East Coast vs West Coast: Slot Overview
Mixing a bit of Punk Rocker’s musical bent with the more dangerous vibe of San Quentin xWays plus a sprinkle of GTA: San Andreas comes East Coast vs West Coast from fiery hot developer Nolimit City. Everyone remembers the past differently, but what East Coast vs West Coast has to offer is Nolimit’s take on what many consider hip hop’s golden age - the 1990s. Using imagery from the era, Nolimit has stacked the game with 5 enhancers, plus 4 respin/free spin modes, making it a big game in every sense of the word.
There is so much bright colour going on here you’re in no doubt the 1990s are back. Picture a fluro, Saved by the Bell meets DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, starring on a special episode of In Living Color mashup. There is also a dash of the grittier side, from a time famous for the East Coast/West Coast dust-ups, which spiralled out of control, leading to the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.
The good news for players is that Nolimit’s game is nowhere as dark – quite the opposite. A laid back track intros the action, sounding like one of those uber-cool Beastie Boys jazz-funk instrumentals. It’s more hip-hop orientated though, and comes from the same incredibly talented musician (David) who did the sublime audio for Deadwood and Punk Rocker. Visuals are a vibrant flare-up too, split into bright yellow reds of the West Coast on the left, and cooler blues of the East Coast on the right. Graffiti font makes up the lettering, while a host of symbols, animations, and effects further the playful side of the theme. Highlights include cheeky comments when non-winning spins occur, pit bulls in gold necklaces, plus three blinged former presidents. It’s obvious Nolimit had fun making this, and that emotion is infectious.
xWays shows up on a couple of the enhancers so win ways are alterable. Spread across a 5-reel action area, the default number of win ways is 243, rising to 84,375 at max. Hip hop is a pretty extreme form of expression; at least it was before becoming utterly mainstream, which is something Nolimit has replicated in the form of volatility labelled 'Extreme'. In numerical terms, this equates to a 10 out of 10 rating. Hit frequency is higher than you might think at 30.27%, just don’t expect too score too much luchini from regular hits. Players can pick their favourite coast on any device, as well as stakes, ranging from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin.
All symbols involved run with the theme, where 10-A royals look like graffiti sprayed on a brick wall. After them, the highs consist of a ghetto blaster, a pit-bull, then three presidents gangstered out on banknotes. First up is George Washington on the single ($1), Honest Abe on the fiver ($5), and Benjamin Franklin, of course, on the Benny ($100). A full five of a kind win made up of higher value symbols is worth a payout of 2 to 7.5 times the stake. A big chunky four-finger gold ring is the wild symbol, substituting any symbol except bonus.
East Coast vs West Coast: Slot Features
East Coast vs West Coast xWays comes with no less than 5 different enhancers, respins, and 3 free spins games. The key is the scatter symbol since enhancers do not appear organically in the base game. The enhancers include:
- xWays – these symbols transform into 2-3 instances of the same pay symbol type.
- xNudge Wilds – three-row high wilds that always nudge to be fully visible. Each nudge increases the win multiplier by 1. More than one xNudge Wild in view adds their values.
- Multipliers – symbols are multiplied to create more ways to win. More than one multiplier multiplies their values.
- Linked reels – two or more reels become linked, landing the same symbols.
- Infectious xWays – when activated, the revealed xWays symbol infects others of its type on the reels, expanding them as well.
Landing 2 scatters on the reels triggers a Drive-By Respin. For the respin, 1 enhancer is randomly selected to be active.
Landing 3 or 4 scatter symbols awards 8 or 10 free spins. Before the round starts, players get to choose East Coast Spins or West Coast Spins. East Coast Spins land an Infectious xWay symbol on every spin. Above the reels is a bar where, initially, the 2 leftmost top positions above reels 1 and 2 on the bar are locked so enhancers can’t land there. However, landing scatter symbols adds +2 more spins and unlocks 1 of the positions. Unlocking all positions turns East Coast mode into Coast to Coast Spins.
West Coast Spins are similar, except here the 2 rightmost top positions above reels 4 and 5 are blocked instead. Also, xWays, xNudge Wilds, Multipliers and Linked Reels are available, instead of Infectious xWays.
Unlocking both the Enhancer Bars or landing 5 scatters triggers the super free spins mode known as Coast to Coast Free Spins. During this feature, 2 enhancers land simultaneously on each spin, significantly increasing the potential.
Finally, we come to the bonus buy functionality where there are two options. For 80x the bet players can choose either East Coast or West Coast Free Spins. Or, players feeling flush can lay out 420 times the bet to buy Coast to Coast Free Spins.
East Coast vs West Coast: Slot Verdict
East Coast vs West Coast is a brilliant snapshot of 90s hip-hop culture while largely avoiding the overly G-dog spirit Pimped conveyed so well. In some ways, East Coast vs West Coast leans towards the Limp Bizkit rap/metal crossover thing that was taking off back then - visually at least - musically it retains its rap roots. In short, Nolimit has done exceptionally well at recreating the chaotic explosion of creativity hip hop kicked off in the 90s, having a riot of a good time in the process.
On to the gaming side of things, which is in some ways how you’d expect an extremely volatile trip from coast to coast would play out. When scatters aren’t landing, the base game can feel like sitting on a porch in Compton with Chris Tucker and Ice Cube watching the world go by through a cloud of smoke; enjoyable, but difficult to achieve much. Drive-By Respins help, of course, possibly leading to a jolt in the arm from just two scatters in view. It’s always nice getting a minor feature consolation from two scatters instead of fudge all.
Like a fly girl in hotpants, East Coast vs West Coast xWays likes to tease. Drive-By Respins are guilty at times, serving up Infectious xWays which usually seem to only pop low pays. Free spins are next level though, especially Coast to Coast Spins that can torment with swaths of enhancers flashing about the screen, not quite linking up to the symbols you want.
Then again, out of nowhere they hit, linking a bunch into a solid win which isn’t only satisfying but potentially profitable as well. Get your lowrider bouncing and wins of up to 30,618 times the stake are possible. All the while sirens are blaring, the game’s dissing your non-winning spins, count ups are nodding to old school hits like Gin & Juice, and presidents are getting all gangster. In short, this is a game that gets absolutely jiggy when it wants.
For some, the theme won’t be all that and a bag of potato chips, yet it feels like Nolimit City had a ton of fun making East Coast vs West Coast. Its unique set of features can tease like crazy, but are off da heezie when they work together to produce something special.
East Coast vs West Coast is a hugely entertaining homage to 90s hip hop culture via an explosion of colour, music, and livin’ large attitude.