Toshi Video Club: Slot Overview
Such is the power of online stereotypes it may surprise some to know Japanese people do not eat sushi every day, nor are all Japanese females into Kawaii, and not all Japanese people are ultra-polite, Anime, Manga or Cosplay fanatics. You probably won't come to these realisations after playing Toshi Video Club from developer Hacksaw Gaming either. While not exactly a raging cliché-fest, it does present a stylised version of Japanese culture as perceived from the West. Not to worry, Toshi Video Club has been done in a respectfully playful manner so let's load up on the noodle bowls and video games to take a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Toshi is a masculine name with a variety of meanings ranging from 'outstanding person' to 'divine grace' and many others. Here, Hacksaw has used it to name a Video Club that is never expanded on but sounds like a hip society to be part of. Hip is a good way of describing Toshi Video Club. Hacksaw has used a very limited palette of colours to design the game, giving it an individually tasteful minimalistic look. The monochrome image of an anonymous street has a Manga feel, while dabs of orange add a chic touch to the 5x5 game grid and bonus buy button. The music is just as hip, where an achingly cool Asian influenced soundtrack bops innocuously in the background.
Designed as part of Hacksaw's Pocketz Series, Toshi Video Club can nevertheless be played on any device, offering bets from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin. An unassuming look translates to fairly unassuming features as well, which are still just as effective as they are in most Hacksaw slots. The math model is highly volatile, and RTP comes in two forms. One is the default value of 96.17%, while the other is when buying the feature, then it increases a bit to 96.24%.
You'd be forgiven for thinking Toshi Video Club comes with a cluster pays system, which Hacksaw often prefers. However, the studio has gone for paylines this time, 15 to be precise, causing a coin win when three or more matching symbols hit from the left-hand side. Winning combinations go on to trigger a cascade system as well.
Symbols have all been custom-built for the game, having a delightful Japanese feel to them. On the low side are grey coloured noodle bowls, people, cats, whales, and bears. The higher paying symbols have a dash of orange colouring to help separate them where you'll find videotapes, TVs, old joysticks, sushi and frogs – these are worth 10 to 20 times the stake for a line of five. Landing in any position is gorilla wilds, substituting any pay symbol to complete a win line. Wilds also payout if five of them land across a payline, the reward for this is 40x the bet.
Toshi Video Club: Slot Features
In Toshi Video Club, it's multipliers that produce the big wins during the base game and more so in free spins. In both game phases, players also benefit from a cascade mechanic removing winning symbols from the game board. Gaps are filled by new symbols tumbling down from above, potentially leading to consecutive wins. Cascades repeatedly trigger until no new wins line-up.
Multipliers are awarded from special Daruma symbols, which come in 4 different types, revealing a value. This value is either added or multiplied with the current value displayed just above the reels. When wins hit, they are increased by the current multiplier value stored there. The global win multiplier resets between paid spins. If 2 Daruma symbols land at the same time, their values are applied to the total, column by column, from top to bottom. The 4 Darumas are:
- Small Daruma – increases the multiplier by +1, +2, or +5.
- Medium Daruma – increases the multiplier by +10, +15, or +20.
- Big Daruma – increases the multiplier by +25, +50, or +100.
- Green Daruma – multiplies the current total by x2, x3, x4, or x5.
Landing at least 3 scatter symbols triggers the free spins round where you are awarded 10 spins. During this feature, the main difference is that the win multiplier does not reset between spins as it does in the main game.
If buying the feature is an option where you live, then shelling out 120x the bet lands 3 free spin scatter symbols on the next game round.
Toshi Video Club: Slot Verdict
Maybe it's the light presentation, but everything about Toshi Video Club felt a little light as well. Its features can still produce impressive results, yet they don't dazzle with ingenuity like a Hacksaw release usually does. Toshi Video Club is a case of hoping Darumas land to improve the value of regular symbols. That's it really, simple tidy gaming which would fit inside a sushi box and still have room for soy sauce.
Occasionally, Darumas do surprise, incrementing a decent multiplier to fire off a big win, fair dues. Often though, since Toshi Video Club uses paylines rather than clusters, it's some minimal three symbol line getting dealt to. Many a bonus game passed with a solid multiplier in the kitty and nothing good hitting to apply it to. When Toshi Video Club does go your way, though, it is thrilling to see a big multiplier be put to good use. It's not as exhilarating as Stack' Em, which uses a similar-ish system, but Toshi Video Club matches it when it comes to max win, where a figure of 10,000x the bet is up for grabs.
Toshi Video Club slips into the Pocketz range with less fanfare than many of its sibling slots. It's more laid back nature may appeal to players after something less flashy. However, big win chasers can rest assured knowing Toshi Video Club can still go nuts even if it is quite subdued most of the time.
Toshi Video Club hooks you spin after spin with unique, stylish gameplay, albeit in rather barebones fashion.