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Updated: 2nd Dec 2020
Our Slot of the Month for April 2019 is Dead Or Alive 2, the long awaited sequel to Net Ent’s notoriously high variance Wild West themed slot which was first released nearly 10 years ago.
Like the original, Dead or Alive 2 has a classic 5 x 3 reels array and just 9 paylines which means it can be played from a mere 9p a spin. The symbols are also pretty much as in the original but – as you’d expect given 10 years of tech progress – they are vastly souped up. The animations, both of background items such as the hanging lantern to the left of the reels and of winning symbols, are absolutely stunning.
Again as in the original, five different outlaws feature as wilds – a different one for each reel.
Dead Or Alive 2 has a choice of 3 bonus rounds, triggered by the appearance of 3 or more scatter symbols (again these are beautifully animated as the pair of guns aim and fire). All three consist of 12 free spins and are easy for players to get their heads round.
Train Heist is the type of bonus round that builds up to a crescendo (if you’re lucky, that is) with an increasing multiplier. Every time a wild appears anywhere on the reels, the multiplier goes up by one and the number of free spins remaining also goes up by one. If the multiplier reaches 16, 5 extra free spins are added (this is in addition to the free spin for the wild that caused the multiplier to reach 16). 16 is not the maximum – any further wilds increment the multiplier further and add more spins, as before. Train Heist is actually the least volatile of the three bonus rounds!
Old Saloon closely resembles the bonus round in the original Dead Or Alive. A 2x multiplier applies to the entire bonus round, and wilds are sticky for the duration. Collecting a set of all 5 outlaws awards 5 extra spins (depending on the placement of the outlaws on the reels this can results in big wins; you want them all to be on the same payline). This is the one to go for if you want to play something very like the original game but with enhanced graphics.
High Noon Saloon uses NetEnt’s Max mechanic to produce a super high variance version of the bonus round. Again, wilds are sticky and collecting a set of all 5 awards 5 extra spins but there’s no initial multiplier. Instead, the wilds transform into multiplier wilds when there is more than one on a reel (2x wilds if there are 2 of them and 3x wilds if there are 3 of them). Fill the reels with 3x wilds (and I’m sure you can imagine what a low probability event it is to do that in just 12 spins) to open the way for a win so massive (more than 100,000 x stake) that it wouldn’t be possible in any other slot game without a progressive jackpot. On the other hand, it is also quite likely that you’ll go away from this version of the bonus round with next to nothing as the Max reels apparently have fewer wilds (and the ones there are seem to be concentrated towards the right hand side where they are less likely to produce a win).
Dead or Alive 2 has RTP of 96.8% but as with all high variance slots that represents the average across all players – and in practice, most will lose their money quite quickly while a few get lucky and clean up. With only 9 paylines, wins in the base game are infrequent and because the paytable is heavily weighted towards 5 of a kind most are very small.
In an era when the majority of high variance slots use Megaways or other difficult to understand mechanics, the stunning simplicity of the gameplay in Dead Or Alive 2 is extremely attractive and we expect it to be a big hit.
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