Hotline 2 Slot Review
Hotline 2 Game Details
|Jackpot:||5,184 x Stake|
|Auto Play Feature:||Yes|
Where To Play Hotline 2
When Swedish game developer NetEnt released Hotline it proved to be a major success; players from all corners of the globe were heading to 80’s Miami – with strong Miami Vice references throughout – and the game’s unique mechanics and big win-potential offered something completely different to almost anything else in the iGaming industry. I spent a lot of time playing the game at online slots sites myself – and had great fun; NetEnt did a superb job!
That’s why I was incredibly happy to learn that NetEnt had decided to release a sequel to the original slot – and while I think the name could have been a bit more creative (it’s called Hotline 2), it offers an even better experience than its predecessor.
How To Play
One of the first things you’ll notice when playing Hotline 2 is that the entire look and feel of the game looks similar – but the way in which the slot is actually built is totally different. While, initially, Hotline 2 utilises a 5-reel, 3-row format – and a 243-ways-to-win mechanic – the size of the reels actually increases as you play. More on that in just a moment.
You can play Hotline 2 from between 0.30 and 150 credits per spin, and the RTP comes in a little low at 96.05%. The volatility, by the way, is a little lower than the previous version of the slot, coming in at “medium variance” according to NetEnt.
If you’ve played the original Hotline slot you’ll know that there was quite a unique mechanic where you needed to choose how many “reel modifiers” to play; the number you chose changed the way in which the slot actually played out. Hotline 2 is no exception, and you’ll need to choose whether to play one, two or three wild zones.
In the “bonuses and features” part of this review I’ll talk more about what these wild zones do – but be aware that in order to get started you’ll need to choose how many to play. Playing all three increases the cost per spin, while playing just one lowers it. However, I personally would always recommend playing all three if possible, as it enables you to unlock more of the game’s potential – and also increases the RTP slightly.
In terms of actually playing the game, you’ll see NetEnt’s new game layout in play here, which can take a little bit of getting used to if you’re still used to playing one of their Flash-based games. All of the game’s rules, controls and settings can be found under the hamburger menu in the bottom left-hand-corner of the screen. Stake selection is done through the coin button, and, of course, to actually begin playing the slot you simply need to hit the main “Spin” button, at which point the game will begin.
Symbols and Payouts
In what I believe to be a smart move, NetEnt have kept the symbols largely the same. You’ll see the same crime-busting duo appear in the game – acting as the slot’s higher-paying symbols – and they’re accompanied by some new graphics and animations.
They pay well for 5-of-a-kind combos – and when the size of the reels expands (which I’ll be covering in the next section of this review) they can actually end up being worth a significant amount of cash, especially when you start lining up multiple 5-of-a-kind combos on a single spin.
Hotline 2’s lower-paying symbols include 6 different types of Jewellery; however, the payouts for these symbols are low, so don’t expect to hit any massive wins with these lower-paying symbols.
Like the original Hotline slot, Hotline 2 is all about the bonuses and features – and you’ll find even more packed inside than the original, although I should warn you it does take a little bit of getting used to at first – especially since the game plays slightly differently. Below, I’ll walk you through the main bonuses and features you can expect to find while playing the slot.
Wild Zone Expansions
During the base-game, any wild symbol that lands in the Hotline Zone will expand. This is what I was talking about earlier when I told you about the expansion zones. If you choose to activate the zones, then wilds that land within it will expand for that spin only. This is where the game is different from the original Hotline. In Hotline 2’s predecessor, the wilds stuck in place before a free re-spin was awarded. Now, however, they only expand for that one spin – so ideally you’ll need to land two or three of them to secure a big win.
On any spin during the base-game the random wilds feature can trigger. When this occurs, anywhere from one to three of the middle three reels can be transformed into wild reels – and again, while no re-spin is awarded, it’s a decent way of forming some wins, especially if you’re lucky enough to be able to turn all three reels wild.
Again, like the original, the main attraction of playing Hotline 2 is the free-spins bonus. This is triggered by landing three of the scatter symbols on the middle three reels. Do so and you will be awarded with 7 free-spins. Now, during the free-spins, landing a wild symbol on one of the hotlines will see the wild not only expanding to fill the entire reel – but it will also increase the height of that reel by one position.
The reels can be expanded, at maximum by three positions, and if you manage to achieve this you’ll be awarded an additional 2 free spins. At most, there can be up to 1,944-ways-to-win active here and this is where the game can really start to pay well.
I’ve noticed that NetEnt has started to incorporate bonus buys into some of their slots – most recently Dead or Alive 2 – and Hotline 2 is the latest game to get the option. For a cost of 20X, 40X or 60X you can purchase direct entry to the bonus with 1, 2 or 3 Hotline Zones active respectively.
Jackpot and How To Win
I’ll be honest, when Hotline 2 was first released I was expecting it to offer a little bit more win-potential than it does; the maximum win is capped at 5,184X, although this is lower than I’d hoped to see.
Still, it shows that there is some fairly decent win-potential to be found – but you should bear in mind that due to the fact that Hotline 2 is a medium-variance slot, unlocking anywhere near this kind of win-potential is unlikely to be easy. Personally, I’d say that wins in the 2-300X range are going to be most common, with anything about that considered a true “one off”.
To maximize your chances of hitting a Super Mega Win, I really do recommend you play all three wild zones unlocked. That’s exactly what I did to land the massive payout above. I was pretty happy with a win of this size while testing the slot for this Hotline 2 review. It just goes to show, you don’t need to buy features to get a big win, it can easily come from the base game.
While unlocking all 3 wild zones does increase the cost of playing the slot quite a bit, I do recommend doing so as it not only ups the RTP of the slot but also means you don’t get frustrated when wild symbols land in view and don’t expand.
I don’t think I need to point out that NetEnt are, by far, one of the market leaders when it comes to their mobile gambling software. Originally called “NetEnt Touch”, today, all of their games are fully mobile-optimized, allowing you to enjoy the gambling experience from all of your mobile devices without needing to download or install any pieces of software, apps or plugins.
Hotline 2 renders perfectly across all mobile devices – and I tested it from my iPad and Android smartphone. The game loaded fast, played quickly and the graphics were smooth and rendered perfectly.
Even on desktop and laptop devices Hotline 2 plays to near-perfection, and it’s clear that NetEnt haven’t cut any corners when it comes to development here. However, I would recommend playing through a WIFI connection if possible as this will ensure you get the fastest loading speeds.
Hotline 2 has turned out to be a pretty decent game overall. While I do feel like the maximum win-potential could be increased, the slot offers some fantastic play time and there’s lots to look out for – especially thanks to the randomly triggered features that appear during the base-game.
The free-spins round seems quite hard to hit – from my personal experience playing the slot anyway – but it can be very lucrative, and, as I mentioned, those wins in the 1-300X stake range appear to be relatively common and easy to get, so you shouldn’t need to wait around too long to unlock some of Hotline 2’s main win-potential.
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Last Updated on December 3, 2020