The 1980’s in America were a very different time. It was a general time of prosperity and the last period of stability before massive changes would rock the world. The fall of the Soviet Union, the vast expansion of the internet, and many more events changed the start of the 20th century forever and so many look back fondly at the 1980’s, which seems to exist in its own little bubble of culture. Hotline does its best to be a romantic ode to that era, straight from the beginning when you boot it up, and the intro video is done like you’re playing a VHS tape on those old, big TVs before flat screens became a thing you see everywhere. The soundtrack mixes a more modern beat with a prominent guitar solo which blends really well, and the outfits the buddy detectives and the thief are wearing could not be successfully worn in any other era. The slot offers players a 5x3 playing field with 30 fixed paylines, in which Wilds can expand and give re-spins if they land on Hotline reels. And as it just so happens, NetEnt lets you pick which lines are hotlines and which ones are not – for a price.
How to PlayThere’s really not that much to say when it comes to graphics and NetEnt. The artists do a really job to bring every title of theirs to life and being king of the business shows. The backdrop of the famous Miami strip set to a 1980’s view is rather popular – so much so that plenty of movies, video games and even paintings depicted it. On top of this, there’s also the familiar buddy-cop TV show that was big in those years and the retro introduction to the game only goes to solidify the feel of an age long past. It’s not a perfect depiction, but we’ll detail some gripes in the symbols section. On the gameplay side of things, Hotline is, unsurprisingly, all about Hotlines. You start with one line already as a hotline and each time you activate another, the price goes up. To have all three lines active as Hotlines, you have to pay a triple bet. What’s so good about Hotlines that you have to double or triple your regular pays for them? Well, anytime a Wild lands on a Hotline, it expands and gives a re-spin and if more land, then you win additional re-spins. To maximize chances of winning said re-spins, you want as many Hotlines active as possible, but with the wager doubling or tripling depending on how many you have on at once, it’s a question of whether or not it’s worth it to you.
Betting Options and PayoutYou can play Hotline for as little as $0.15 or as much as $150 per spin, not accounting for additional Hotlines. With all three hotlines active, the maximum wager goes up to a whopping $450, which will likely only be available to people with pockets deep enough to buy a chunk of NetEnt outright. This doesn’t really end up blending well with the medium volatility and 400x maximum win, which leads us to believe that while the option to bet big is there, it isn’t the primary audience NetEnt is hoping to catch with Hotline.
Symbols and Extra FeaturesWhile everything else about the slot lives and breathes the 1980’s theme, it feels like the developers weren’t certain what sort of icons to put in to fit. Yes, it’s a bank heist, but the jewellery looks simplistic, like it was pulled out from some fantasy title and then placed here to present the loot for the robber. The two detectives and the thief look awesome and fit the look of the time period, but this is one little nit-pick that annoys us more than we’re comfortable with. If a Wild lands on a hotline, it will expand and reward a re-spin. If another Wild extends, more re-spins are added, allowing you to fill the reel with full-reel Wilds if you’re lucky enough. Wilds also extend during free spins, and remain in place until the end of the special feature. To trigger the extra turns, Scatters need to appear on the first, third and fifth reel at the same time.
Our VerdictIt doesn’t overload you with special features, it gives you a nice medium volatility to let you enjoy yourself without blowing your budget, and with a 400x jackpot, it has a decent prize to incentivise you while the hotlines provide a simple, yet effective mechanic to get you to spend some extra cash. We wouldn’t really recommend it if you’re on a tight budget, but if you have some extra dollars to spend, it can offer some great wins with a bit of luck.
Where to play Hotline Slots
- Visit / Bonus
- Release Date:
- Scatter Symbol:
- Wild Symbol:
- Bonus Game:
- Free Spins:
- Coin Range:
- $0.01 - $1
- Max Bet:
- 60,000 coins
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