Hotline (NetEnt): Introduction
There is no doubt about the source of inspiration for this game. Yes, you guessed it - Miami Vice! This slot is very much produced like a videogame with a cool intro and clips throughout the game. NetEnt have definately managed to capture a feeling of speed, action and 80's nostalgism.
At first glance, it looks like a standard setup, with it's 5 reels, 3 rows and 30 paylines. But NetEnt are trying new stuff here and is introducing a new feature called Bonus Bet.
The Hotline mechanics is a simple concept: players choose a row – a Hotline – and Wilds landing on that row expand to cover the entire reel and stick during Re-Spins. In Free Spins, the expanded Wilds stick for the entire Free Spins leading to the ultimate excitement.
For an additional wager, players can activate the Hotline Bonus Bet feature and choose more Hotlines to increase the possibility to win Expanding Wilds and Re-Spins on two rows, or on a maximum of three rows for the best chances of covering all reels with Wilds.
Hotline (NetEnt): Features
The Hotline Bonus Bet is a feature that increases the chance to win Expanding Wilds and Re-Spins for a higher bet. Every row is a Hotline. Every Hotline can be activated or deactivated at players' choice. One Hotline is always activated. When one Hotline is activated, the game is played with Base Bet (15 coins per bet level). If two Hotlines are activated, the game is played with Double Bet (30 coins per bet level) and if three Hotlines are activated, the game is played with Triple Bet (45 coins per bet level). The more Hotlines are activated, the higher is the chance for Expanding Wilds and the possibility to win Re-Spins.
Wild symbols can appear anywhere on the reels in the main game, Re-Spins and Free Spins and substitute for all symbols except for Scatter symbols. If a Wild symbol lands on an activated Hotline, it expands to cover the entire reel. Wild and Expanding Wild symbol substitution pays the highest possible winning combination on a bet line according to the Paytable.
In the main game and Re-Spins, if a Wild symbol lands on an activated Hotline, it expands to cover the entire reel and awards a Re-Spin after all wins have been evaluated.
The Expanding Wild remains on the reels until the end of the ReSpins. Re-Spins end if no new Wild symbols land on an activated Hotline.
3 Scatter symbols appearing anywhere on reels 1, 3, and 5 in the main game activate 7 Free Spins. In Free Spins, if a Wild symbol lands on an activated Hotline, it expands to cover the entire reel and remains on the reels until the end of the Free Spins. Additional Free Spins cannot be won during Free Spins. Free Spins cannot be activated during the Re-Spins.
Hotline (NetEnt): Verdict
Hotline is a well produced game, there is no doubt about that. NetEnt apparently have enormous resources to invest into their productions and the games are looking increasingly like video games. But good looking slots don't reach all the way if the potential and solid game mechanics are not included in the package, and we're not sure it is.
Max win on a single spin appears to be only 400x with a full screen of expanded wilds. However, since these are sticky in the bonus it could in theory pay 2,800x, but that would require to trigger all wilds in the first spin.
When testing the game it didn't take too long to trigger the first bonus, which payed around 50x. After that it was downhill from there. The Re-Spin feature in both main game and bonus is a bit fun and the only thing that keeps this game somewhat interesting, but symbols are low paying and there is no sense of great potential to keep one excited.
The max win limit on this slot is €60 000, or €2000 on a single bet line (30 bet lines). The RTP, meanwhile, in this game varies depending on the number of Hotlines activated: 1 Hotline: 96.13%, 2 Hotlines: 96.70%, and 3 Hotlines: 97.04%
If you enjoy the Hotline slot from NetEnt, be sure to check out the sequel Hotline 2 as well.