Fire in the Hole 2

(Nolimit City) Slot Review

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Fire in the Hole 2: Slot Overview

Creative software outfit Nolimit City dropped its plodder Fire in the Hole xBomb in early 2021, laying the groundwork for Misery Mining and Dead Canary to follow. All three were outstanding expeditions beneath the planet's surface to grab nuggets and blow stuff up. It is with no surprise, then, that the release of Fire in the Hole 2 is a hype-generating event. So much so that it is worth setting some expectations from the start. For one thing, Fire in the Hole 2 is not a tremendous evolution of the original release. Instead, the game's makers have circled things back to the original, so a lot of the gaming has remained the same, though there is a bundle of alterations to sample while you're down here, bashing rocks.

For another thing, Fire in the Hole 2 looks similar to part one, though mining slots often have visual commonalities in general. As before, play occurs in the bowels of the Earth, in a timber-propped mine shaft where riches, or disappointment, is ready to be extracted. The same heavy, oppressive, plodding atmosphere pervades, accentuated by sounds that are the sonic equivalent of a gang of dwarves marching underground, picks slung over their shoulders, about to hit things. Initially, Fire in the Hole 2 felt like a case of either 'it's good to be back' or 'why did Nolimit keep things so much the same?'

Fire in the Hole 2 slot
Fire in the Hole 2 slot - base game

Slamming each spin, Fire in the Hole 2's symbols ram themselves onto an expandable gaming grid that starts with 3-rows active on a 5-reel panel, where there are 486 ways to win. Smash the 3 locked rows open, however, and up to 46,656 ways to win become available. Volatility is 'Extreme', or 10 out of 10, which, as we all know, is no boast or joke in an NLC slot. The default return value for players is 96.07% when good old betting 20 c to $/€100 per spin or 96.09% if you switch the xBet feature on.

The same pay symbols have been brought back, same values too. The lows are 9-K imprinted boxes, paying 1 to 1.5 times the bet for a 6 OAK hit, while the highs are a shovel, boots, a map, a bag, and a lantern, awarding 1.75 to 7.5 times the bet for 6-of-a-kind.

Fire in the Hole 2: Slot Features

Fire in the Hole 2 slot
Fire in the Hole 2 slot - free spins

Mostly the same but a little bit different is one way of describing Fire in the Hole 2's features, which include Collapsing Mine, xBomb Wild Multiplier, Wild Mining, Buried Features, xSplit, Lucky Wagon Spins, xBet, and feature buys.

Collapsing Mine

Each spin begins with 3 active rows, and when a collapse occurs, an additional row becomes active. It is possible to have up to 6 rows in total. Collapses trigger when winning combinations land, when an xBomb Wild explodes, or by triggering the Wild Mining feature. Winning symbols are removed before triggering the next collapse, causing symbols to fall downwards. This creates empty spaces for new symbols to fall into, providing another chance to win.

xBomb Wild Multiplier

xBomb Wild symbols substitute any symbol except scatters. When xBomb Wilds explode, they remove all adjacent symbols except scatters and increase the win multiplier by its value for the next collapse. All xBomb Wilds explode before the next collapse, except when Wild Mining is triggered.

Wild Mining

Wild Mining triggers in the main game when 3, 4, 5, or 6 of the same type of symbol type land in a horizontal or vertical line, but there is no winning combination. The triggering symbols are removed, and 1, 2, 3, or 4 wilds appear in the middle positions of the alignment when 3, 4, 5, or 6 symbols are removed, respectively. All other positions above the bar explode, except scatters or wilds, triggering a new collapse.

Fire in the Hole 2 slot
Fire in the Hole 2 slot - free spins

Buried Features

The dirt symbols in the base game may contain wilds, xSplit, or scatter symbols. These symbols are inactive until the dirt block they are contained in is removed or hit by an xSplit feature.

xSplit

When an xSplit lands, it splits the symbols on its row, doubling them. Symbols splitting into 8 or more are shown with a multiplier instead. Scatter symbols and xSplits cannot be split. Dirt blocks affected by a split feature are removed if there is a collapse. Once all xSplit symbols have activated, they turn into one of the regular symbols.

