Hacksaw Gaming are drawing from the immortal words of Michael Jackson, ‘it's close to midnight, and something evil's lurking in the dark', in their upcoming release – a return to the darker side of slots after their visit to the friendly side in recent releases, Frank's Farm and Pug Life. This one is called Bloodthirst, and boy are you in for a thrill(er) here, as you take on ghouls, vampires, werewolves, and demons in search of Monster Reels and Monster Takeovers. With a highly (4/5) volatile maths model, this release comes with RTP options up to 96.19%, and win potential up to 10,000x bet – although Hacksaw Gaming themselves have stated this can only be achieved through the more valuable bonus game.
Visually, everything is quite dark. We're in a wooded area on an evening with a full moon, hidden behind cliffs in the background. There's a large house behind the reels, and a deep blue hue over the whole thing. Reels are embossed in a grey stone, or maybe metal, with ornate engravings around the edges. All in all, dark as they come, with a foreboding soundtrack to add to the atmosphere.
Bloodthirst Base Features
Taking place across 5 reels, wins are formed on Bloodthirst by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel, across 1 of 10 fixed win lines. Symbols available begin with non premiums, with 10s, Js, Qs, Ks, and As, awarding wins between 0.10 and 1x bet for matches between 3 and 5 of a kind. At the premium end, we have four monsters – green ghouls, yellow vampires, red werewolves, and blue demons. Land 3 of a kind of any premium to see wins between 1.50 and 2x bet, increasing to values between 6 and 10x bet for 6 of a kind matches. Finally, Wilds substitute for all symbols except FS Scatter symbols, paying 20x bet for 5 of a kind.
Alright, so there's one main feature driving Bloodthirst forward, and that's Monster Reels. When 4 matching premiums land stacked in view on a single reel, they will expand into a Monster Reel after line wins are paid. Each Monster Reel awards a unique win depending on the symbol it is associated with, and will pay like a Scatter:
- Ghoul Monster Reels – 5x bet per Monster Reel
- Vampire Monster Reels – 10x bet per Monster Reel
- Werewolf Monster Reels – 15x bet per Monster Reel
- Demon Monster Reels – 20x bet per Monster Reel
If 5 of the same Monster Reels land (one on each reel), they will transform in to a Monster Takeover, covering all five reels. When this happens, no regular line wins are awarded, and the monsters pay a different, mega prize:
- Ghoul Monster Takeover – 100x bet
- Vampire Monster Takeover – 250x bet
- Werewolf Monster Takeover – 1,000x bet
- Demon Monster Takeover – 2,500x bet
Land 3 FS Scatter symbols to trigger 10 Bloodthirst Free Spins. During this feature, there is no change from the base game, except there is a higher chance of triggering Monster Reels.
Land 4 FS Scatter symbols to trigger 10 Immortals Free Spins. At the beginning of this feature, one of the premium monster symbols is selected (ghoul, vampire, werewolf, or demon). This will be the only symbol that can expand into a Monster Reel during Free Spins. When a Monster Reel is triggered, the indicator above the relevant reel will be activated for the duration of the bonus. For all remaining spins, after line wins are paid, any activated reels will expand to reveal their Monster Reel. It is possible during this feature to land an Upgrade symbol, in which case the chosen monster is upgraded to the next symbol above it, with all activated reels upgraded also.
Players in appropriate regions can take advantage of the following Buy Bonus options:
- Bonus Hunt Feature Spins (5x more likely to trigger a bonus) – 3x bet (96.19% RTP)
- Bloodthirst Free Spins – 100x bet (96.34% RTP)
- Immortals Free Spins – 200x bet (96.35% RTP)
The volatility of both Free Spin Buy Bonus options is high, whilst the volatility of Bonus Hunt Feature Spins is very high. The RTP options above are based upon the 96.19% RTP setting.
The maximum win available in Bloodthirst is 10,000x bet. If the sum of a single game round exceeds this, the game round will end and 10,000x bet will be awarded. It is only possible to trigger this win during Immortals Free Spins.
In our review of Frank's Farm, I remarked that Hacksaw Gaming seem to have two modes – dark and mysterious, like Wanted Dead or a Wild, Chaos Crew, Undead Fortune, or Hand of Anubis, and the more friendly releases, like King Carrot, Pug Life, and now Frank's Farm. Well, I'm more sure of this than ever, and it's clear to see that we can add Bloodthirst to the former list.
The team do great work when they focus on these dark releases, often with fairly simple mechanics, and this is no different. Monster Reels help to keep the base game moving forward, with Monster Takeover acting as something to work towards, whilst simultaneously offering the appeal of 2,500x bet wins. Moving into Free Spins and things go to a higher level, with a greater chance of landing Monster Reels in Bloodthirst Free Spins. This is particularly true though in Immortals Free Spins, wherein Monster Reels are sticky. If you're lucky enough to trigger a Monster Takeover during this feature, you'll see it is sticky too, awarding wins between 100 and 2,500x bet at the end of every spin. When the right combinations hit, overall wins are possible up to 10,000x bet – although remember this is only possible during the Immortals Free Spins bonus game.
Finally, maths is highly (4/5) volatile, with RTP options up to 96.19%, so as always it's worth checking this. If you're a fan of the darker side of Hacksaw's catalogue, Bloodthirst is perfect for you.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.