Name:  Keep Em Cool

Developer:  Hacksaw Gaming

Paylines:  Cluster Pays

Reels:  5

Rows:  5

RTP:  96.19%

Variance:  Medium

Top Payout:  5,000x

Jackpot:  No

Release Date:  March 2023

Features:  Cluster Pays, Cascading Wins, Free Spins, Frozen Symbols, Blender Symbols

About This Slot

NOTE: Screenshots and Videos on this page are taken whilst we played this game for real money at BacanaPlay Casino and in demo mode on Hacksaw Gaming‘s own site.

Keep Em Cool is a five-by-five grid slot from Hacksaw Gaming, released in March 2023. It will appeal to those already dreaming of their summer holidays with its tropical beach setting and clever cocktail-themed features including the Blender that absorbs multiple symbols before paying them all out in one hit. If you like Hacksaw’s lighter output with mid-range variance – think Fruit Duel or Joker Bombs – then this could be for you.

Design and Artwork

In the same tone as their February 2023 release, Magic Piggy, Hacksaw Gaming keep the theme and artwork bright and upbeat. There is even a sun-loving piggy with shades on the right of the grid to keep you company. He switches from sitting back on an inflatable by day to enjoying a cocktail by night in the free spins round!

The backdrop to the game is a tropical sea with palm trees and blue skies whist the paytable is stacked with classic fruit symbols. There is no soundtrack, just gentle lapping waves. And whilst there is nothing spectacular to see here, if you like escapist slots, then this is a good one for you: sip a drink and lie back as you watch those symbols drop into place.

RTP, Variance and Top Payout

Keep Em Cool has FOUR possible RTP settings: 96.19% to 88.37%. Which you play at will depend on your casino operator. We checked the RTP at four UK slot sites. This is what we found:

  • Casumo (Independent): 94.07%
  • BacanaPlay (Skill on Net): 92.44%
  • Temple Nile (White Hat Gaming): 92.44%
  • All British Casino (L and L Europe): 92.44%

We recommend that you play at Casumo to get the best value for your wagering.

Keep Em Cool has a medium volatility so in keeping with its laid-back vibe it should bring you an even distribution of wins and less heartache than some of Hacksaw’s more volatile slots.

Top Payout

The max win on Keep Em Cool is 5,000x. That is lower than Magic Piggy (7,500x) another recent medium variance release from Hacksaw, but it’s probably about average for games with this kind of maths model.

Symbols and Graphics

Keep Em Cool is a cluster pays game delivering wins for clusters of five or more identical symbols on its 5×5 grid.

There are just 7 symbols on the grid, all fruits, but things are made more interesting by their three states – frozen, half frozen or unfrozen. These states do not affect the symbols value but do impact what happens when they form part of a cascade as we shall see.

At the top end, for the biggest clusters, wins can be huge.

Symbols range from lowest to highest as follows: apples, bananas, oranges, cherries, plums, passion fruits, strawberries. At the bottom end, 5 apples in a cluster brings you just 0.1x, but at the top end, a cluster of 21 or more strawberries brings in a win of 5,000x.

There are NO wilds in this game, but watch out for Cocktail Glasses, Blenders and Sunset Picnic scatters, all of which trigger interesting features on the grid.

What We Like

  Nice summer vibes and tropical seas
  Blender symbols landed us some nice wins
  Fun twist on cascading wins

What We Don't Like

  Quite hard to follow at first
  Blender didn't land often enough

Gameplay and Features

Like many Cluster Pays games, Keep Em Cool uses cascading wins – so after any win, winning symbols come off the grid and new ones drop in to replace them, potentially bringing up more wins and another cascade.

However … there is a twist.

Only unfrozen symbols are removed after the win in this game – first unfrozen winning symbols, then ALL unfrozen symbols before the spin ends. At the same time, frozen symbols become half frozen, and half frozen symbols become unfrozen. This adds another layer to the standard cascade mechanic but it can feel a bit confusing at times.

Look out for the Cocktail Glass – this will turn winning symbols back to the frozen state before the cascades start, so you can earn another win from them. This can happen multiple times – each Cocktail Glass displays a number that shows how many freezes it can activate before it drops off the grid.

Our favourite part is the Blender symbol – this one absorbs every instance of one particular symbol type from the grid, causing a cascade as new symbols drop in to replace those ones. New symbols may be absorbed too. Once the sequence is completed, then a payout is triggered equivalent to a cluster size of the number of symbols absorbed by the Blender!

Finally, there is also the chance to trigger between 9 and 15 free spins by landing Picnic Basket Free Spins scatters. These are collected in a meter on the right of the grid. Each one displays a number between 3 and 5. The number of spins equals the total of the numbers on the baskets collected in the meter.

The only difference between free spins and base game play is that the chances of landing Blenders and Cocktail glasses is higher. Also, landing further picnic baskets triggers more spins each time.

Our Verdict

Keep Em Cool can feel a bit too much like a lazy day on the beach – plenty of sun and sea, lots of clinking ice cubes in drinks, but in truth, not much going on – lots of ice cracking and waves lapping, but little pay off.

Whilst the freezing symbols is an interesting feature – keep your eye on this as you will want to unfreeze as many symbols as possible to create bigger cascades – it can make the gameplay a little confusing at times. The best part in testing was the blender symbol. We got one nice payout in the free spins round in testing when it absorbed enough bananas to trigger a 75x payout. However, the caveat is that it rarely showed. In fact, during over 100 spins it didn’t appear once for us in the base game.

Overall, Keep Em Cool looks nice and has some interesting twists to it, but it left us feeling a little underwhelmed.