Hot Shots 2: Overview
No, not the epic Charlie Sheen parody film of the same name, Hot Shots 2 is the follow up to iSoftBet’s football in a forest slot. Most of the gang have returned and the game is set on the same sandy football pitch as before. Other core elements of the original have returned, but interesting adjustments to the math model and features have also been made. The most notable being the addition of iSoftBet’s new Ultra Bet feature. If you have ever wondered what it's like to play footy in a leafy forest while its inhabitants cheer you on, let’s kick-off.
Located in a sunny glade, Hot Shots 2 uses a straightforward and popular grid set up of 5 reels, 3 rows with 243 win ways. A patch of land has been cleared for the football pitch with the grid located smack bang in the middle. This time around, the reels are not transparent but are still surrounded by a crowd that celebrates the wins and lets out a disappointing ‘ooh’ sound when the scatters don’t quite hit. A jolly tune plays throughout, and the overall vibe is a fun and cheerful one.
Setting bets will get you in the game, which is available from 25 p/c up to £/€25 per spin. While we are looking at the numbers, RTP varies from 96% in standard play, up to 96.5% when the Ultra Bet is active. The first Hot Shot came with a medium variance math model whereas the follow up has been pushed up into the medium/high range.
The paytable sees most of the same animal characters again – with a bit of a shuffle. The top dog, so to speak, is now the German Shephard drinking beer - 5 of him pay out 10 times the stake. He is followed by the chicken, the bull, the bulldog, and the fox for the high pay symbols. The premiums are backed up by 9-A royal symbols that have been designed in a big, bold Hollywood style like the font used for the movie The Mask. Obviously, not many sports-oriented tiles on the paytable, though this is partly offset by the football wild symbol. This wild can land on reels 3, 4 and 5 and not only substitutes for any of the regular pay symbols, but it also expands vertically and horizontally to increase wins.
Hot Shots 2: Features
As well as the expanding wild there are a couple more features which get the crowd cheering. The first is a Free Spins Bonus game with a win multiplier that starts at x1. It is triggered when 3, 4, or 5 Hot Shots logo scatter symbols land anywhere in view to award 10, 15 or 20 free spins respectively.
During free spins, the regular wild is replaced by the Golden Wild symbol. This new symbol acts in the same way as the standard wild by substituting symbols and expanding horizontally and vertically. However, every Golden Wild in view also increases the win multiplier by +1. The logo scatter remains in the bonus game meaning it can be retriggered.
The second addition, the Ultra Bet, is the more intriguing feature from an evolution of slots standpoint. To activate it, players hit the Ultra Bet button which costs 50 times the stake to receive a batch of 50 spins. During the feature, which is sped up, the rules are the same as normal play, except that stars can appear on symbols and be collected.
At the end of the 50 spins, the number of stars collected can translate into a reward. The reward starts at 5 times the stake for 5 stars and goes up to a 1,000 times the stake jackpot if 15 stars are collected. Final point, if the free spins bonus game is hit in that time, it is played after the Ultra Bet spins finish.
Hot Shots 2: Verdict
At first glance, not a lot has changed since Hot Shots 1 - either graphically or feature wise. The setting is more or less the same, as are the majority of the characters. On a positive note, the best parts of the first one remain, which is good, such as the expanding football wilds and the decent number of free spins up for grabs. The main changes are the progressive multiplier during free spins, and of course, the new Ultra Bet feature. The original multiplier was stuck on x3 throughout the bonus game whereas the progressive one here can lead to better wins and ups the volatility.
The highlight here, however, is the newly introduced Ultra Bet feature which has been quite unusually designed. The interesting thing is that it significantly improves the RTP and adds a chance to land a jackpot reward, yet the 50x cost is the same as you’d pay for 50 regular spins anyway. It’s unusual to see such a sweet deal in a feature buy. In fact, it’s so sweet that it makes regular spins redundant.
On a side note, even with the Ultra Bet activated, RTP is a bit lower than the original was, so that is something to keep in mind if you are thinking about some pet filled football fun. When it comes to potential, Hot Shots 2 has its moments. As well as the 1,000x available during Ultra Bets, a full screen of wilds and German Shepherds is technically worth 2,430 times the stake. Add in multipliers from free spins and the game is capable of cracking up some really big wins.
All up, Hot Shots 2 can get quite good. Those expanding wilds can be effective at pulling together a bunch of symbols in a solid win, for example. The Ultra Bet is what makes the game, however, as it seems to enhance the slot at absolutely no extra cost, which feels peculiar in a good way. It might not be a big hitter, but for some football-lite play, you could do worse than Hot Shots 2.
The first impression is somewhat spoilt by the childish theme, but Hot Shots 2 comes with a few compelling features that make it worth checking out.