Get ready to be trolled - Hugo is back!
With the recent developments within the British gambling industry in mind, we can't help to feel that this game really has the worst possible timing. The UK Gambling Commission, or the UKGC, is the regulator that issues licenses for casinos to operate in the UK, and they recently decided that cartoonish characters are not allowed to be used as a promotion tool.
Let's start off by stating the obvious and what many are probably thinking. It can without a doubt be regarded as a bit distasteful to go this far in an attempt to reach for the gamblers inner child subconsciously leading us to believe gambling is fun and careless. Even more so by actually using characters from our childhood.
But we're not here to moralize, we really aren't. We love slots and we enjoy the artistic freedom expressed by all the various providers. It's actually quite fascinating to see famous brands, even Hugo, being translated into slots. So, distasteful? Maybe. Does it pay? Now, that's more interesting to discuss...
Hugo 2 is a 5-reel video slots with 10 fixed paylines. The game includes a wild symbol (Hugo), a freespin scatter symbol (Beaver) and a bonus scatter symbol (Evil Witch Afskylia). The wild symbol substitutes for any other reel symbol (except the scatter and bonus symbols) to help comprise winning combinations.
The base game doesn't really have much potential and in all honestly won't bring much excitement in the long run. The volatility level is listed as "very high" by the provider and does have a max win potential of 5000x, but it plays more like a low to medium volatile slot in our opinion.
Since there is both a picking bonus and a free spins feature available there will be a whole lot of teasing and heartstoppers which somewhat helps compensate for the dullness of the base game. The picking bonus will land quite frequently, but it's likely due to it being cheap on the wins most of the times and not having too much of the payouts allocated to it.
Three or more Evil Witch Afskylia scatter symbols appearing on any reels will trigger the Skull Cavern bonus game where you choose paths inside the cave. Your objective is to reach the treasure chamber unharmed to unlock the treasure of Afskylia by picking the correct treasure key. Each chosen path can award monetary price, and finding the treasure at the end will award a total win multiplier depending how many lives you have left. 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x of total win for 0, 1, 2, or 3 remaining lives.
Watch out for dangers that can lead into fatal end. However, after failing, you still have extra lives to try again, as 3, 4, or 5 scatters will give you 1, 2, or 3 extra lives respectively.
Free Spins Feature
Three Beaver scatter symbols appearing on reels 1, 3, and 5 will trigger the Troll Race free spin feature. 10 initial free spins will be awarded, but 5 or 10 additional free spins can be won during feature. After reaching the maximum 20 free spins, there is a chance to enter into the Skull Cavern bonus game with 3 initial lives. All bets and lines are the same as the game that started the feature.
In each free spin round, after reels have stopped, but before wins are presented, there is a chance to collect 0 to 2 wild items (the bag marked "W"). When 4 or more are collected, 4 wilds will be applied to the reels, replacing any 4 symbols, while 4 wild items are removed from the collected wild items.
In each free spin round, after reels have stopped, but before wins are presented, there is a chance to collect 0 to 2 multiplier items (the coin marked "x2"). If 4 or more are collected, 4 x2 win multipliers will be applied to any 4 symbols on the reels, while 4 multiplier items are removed from the collected multiplier items.
The default RTP on Hugo 2 is 96.53% but may be much lower playing on a non Maltese license. It's already publicly known that PnG allows operators to set their own RTP within certain parameters and they are not likely the only ones to do so. As upsetting as this may seem, we should also give PnG some credit for being transparent about it when other's are not. This really is no issue as long as your playing the game licensed within the Maltese jurisdiction.
We're not huge fans of this slot, not because of the theme or anything, but because of the utterly boring base game and picking bonus which doesn't seem to have much potential at all. The Free Spins feature is the only interesting part of the game and where all the potential is.
The game itself is very well designed and looks great. It also plays smoothly with no annoying delays between the spins. Hugo 2 is definately a step up from the first Hugo slot and the potential is quite good with a max win of 5000x.
The original Hugo slot was surprisingly popular amongst many of the viewers and some of the streamers within the casino streaming community. Some likely didn't want to admit it either. It's going to be interesting to see where this slot lands.