Hit It Big (ELK Studios): Review
Hit It Big is the "This is Fine" meme in online slot form - only instead of ignoring the imminent danger of the flames, you have to stay cool during an onslaught of maniacally intense neon blocks that, in pulse-racing sequences, initially make absolutely no sense at all.
At its core, Hit It Big is an extremely volatile slot with a retro gameshow-theme developed by Swedish provider ELK Studios. It's played on a traditionally styled 5x3 reel set with 5 paylines, accompanied by a set of Feature Buttons above and below the reels that come into action when they pair up. Top of the bill here is the Hit It Big Bonus game, a 3-level picking bonus with cash prizes of up to 1000 times your stake.
Being an ELK classic-series slot, the game definitely evokes a sense of deja vu looking at the design, reminding us a bit of other ELK titles such as Ivanhoe and Route 777. Set in a gameshow tv-studio, you'll hear coughing, chatter and audience murmurs when you leave the game on idle, becoming drowned by the hypnotic sound of the reels once you hit the spin button. An explosion of colour, Hit It Big has a retro feel with a wall of neon lights in the background. Symbols on the reels include 3 different low-value Bar symbols as well as 4 medium to high-value lucky sevens, the crowned lucky seven being the most rewarding, giving you 50 times your stake for 5 across a payline.
The gold crown is the wild and performs all the regular duties, replacing all symbols bar the scatter.
Hit It Big (ELK Studios): Features
When it comes to features, the main game is all about the Reel Game feature. Above and below the reel set are a set of neon-coloured feature buttons which display various features that will give you new combinations on every spin. If any of the buttons line up to match on a reel between the lower and upper sets, the particular button feature is triggered and highlighted on the giant jumbotron above the reel set. However unlikely to happen, this way it's possible to land up to 5 features in one spin. These are the features on offer:
- Locked Wilds - covers the 1st and 5th reel with stacked wilds and locks them in position while 3 respins are played.
- Stacked Wilds - the full reel is covered with wilds for the current spin.
- Respin - awards a respin of all reels.
- Multipliers - awards a multiplier of between 2x to 50x for the corresponding payline.
Land 3 scatter symbols on the middle reels for an invite to the Bonus Game and a chance to land more seizable wins. The bonus game is essentially a picking bonus made up of 3 levels where you'll be asked to hit the stop button as a selection marker moves randomly across different stake multipliers that are represented by various made-up prizes such as roller-skates, motorcycles and yachts. Following a win, the particular symbol is replaced by a Bandit symbol that will end the bonus round should the marker land on it on any of the ensuing picks.
There's also a set of arrows pointing outwards and inwards. If you hit the inwards arrow, you'll upgrade to the next level with higher cash prizes. If, on the other hand, you hit the outwards arrow, you'll be degraded to the lower level. Now, if you reach the highest level you'll have a shot at the top prize - one spin is awarded with a guaranteed cash prize of 100x, 200x, 300x, 500x or 1000x.
Hit It Big (ELK Studios): Verdict
The only real gripe we have with Hit It Big is the max win potential of 2500 times your stake which is ridiculously low, especially considering the bold statement of the title. This is a highly volatile slot with a bonus frequency of 1 in 248 spins, meaning it involves high risk for a relatively low reward if you compare it to what's currently trending on the market. It's a hard bonus to trigger and the game will eat you alive unless the Reel Game features come to your rescue, which in our case, they never really did. Truth be told, those feature buttons almost act as reverse poles of magnets.
With that said, there's something very compelling about Hit It Big that is hard to pinpoint. The design is not overly sophisticated but it gets to us on a psychological level. It looks fun and it triggers the gambling instinct in you as soon as you lay eyes on it. Hit It Big feels like a breath of fresh air and though we're generally not fans of picking bonuses, it has been implemented quite well here with the inner and outer arrows contributing to give it a bit more depth and contingency.
Overall, Hit It Big is a delightful slot with a nerve-wracking bonus that would have appealed a bit more to us had only the potential been increased to at least 5000x.
Hit It Big is a slot full of wondrous chaos in a retro bottle that fails to live up to its name.