Hotline Slot game – How to play and Where to play?
Hotline is a 1980’s-themed slot game that debuted online in 2018 developed by NetEnt, one of the leading providers of online slots. What distinguishes this slot from many others is something we’ll look at in our review. Read on to find out more.
Hotline is presented as 5 reels, with 30 paylines. As is to be expected of a NetEnt slot, it’s packed with a bunch of classic features, such as Free Spins, Re-Spins, Wild and Wild Substitutions (which expand the playing area).
However, the core game mechanic that helps Hotline stand out is the Hotline Bonus Bet. This is a unique feature that, with an additional wager, allows a player to select multiple rows (a row is the Hotline of the title). Any Wilds that you spin on that Hotline stick during re-spins and expand across the whole reel. During a Free Spin, any expanded Wilds stick around for the full spin, adding to a chance to win big.
Suffice to say, the more you wager, the more Hotlines you can cover, and the higher the chance of winning. In this way, the game can be considered a multi-variance video slot, which is yet another interesting take on a typical online slot.
If you’re anything like us, you might prefer to leave a slot running as you take care of other activities. Hotline caters for this with an autoplay feature, which can be a set number of times (from 10 to a frankly insane 1000 spins).
Hotline takes the form of a cop show from the eighties, complete with two suave detectives in pastel jackets, cherry red sports cars, and a femme fatale in a wide-brimmed hat. These characters, vehicles (along with pieces of jewelry) appear in the game as the symbols you need to score the various bonuses.
Hotlines come into play once you select more than one reel, as this allows symbols to match across different reels (thereby enhancing the chance of gaining a bonus).
Sports cars are probably the most valuable symbol to spin, as these lead to an expanding Wild, thereby taking up more Hotlines and leading to further Free or Re-Spins.
What Makes This Game Special
The main thing Hotline has going for it is its eighties theme, which it commits to 100%. The game starts with the NetEnt logo, but run through an old VHS filter. This filter carries over to the introduction (which can be skipped), visually distorting the action with pseudo scanlines and minor tracking errors.
We’re then introduced to the main characters, complete with titles in a suitably retro yellow font. ‘Danny Champion’ is Quinn, a mustachioed cop in mirrorshades, who together with his partner ‘Robert Grier’/Rivera, chase jewel thief ‘Caroline Wagner’/Kitty Weiss across Miami in sleek sports cars.
All the while, a Synthwave track blasts out of the speakers, marrying squealing electric guitar solos with police radio-chatter and a steady electronic pulse. The soundtrack is undoubtedly the highlight of the game.
The graphics shown in the intro are also excellent, as they could have easily come from any major games console. We think they look too slick to fit the overall eighties aesthetic, but this is a minor nitpick.
The actual slots themselves are static images of the main characters/jewelry, albeit ones livened up with the appearance of the white or red sports car. These expand and are shown as 3D animations, as the cars speed towards a city kissed by a golden sunset, along a highway flanked by palm trees and the sea.
Betting limits and Winnings
Hotline, by default, is just for fun, with the ability to choose the ‘value’ of coins when you bet. The minimum value is 0.01, whereas the maximum is 1.00. This means the maximum bet can be anything from €4.50 to €450. Of course, translate this into real money, and the stakes are substantial.
The Hotline Bonus Bet also changes your bet amount: one has a bet of 150, two Hotlines active equals a 300 bet, and all three Hotlines totals a bet of 450 – at the maximum level (10). The level can be set as low as 1, to change the bet totals to 15, 30, 45; level 2 means the bets are set at 30, 60, 90, and so on.
As for the Return To Player (RTP) percentage, this is a respectable 96.13%, and Hotline has medium volatility.
There’s no jackpot involved in Hotline, although it is possible to win up to 60,000 coins. A bar along the bottom of the game relates the real-world cash equivalent of a current stake, to act as an incentive to take a punt with actual money. Along with this, various online providers/casinos offer cash sign-up bonuses, should a person feel inclined. We were just happy to pretend we were high rollers, though.
There are so many online slot machines out there; it’s enough to make our heads spin, so what makes a game like Hotline worth playing? It shares its rules and features with any number of slots, but the 1980’s theme is a definite winner. The style, music and opening cinematic all work towards a solid game. About the only thing missing from the retro experience is if the game doused you in hairspray as you played. Now stop reading this and try this NetEnt slot for yourself!