The 80’s was a magical decade full of fun, fashion, music and influential TV series. Although not a branded NetEnt slot game, it’s quite easy to establish where the inspiration came from for March 2018’s Hotline. Many will remember the crime fighting duo of James “Sonny” Crockett and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs, with NetEnt’s Hotline bearing a striking resemblance to a Miami Vice slot game.
Too young to remember this hit drama? That’s understandable. Instead, millennial gamers will probably liken it to a rather famous video game of the early noughties – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Yet, the stimulus for a new casino game matters little if the finished product isn’t worthy of the originals. Luckily with NetEnt, we feel that’s never the case. Take a look at our Hotline slot review below for plenty of neon, colour and new slot features!
Hotline begins with an intro video like no other. After hearing of a successfully completed jewellery heist, our two detective protagonists Quinn and Rivera set off in pursuit of orchestrator Kitty Weiss. As you’d expect from the slot’s old working title, the premise is all about the car chase – with palm trees, smooth roads and a Miami Beach lookalike in the backdrop.
Although the entire ambience is a character on its own, NetEnt have managed to include another brand-new slot feature – the Hotline Bonus Bet. We’ll go into detail on that, plus all the other aspects in just a second, but let’s just say the Bonus Bet will open this title up to all types of casino gamers!
Here are a few chosen bits of slot information:
Hotline’s RTP: 96.13% (one row activated) / 96.70% (two rows activated) / 97.04% (all three rows activated).
Type of casino game: Video Slot.
Video Slot build: 5 reels, 3 rows and 30 fixed bet lines.
Hotline game features: Hotline Bonus Bet, Wild and Expanding Wild Substitutions, Re-Spins, and the Hotline Free Spins Round.
Once you’ve watched the gripping introduction, you’ll be presented with the reels on one of Miami’s many streets. On first glance, it may look like an ordinary slot with the classic 5x3 grid structure in place.
However, any eagle-eyed viewers will notice the strange RTP, or theoretic return-to-player percentage, that’s been recorded. Usually it’s just one figure, so it's evident from the very beginning that something’s different due to the three different numbers jotted down. It’s all because of Hotline’s jewel in the crown…
Take a look at the left-hand side of Hotline’s reels and you’ll notice three round icons. When you first load the game up, one of these will be in yellow – which means that row is an activated Hotline.
A minimum of one row must be Hotlined for each and every spin, but this can be boosted to all three depending on how much of a risk you’re willing to take. However, be sure to note that activating more will increase your stake – going from x2 for two activated rows and x3 for the full works. This is also the cause of the differing RTP results you see above.
But why exactly are these important? It’s very simple, but it all depends on whether a Wild comes into play…
As experienced gamers will know, a standard Wild symbol fills just one spot on the grid and will substitute for all other symbols except Scatters. For anyone who’s new to slots, it’s very similar to a blank Scrabble piece – with the overall goal of landing or enlarging coin wins.
However, what the Bonus Bet offers you is the chance of Expanding Wilds. Essentially, if a Wild symbol happens to land on a row that’s Hotlined, it’ll expand to cover the entire reel for added benefit.
You can see the Hotline Bonus Bet and Expanding Wilds in action, with demonstrations on how they work, in our slot review of Hotline above.
A quick point to note while the Wilds and Bonus Bet are fresh in the memory is the Re-Spins Feature. You’ll be granted a Re-Spin whenever a Wild symbol lands on an activated Hotline and expands.
This basically gives you another bite of the cherry, no matter the original result, with more expanding Wilds leading to further Re-Spins. The Re-Spins utilise the same Hotlined rows, coin value and bet level as the original spin – for example, if you spun initially with two activated Hotlines, the same two will be activated for the Free Spins Round.
The classic NetEnt Free Spins Bonus Round also arrives with Hotline, as the car chase suddenly gets more intense. Unlike other games, you’ll always be granted 7 free spins when you land a Scatter symbol on reels one, three and five. The Hotline Bonus Bet will also mirror the same selection as the round that was used to win the free spins, just like Re-Spins.
Yet, NetEnt usually have something different for this special bonus round, and iGaming fans won’t be disappointed. Whenever you manage to land an Expanding Wild in the Free Spins Round on Hotline, it will stay expanded over the reel until the free turns have been used up.
Needless to say, the win potential here is terrific!
The Hotline slot game by NetEnt allows players to choose between the usual 10 bet levels, plus coin values ranging from 0.01 to 1. This allows you to wager what you like, up to a minimum bet of €0.15 and a maximum bet of €450.
If you consider wagers on a single bet line only, the maximum payout is 2,000 coins or €2,000. However, for a maximum coinciding win, this is multiplied several times over to reach 60,000 coins or €60,000.
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