Legion Hot 1: Slot Overview
Editor’s note: This review evaluates Legion Hot 1 on its early access state, meaning the game might still be under development. We plan on revisiting this review should any major changes occur before the final release.
Titans of the finance world, Goldman Sachs were famously depicted in Rolling Stone magazine as an octopus whose tentacles stretched around the world, so widespread was their reach and influence. Perhaps not so prevalent yet is Yggdrasil Gaming, whose YGS Masters Program is hoovering up partner studios like there is no tomorrow. Another one to join the flock is new independent designer Hot Rise Games. Their first-ever release is Legion Hot 1, which uses an unusual cycle-based collection system, set in the glory days of Ancient Rome.
Legion Hot 1 alternates between two distinct locations. One is an idyllic pastoral scene that brings to mind the dreamy rolling countryside of Tuscany, all mountains, haze, and Cypress trees. The other scene is the built-up urban sprawl of Rome, built as it was on seven hills. The contrasting locations drive home how coming from the provinces to the city back in those days must have been absolutely mind-blowing. Legion Hot 1’s background graphics have a grainy, almost watercolour quality to them, while musically, it builds from a swirling orchestral piece to a more choral drama when the action heats up.
Be careful when selecting bets because the selection doesn’t stop when you hit the minimum level of 30 p/c. One extra click of the minus button could inadvertently set the game to its max stake of £/€90, potentially hammering a bankroll by accident if you were planning to min bet. Medium volatile, Legion Hot 1 is all about collecting shields to expand its reels from 5×3 in size to a 3-5-5-5-3 layout one at the most. Be aware that overall RTP is 96.37%, but only when the player completes a collection cycle. If they do not, then the RTP starts each cycle ‘significantly below the listed RTP’ – Hot Rise’s words there. RTP rises as the game progresses and grid positions are unlocked, yet it will always be lower than the theoretical RTP until a cycle is complete.
In the starting 5×3 mode, Legion Hot 1 provides 243 ways to win. Combos hit when three or more matching symbols line up adjacently from the first reel. As reels positions are added, up to 1,125 ways to win become available. Jack to Ace are the first 4 symbols on the paytable, followed by axes, plumed helmets, goats, lions, eagles, and coins as the six premium symbols. Five of a kind wins from the latter higher-paying bunch are worth a payout of 1.33 to 16.66 times the stake. Appearing on reels 2, 3, or 4 is the angry legionnaire wild symbol, substituting all other symbols except the bonus.
Legion Hot 1: Slot Features
Legion Hot 1 is played in cycles where the goal is to collect 4 bonus shields on the same reel to trigger a round of free spins. Bonus shields appear on reels 2, 3, or 4 only and improve the reels they land on. These improvements occur in a set order;
- The first shield on a reel opens up a fourth symbol position at the bottom of the reel.
- The second shield opens the 5th position at the top of the reel.
- A third one adds an x2 multiplier at the top and bottom reel positions.
- Finally, the fourth collected bonus shield on a reel awards 10 free spins.
During free spins, bonus shields are not collected but instead substitute for all symbols as an x2 wild multiplier. Any improvements made to the grid during the base game are retained for the round of free spins. Also, the reel, or reels, that triggered the bonus game are further enhanced with additional x2 bonus wild symbols.
If the ‘Hot 1’ part of the game titled seemed a little out of place, all will make sense now. The last free spin of each bonus round is the Hot 1. Reel 2, 3, or 4 is randomly chosen, and an x2 multiplier is added to the top and bottom position. Once free spins complete, the grid returns to its starting 5×3 state.
Free spins are theoretically set to trigger every 100 base game spins – and cannot be retriggered. However, they may be bought if allowed where you live for the cost of 50x the stake.
Legion Hot 1: Slot Verdict
Legion Hot 1 has its ups and downs, though the downs become more apparent the deeper into it you get. The way you need to collect four shields on one reel to trigger the bonus game while collecting game enhancements along the way becomes the main sticking point. After all, is it really an enhancement? As the rules state RTP is significantly lower at the start of a collection cycle, so are you enhancing something or simply levelling the playing field? It can feel like a battle just to get back to baseline after cycling through free spins a few times and being stuck in the red rather than receiving much enhancement. Still, Hot Rise Games is at least clear on this point in the game sheet, and the RTP figure applies when cycles are complete.
On a positive note, players who like a constantly changing set of reels or new modifiers leaping into the fray might appreciate Legion Hot 1’s dynamism. Wins come at a rate of 1 in 1.58 spins, and the feature hits every 100 spins, theoretically, so there’s not much sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for things to happen. When Legion Hot 1 does get working, the max payout isn’t hugely exciting, where the most you can win is 2,525 times the total stake, though the Hot 1 spin that helped produce that total would have to be pretty warm indeed.
For a first slot Hot Rise Games gets a few points for daring to be different. Different isn’t necessarily a good thing though, and after a few cycles, Legion Hot 1’s original bits start to feel more gimmicky than innovative.
Hot Rise Games dares to be different, but Legion Hot 1’s collection cycle often feels more like a fight for baseline than a reel enhancement.