Tai The Toad

(Hacksaw Gaming) Slot Review

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Tai the Toad: Slot Overview

Designing Asian-themed online slots is like catnip to a lot of casino game makers, and this time, it's the turn of Hacksaw Gaming to have a go. Broadly speaking, this is subject matter the studio has visited before, doing well, for example, when designing the elegantly styled slot Densho with its impressive artwork, as well as the monochrome Toshi Video Club. The slot we're reviewing today could be said to be more traditional as far as Asian slots go. Titled Tai the Toad, it is full of classic Asian slot iconography, and as for gameplay links, toads, dragons, coins, and pots are the things to look out for.

Statues of toads take up almost as much of a laptop's screen as the gaming grid does, so it makes sense to see how toads relate to Asian culture. One of the first things to pop up on the net was talk of a three-legged toad biting a coin, bringing good fortune and wealth, in Chinese belief. It seems toads in much of that part of the world are auspicious signs of good fortune in general. Maybe they work out to be that way for players who give Tai the Toad a spin. If not, then hopefully, you like a fairly conventional-looking Asian-themed slot, which Tai the Toad is. Not a bad looker for what it is, though.

Tai The Toad slot
Tai The Toad slot - base game

If all seems fine, then the next step is picking your stake, which can be as low as 10 c per spin or as high as $/€100. Tai the Toad's math model takes the middle path, literally, getting a 3 out of 5, or medium volatility rating. The game's RTP value comes in four forms, that's something to keep an eye out for, and the highest return value possible is 96.3%, though this changes when using bonus buys.

Played on a 5x5 gaming grid, 19 lines are included for landing winning combinations on. Tai the Toad's low pays are 10 to A playing card symbols, worth 1 to 3 times the bet for a 5-matching symbol combination. The highs are oranges, a container, a scroll, a mask, and a sycee, paying 10 to 30 times the stake for 5 OAK. Wilds may be on any reel, paying 30x for a line of 5 of them, or substituting for any regular pay symbol. Five Toad symbols are worth 1 times the bet.

Tai the Toad: Slot Features

Tai The Toad slot
Tai The Toad slot - free spins

Toads have inundated the features section, being connected to these features - The Toad & The Pot, the Toad Bonus, the Golden Toad Bonus, and bonus buys.

The Toad & The Pot

The Toad symbol reveals either a wild symbol or a Gold Coin when activated by the Prosperity Pot symbol. All Toad symbols reveal matching symbols. When the Prosperity Pot lands, it first shows what all Toad symbols will reveal, then transforms into the revealed symbol. Gold Coin symbols are cash prizes based on the bet. Gold Coins can have values of 1 to 1,000. They are collected together and multiplied by the bet to calculate the total win. When revealing Gold Coins, there is a chance a Toad symbol reveals a Coin Bag symbol instead. Coin Bag symbols multiply 1 to 5 Gold Coin symbols with a revealed multiplier value. The same Gold Coin can be affected more than once by the same Coin Bag or by different Coin Bags. Multiplier values can be x2, x3, x4, or x5.

Toad Bonus

Landing 3 FS scatter symbols in the base game awards players 10 free spins as part of the Toad Bonus. During it, landing a Dragon symbol adds 1 to 5 Toad Points to the meter above its reel. Should a Double Dragon symbol land, it adds 1 to 5 Toad Points to all reels. When the Prosperity Pot symbol lands, an equal number of Toad symbols fill random positions on the corresponding reels. Toad Points reset after each Prosperity Pot has been activated.

Completely filling the Toad Points meter above all reels at the same time awards 10 extra free spins. Landing 3 FS symbols awards a further +4 free spins. Hitting 4 FS symbols during the feature upgrades it to the Golden Toad Bonus. If less than 10 free spins remain, the number is set to 10, otherwise the current number of spins remains unchanged.

Golden Toad Bonus

This feature and 10 free spins are awarded from the base game by landing 4 FS scatter symbols. In the Golden Toad Bonus, the rules are basically the same as the Toad Bonus, except Toad Points do not reset after each Prosperity Pot activation.

Bonus Buy

Tai the Toad offers the following bonus buy choices:

  • BonusHunt FeatureSpins - 3x the bet, each spin is 5 times more likely to trigger a bonus game. RTP 96.25%, highly volatile.
  • Triple Toad FeatureSpins - 20x the bet, each spin guarantees 3 Toads and 1 Prosperity Pot symbols land. RTP 96.31%, highly volatile.
  • So Many Toads FeatureSpins - 40x the bet, each spin guarantees 8 Toads and 1 Prosperity Pot symbols land. RTP 96.33%, medium volatile.
  • Toad Bonus - 100x the bet. RTP 96.31%, highly volatile.
  • Golden Toad Bonus - 200x the bet. RTP 96.34%, highly volatile.
Tai The Toad slot
Tai The Toad slot - free spins

Tai the Toad: Slot Verdict

Not to be judgmental, but Tai the Toad felt out of character for Hacksaw Gaming. Often, the studio's slots can be found way off-piste, fronted by creative theme choice and treatment, while backed by ingenious features. Tai the Toad bucks the trend by dragging itself closer to the mainstream than HG releases usually are. One guess is that this was done for business purposes rather than purely creative ones, which, you know, fair enough; Hacksaw Gaming is a business that is out to make money and all. Perhaps the studio had plans to fling this game out into the wild like a fishing rod in an attempt to hook a different audience, Tai the Toad then serving as a gateway to the studio's wilder creative endeavours?

Or, it's just a game aimed at Asian slot fans, end of story. In that case, players who like to gamble alongside aspects of the culture - toads, dragons, mountainous settings, and so on might be more than happy to leap on board. The features aren't Hacksaw Gaming's most exciting inventions, but they're able to spread wilds about the place (one of the studio's favourite effects) while also capable of throwing up coin win symbols and multipliers. Coins being another popular effect at the moment, popularised in part by Push Gaming and Pragmatic Play. It works okay here, nothing special, a 7,500x the bet max win is a decent chunk of potential fortune to dangle in front of prospective users. Achievable in the base game and both bonus games, too.

Just to reiterate, whilst okay, Tai the Toad isn't Hacksaw Gaming's finest work. The studio seems to perform better when pushing boundaries, whether that is in relation to subject matter, or to features, or both combined. Tai the Toad camps out in the middle of the road, a somewhat mainstream release which lacks the shock power of Hacksaw Gaming's more impactful work.

Fair

Tai the Toad is more formulaic than they usually are from Hacksaw Gaming, to its detriment, really.

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