Torpedo Scatter symbols.
When free spins begin, reels 2 and 4 get filled with Mystery symbols, which nudge down 1 position on each free spin. This nudging process causes the win multiplier to increase by +1. The win multiplier is applied to all wins at the end of each free spin. New Mystery symbols can land, and free spins continue until no more Mystery symbols are in view.
Razor Returns' bonus buy has five options, which are:
- 3 Torpedo Free Spins – 106x the bet.
- 4 Torpedo Free Spins – 186x the bet.
- 5 Torpedo Free Spins – 550x the bet.
- Random Free Spins – 200x the bet.
- Razor Reveal – 500x the bet.
The RTP values are displayed at the bonus buy menu and are affected by using the gamble feature.
Razor Returns: Slot Verdict
If the 1975 film Jaws stopped some moviegoers from swimming in the sea, it's not hard to imagine some gamblers shunning ocean-themed slots after being savaged by the original Razor Shark slot. On the other side of the coin, Razor Shark could dole out massive results as well when the going was exceptionally good. Few more so (maybe none more so) than the mind-blowing 85,000x payout, which pulverised the noted max win figure of 50,000x. Razor Returns pushes that figure out even further to 100,000x the base bet. Given the original game's reputation, Push Gaming kind of had to go large if it was even considering doing a sequel, and this it's done, and not just in terms of winning potential.
For starters, the gaming area has been expanded, which you would presume has a positive effect on things like free spins, giving Mystery symbols more room to manoeuvre. Not only do they get extra space, but Mystery symbols, via Golden Shark symbols, have additional weaponry at their disposal than before, building the gameplay, adding variety, and giving players extra things to look out for - and not just pointy teeth. Razor Returns remains at its heart, a finely tuned tool for gambling, too. One concrete example of this is the various ways users can push their luck after triggering free spins, and/or making use of the Push Bet. For instance, leave the Push Bet off and do not use the Gamble feature for free spins, and the chance of hitting the max win is 1 in 397,360,429, compared to 1 in 27,036,048 when the Push Bet is on, and players use the Gamble feature before free spins begin.
In other words, gamblers face some tough choices when playing Razor Returns, but therein lies the game's beauty as a device for flirting with fortune. Like Leon Trotsky said, 'A sledgehammer breaks glass, but forges steel.' Since Razor Shark dropped, Push Gaming has honed its game design skills in slots like Big Bamboo, Mystery Museum, and Giga Jar Cluster Link, amongst others, and it shows. So while it was always going to be tough creating a sequel to one of the biggest shows in the business, Push Gaming has done a phenomenal job of retaining the spirit of Razor Shark while adding new bits and stretching other parts to create a frighteningly good follow-up.
Push Gaming has done a phenomenal job of retaining the spirit of Razor Shark while adding new bits and stretching other parts to make Razor Returns a frighteningly good follow-up.