The Bomb: Overview
Hacksaw Gaming's burgeoning Pocketz slots are a series of simply designed games, optimised to run on mobile devices. So far they’ve all been rather cute playable games with more bite to them than you might first expect. The trend continues in The Bomb, another slot which seems unassuming at first, but packs a €1 million jackpot. There are other features such as free spins, and special symbols keeping players entertaining while tackling the big one, let’s take a look.
The Bomb is played on a 5x5 grid, set in a pastel pink rocky desert. Of all the Pocketz games so far, the theme of The Bomb is the hardest one to grasp. Are bombs in the desert a nod to gold mining or something, is it a nuclear test site? A solo banjo in the background would suggest the Wild West, but the symbols have no western theme at all. Never mind, the game is pleasant enough and fits as well on mobiles as it does on a desktop which is one of the studio’s core goals with the Pocketz series.
It also means The Bomb can be played on any device, choosing bets from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin. If you are spinning The Bomb strictly for its jackpot, there is no mention of bigger bets having greater chances of winning, which may influence your stake choice. The added jackpot may have had an effect on RTP, however, which at 95.17% is slightly down on previous Pocketz slots, though not outrageously so considering the jackpot. Volatility is quite high while small cluster values are quite low, so it can be tough going. Especially trying to hit those elusive bonus symbols.
The paytable is made up of 9 regular pay symbols plus a couple of special symbols. Pays are split between 5 low-value shapes and 4 different kinds of bombs. Clusters of 5-6 symbols are worth from 0.10x to 1x the stake, while the largest clusters (15+) are worth from 20 to 120 times the stake. The wild has no value of its own but is capable of substituting for all symbols except the bonus or TNT symbol. A single wild can be part of more than one cluster at the same time for a multi-win.
The Bomb: Features
While the jackpot is by far the main draw, players also get TNT boxes, free spins, and a Mr Bomb feature. At the core of it all we have the cascade mechanism. On each spin 25 symbols tumble onto the grid with the aim of landing clusters of 5 or more matching symbols. Whenever a winner hits, it triggers the cascade feature. Winning symbols blow up to let new ones into the gaps for another chance to win. Cascades continue to function as long as new winners appear on the grid.
Keep an eye out for the TNT boxes. These regular seized symbols may appear anywhere on any spin. At the end of a cascade sequence, TNT boxes explode removing all adjacent symbols for another chance to win.
Above the reels is a meter connected to the Mr Bomb feature. Each cascade fills part of the meter, and if completely filled players receive a 500x prize. It takes 62 cascaded symbols to trigger this feature.
Green barrel bonus scatter symbols are the key to the game’s most lucrative aspects - 3 in view trigger the bonus game. The bonus game consists of cascading symbols which can either be rocks or mystery crates. Rocks are nothing, while crates can be empty, contain jackpot symbols, or multipliers. These could be 'add' multipliers of +1 to +10, or 'multiply' multipliers of x2 to x10.
After each round, rocks are removed so new crates can fall into the spaces. When the grid is full of crates, the game is over. The multipliers are evaluated against the total bet and paid. However, if five jackpot symbols are collected during the feature, players win the million euro jackpot, ending the bonus game.
The Bomb: Verdict
If someone didn’t tell you about the jackpot included here you’d have little idea such a simple wee game was capable of such an insane payout. Then again, if you know about Hacksaw Gaming, they are no strangers to big jackpots, and The Bomb isn’t even their biggest. Players can nab up to €2 million in Haunted Circus, for example. There is even talk at Hacksaw of a €50 million fixed prize though this is yet to materialise.
Of course, striking it lucky will take all kinds of good fortune. That means the vast majority of players won’t come anywhere near to winning the top prizes. So, how does the rest of the game shape up? It’s not bad, it’s typical Pocketz, and the series is an entertaining one. Yet in some ways, it feels like The Bomb is one of the weakest so far.
For one, the theme doesn’t gel as well. In slots like The Respinners, each element logically worked together to create a greater whole. In The Bomb, it’s a little confusing. Sure, who cares when you’re spinning for a million bucks, but details count.
Another detail is the repetitive nature of The Bomb. Bonus games can take their sweet time to appear, and the Mr Bomb feature is a tease too. If the theme were on point, perhaps you wouldn’t notice it as much, but it does get monotonous after a while - the basic graphics don’t help either. Still, the game can work out, and non-jackpot wins of up to 5,000 times the stake are possible during free spins.
The Bomb is another enjoyable Pocketz game, though not as enjoyable as others in the range. Still, it’s easy to picture fist pumping on a crowded train to work when five jackpot symbols land in the bonus game. A silent fist pump of course so as not to disturb any fellow commuters.
The Bomb might not be the most coherent slot in the Pocketz range, but its €1 million jackpot should plaster over most of the cracks.