Hacksaw Gaming is preparing for a roundup in the same manner as in the old west, complete with saddles, hats, and revolvers. Wanted Dead or a Wild is Hacksaw Gaming’s Wild West-themed slot with its signature style of visuals, music, features, and devilish gameplay. Cowboys, gold diggers, bar keepers, gamblers, robbers, and anybody else looking to make a quick buck found the Wild West hard to refuse. As a result, its rich cultural offering is frequently drawn upon by online slot makers. Therefore, let’s evaluate Hacksaw’s work.
At night, the sun burns over gnarled trees and a rusty fence, leaving behind a 5×5 game grid. Hacksaw’s slot machine scene deviates from the standard dusty one-horse village of the Wild West in favor of a more frightening atmosphere. It’s enough to make you question where the heck we are and how the hay we got here. Maybe we’re hiding out in the countryside, waiting to rob a train that shows up in a side quest. On the run from the law, perhaps? The good news is that gamers get to pick the scenario that comes closest to their ideal Wild West dream. Though it has many parallels to Hacksaw’s upcoming megahit Chaos Crew, Wanted Dead or a Wild has a darker atmosphere than most Western slots and the vast majority of games in Hacksaw’s historical library.
The betting range for Wanted Dead or a Wild is 20 p/c to £/€100, and it is playable on any device. While the game’s total volatility is classified as a 4, which is very high, each of the three bonus rounds has its own volatility rating, which ranges from medium to extremely high and is explicitly labeled if players choose to purchase it. The theoretical return varies from 96.27% to 96.43% depending on whether or not you purchase the bonus game, while the default RTP is set at 96.38% (but keep in mind that it is customizable, so it may be set at a lower level).
Originally planned as a cluster paying slot like the ones coming off Hacksaw’s assembly line as of late, Wanted Dead or a Wild has been converted to a payline system, with 15 fixed ways to win. There are eleven standard pay symbols in total. Tens and Aces are represented by the skulls, outlaw garb, money pouches, booze bottles, and gun barrels. The payoff for a combination of five premium image symbols ranges from 5x the wager to 20x the stake. Finally, wilds can appear in any position, substitute for pay symbols, and award 20 times the wager for a line of five wilds.
Slot Features Wanted: Dead or Wild
There are three extra rounds in Wanted Dead or a Wild that may be triggered from the basic game (when specific symbols appear) or purchased (if they are not automatically triggered).
Both the main game and the Duel at Dawn mode use VS symbols. When they drop in, they spread to fill the entire reel and transform into wild symbols. The win multiplier for these symbols ranges from 2x to 100x, and if there are multiple VS symbols in view, the multipliers are multiplied together.
The Great Train Robbery feature is activated when 3 or more Train Robbery symbols appear anywhere in the main game. This game gives you 10 free spins, and any wilds that appear during that time will stick around for the rest of the bonus round. This bonus is considered to have a modest degree of volatility by Hacksaw.
The Duel at Dawn bonus round is activated by getting three or more Duel symbols anywhere on the reels. The main distinction between this bonus and the regular game is the increased number of VS symbols. This is an extremely risky activity.
The Dead Man’s Hand bonus is activated by getting 3 or more of the DEAD symbols, and it is also extremely risky. This is a two-part feature. First, you’ll have three spins wherein only wilds, multipliers, or stand-ins can appear. The number of spins is returned to three once a wild or multiplier is collected. Up to 20 wilds and an x31 win multiplier are available at this stage. After a string of three losing spins, this round concludes and you get three free spins in the Showdown. Each spin adds the accumulated number of wilds to the grid, and any winnings are multiplied by the multiplier.
The Great Train Robbery, Duel at Dawn, and Dead Man’s Hand are all available as feature buys for 80x, 200x, and 400x the stake, respectively.
Dead or Wild? The Slots Say
Wanted Dead or a Wild is a natural progression from previous work by Hacksaw, while its edges are noticeably sharpened. You won’t find any sushi, pineapples, or warm hugs in this area. There aren’t many Western video games that capture the grim tone of Wanted Dead or a Wild. The group has taken the chance to let the rougher part of their personalities come through by not heading to a cozy tavern for some moonshine and camaraderie.
Wanted Dead or a Wild carries on the mathematically tense tradition of other Hacksaw games. Despite the game’s low stated volatility rating, testing revealed that the bonus games were quite volatile. The Dead Man’s Hand, where a large quantity of wilds and multipliers were amassed, was when the largest shocks occurred. Our maximum was reached at 10 wilds, at which point the multiplier increased to x27. While gathering all of the modifiers for the three Showdown spins is a stressful ordeal in and of itself, using them is a lot of fun.
Duel at Dawn was another game-changer since it would fill the entire grid with wild multipliers whenever two or more VS symbols appeared. This bonus round was the most random of the three and could either leave you hanging or shower you with VS symbols to flip the tables. If you’re looking for a bonus game with a bit less technical bumpiness, you might want to give The Great Train Robbery a try.
If you’ve been keeping up with Hacksaw, you may recall seeing these capabilities in previous incarnations. Sticky wilds are as synonymous with Wild West slots as saddles and chaffing are, and Forest Fortune featured an element close to the Dead Man’s Hand but not identical to it. One might argue that Wanted is a continuation of Chaos Crew in a way, but it doesn’t stop Hacksaw from demonstrating their skill in refining and reusing their arsenal of features.
If you’re the type of player who likes to “buy” features, you might find Wanted Dead or a Wild’s long list of additional rounds appealing. All of them have what it takes to succeed, but each in their own way. All of this is wrapped up in a fresh take on the Wild West, making for yet another excellent release from Hacksaw.
To Not Lose
The Bowery Boys is a slot machine with a historical theme, telling the story of a criminal gang that operated in the Bowery area of Manhattan in the early to mid-19th century.