Horror Hotel: Slot Overview
Horror Hotel is a spooky online slot from software provider Relax Gaming that got us thinking - why are some people drawn to horror films and not others? Online research turned up a bunch of different explanations, from psychological to thrill factors. Of course, terror comes in varying degrees, and the horror in Horror Hotel is on about the same level as the Hotel Transylvania film franchise, as in, there's not much horror at all. But that's a good thing, really, since we're dealing with an online slot and not some arthouse slasher flick. Therefore, find a comfy spot, switch on all the lights if you need to, and get ready to check in to the hotel.
Horror movies are famous for having a twist at the end, so let's be wild and crazy and put a twist in at the start. The big reveal is that Horror Hotel was inspired by the 2021 Relax Gaming release Santa's Stack, so the two games have quite a lot in common. What they don't have in common is set and setting. Instead of a charming wintery Christmas scene, Horror Hotel takes place in a graveyard, at night, with a glowing full moon, gnarly trees, and is overlooked by a castle/hotel on a hill. It's a bit like Fat Drac in looks and feels. Skulls abound, and the soundtrack adds mystery, but the overall effect is one of fun rather than freak out. Trigger free spins and play moves into the hotel lobby, where those looking forward to an unrestful night can maybe find a room.
Adding to the bumps and knocks in the night is a highly volatile math model, producing a return to player value of 96.17% or 96.5% when buying the bonus round. For both modes, players pick a base bet of 10 p/c to £/€50 per spin and can use desktop, tablets or mobile devices to host the game. The active area consists of 6 reels, holding 6 symbols each, creating a win when at least five identical symbols are adjacent to each other in horizontal or vertical directions.
Horror Hotel's pay symbols possess hefty values at the upper ends of the table and include three potion bottles as the three low pays, then a mummy, a werewolf, Frankenstein's monster, and a vampire as the four high pays. Landing a 5-symbol winning cluster is worth 0.1 to 1 times the stake, while a 35+ sized winning cluster pays 500 to 5,000x the bet. Lastly, wilds can land anywhere, too, and substitute for all symbols except the scatter symbol when wins are being evaluated.
Horror Hotel: Slot Features
In all phases of play, the Mystery symbol feature is available. How it works is when a winning cluster hits, all of the symbols involved, including wilds, are converted to mystery symbols, and a respin is awarded. Before the respin occurs, all non-winning symbols are removed from the board, and the mystery symbols fall to the lowest possible positions on the grid. After the new symbols drop onto the board, the mystery symbols all convert into the same pay symbol type. If the win is improved or a new cluster win occurs, the feature repeats again.
Free spins are awarded by collecting at least 3 scatter symbols on a single spin; 3 scatter symbols award 5 free spins, plus 1 additional free spin for each additional triggering scatter symbol. While free spins are active, landing a scatter symbol awards +1 free spin. During the round, an increasing number of wild symbols land; 1 wild appears on the first spin; then, an additional wild symbol is awarded for each following free spin. Also, a win multiplier is added for the bonus. This multiplier increases by +1 following each cluster win and only resets when the round ends.
Finally, where possible, players may buy free spins. This they can do by clicking the Buy button and forking out 100x the bet to guarantee at least 3 triggering scatter symbols.
Horror Hotel: Slot Verdict
The transition from Christmas to horror isn't something you see every day, but Horror Hotel pulls it off without a hitch. Then again, squeezing in some last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve amongst throngs of panicked shoppers might well be some peoples' idea of horror. But we digress. Santa's Stack was a fun slot, possessing a playful retro design, which might not have had a huge number of features, but which could expertly bring them together at times. Horror Hotel does an equally good job of stitching its features together into one fun whole.
One of Horror Hotel's evolutions is the way every single winning cluster triggers the mystery symbol feature. In the previous game, this sort of thing would only happen when the win included a wild symbol. The mechanic was reminiscent of Beast Mode's mystery symbols bonus round, and doing it this way picked the pace up while giving every single win a chance to respin its way to something special. Of course, not every single win did so, yet knowing that it might, upped the replayability factor. In this regard, Horror Hotel also brought back memories of Relax Gaming's Alice in Wonderland-themed slot Plunderland. You can see the potential if just the right symbols land just so; maybe, say, stack a bunch of mystery symbols, and hopefully, they'll reveal the vampire. Not easy, yet it was possible to spot a potential pathway. The absolute top cluster wins might have taken a knock in value compared to Santa's Stack, but they're still something to aspire to, and Horror Hotel has the same max win figure as Santa's Stack at 20,000x the bet.
Horror Hotel cleverly recycles several prior Relax Gaming ideas while adding twists of its own to create a unique experience overall. Fans of the studio's work should be intrigued by the outcome, as it's another high-quality Relax Gaming slot with all the right ingredients for a spookily entertaining session.
Horror Hotel cleverly recycles several prior Relax Gaming ideas while adding twists of its own to create a unique experience overall.