Misery Mining

(Nolimit City) Slot Review

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Misery Mining: Slot Overview

You have to hand it to Nolimit City, as well as crafting ground-breaking slots; they sure know how to name a game. In an industry overflowing with big bright cheerful imagery, fruit, and jokers et al., here comes… Misery Mining. That might sound like an early noughties emo album, but let's remember, we're dealing with Nolimit City here, and a dash of dark humour is de rigueur in their monsters. So, it is with equal parts excitement and trepidation we tunnel into the subterranean world of Misery Mining.

Misery Mining is a follow up (of sorts) to NLC's previous rock tapping slot, Fire in the Hole xBomb, a slot that dropped the then-new xBomb feature amidst all sorts of weird and wonderful gaming. If anything, Misery Mining takes the key concepts of Fire in the Hole and drives them further down the shaft. On top of explosive (literally) gameplay, the gruff dwarven character is back, delving for gold and/or liquid gold. Other hangovers from the last game include an excellently heavy plodding soundtrack, a similar graphical quality, and the feeling of tonnes of earth balanced overhead.

Misery Mining slot

If there is one thing NLC is good at, it's producing a steady stream of WTF moments. The first one in Misery Mining occurred over the slot's setup. The base game begins with a 3x3 block of active symbols sitting in the middle of a larger, darkened 7x7 game grid. At the starting size, players get 27 ways to win. However, this figure can rise to a ludicrous 823,543 thanks to some cleverly designed expansion abilities – exactly how it functions is covered in the next section.

Before we get to blowing stuff up, though, a quick word on the game's inner workings. As you might expect, volatility rests at the upper end of the scale, high in general, but players have a level of control when the bonus round triggers. Possessing a dual RTP setup, the most giving is the 96.09% version, the least is 94.05%. This is when playing the natural way, as RTP is affected when buying free spins. Stakes in Misery Mining vary from 20 p/c to $/€100 per paid game round, and the whole show is available on any device.

To land a winning combo, all you need is three or more matching symbols to land in adjacent reels, starting from the leftmost side of an active grid area. Wild West style 10-A card royals make up the low pays, worth 2-4.25x the bet for seven of a kind, followed by premium pipes, compasses, liquor bottles, rats, and the dwarven character paying 5.25-16x the bet for seven of a kind.

Misery Mining: Slot Features

Like the rest of Misery Mining, the features bear resemblances to Fire in the Hole xBomb, though they are different in practice, holistically speaking. First to cover is the Collapsing Mine mechanic, followed by xBomb Wild Multipliers, xBomb Mining, and free spins.

Collapsing Mine

No doubt, this would be one of the worst things to happen in a real mine, but in Misery Mining, the Collapsing Mine feature is a right old hoot. Growing the active game area occurs when xBomb symbols explode. When they do, the barrier next to them moves one row and/or reel, increasing the active play area. If an xBomb explodes in the centre position, all barriers move one step. This allows more symbols to be used and increases ways to win. Also, Collapses are the name given to the cascading mechanic which occur when winning combinations hit, xBombs explode when there is no win, or when none of these things happen but there are 1-2 scatters in view.

xBomb Wild Multiplier

xBomb wilds substitute for all symbols except scatters or super scatters. When xBombs explode, they remove all adjacent pay symbols and increase the win multiplier by +1 for the next collapse.

xBomb Mining

If no wins or xBombs are present, and there are less than 3 scatters in view, the scatters transform into non-wild xBombs, then explode, triggering a collapse, increasing the win multiplier, and moving barriers.

Misery Mining slot

Misery Free Spins

Landing exactly 3 scatter symbols triggers Misery Freespins, which starts on a 3x3 active grid. If 3 scatters plus 1 or 2 super scatters trigger the feature, it begins on a 3x4 or 3x5 initial grid. Next, players pick if they want the Mouse Mode where they get 8, 10, or 12 spins depending on how many scatters triggered the bonus, or Rat Mode, which starts with 3 free spins, resetting to 3 when scatters or super scatters are activated. Mouse Mode is the highly volatile choice, while Rat Mode is extremely volatile.

