Nine To Five: Slot Overview
"Working nine to five, what a way to make a livin', barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin'', as sang Dolly Parton might be true, but for vast swathes of the population, putting your nose to the grindstone for 8 hours per day is just what you gotta do to get by. Doesn't mean you have to like the situation or refrain from picking holes in it, though, which is what mischievous software developer Nolimit City has set about doing in its online slot Nine To Five. If you're one of those people who thinks the whole rat race situation is a plan by the elites to burden people with rents, mortgages and bills, forever moving the goalposts to keep the masses shackled to jobs they hate, or, you're just looking for a humorous take on office life, why not come check out Nine To Five with us.
To use a popular business word, there is a lot to unpack in Nine To Five, starting with its appearance. Fans of the cartoon show Beavis and Butt-Head will immediately notice the 1990s aura emanating from Nine To Five. It's not just the way the characters in the game have a similar look to the two teenage slackers, but the tech level in Nine To Five has a strong Windows 93, if not earlier appearance, and the lettering gives off a strong 90s vibe. Back when remote working was a twinkle in an office employee's eye, cell phones were the domain of real estate agents, and on-demand TV was an absolute fantasy. This is a catching-up with last night's episode of Melrose Place over the water cooler before firing off a load of faxes era. If Nine To Five was a person, it'd be one with massive shoulder pads and an all's fair in business ethos.
Housed in a grubby old school computer monitor is Nine To Five's gaming grid, consisting of 5-reels, 4-rows, and providing 1,024 ways to win. It's a highly volatile game, no surprise there, generating a default RTP of 96.03% when betting 20 c to $/€280 per spin or 96.1% when choosing to make use of the xBet feature. The xBet option more than doubles the chance of triggering Middle Management or Ivory Tower Spins when it is on, for an increase to the bet of 10%, plus, the fifth reel is locked when activated.
Pay symbols award wins when at least 3 identical symbols land on adjacent reels from the leftmost edge of the grid onwards. On the low side are a fax machine, a rancid food box, a cup with 'I heart EVO' on it (is NLC trying to say something here?), and a stapler, while the high pays are 4 Mike Judge-esque character symbols. Hitting a 5-symbol low pay win awards 0.6 to 0.8 times the bet, or 1.25 to 4 times the bet for a 5 premium symbol result. Wild symbols appear on reels 2-5 and either transform into a Green Wild, which is an active wild symbol with a random symbol multiplier of 1x to 5x, or a Red Wild, which is a dead symbol, ouch.
Nine To Five: Slot Features
The xNudge Wild is another one of Nine To Five's features, as are xWays, scatters, Middle Management Spins, Ivory Tower Spins, God Mode, Big Win Not Found, and Nolimit feature buys.
xNudge Wild & xWays
xNudge Wild symbols land on reels 2 to 5. When one lands, it always nudges to become fully stacked, and each nudge increases the win multiplier by +1. Once it covers the reel, it nudges an additional 0 to 9 steps. Having more than one xNudge Wild multiplier present multiplies each other for a total xNidge multiplier. xWays symbols, meanwhile, reveal 2 to 4 symbols of the same type. If more than one xWays symbol is present, then they all reveal the same symbol.
Middle Management Spins
This round is triggered by landing 3 scatters, awarding 10 spins. In this feature, Layoff and Lawsuit symbols may land. Each Layoff symbol increases the win multiplier by +1, while the Lawsuit symbol decreases it by -1. The multiplier can never go below 1 or above 9,999 - and important to note, the value is applied at the very end of the round. Any wins from the base game are not multiplied. Hitting an Overtime symbol awards +1 free spin, or landing 2 Overtime symbols on the same spin upgrades the round to Ivory Tower Spins.
Ivory Tower Spins
This round is triggered by landing 4 scatters, awarding 12 spins. Here, Tech Layoff and Ctrl-Alt-Del symbols replace the Layoff or Lawsuit symbols. The Tech Layoff symbol adds a win multiplier, and then the value of the next Tech Layoff multiplier is doubled. The starting and minimum value is 1, while the maximum is 9,999. Like before, the win multiplier is applied at the end of the round. Any wins from the base game are not multiplied. The Ctrl-Alt-Del symbol divides the value of the Tech Layoff by 4, rounding down. Landing an Overtime symbol awards +1 free spin.
Big Win Not Found
The Big Win Not Found is linked to the game's max win, which is awarded in the base game if a Mega symbol lands fully stacked on the reels.
The Nolimit Bonus is where players can buy 10 Middle Management Spins for 75x the bet (RTP 96.45%), 12 Ivory Tower Spins for 200x the bet (RTP 96.17%) or a Lucky Draw for 125x the bet (RTP 96.22%). Those in the mood for heroics can pay 1,370x the bet for a base game spin that may or may not land a full grid Mega symbol (RTP 96.09%).
Nine To Five: Slot Verdict
You know, if your manager asked you to come to work 10 minutes earlier for a meeting or whatever, over the course of a year (assuming 48 working weeks), this equates to a whole week of unpaid work. An extra 20 minutes would be two weeks of unpaid work. Forget that, or bite the bullet and go? If being bossed around, working extra hours for no extra pay sounds wack, then Nine To Five might not suit. The reason why is this is a game that can really make you work for results. Nolimit City has a formidable reputation for crafting merciless slots, and Nine To Five can count itself as one of those. It proved difficult to get ahead, like the rat race perhaps, or like a boss who cancels your holidays the day before you're due to jet off to Ibiza for your best friend's wedding. Or a manager who calls you into the office for a training session which ends up not materialising. Point is, Nine To Five can be tough.
But that's to be expected by now, and to be fair, Nine To Five has stuff which is fairly 'generous' for want of a better word, for an NLC slot, too. One is the xBet, which, at a 10% increase in price for more than double the chance of triggering free spins, feels like a bargain, though the fifth reel is locked. Don't expect free spins to rain down riches when they trigger, either, and dead/low-value spins fell a-plenty. Bonus buys are a mixed bag as well. Middle Management and Ivory Tower free spins are pretty standard fare, but God Mode… damn, there are no words. One solitary spin for 1,370x the bet? Remember when 3,000x for an entire bonus round in Tombstone RIP was considered one of the acmes of gambling? Sheesh. Hitting the game's max win of 9,217x the bet (which actually happened on the very first attempt for us trying the game!) wouldn't even cover 7 God Mode bonus buys. We'd say tread with care, but it kind of goes without saying in this instance.
What's also clear is how giveth and taketh away Nine To Five is in a number of areas - wilds that may or may not work, or multipliers that can be axed as well as increased, for example. When it goes your way, great; when it doesn't, well, life's not fair, as they say. On an encouraging note, max win has a hit frequency of 1 in 148,000 spins.
Nine To Five offers room for outrageous heroics for sure, but there is ample space for crushing disappointment as well. Just as in real life, some go on to achieve rat race glory, clawing their way to the top of the ladder, becoming the big dog who gets to swing their weight around an army of obsequious flunkies. Others may feel crushed by the wheels of the machine, losing a piece of their soul each day in a tiny cubicle, where repeated denials of advancement, timed toilet breaks, endless, pointless meetings, and relentless micromanagement have them pining for a return to the hunter-gather days before tick like managers were invented. Or searching for another job.
Nine To Five recreates the possible rewards and soul-crushing grind of a ruthless work environment in all its 90s splendour.