Xmas Drop: Slot Overview
With the length of time Hacksaw Gaming has been dropping power house slots, many of the cutie pie variety, it's a surprise the studio hasn't made a Christmas game before. That's all changed now, though, due to the release of Xmas Drop. As well as piling on the sights of Christmas, Xmas Drop piles on many of the gaming features the developer has been toying with around the time of its release. These are things like expanding wilds, some packing multipliers, as well as two bonus rounds with the heartwarming names of Night Before Xmas and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
Our man Santa joins players on the Xmas Drop escapades, too. You can't miss him, depending on the screen size, since he stands next to the reels, holding his belly swaying from side to side. Perhaps he's loaded up on too much eggnog? But who's going to say no to the big man's company in a Christmas slot? As well as the chap in red, players' eyes are treated to a thickly snowed forest scene, making for good hearty Xmas stuff. Common stuff, but that's par for the course in a white Christmas slot.
Framed in gold and backgrounded by a warm green colour is Xmas Drop's gaming grid. It's been built using 5 reels holding 5 rows, each and crossed by 19 paylines. Winning combinations begin on the left side of the grid and must pass along a payline over adjacent reels. With a math model rated as medium volatile, players get a default RTP value of 96.22% when betting normally and several other figures when activating the various bonus buys. Base bet options vary from 10 c to $/€100 per spin.
Hitting on the grid are Xmas Drop's 10 regular paying symbols. Five of them are 10-A card royals imprinted on green, blue, red, purple, and yellow bordered blocks, while the high pays are a stocking, a candy cane, a tree, a teddy bear, and some bells. Landing a full 5 OAK low pay combo awards 5 to 10 times the bet, whereas the same result made up of high pays is worth 15 to 25 times the bet. The game's two wild symbols are worth more at 25x the bet should they make a 5 wild win, and they're also used for substituting any regular pay symbol.
Xmas Drop: Slot Features
One of the wilds is the Wild Santa symbol, the other is the Wild Gift symbol - both have certain powers. Other features are the Night Before Christmas Bonus round, the Santa Claus is Coming to Town bonus round, and the feature buy options.
Wild Santa Symbol
Wild Santa symbols expand if the expanded symbol would be part of at least one win once it does so. When expanded, they count as a wild symbol on each position the expanded symbol covers. Wild Santas only spread downwards to the bottom of the reels. Wild Santas that do not expand are counted as a single wild symbol, and each reel can only have one Wild Santa at a time.
Wild Gift Symbol
If a Wild Santa symbol expands through a Wild Gift symbol, it turns into a multiplier that is applied to the whole expanded Wild Santa symbol. Possible multiplier values range from x2 to x200. If a winning combination has more than one expanded Wild Santa with a multiplier, the multiplier values are added together before being applied to the win.
Night Before Xmas
Landing 3 FS scatters in the base game triggers this bonus round with 10 free spins. In this feature, you have a better chance of landing Wild Santa and Wild Gift symbols than in the base game. Hitting 3 FS symbols while the round is active awards +4 free spins. Or, hitting 4 FS symbols in the round upgrades it to Santa Claus Is Coming To Town at the end of the spin. If less than 10 free spins are remaining, the number of free spins is set to 10.
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Landing 4 FS scatters in the base game triggers this feature with 10 free spins. In this round, landing a Wild Santa symbol can activate the reel it lands on. Once a reel is activated, a Wild Santa is guaranteed to land on the reel for all remaining free spins. Hit 3 FS scatters, and the reward is +4 more free spins.
Feature Buy Menu
Here is where the special features may be bought, such as:
- BounsHunt FeatureSpins - 3x the bet where each spin is 5 times more likely to activate a bonus game. Highly volatile, RTP is 96.44%.
- 2 Wild Santas FeatureSpins - 20x the bet where each spin is guaranteed to land at least 2 Wild Santas. Very highly volatile, RTP is 96.34%.
- 3 Wild Santas FeatureSpins - 50x the bet where each spin is guaranteed to land at least 3 Wild Santas. Highly volatile, RTP is 96.31%.
- Night Before Xmas - 110x the bet. Highly volatile, RTP is 96.2%.
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - 200x the bet. Highly volatile, RTP is 96.41%.
Xmas Drop: Slot Verdict
Xmas Drop is a traditional slot in more ways than one and more or less a clone of RIP City. First is the theme, which decks the game out in miscellaneous Xmas items such as snow, Santa, and toys. For a studio possessing Hacksaw Gaming's creative reputation, players may have thought the team might have pushed the boat out a bit further than Xmas Drop does. But it is the developer's first Christmas slot, after all, so perhaps squirting masses of creativity into it wasn't high on the agenda.
Xmas Drop is a charmingly light-natured game, however, on the surface at least. Though not an original feature, the way the jaw drops on Wild Santa symbols when they expand qualifies as something of a knee slapper and a desirable occurrence since it means more wilds on the grid, and maybe a multiplier to go with them, should a Santa pass through a Wild Gift symbol as it expands.
Hacksaw Gaming slots have a reputation for being tough going at times, where bonus buys, for example, can reward but also dole out punishment. BonusHunt FeatureSpins are one thing; they've been useful in helping trigger free spins more often in the past, but the two Wild Santa FeatureSpins might get expensive if they don't perform. But there's nothing new about all this. Gamblers who have dabbled with slots like RIP City in the past should be well prepared for what Xmas Drop delivers, or un-thrilled by the repetition, if they decide to take up the challenge on the special day, or beyond.
Xmas Drop is classic Hacksaw Gaming ideas wrapped up in a classically presented Xmas slot.