(Hacksaw Gaming) Slot Review


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Rotten: Slot Overview

Out of all the black swan events, one that humanity is possibly best prepared for is the zombie apocalypse. For one, there are tons of weapons lying around we could pick up and use against brain-hungry automatons. For two, thanks to the deluge of movies, books, and tv shows, people, broadly speaking, have a good idea of what tactics may work and what ones won't. Add it all up, and humanity's chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse would appear to rank a lot higher than, say, a catastrophic meteor strike.

It'd still be pretty spooky, though, as the shambling horde in the game Rotten from Hacksaw Gaming shows. Rotten is an online slot based around a zombie apocalypse and is located in some of the worst locations to bump into these creatures. For instance, its base game takes place in a freaky fairground; one bonus round is in a crumbling forest, while the other bonus takes place outside a haunted house. In all instances, the game looks exceptionally bleak, dingy, and dangerous, the zombie version of Wanted Dead or a Wild in some ways. On the one hand, you've got slots from Hacksaw Gaming like Pug Life; on the complete opposite end of the spectrum oozes a game like Rotten, meaning the studio's Jekyll and Hyde qualities are alive and kicking, ironic given Rotten's subject matter.

Rotten slot
Rotten slot - base game

Another common Hacksaw characteristic in Rotten is its highly volatile math model and selection of RTP models. The highest return is 96.27% when betting regularly at 10 p/c to $/€100 per spin, though when activating one of the four feature buy options, the number changes. Its undead action takes place on a 6-reel, 5-row game panel supplying players with 35 paylines for landing wins along. Wins consist of three to six matching symbols left to right, from the first reel onwards, and have a hit frequency of 33.56% at the highest RTP setting.

10 to ace card ranks are used as Rotten's low-paying symbols, while its high pays are five chaps who really don't look overly friendly. Hitting a six-of-a-kind low pay win gets you 2.5 to 7.5 times the stake, while a six premium symbol win awards 15-40x the bet. A stretching hand is the wild symbol, present on all six reels. Wilds substitute for all pay symbols and are worth 50x the bet for a six-of-a-kind wild win.

Rotten: Slot Features

Rotten slot
Rotten slot - Total Takeover free spins

For features, Rotten introduces a mechanic called SwitchSpins, available in the base game and in its two free spins bonus rounds. As well as this, certain players have access to four modes from the feature buy menu.


Landing the Switch symbol activates this feature, awarding 1 to 10 respins. For the respins, symbols are selected and replaced by either the highest paying Pennywise-looking symbol or wilds. Landing a new Switch symbol on a respin adds more symbols to be replaced, as well as additional respins. All selected symbols and the replacing symbol are clearly marked above the game board. After the current SwitchSpins set ends, the selected symbols are reset. If free spins are triggered when SwitchSpins are active, the current set ends before the free spins begin.

Mad Scientist

Landing 3 Mad Scientist symbols in the base game awards 10 free spins in the Mad Scientist bonus. During this round, there is a greater chance of landing Switch symbols than in the base game.

Total Takeover

Landing 3 Total Takeover symbols in the base game or in Mad Scientist awards 10 Total Takeover free spins. These play after Mad Scientist spins have finished if triggered from there. In this round, there's a greater chance of landing Switch symbols, and selected symbols are saved progressively so they do not reset after SwitchSpins. It is possible to collect all of the symbols, filling the screen with the top paying symbol or wilds. Landing 3 Total Takeover symbols in the feature awards +4 free spins.

Buy Bonus

If the Buy Bonus button is in view, clicking it lets players pick these feature buy options:

  • Bounshunt FeatureSpins – 3x the bet where each spin is 5 times more likely to trigger a bonus game. Volatility is very high, and max RTP is 96.26%.
  • Switch FeatureSpins – 20x the bet to guarantee each spin lands a Switch symbol. Extremely volatile with a max RTP of 96.16%.
  • Mad Scientist – buy this round for 110x the bet. Highly volatile with a max RTP of 96.26%.
  • Total Takeover – buy this feature for 250x the bet. Very highly volatile with a max RTP of 96.26%.
Rotten slot
Rotten slot - feature buy menu

Rotten: Slot Verdict

From the moment Rotten loaded, a heavy moodiness immediately set in, and it was pretty obvious this game was unlikely to be a straight comedy. The blurry, evocative splash screen, a sort of Willian Turner painting for the zombie apocalypse, set the tone for what was to come. And that tone wasn't anything happy-go-lucky in the slightest. If Canny the Can happened to drop into this place, he wouldn't last two seconds amongst this undead population. The characters in the game really don't want to be friends, and at times that's how Rotten as a whole felt. Hacksaw Gaming has a reputation for making brutally volatile online slots, and Rotten did tend to come across as one of those.

In just about all phases, too, from the base game to FeatureSpins, to free spins. The only time it felt like the merciless brutality would let up was during the Total Takeover round, which was far and away where the most fun occurred. There was a big, wide, deep gulf between Total Takeover and Mad Scientist. In essence, they do the same thing, but progressively collecting symbols to replace when SwitchSpins triggered made a huge difference. Hugely fun at some times too, and where the biggest wins during the review took place. As always, results may vary; just making observations here. To be sure, Total Takeover was volatile as well, from thrilling rounds when a substantial number of symbols were transformed and stacks of retriggers occurred to more punishing sequences of events. Not saying it couldn't happen elsewhere in Rotten, yet Total Takeover was where it felt the game's 10,000x the bet max win was most likely to occur. It would be interesting to know what the frequency of triggering that round naturally might be.

At times, Rotten might feel like a battle for survival, not totally unlike running for dear life from animated flesh sacks focused on the end of humanity. There are rewards here, though, and cracking them is just as entertaining as they can be in any Hacksaw Gaming slot, in some ways maybe more, since they're accompanied by a sensation of not just surviving the onslaught but thriving.


Rotten serves up some grim, heavy gaming, with flashes of thrilling respite when it all comes together.

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