What we know about Butterfly Staxx before its June 21 release
Just over a month ago we revealed the breaking slot news that NetEnt were releasing a new slot called Butterfly Staxx and played detective for the day, trying to use the clues at our disposal to guess what the game was all about. This is the second article of the series where we’re now armed with information straight from the horse’s mouth – NetEnt themselves. Well, not literally the horse’s mouth. That would be both somewhat unhygienic and rather dangerous.
But you know what we mean.
We’ve been given the game sheet by ‘their people’ (as they say in spy films) and we’ve watched the promotional video but sadly, haven’t actually had the chance to play it yet. But then again, no-one outside the NetEnt Towers has, either. But it’s time to tell you what we know and that should be more than enough for you to decide whether it’s your sort of slot.
You can play Butterfly Staxx on desktop or you can enjoy the fun on your mobile. As long as there’s battery on it, the butterflies will be with you wherever you are.
Unless you’re in Slough, in which case they might decide there are limits as regards where they’ll go to.
Is that an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail?
As we said in the first article, the Butterfly Staxx slot completes a ‘Poker’ of animal-related games by NetEnt to be released in 2017. There was Jungle Spirit and Scruffy Duck, already available at the LeoVegas Casino and from late May 2017 you can go all feline on us by playing Copy Cat.
Before we move on to talking about the game’s symbols, graphics and audio, we need to address the issue of whether this slot is similar/a sequel/related to Neon Staxx.
Thousands of…ok…hundreds of people…erm, a dozen or so players…ok, ok…one person wrote in to ask us if it was. Remember Neon Staxx from a couple of years ago? All retro with the symbols spinning at a weird angle.
Well, the answer is simple. They have nothing in common other than the word ‘Staxx’ in the title, the fact they’re both 4×5 reel slots with 40 paylines (which you could say about a lot of games) and are both made by NetEnt. But that’s it.
The low-paying symbols are playing cards and then there are three types of flowers– red, purple and blue- that pay more. The butterfly, which is yellow and is somewhat likely to be either an Orange-barred Sulphur or an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (according to our very own resident Lepidopterist, Angus) is the highest paying symbol. No surprises there.
There’s a Scatter, a beautifully designed purple flower (sadly we don’t have a resident botanist to tell us exactly what it is) and a Wild which substitutes for anything except Scatters. The Wild is a more wild-looking flower, appropriately enough and actually looks a little bit like the purple flower of a cactus. But that’s just guess. It might not be that at all.
Active and dormant cocoons in Butterfly Spins feature
In our first article our reviewer Josh predicted that it wasn’t a Jackpot slot, wouldn’t have unique bonus features of the sort that Red Riding Hood has and that this was a slot that was going to be all about the free spins. Well buy that man a strong drink and give him a cigar!
What’s that? He doesn’t drink? He doesn’t smoke? Ok, give that man a quinoa salad and a glass of seaweed juice. Better? Ok. Let’s move on.
Yeah, the Butterfly Staxx features are the free spins and the re-spins and it’s not a Jackpot slot. So well done Josh and let’s look at what they do.
Occasionally you don’t just get one butterfly symbol, you get a stack of them. Or a swarm of butterflies, to use the correct term.
When that happens, the stack activates the re-spins and all the butterflies fly to the leftmost position on the reels and they’ll stay there until the re-spins are over. So you’ll end up with Stacked Wilds on Reel 1 for the re-spin (s) in a manner similar to how they’re stacked during re-spins in Sakura Fortune.
Each time you get another butterfly symbol appear during a re-spin, two things happen. The butterfly flies to a position on the left that’s vacant (not already occupied by a butterfly) and you’ll get another re-spin. As long as those butterflies keep on coming, those re-spins do, too.
The re-spins end when you don’t get a butterfly with your last re-spin. You’ll then get paid out whatever you secured during the re-spins, plus whatever you won on the spin that triggered the re-spins.
Yes, apparently they’re called Butterfly spins rather than free spins.
You activate them by getting three Scatter symbols anywhere on the reels. Unlike just about any other slot we’ve ever played, the Butterfly Spins don’t feature any of the symbols that are present in the base game. Instead, at the start of each spin all the symbols on the reels are cocoons.
Rather like a volcano, each of them is either dormant or active. If it’s dormant, it will just stay where it is and if it’s active it will transform into a butterfly. And taking a leaf out of the book of the re-spins, it will occupy a position on the far left side of the reels. If the whole of the left column (Reel 1) is already filled up with butterflies it will occupy a position on Reel 2 and so on. All butterfly symbols remain in place for the remainder of the free spins. Which sadly can’t be re-triggered.
All spins in this bonus feature are played for the same stake as that in place when they were triggered and just like with the re-spins, you also get to collect a win from the spin that triggered them.
We’ve already told you what the Wild does here- the same as what it does in any other slot. But what we didn’t tell you is that it’s very possible to have four or five Wilds appear all on the same spin, which doesn’t happen in that many games.
Do the kick-ass bonuses make up for the quiet periods?
Just like with just about anything in life, you have to try it out before you can really judge. Which we haven’t yet done. But here are our conclusions about it so far.
It’s beautifully designed as all NetEnt slots are and we liked the completely novel idea of the symbols during the Butterfly Spins being completely different to what they are in the base game. You can also see the real potential for big wins in both that round and the re-spins because of how the Butterflies stick around for the whole bonus round. So that’s the good news.
But the fact that the Butterfly Spins can’t be re-triggered is just a tad unsatisfying. A bit like asking a girl out on a date and her telling you straight away that whatever happens, there won’t be a second one.
The other thing we suspect is that the two bonus rounds aren’t triggered that often and that in between there isn’t a hell of a lot that will keep us entertained. Some slots have ‘second chances’ where you can still trigger a bonus round even if you don’t do it straight away and other NetEnt slots such as Red Riding Hood or Hansel and Gretel have so many different bonus rounds that even if you’re not necessarily winning big amounts each time you get them, you’re still having fun playing them. Although of course, NetEnt can’t be making slots like those two every day.
Butterfly Staxx will be available right here at LeoVegas on June 21 but before that happens, we’ll have played 2000 spins on it as part of our Slot Science project and will be giving it a rating across multiple categories and benchmarking it against other high-profile slots.
So watch this space…