Scatters and super scatter symbols sit in the active area and move to random positions at the start of each spin. Along the sides of the grid, reels 1 and 7 are locked side collector positions, while the bottom row also starts locked. At the top is a reel where random enhancer symbols appear. If an enhancer lands above scatters or super scatters, they activate them like so:

  • Coin wagons – the value of a coin wagon is added to scatters or super scatter and then to the closest locked position on reel 1 or 7.
  • Multiplier – increases the multiplier on any applicable super scatter. Any future coin wagon values are multiplied before being added.
  • Bombs – bombs drop down to open surrounding positions, including blocked positions, side column collectors, or the bottom row.
  • Bag – collects all values on its corresponding row from scatters and side collectors. Adds this value to the activated scatter.
  • Chest – collects all scatter and open side collector values within 3 reels, then updates the total win.
  • Dwarf – sticks to the lowest triggering scatter and collects all values in the reel area and open side collectors within three reels for the remainder of the feature.
  • Rat – only appears on reels 1 or 7. When activated, it walks down its reel, adding values and adding them to an unopened collector, then opens it.
  • Super Scatter – appears on enhancer reels 2 or 6. When activated, it moves to a random position on the active reel area. In Mouse Mode, it adds 2 more spins; in Rat Mode, it resets spins back to 3.


  • When side collectors are activated, their values are added to the total win on every spin.
  • When bottom collectors are active, they collect the values on their reel and add them to the total win on every spin.

Nolimit Bonus

If you've got no time to mine, and want to get straight to the goodies, then Misery Mining provides four bonus buy options for you. These are access to Misery Mining as if triggered by:

  • 3 scatters for 66x the bet (RTP is 96.41%-96.47%).
  • 3 scatters + 1 super scatter for 250x the bet (RTP is 96.61%-96.72%).
  • 3 scatters + 2 super scatters for 1,000x the bet (RTP is 96.77%-96.85%).

If you're feeling fortuitous, you can pay 439x the bet for a lucky dip option. Each of the previous three options has a one in three chance of being awarded. RTP for this is 96.62%-96.69%.

Misery Mining slot
Misery Mining - Rat Free Spins

Misery Mining: Slot Verdict

Misery Mining might not be an official sequel to Fire in the Hole xBomb as such, but if it was, it would be one of those follow-ups that really cooks. Think along the lines of Terminator 2, The Dark Knight, or Aliens, meaning there are zero bad sequel blues going on here. Instead, Misery Mining delivers hearty gaming in all phases, from its unique base game to the two rodent-infested bonus rounds.

The main game, for starters, is outstanding. When it comes to dynamic reels, rows, and ways, Megaways has been king for a while now. Contenders have come and gone, bravely stepping up to challenge the alpha's dominance, yet few in recent memory have impressed like Misery Mining did. This is multidimensional chess, stumbling in all four cardinal directions like a well-watered dwarven miner. Sprinkle in ways that can exponentially skyrocket, and you've got a game system as erratic as it can be entertaining.

While Misery Mining's main game is good enough on its own to elbow its way onto a to-try list, the two bonus rounds are equally explosive. There are links to Fire in the Hole, but more than enough twists to freshen the experience and having two options to choose from is a nice touch from the design team. Rat Mode is arguably the more traditional hold 'n win option and is closer to Fire in the Hole, though Mouse Mode's static(ish) number of free spins actually produces the most optimal return to player. For us, bigger fireworks and larger payouts came from Rat Mode, where there seemed to be a correlation between lengthy retriggers and extra special enhancers hitting. Though, this could have been pure luck, of course. The persistent payers were worth their weight in gold, so when we managed to unlock bottom row or side reel positions, we got a hint of Misery Mining's power. This time, Nolimit City has tapped a significantly richer vein of ore, where wins of up to 70,000x the bet are possible. Fire in the Hole has blasted its way to its win cap in the past, and there is unlikely to be anything preventing Misery Mining from going on to produce even more spectacular results.

Misery Mining is a textbook example of a successful sequel – it's got a new, thrilling base game mechanic, a duo of intense bonus rounds, and everything's iced with a massive max win figure. In short, Misery Mining is another must-see NLC release, though one potential let-down is it fails to live up to the first part of its name.


Like its predecessor, Misery Mining is another genre-redefining slot.

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