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About the Company
Hacksaw Gaming is an online real money game creator with headquarters in Malta. The firm was launched in August 2018 with former Multilotto COO, Marcus Cordes at the helm.
The company started out making a scratchcard product and eventually evolved its offering to include slots.
Within about a year of founding, the company secured both Maltese and British licenses, opening their markets considerably. Their UKGC license is listed under the name HGMT Limited (Hacksaw Gaming Malta). The company holds licenses for software and game host (casino).
However, they didn't wait for internal MGA or UKGC documentation to launch their games with others who already held Gaming Authority and Gambling Commission licenses. The first tranch of games we see released were on Multilotto and included nearly 30 mobile scratch card games. In early September 2019, LeoVegas debuted the studio's first slot, titled "Stick ‘em".
In December 2019 the company announced they had received ISO 27001 certification, giving them the leading information security certificate in the digital world.
The ability to protect customer data was seen as a big step toward securing more partnerships and being eligible for licensing in more jurisdictions. International regulators recognize the value of the certificate and having one can fast-track certain application processes.
In addition to Multi Group, the company has inked partnerships with eCOGRA-certified Relax Gaming, SoftSwiss, iSoftbet, EveryMatrix, GiG, and WhiteHat Gaming.
One of the ways the company promotes its products at participating online casinos is through jackpots as can be seen in the following:
25 Chances to win €25 Million Every Day
A new Jackpot Slot Exclusively at Wildz
Software and Games
All of the company's products are developed with a mobile-first philosophy. This makes perfect sense with the advent of HTML5 browser-based internet gambling. Anything you can play on an Android or Apple phone or tablet can be played on a laptop or desktop computer thanks to the mark-up language.
The studio quickly increased its slots portfolio with an average of about one game per month after launching Stick'em.
There is no transparency as to how the games operate and none of the slot titles have traditional mechanics such as 5 reels with 3 positions each, 9-25 paylines, etc.
Our guess would be that outcomes are not based on traditional slot game maths, mapped to reel symbols. However, the UKGC is fine with that as long as the theoretical return to player percentages fall within the expected range after millions of game rounds.
We simply trust that the audited, certified, and licensed games are fair but imagine they are based on the same models as their scratch cards until shown otherwise, it is the most probable explanation for 4 reel slots with 81 paylines and 5 reel titles with 1024 ways to win in the absence of any traditional slots.
Om Nom and Miami Multiplier each have 4 reels and 81 paylines. Let's take a look behind the screen to see if they might be using the same game engine and are indeed simply clones of each other.
Both are in the POCKETZ Series of mobile-first games that play just fine on a desktop or laptop too.
The good news is, they are not exact clones. Each game has its own math model with one's RTP 96.30% and the other's set at 96.28% hardly a matter to be concerned about between the two.
While both use a unique 4x4 all ways leftmost-to-right win model resulting in 81 virtual paylines, Miami Multiplier appears to be a slightly more volatile game with slightly higher potential payouts.
On Nom offers a jackpot prize of 4800x with up to 100x multipliers in the base game while Miami tops out at 5000x and has multipliers up to 60x in the feature game.
Om Nom generates a random multiplier based on any of the normal symbols in the base game. If the symbol matches a winning combination on the reels, the multiplier will activate and land on any factor between 1x and 100x.
Landing 3 Free Spin icons trigger the feature with extra wild symbols added to the reels.
Miami Multipliers features a multiplier meter above the reelset. On a winning spin, the number of multiplier symbols that appear on the screen will be counted by the meter. At the end of the spin, winnings are multiplied by that amount. For instance, if you have 3 Palm Trees (6x total bet) and 4 multiplier symbols, your payout would be 24x total bet (6x4).
Land three or four Free Spin symbols to trigger an award of 8 or 15 free games. All multipliers collected during the free game will apply progressively so your last spin could be worth up to 60x the base game payout for the same matching symbols.
This game uses the same all ways pay model but is presented in a 5x5 grid featuring 25 cubes. It's a Match 5 game with a middle multiplier that can go as high as 22x.
All colored clusters pay the same amount, wins are simply based on the number of vertically or horizontally adjacent cubes of the same color.
Free games are activated by getting five clusters of different colors. If you build a cluster of 70 cubes in the bonus game you win 2,500x your total stake.
Rather than spinning or cascading, the blocks explode in a 3D fashion toward you, spinning to show another colored side before resettling on the grid.
A win on the 5x5 grid will expand the gamespace to 7x7. A win in that configuration expands it to 9x9, and another will create an 11x11 game space.
Play is mesmerizing and somewhat addictive thanks to the cryptic music and hypnotizing block shuffles.
About three dozen games are available in their flagship game product category.
The first game we tried, Koi Cash, had an abysmal RTP of 71.76% which is configurable by the casino operator. Simply look in the information section under the hamburger menu to see the RTP of any of their games.
The RTP is determined on a hypothetical model of twenty million virtual cards 4m 1.00 winners a diminishing number of escalating win amount chances culminating in a single 500,000.00 potential prize.
While we can't be sure the hypothetical model applies to real-world play, it's enough to know that the games have terrible return to player percentages, but very big prizes, so you are probably as well of playing these games as lottery scratchers.
We were not able to change bet size for the Koi Cash game, it was fixed at 2.50. You can manually scratch the 3x3 grid on the card or "scratch all" with a button.
The next game, chosen at random, was Lucky Shot, with a fixed price of 2.00. This game has 6 hidden numbers and a winning number to try to match.
This game had a single jackpot of 150,000.00 along with 1.2m one dollar prizes based on a run of 6,000,000 cards and an appalling RTP of 64.9%.
Without a deeper insight into how the maths are arrived at for "a hypothetical series", it's impossible to determine if these are indeed "fair games". One developer in the past has used a virtual model of physical cards. When the jackpot was gone all other hypothetical cards had to be consumed before the entire pot was replenished.
As these games are licensed by the UKGC we will assume that it is theoretically possible for three cards to be sold in sequence and each one of them could be a jackpot winner. There's really no reason, with RTPs in this range and no known revenue sharing model between operators and providers, there's no reason to assume tha any purchased card could not theoretically be a jackpot winner.
The Final Analysis
As more and more providers enter the online gambling space, we see niche markets being filled. While not all of Hacksaw Gaming's instant win cards offer jackpots of half a million euros, they do come in a wide range of price points - currently from 0.10 to 10.00 per go.
All of the slot titles we tested, including the very fun 6x6 Cash Compass, had RTPs over 96%. The games are not traditional slots but could be based on fairly traditional models (243 ways to win revisited).
The return to player percentages of the scratch cards we tested was definitely not the sort of odds we would ever recommend to serious online gamblers. However, if these games tickle your fancy the jackpot potential could make them worth a go.
Hacksaw Gaming Games
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