Whacked!: Slot Overview
Whacked! is a gangster-themed online slot from software provider Nolimit City, and given the studio's reputation for choosing controversial topics, you know Whacked! has nothing to do with getting a friendly clip around the ears for messing up or doing something stoopid. Oh no, here, Whacked! refers to the gangsta practice of bumping someone off for good - swimming with the fishes, pushing up daisies, all that sort of thing. Maybe someone snitched, or a rival moved into territory they shouldn't have? Whatever the reason, whacking is taking place, and given Nolimit City's track record of firing off some of the most brutal slots on the market, why don't we find out exactly what that entails.
It's funny; the majority of the population probably wants to stay as far away from gangsters as they can get, yet, movies like The Godfather and tv shows like The Sopranos are immensely popular. Perhaps it's like what Nietzsche said; 'Truth is ugly. We possess art lest we perish from truth.' Or something along those lines. Following on from that, a good bit of art has gone into Whacked!'s design which takes place in a desolate middle-of-nowhere patch, a sort of automobile graveyard by a deserted gas station in the desert. Rocky hills, blue skies, and desert flora reawakened memories of the wide-open vistas surrounding Albuquerque – the setting for the mega-hit show Breaking Bad. The same location is used for the bonus round, except it takes place at night. Lastly, fans of Nolimit City's sonic work should be chuffed with the cracking ear massage provided by its music and sound effects, which swirled about like a 70s gangster show peppered with what seemed like Eastern European and Latino influences - plus f-bombs.
Whacked! doesn't pack the sort of astronomical winning potential often found in a Nolimit City slot, but most of its other stats are about on par. This means a trio of RTP configurations, maxing out at 96.07% when wagering 20 p/c to $/€100 per spin, while the volatility has been classed by Nolimit City as 'Extreme'. With a hit rate of 25.03%, winning symbols are removed from the reels when they land and replaced with symbols above them by the avalanche mechanic.
The game is played on a 5x3 grid matrix with 243 ways to win, though ways increase when xWays symbols drop onto the board, up to 7,776 at the most. Regular symbols include low pay rope, dagger, knuckle dusters, pistol and shotgun, worth 0.5 to 0.9 times the bet, while the high pays are 5 hardened character symbols worth 1 to 2 times the bet. When wild symbols appear, they may be used to substitute for any regular pay symbol.
Whacked!: Slot Features
Whacked! doesn't go over the top wild and crazy with the features, but it does deliver a bonus round that is unusual for Nolimit City called Whacked Spins. As well as Whacked Spins are Lock 'N' Load, xWays, xNudge, Russian Roulette, and the Nolimit Bonus.
Lock 'N' Load
Whenever a winning combination lands, the next group of bullets is loaded into the cylinder. Once the cylinder is fully loaded with 6 bullets and no more wins occur, the Lock 'N' Load feature activates. When active, bullets randomly fire at high-paying character symbols on the reels. Those that are hit are replaced by wild symbols. If there are 5 or fewer high-paying symbols in view, the unused bullets are saved for later.
xWays symbols expand to 2 or 4 symbols, creating half symbols. Half symbols pay the same as normal-size symbols and remain until there are no more wins or avalanches.
Getting 3 scatters on the reels triggers Whacked Spins. Whacked Spins begin with a value of x1 the base bet displayed below each reel.
Whacked Spins starts with 3 spins, which reset back to 3 when a win is collected beneath the reels. Coins possess a value times the base bet, and all wins during the feature are added to the respective counter at the bottom of each reel. When the round ends, the collected values are added together for a total payout. If the xRevolver cylinder symbol lands, it awards one of the 6 features within the cylinder - Coins, xWays, xNudge, or the Russian Roulette. Each one of the symbols behaves like so:
- Coins possess bet multiplying values.
- xWays – this expands to reveal 3 coins; each coin has a value of 1 to 20 times the bet.
- xNudge – this expands to award 3 multipliers of x1, x2, or x3 depending on where it lands. Each nudge the symbol makes awards +1x to its multiplier. Each xNudge value multiplies the collected value at the bottom of the reel.
- Russian Roulette – when activated, spins are reset to 3 but do not reset again. At the end of the spins, the collected value winnings are multiplied by each other rather than added. Russian Roulette can only appear from an xRevolver symbol.
Hitting the star button opens up the Nolimit Bonus, where players can buy entrance to the bonus round for the cost of 88 times the bet. Max RTP for the bonus buy is 96.15%.
Whacked!: Slot Verdict
That was… pretty straightforward for a Nolimit City slot. There was little back-and-forward cross-referencing of paytable rules, double-checking the small print of each and every feature, then still getting confused by the game throwing a curveball or three. Whacked!'s base game keeps things uncomplicated by slinging off regular high-pay symbols to wild transformations when the bullet collection goes to plan, plus xWays symbol splits to go with the avalanching as players wait for the bonus round to trigger. Or, bought for the relatively down to Earth cost of 88x. The gangsta theme, while not the most in-yo-face shocking thing the studio has ever done, still manages to push boundaries (for an online slot) and has been handled with typical Nolimit City panache. Whacked! didn't, well, whack the sensibilities as hard as, say, KMC, Mental, or more recently, Disturbed, but players enamoured by Nolimit City's confrontational approach still get the chance to stick a middle finger up to good taste and convention while gambling. This time with a gangster/hiding evidence way out in the weeds type way.
The gameplay as well didn't whack like some of Nolimit City's stuff does. The base game, as mentioned, is about as uncomplicated as it gets from the NLC team, which meant almost no eyeball-quivering moments of confusion during testing. Where things get more interesting, from a technical perspective, is when the bonus round triggers, and Whacked Spins are something new for a team that doesn't usually go in for streak respin rounds. As you'd expect, this is no happy-go-lucky bout of hitting sticky cash symbols and then collecting their values at the end. Nor is it the sort of hold 'n win game which is going up against titans of the genre like Money Train 3. In fact, Whacked Spins had a ring of Hacksaw Gaming to them, what with the build-up of multiplier values at the bottom of the reels, before collecting the accumulated total when the round ends. The Hacksaw Ging ring was emphasised by the Russian Roulette extra, a hugely coveted feature since it multiplies reel values rather than adds them together – if you're lucky enough to get it.
Speaking of luck, get really lucky, like 'made' lucky, to use a themed-based reference and Whacked! is good for wins of up to 11,912 times the bet. Not the biggest number in the Nolimit City stable, yet a max win probability of 1 in 900,000, might help smooth things over with the big win guys and gals out there. This figure would tend to suggest the studio wasn't aiming for world domination with Whacked!, but that doesn't hold it back from being an entertaining online slot for keyboard 'wise guys' on the lookout for an innovative hold 'n win alternative.
Whacked! may be unusually simple for a NLC release, but if you’re looking for a cerebral jaunt through a gangster underworld, it might just be the right option for you.