Lucky Wagon Spins

Hitting 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols triggers Lucky Wagon Spins with 2, 3, or 4 active rows, respectively, initially open. The round starts with 3 spins and resets to 3 each time a Coin lands on the reels. During the feature, the top row reveals enhancers – Coin values, Multipliers, Dynamite, Beer, or Dwarf. An enhancer is activated when a Coin lands on the reel below it.

  • Coin values – sets the value of the Coin.
  • Multipliers – multiplies the value of all Coins on the reel below.
  • Dynamite – adds the Dynamite's count to the triggering Coin, then throws as many dynamites as its count to reel positions. If Dynamite lands on dirt, the dirt is removed; if it lands on a Coin, it doubles the value; if it lands on a chest, it activates the chest.
  • Beer – reactivates 0-5 old Coins, causing them to trigger their enhancers for the next spin. The triggering Coin gets a 1x value.
  • Dwarf – collects all values on the reels to the triggering Coin position.

An additional 7th reel may reveal Upgrade crystal symbols on each spin. All the enhancer-activating Coins landing on the Upgrade symbol row gain these effects - Coins' values and multiplier cause the Coin to continue to be active on the next spin. Dynamite, Beer, and Dwarf features become persistent, activating their effects till the bonus round ends. The bottom row of locked Collect Chests can be activated when Dynamite lands on them. When active, a Collect Chest collects the values from the reel above it on each spin. The round ends when the reel area is full, and there are no active features remaining.

xBet

When the xBet is active, at least 1 scatter symbol is guaranteed on the last inactive row on each spin. Also, all dirt positions are removed from the base game, and any buried features trigger as soon as they are on active reels.

Nolimit Bonus

At the Nolimit Bonus section, players can buy 3 (RTP 96.1%), 4 (RTP 96.34%), 5 (RTP 96.33%) scatter-triggered Lucky Wagon Spins, or guaranteed collector bonus for 70x, 200x, 600x, or 3,600x the bet, respectively. Another option is the Lucky Draw, costing 175x (RTP 96.12%).

Fire in the Hole 2 slot
Fire in the Hole 2 slot - free spins

Fire in the Hole 2: Slot Verdict

So no, Nolimit City hasn't completely flipped out and gone creatively mental for its Fire in the Hole sequel. Two reactions spring to mind. First, the fanbois and girls happy getting a repeat of Fire in the Hole with extras tacked on should be chuffed by what they find in Fire in the Hole 2. The others, those who were expecting major technological advancements, might be wondering why Nolimit City bothered. However, in its defence, Fire in the Hole 2 does have sibling slots, Misery Mining and Dead Canary, readily available for gamblers who want to keep tapping away underground but prefer different gameplay and rule sets.

As to Fire in the Hole 2's new parts, all in all, they only really enhance the experience. Perhaps the most tempting is the possibility of Upgrade symbols making Dynamite, Beer, and Dwarf features persistent, should that happen. Maybe don't hold your breath for that to occur, though. However, theoretically quickening the trip to the bonus round, the xBet cuts the free spins frequency wait time down, from 1 in 211 spins to 1 in 49, though it comes with a not inconsiderable price tag. xSplits, a fundamental Nolimit City feature, make their way below ground this time, no complaints, and unearthing Buried features is a plus. So nothing to moan too loudly about at all when all is said and done.

The original Fire in the Hole stunned by hitting its win cap on the first day of release, so the expectation of Fire in the Hole 2 doing something similar is pretty darn high. Triggering Elbeerado means scooping 65,000 times the base bet, so the max win is higher than before. Some may have been wanting Nolimit City to release the floodgates on more than that, but it's higher. The question now is if Fire in the Hole 2 is perceived as a triumphant return to the Earth's innards, delivering a sequel which makes the original proud, or whether it's seen as closer to a patch or bugfix due to the relatively modest number of changes. Let the debate rage.

Superb

Fire in the Hole 2 delivers a solid sequel, successfully building on the original’s legacy to thrill both new and returning players.

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