Last update: 13th January 2020
Our Slot of the Month for January 2019 is Strolling Staxx: Cubic Fruits by NetEnt. This 10 line slot has a classic 5 x 3 reels array and RTP of 95.98% (going down slightly to 95.95% if Bonus Bet is activated – of which more later). Like many other NetEnt slots, it has a simple, compelling gimmick.
One of the first things you will notice as you start to play Strolling Staxx Cubic Fruits is the revolving sign on the left hand side of the reels; this shows which symbol can appear stacked (and also as a Colossal 3×3 or 2×3 symbol) on the reels in the current spin. Spin up at least one stack which covers all three spaces on one of the reels to trigger the Strolling Staxx feature.
During Strolling Staxx, the stack and any adjacent instances of the same symbol become sticky for a respin during which they move one space to the left. Any further instances of the same symbol that turn up during a respin also become sticky (and this can produce more stacks). Respins continue until there are no stacks left anywhere on screen – so in the screenshot below with the stacks of cherries, the feature will continue at least until the stack of cherries on reel 4 has moved off the left hand edge of the array (and longer if enough cherries show up to make more stacks).
Although this is a similar sort of concept to NetEnt’s earlier game Butterfly Staxx, the game feels very different. As Strolling Staxx has just 10 lines to Butterfly Staxx’s 40 wins are less common in the base game. The Staxx feature generally goes on for longer in the new game as the fruits march slowly across the screen instead of flying to the left hand side as the butterflies do – producing a playing experience that is closer to the Walking Wilds in Halloween Jack and its fairy tale themed antecedent than to the earlier Staxx game. On the other hand, Strolling Staxx does not have a separate bonus round – not that one is needed given how long the respins can continue.
Strolling Staxx can be played at anything from 10p a spin to a massive £200 and if Bonus Bet is activated this goes up to 15p and £300. Spins in which the feature is not triggered are the same as before but 50% more expensive. In spins where the feature is triggered the Extra Chance feature is activated – but only if the feature was triggered by something other than a 3×3 Colossal symbol. Extra Chance takes place before the first respin; overlay 3×3 Colossal symbols drop past and can land (partially or fully) on the reels, where they may create additional stacks or connected symbols.
Playing with Bonus Bet activated takes a chunk of the RTP out of the base game and puts it into the feature, increasing the overall volatility of the game but also increasing the chance of getting a good win during the feature – which in turn makes the feature more exciting.
NetEnt clearly believe the Strolling Staxx concept will be popular with players as they have named the slot in a way that showcases the feature and sidelines the theme (as they did with Aloha! Cluster Pays). We think they could be right – in which case expect to see more new slot games with this feature in the future.
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