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Hazakura Ways Slot Review

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Hazakura Ways is a Relax Gaming online slot launched in 2022. The game houses 6 reels and 4,096 paylines with a 96.37% RTP. This non-progressive slot game also features wilds, scatters, free spins, mobile, expanding symbols and wilds, and buying features. This game has a jackpot of 50,000x the bet and is available for playing on both desktop & mobile.

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INTRODUCTION

Hazakura is a Japanese term that refers to the narrow yet enchanting timeframe during which the Sakura cherry blossoms fall and the trees start to sprout new leaves. The trees gradually change from pink to a tender green as leaves trickle down in the spring winds. It’s a striking image, evocative to many of the beauty of the Japanese isles. And it perfectly describes the sort of imagery Relax Gaming tried to present with their 2022 online slot.

The Hazakura Ways slot is not quite as relaxing as the theme might imply, though. The bright colors and imagery conceal a fairly volatile slot with all the special features you might expect from a modern slot game. To be frank, the whole game is a mix of various inspirations. On one hand, we have the East Asian aesthetic, not unlike the one in Quickspin’s Sakura Fortune. On the other, the mechanics are clearly leaning towards one of the “Book of X” games. These are famously successful titles, if not a bit played-out. Let’s see if the Hazakura Ways slot game is more than just a re-hash of old ideas.

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HOW TO PLAY HAZAKURA WAYS

Start by using the coin panel menu to the right to set the size of your stake. Then, simply hit the spin button and wait for all the reels to fall into place.

As per Hazakura Ways rules, your job is to arrange matching symbols from left to right, starting with the leftmost reels. You’ll need at least three of a kind for a payout. However, there is no need to worry about traditional payouts or the position of the symbols on the reels. Any symbol on any row can combine with symbols to the left and right of it, regardless of which row they’re on.

This further translates into 4,096 initial ways how to win Hazakura Ways. Your chances of hitting something are pretty good, though the results can be quite varied.

There is also a Mega Bet option tucked below the blue lantern in the lower-right corner. This mode will spend 50% more per bet but allows special features to trigger more often. The increased probability affects both the bonus round and more common Wilds and other special symbols. Lastly, Mega Bet mode further improves Wilds, which we’ll discuss in the features section of this Relax Gaming Hazakura Ways review. Though we were initially skeptical of Mega Bet, it turns out it bumps up Hazakura Ways RTP from 96.29 % to 96.37%.

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Casino Bloke Best tips for Hazakura Ways Slot

  • 1Switch the Mega Bet feature on, even if it means having to lower the stake a bit. It gives a slight boost to your RTP. More importantly, the game becomes more exciting and volatile.
  • 2Getting lucky on the random selection of a Special Symbol during Free Spins can increase your overall payout by a huge margin. High-paying symbols are much more valuable than low-paying ones, after all. Too bad you don’t really have any control over it.

EXTRA FEATURES

Let’s go through some of the special Hazakura Ways features – they add a lot to the gameplay.

  1. Wilds – the blooming sakura flower acts as a wild symbol and substitutes all other symbols barring the Scatter. It can also gain expanded functionality during free spins by expanding to fill the whole reel. The benefits of this expansion are questionable, however, due to how Hazakura Ways work with no pre-set paylines. As it stands, the expanded Wilds merely increase your chances of having multiple winning lines. They admittedly also increase the total payout of any combinations with Wilds.
  2. Scatter – the Sky Lanter symbols pay anywhere on the table. More importantly, 3 or more will trigger free spins. 3, 4, 5, or 6 Scatters awards 10, 15, 20, or 25 free spins, respectively.
  3. Hazakura Ways Free Spins – once triggered, the free spins round randomly selects one regular symbol. This symbol extends downward every time you hit one, filling the part of the reel blow it. Again, this feature would be iffy due to the 4,000-payline mechanic, if not for one saving grace – the special symbol pays anywhere on the table. Moreover, any winning lines will count as having multiple instances of the symbol on one reel, increasing the payouts substantially.
  4. Landing more Scatters during the Hazakura Ways bonus round awards additional free spins.
  5. The Special Symbol mechanic can also randomly trigger during regular spins.
  6. Buy Feature – you can trigger free spins at any time by spending 80x the bet. You can do so even with Mega Bet on, which increases the price by 50%.

PAYOUTS

Card suits and the star act as low-paying symbols, with relatively small rewards for even 6-symbol combinations. Note that some low-paying lines will not be enough to cover the cost of regular spins with Mega Bet on. That’s part of what makes the Mega Bet slot feature so volatile.

The katana and kunai dagger are mid-level symbols with somewhat higher payouts. 3- and 4-symbol combinations are still quite underwhelming.

The two characters, on the other hand, can pay out huge amounts for anything above a 3-line combination.

Note that the maximum payout in Hazakura Ways is hard-capped at 50,000x your stake. It’s theoretically possible to win more during free spins, but you can only ever get 50,000x.

Hazakura Ways RTP comes out to 96.37%, which is slightly above average. Note that due to the game’s high volatility, most of your time playing will be spent with tiny returns. From time to time, though, you’ll hit the motherlode. Getting as many wilds as possible is pretty much required to profit in this game, so Mega Bet is more than worth it.

Because of all that, we highly recommend making use of Buy Feature and Mega Bet when you play Hazakura Ways for real money.

what we like

  • Handy and profitable Mega Bet feature that increases the game’s RTP
  • Buy Feature that can also be used with Mega Bet
  • Special Symbols pretty much act as Scatters

what we don’t like

  • Some special features clash with the core mechanics of the game
  • Payouts have a hard upper limit, though it is fairly large

HAZAKURA WAYS (RELAX GAMING): CASINO BLOKE’S VERDICT

The Hazakura Ways online slot game is hardly Relax Gaming’s crowning achievement, but it’s a fairly interesting release nonetheless. The added control over the game’s variance in the form of Mega Bets and purchasable features is a big plus. It means that you’re rarely just sitting there, hitting Spin, and hoping for something fun to happen.

On the flip side, some of the ideas were clearly undercooked. For instance, multiple features offer to fill the reels, which doesn’t make a lot of sense considering the basic mechanics of how winning lines are formed. Sure, this increases the total payout, but a simple multiplier or bonus would have achieved the same.

It’s a fine slot to be sure, but Hazakura Ways is certainly not breaking any new ground. We doubt it’s going to be anyone’s favorite game any time soon, but giving it a shot is worthwhile.

Hazakura Ways Slot total score:

Total Score Overall
76%

Game developed by:

Relax Gaming Logo Rectangle

Release year:2022

Available on:Desktop, Mobile

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