Time Spinners: Slot Overview
Here's a question that was inspired by the science writing of Marcus Chown - is there really such a thing as 'now'? Light from stars can travel for years to reach us, and even on a smaller scale, it takes a fraction of a moment for light and sound to travel to us from the closest objects. Sure, a very small fraction of a moment, but it's kind of like we are forever processing the world as it was, not quite as it is. Anyway, this is just one of the thoughts that arose when reviewing Time Spinners, an online slot from Hacksaw Gaming. This one explores the concept of time, at times in a sinister way, while slinging out wild multipliers and a Dusk Till Dawn bonus round.
Another puzzle presented itself in the form of Time Spinners' game screen. In the middle sits a 5-reel, 4-row grid, suspended over a pit by chains, bound to four broken stone pillars. Not sure what to make of it, really. It kind of looks like a coffin being lowered into the ground, and the music has a dirge-y quality while the reels are static. Once they start moving, the soundtrack becomes more sweeping, but all in all, Time Spinners gave off a strange vibe that was harder to pin down compared to straight fruit, Western, or Egyptian as in many previous Hacksaw games. Compared to previous releases, it does lack personality which gives it a somewhat generic look. Let's chalk it up to the mysteries of time.
Solving the mystery, or attempting to, starts with picking a stake of 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin and firing Time Spinners up on your preferred device. Highly volatile, be on the lookout for the 96.19% return to player version as the most optimal, as Hacksaw slots tend to come with a range of return settings. In total, 16 paylines are provided to land winning combinations along, where at least three are needed to do so, starting from the left side of the grid.
Time for some symbology and Time Spinners has eight regular pay symbols plus several special symbols to go through. From low to high, we find clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades as the low pays, then books, scrolls, timers, and gyro-like devices as the highs. A five-of-a-kind winning line gets you 1-2x the bet for the card suit symbols or 5-20x the bet for the four premiums. Wilds appear on all reels to substitute any normal pay symbol and pay out 20x the bet when making a five wild winning line.
Time Spinners: Slot Features
Delving further into the enigma uncovers Watch wild multipliers, Sync symbols, Ghosts, and a Dusk Till Dawn bonus round.
Red rimmed watches are wild multiplier symbols that replace all paying symbols. When Watches are used in a winning line, they reveal a multiplier of between x2 to x12. The golden rimmed watch is the Sync symbol. When these hit, they sync all multipliers on the grid to the one with the highest value.
Dusk Till Dawn
The Dusk Till Dawn bonus is awarded when 3 Ghost symbols land in view. The first part of the bonus round consists of collecting Watch symbols. Here, 3 spins are awarded containing non-winning symbols and special symbols. When a new Watch symbol land or when an Echo/Epic Echo symbol affects a Watch symbol, the spin count is reset. Here's what they do:
- Sticky Watch – sticks to the reels with a multiplier value of x2-x12.
- Sync Your Watches – syncs all multipliers to the highest value in view.
- Echo – lands and reveals a value of x1 to x50, which is added to all Watches in a 3x3 area around it.
- Epic Echo – lands and reveals a value of x2-x10, which multipliers all Watch values in a 3x3 area around it.
After the collect phase has ended, the Sticky Watches remain on the reels for the payout phase, where regular symbols are added back to the reels. During the collect phase, each time the free spins counter is refilled, an extra payout spin is awarded for the payout phase, with a minimum of 3 payout spins.
Hit the Buy Bonus button, and players have two options to choose from. Give Me Watches (RTP 96.24%) costs x2 the bet for a game round where no Ghosts land, but up to 15 Watches will appear instead with multipliers up to x24. At least two Watches are guaranteed to land. The second option is to buy Dusk Till Dawn for 100x the bet (RTP 96.2%).
Time Spinners: Slot Verdict
It might not seem it at first, but Time Spinners possess a slightly insidious quality that worms its way into the back of the consciousness like cold breath from beyond. There's something about the bizarre stone pit setting, the spectral hands of the Ghost, the funereal quality to some of the music, and the reference to the relentless march of time. It's not as in-your-face macabre as Hands of Anubis, but it's a little unsettling. Maybe we were overthinking it because, in other ways, Time Spinners kind of felt like something Red Tiger might make as well. That's not meant in any negative way. There's something recognisable about the symbols, the time references, and the glossy graphics.
The bonus round is vaguely Red Tiger-ish as well while being classic Hacksaw in many ways. It was a bit like the Dead Man's Hand Bonus Round from Wanted Dead or a Wild, yet it felt tougher to really get it going compared to the Western slot. The collect phase would generally land 3-4 Watch symbols, maxing out with x2-x5 multiplier values. Echo symbols were rare, and Epic Echoes were practically non-existent, though we might have simply been unlucky. A highly volatile Hacksaw Gaming slot can be capricious, and Time Spinners appears to be one of those. If the game is in a giving mood, you could imagine some crazy sticky multipliers stacking up with the aid of the Echo/Epic Echo symbols leading to thrilling bonus rounds amidst the sea of average ones. Pushed to the limit, Time Spinners can produce wins of up to 10,000x the bet.
Time Spinner has some good stuff to offer but felt a little unfilled in the end. The slippery theme made it hard to grasp exactly what the studio was aiming for, unless it really is about time running out and the Grim Reaper getting his mitts on you, which is pretty dark. Unusually for Hacksaw, there's no one thing about Time Spinners that really stood out. Whilst a decent game, a muddled, slightly unambitious attitude held Time Spinners back from being one of the studio's better releases.
Whilst a decent game, a muddled, slightly unambitious attitude holds Time Spinners back from being one of the studio’s better releases.