If there's a mechanic that has kept steady in popularity over the years, it's the book mechanic. At my last check, I found over 250 of these games on one online casino site – and that was just by searching for ‘book of', so there could be a lot more with obscure titles. Book games have existed for so long, I'm not even sure who made the first one, although something tells me it was Book of Ra, because I'm pretty sure that one is over 15 years old. Almost every provider out there has a book game in their catalogue, and now Hacksaw Gaming are joining the mix. Following on from their recent release, Pug Life, the team are bringing us Book of Time – the third in the Canny the Can series, most recently revived through Stack ‘Em. With wins available up to 10,000x bet, this highly volatile release comes with RTP options up to 96.13%.
I wasn't quite sure how to describe things visually here, but I checked back, and at the time I described Stack ‘Em as “an antique, yet unique, early 1900s Disney-esque feel” – obviously a time when I was more in tune with my artistic side, but I'd say the same rings true for Book of Time. Things are quite different, which Hacksaw Gaming are known for, but still picturesque, with trees in the background, and some grassy paths in the foreground. Canny stands to the right of the reels, whilst his friend Mona the Mouse stands to the left. Mona never does much, but she's here nonetheless. Audios are upbeat, similar to Stack ‘Em, and tie the whole thing together into a neat little package.
Book of Time Base Features
Taking place across 5 reels, wins are formed on Book of Time by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel, across 1 of 20 fixed win lines. Symbols available begin with non premiums, with 10s, Js, Qs, Ks, and As, awarding wins between 0.10 and 0.50x bet for 3 of a kind, increasing to values between 5 and 15x bet for 5 of a kind. At the premium end, there's a bit of a Halloween theme going on, with starred wands, witches' hats, a creature that has been stabbed, a decapitated snake, and Mona the mouse. Land 3 of a kind of any premium to see wins between 1 and 3x bet, increasing to values between 50 and 250x bet for 5 of a kind. Finally, Book symbols are available, acting as Wilds by substituting for all symbols, and awarding wins of 250x bet for 5 of a kind.
Alright, so there's not much really happening in the base game – instead, all the excitement within Book of Time relies on two bonus rounds – What Time Is It? and It's a Classic! Let's start with the former. On any spin, if 3 Clock Man Scatter symbols land in view, the What Time Is It? feature will be triggered, awarding 10 Free Spins.
During Free Spins, clocks will appear above reels 2, 3, and 4. On every spin, these clocks will display a different time – clocks can display the same time as each other, or they can all display different times. When a Clock Activator symbol (which is a teal and yellow X symbol) lands on any of these reels, Wild Multiplier Clock symbols will spread on the reels, from the clock at the top of the reel, to the Clock Activator symbol. These Wild Multipliers will each take on the value of the time displayed on the clock at the top of the reels as a multiplier – ie if the clock displays 11 o'clock, the multiplier will be x11.
Wild Multipliers substitute for all symbols in winning combinations, and apply their multiplier values to any wins they are part of. If more than one Wild Multiplier is used in the same win, their values will be added together before being applied to the win. Wild Multipliers (and therefore clock displays) can have the following values – Wild (x1), x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x7, x8, x9, x10, x11, or x12.
Book of Time Bonus
Land 3, 4, or 5 Book Scatter symbols to trigger 10, 15, or 20 Free Spins with 1, 2, or 3 Special Symbols, respectively. Special symbols can be any regular paying non premium or premium symbol, and will be awarded a golden frame and colour change to signify that they have been chosen.
Landing 3 Book Scatter symbols during Free Spins will retrigger the feature and award an additional +5 spins, and an additional Special Symbol. This can only happen until the Special Symbol bar above the reels has been filled, at which point no further retriggers are awarded. The bar is filled when 3 Special Symbols have been chosen.
During Free Spins, if a Special Symbol lands on 3, 4, or 5 reels, it will expand to cover the entire reel it has landed upon. After expanding, the Special Symbol will pay anywhere, across all 20 win lines, even if there are no symbols connecting the expanded reels. If more than one Special Symbol is due to expand on the same reel, they will expand and pay one at a time.
Players in appropriate regions can opt for the following Buy Bonus options:
- Bonus Hunt Featurespins (each spin over four times more likely to trigger a bonus game) – 3x bet
- It's a Classic! (10 Spins and 1 Special Symbol) – 100x bet
- Even More Classic! (15 Spins and 2 Special Symbols) – 200x bet
- The Most Classic! (20 Spins and 3 Special Symbol) – 400x bet
- What Time Is It? – 200x bet
Volatility and RTP for the above Buy Bonus options are as follows:
- Bonus Hunt Featurespins – high volatility (96.27% RTP)
- It's a Classic! – high volatility (96.39% RTP)
- Even More Classic! – high volatility (96.35% RTP)
- The Most Classic! – medium volatility (96.37% RTP)
- What Time Is It? – very high volatility (96.25% RTP)
These values are based upon the overall RTP setting of 96.13%.
The maximum win available in Book of Time 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.
Book of Time slots into the Canny the Can series with ease – although that seems more down to the fact that book games pretty much work with any theme, any provider, and any pay system, rather than any one specific thing that has been done well here. It does still have its' strengths – the What Time Is It? feature, for example, adds a nice touch. So much so that I think I prefer it to the Classic features on offer, and I think I might not be the only one.
The Classic element does appeal to a wide market though – we know how popular this mechanic is, and it won't be any different this time around, especially with the ability to trigger or buy Free Spins with additional Special Symbols, thanks to additional Scatters. This release is all about the bonus rounds, and a good amount of thought has went into making them as exciting as they are, helped somewhat by their ability to produce wins up to 10,000x bet.
Graphics are great, which is pretty much what we expect from Hacksaw, although they make slightly less sense than we're used to. Maths is highly volatile, and RTP options are available up to 96.13% – although lower options of 94.34% and 92.33% are available, so as always it's worth checking.
Book of Time will certainly attract fans of book games in general, but I suspect the Multiplying Wild feature could bring in some outsiders, who maybe wouldn't be tempted otherwise.
*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.