The Bowery Boys

(Hacksaw Gaming) Slot Review

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The Bowery Boys: Slot Overview

Developer Hacksaw Gaming rewinds the clock to the 19th century and heads to one of the most infamous parts of New York City, Hell's Kitchen, in an online slot titled The Bowery Boys. The Bowery Boys were one of New York's earliest gangs, noted for their anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic leanings, and based in the Bowery neighbourhood. They probably weren't the sort of chaps a respectable person would want to associate with, but which make interesting characters in popular culture from movies, books, to online slots.

In The Bowery Boys, Hacksaw Gaming has taken a graphic novel approach, dropping the usual cutesy angle for something more cinematographic. It's nothing like the paper mache, fruit 'n veg, cute form their games often take, making The Bowery Boys closer in look to Wanted Dead or a Wild. It's also close in spirit too, as both games delve into a grittier side of life. Played on a 6x5 sized game panel, players find themselves in a dimly lit part of town, possessing a strong Watchmen type vibe. It's all moody skies, yellow moon, cobblestones, with a hint of violence about to explode at any moment. This being Hacksaw Gaming, the action on the reels can pop and bubble just as violently.

The Bowery Boys slot

From a mathematical perspective, The Bowery Boys is a highly volatile game, available in a number of RTP models. The most generous has a value of 96.41% and can be quickly checked by opening up the paytable information. Available on tablet, mobile, or desktop devices, armchair gangsters can load up stakes from 10 p/c to as high as $/€100 per spin.

One of The Bowery Boys surprise moments was finding out it does not use cluster pays, which is a Hacksaw Gaming speciality. Instead, makes use of a so-called All-scatter wins system similar to the one used in Joker Bombs and Pragmatic's Sweet Bonanza. Here, all symbols in the game pay like scatters, so as long as at least 8 matching symbols are in view, they create a win. The paytable starts off with 10-A card royals, worth 0.1 to 20 times your bet for landing 8-15+ identical symbols. This increases to 1-100x for landing 8-15+ of the premium boys, fighting men, guns, couples, or lady tiles. Interestingly, there is a wild symbol, landing in the form of a powder keg to substitute any regular pay symbol.

The Bowery Boys: Slot Features

One thing The Bowery Boys is not short of is features. Extras to cover here include cascades, Strongboxes, Blasting Bomb Multipliers, and three bonus games.

Cascades

When winning symbols hit, they are removed from the grid, and the gaps are filled by new symbols dropping down from above. This may lead to another win, and cascades continue until no new win appears. Prize money is collected and displayed above the reels as the pending amount. When cascades end, the total pending win amount is awarded and reset to 0.

Strongboxes

If a Strongbox symbol lands at the same time as a key symbol, it is opened, and its contents awarded. The three Strongbox types available are small, medium, and large, each awarding a prize worth 2x-5x, 10x-25x, or 50x-250x the bet, respectively. These prizes are added to the total pending win amount above the reels.

Blasting Bomb Multipliers

These are bombs that carry values of x2 to x100 and are applied to the current pending win amount. If more than one bomb lands, the values are added together before being applied. Multipliers will only activate if there is a pending win amount currently displayed.

Bonus Games

Landing 1, 2, or 3 bonus symbols in the base game awards the Strongbox Storage, Daisy's Dynamite, or Bowery Savings Bank bonus games, respectively:

  • Strongbox Storage comes with 10 free spins. Here, you can store up to 5 Strongboxes in a storage space if they land without a key. When a key does land, it opens any Strongbox on the reels and any in the storage. Each bonus symbol landing in view awards an additional free spin.
  • Daisy's Dynamite awards 10 free spins where Dynamite Multipliers and Detonator symbols come into play. Dynamite Multipliers have values of x2 to x100 and are stored in a Dynamite Box until a Detonator lands. The Detonator triggers all stored Dynamite Multipliers, which are applied to the pending win for the current round.
  • In Bowery Savings Bank, which also comes with 10 free spins, for every win, the same amount is stored in a separate Vault. Keep in mind the original win is always paid. Landing Dice symbols multiplies the value in the Vault by x2-x12. If a Police Officer Badge hits, the police will have to be paid off with 10-50% removed from the current Vault value. When a dollar sign symbol hits, the money in the Vault is won.

Bonus Buy

If available, players can buy their way to the Strongbox Storage, Daisy's Dynamite, or Bowery Savings Bank features for 80x, 200x, or 300x their total stake.

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The Bowery Boys: Slot Verdict

It sometimes feels like Hacksaw Gaming has a real Jekyll & Hyde thing going on. One minute they're producing games full of things like personified food; the other minute, the team's getting about as bleak as it gets in an online slot. Obviously, The Bowery Boys leans towards the latter side of the spectrum. The good news is Hacksaw is as adept at creating gritty games as it is at exploring the adorable side of life. One of their major talents is crafting insanely playable slots, of which The Bowery Boys is another excellent example.

This time around, they might not have been as completely original as they usually are, as The Bowery Boys' gameplay has a strong Sweet Bonanza hangover. Scatter win systems aren't super common, though, so it makes a nice change from clusters and can definitely go mental with a solid multiplier onboard. One thing different is the inclusion of a wild symbol which most developers have shied away from when using the scatter pays system, so it's worth a look if you're curious to see how it pans out.

Where The Bowery Boys also breaks away from a game like Sweet Bonanza isn't just the inclusion of a wild but is in its set of three bonus games. Each one of them is typical Hacksaw Gaming too. Meaning they're capable of epic teasing when the game is running against you. For example, not getting the Detonator when you've got a few Dynamite Multipliers stored, not getting the key to unlock Strongboxes, or watching your profits evaporate to paying off the cops, oof. Hacksaw games are well equipped to reward, too, though, and if you find yourself on the positive side of The Bowery Boys' volatility, you can win up to 10,000x the bet.

Often, Hacksaw builds a game around one or two clever features that get expanded upon in free spins. In The Bowery Boys, players benefit from several compelling features, a trio of tantalisingly good bonus rounds, and a rich world to enjoy them in, or not; these games can be hugely volatile after all.

Great

In The Bowery Boys, players benefit from several compelling features, a trio of tantalisingly good bonus rounds, and a rich world to enjoy them in.

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