RIP City: Slot Overview
Ah, cats and mice, they've been natural enemies since way back when. Not just in the real world but in TV and movies too, Tom & Jerry cartoons being a prime example of cat-and-mouse warfare. Now the two species are back at it in an online slot from developer Hacksaw Gaming titled RIP City, a slot which mixes an old-school animated style with up-to-date gaming, including two bonus rounds and a handful of ways of approaching the game should bonus buys be an option in your neck of the woods.
Speaking of old school, what reinforces this aspect are the two main characters who have been rendered in a classic Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera kind of style. Ro$$ is the kitty cat; he hangs out on the left side of the screen, while Maxx the mouse huffs away on the right, puffing on a ciggy while holding another one in his hand for quick replacement. As for colouration, Hacksaw Gaming has used black, grey, and white as the predominant tones while liberally splashing around pinks, yellows, blues, and greens. It's a contrasting visual effect the studio favours, showing up in a similar fashion in past releases like Chaos Crew, Outlaws Inc, and Break Bones. Works to some degree here, a little drab in some ways, though the two characters, with their obvious animosity, add some much-needed personality.
Sitting between the two combatants is RIP City's game grid. It's a 5x5 matrix with 19 fixed paylines where winning lines of three to five of a kind may land. Mechanically, RIP City has a math model with a general rating of 3 out of 5 for volatility and a highest RTP value of 96.22%. However, take a moment to read over the paytable since the game can also be found at three lower return values. Any device may be used to get the Ro$$/Maxx match-up, while bet levels vary from 10 p/c to $/€100 per spin.
Further paytable investigation turns up ten normal paying symbols, five low, five high. The lows are 10-A royals, paying 5-10x the bet for five-of-a-kind, whereas premiums are a peeled banana, a skull with a candle on top, two dice, a smiley face, and an eight-ball/heart icon. Five-of-a-kind premium wins award 15 to 20 times the stake. Two types of wild appear in the game, present on all reels. Wilds substitute any pay symbols and pay 25x the bet for a five-of-a-kind line.
RIP City: Slot Features
The features in this cat-and-mouse game include an expanding Wild Cat symbol, Ro$$ Bonus round, Maxx Bonus round, and five feature buy options.
Wild Cat Symbol
The Wild Cat symbol lands as a 1x1 tile and expands to the bottom of its reel if it would be part of a winning combination when it has expanded. Each position covered by the expanded Wild Cat symbol is wild. If the Wild Cat symbol does not expand, it counts as a 1x1 wild. Each reel can have one Wild Cat symbol at a time. If a Wild Cat symbol expands through a wild symbol, it gets a multiplier that is applied to the entire expanded Wild Cat symbol. Multiplier values can be 2x-10x, 15x, 20x, 25x, 50x, 100x, or 200x. If a win has more than one multiplier in it, the values are added together and then applied to the win.
Landing 3 FS scatter symbols in the base game awards 10 free spins in the Ro$$ Bonus. This bonus round gives a better chance of landing Wild Cat symbols and wilds than in the base game. Should exactly 3 FS symbols hit, +4 free spins are awarded. Or, if 4 FS symbols land, Maxx Bonus free spins play when the current spin ends - if the number of free spins is less than 10, the number is set to 10; otherwise, the number of spins remains the same.
Land 4 FS scatters in the main game to trigger the Maxx Bonus with 10 free spins. In this feature, when a Wild Cat symbol lands, it activates its reel. When a reel is activated, a Wild Cat symbol is guaranteed to land on that reel until the feature ends. Players win +4 free spins when 3 FS scatters land during this feature.
Clicking the yellow round Buy Bonus button, if it's there, provides players with the chance to play RIP City in these modes:
- Bonushunt FeatureSpins – 3x the bet where each spin is five times more likely to activate a bonus game. Volatility is high, and the max RTP is 96.44%.
- 2 Wild Cats FeatureSpins – 20x the bet where each spin guarantees at least 2 Wild Cat symbols. Volatility is very high, and the max RTP is 96.34%.
- 3 Wild Cats FeatureSpins – 50x the bet, where each spin guarantees at least 3 Wild Cat symbols. Volatility is very high, and the max RTP is 96.31%.
- Ro$$ Bonus – 110x the bet. Volatility is high, and the max RTP is 96.2%.
- Maxx Bonus – 2000x the bet. Volatility is high, and the max RTP is 96.41%.
RIP City: Slot Verdict
During the playthrough, it felt like there might be some in-joke or hidden meaning to RIP City that only a handful of people with insider knowledge will get. Or is it a dig at a certain competitor studio? Hard to say. It was like trying to figure out why The KLF burnt a million pounds in cash back in the 1990s - was that a protest against the capitalist system, a stunt, an act of Discordianism? Guess we'll never know. As such, let's not get too bogged down in conspiracy theories lest we lose our minds in a post-modern, noirish-looking puzzle featuring a cat called Ro$$ and a mouse called Maxx.
Putting the puzzle to the side, what we do know is that RIP City is a Hacksaw Gaming slot, alright. This means it can be tough going, no arguments there, with some potentially exciting expanding wilds with multipliers action, but it's also not the studio's best work. While the retro cartoon angle is kind of neat, the game lacks the same level of visual punch as Hacksaw Gaming's more memorable work. Hand of Anubis is one which immediately sprang to mind as a comparison. Even something less visually shocking, like Chaos Crew, had a mischievous nature that shone through, despite the fairly limited background colour scheme.
The gameplay was similar, and RIP City feels like it caters more to bonus-buy players than their non-bonus-buying counterparts. More so since during the first proper sit-down session, the game chewed through masses of regular spins with few natural bonus triggers. Wild expansions do brighten up the base game but getting to see what RIP City was really capable of doing made the buy button tempting. The 2 or 3 Wild Cat FeatureSpins could be interesting, though they are quite pricey, at 20x or 50x the bet for a single spin. Ro$$ free spins were so-so, being basically the base game with theoretically more wilds, though the activated reels and guaranteed wilds of Maxx free spins were intriguing at times.
In the end, RIP City is a game that should be able to entertain fans of Hacksaw Gaming's work. It's got the potential to be merciless, bringing the Ramen or Lambo spirit the studio is famous for, as well as potential of 12,500x the bet should the cat vs mouse rivalry spiral out of control on the reels. It's not exactly the best thing Hacksaw Gaming's done, though, lacking the same spark and vitality found in its better work.
RIP City should hit the spot for Hacksaw Gaming devotees, but it’s hardly representative of the studio’s best work.