The sequel to NetEnt’s sizzling crime-themed game Hotline transports players back to Miami. Hotline 2 is just as mired in the 1980s and packed with Miami Vice references as its predecessor. At first sight, it might not appear anything has changed. Hotline 2, on the other hand, is a slot machine that can hold its own because to its improved visuals and modified gameplay. Let’s go out into the sweltering Miami heat and examine the new modifications while wearing a white Armani suit (no tie or socks, of course).
First, let’s catch up with our two heroes, Sonny and Rico, who seem like they stepped out of an episode of Miami Vice. Danny Champion plays the metrosexual Quinn, while Robert T. Grier is Riviera, who sports a Jheri curl. Of course, we can’t forget the fantastic guest performer, Karoline Wagner, who plays Kitty Weiss. The world-building is part of the series’ attractiveness, despite all of these dramatic elements being as over the top as two-story shoulder pads. When you play Hotline 2, you don’t just play; you immerse yourself.
The video presentations contribute to the whole experience. They may not take advantage of high-end graphics cards to their maximum potential, but they fit the theme perfectly. The game’s pastel sunset beach setting is straight out of a postcard. Second, and maybe more importantly, is the sound. Now is the time to appreciate the work of the team. The score is just gorgeous. If you’re a fan of movies or TV shows from the 1980s, you’re probably feeling a wave of nostalgia right about now. There were other moments during the game that we stopped to reflect on a memory brought back by a particular saxophone note or Roto Tom rhythm. The music isn’t just great for spinning reels; it would set the mood for a variety of activities, from kung fu practice to driving down Ocean Drive with the top down to a house party to sailing to dancing. It can be used in a variety of contexts and is also entertaining.
When it comes to the mechanics and bolts of the game, Hotline 2 features a 5-reel, 243 win ways arrangement which means you won’t have to keep count of paylines. The return to player percentage is slightly lower than the original, but still average at 96.05%, and the volatility is moderate, with bets ranging from 30 p/c to $/€150 each spin.
The crime-fighting team is back in a big way, this time as two of the highest-paying symbols. They’re joined by a guy with a microphone, but Kitty Weiss is the real deal. All six of the low-paying symbols are, once again, pieces of jewelry. You’ve been warned, so don’t expect values to be particularly high. For instance, getting a five-Kittens payline only returns 2.66 times the initial wager.
Feature-Rich Phone Number Two
Hotline 2 maintains its special features to a minimum, serving you Expanding Wilds on the regular and scattering Free Spins only occasionally. Hotline returns in Hotline 2, with some tweaks to the original’s design. The Hotline area lacks rows in favor of the center three reels, each of which can be triggered independently. Activating 1, 2, or 3 Hotlines respectively changes the base game RTP from 94.51% to 95.35% or 96.05%.
When a wild symbol lands in the Hotline zone, it will expand to fill the entire reel in the standard game. The Hotline feature is enabled at random and functions somewhat like the Wild Desire feature in Immortal Romance. After activation, the sun sets and 1–3 reels inside the Hotline zone become totally stacked wilds.
The Neon Pink Flamingo scatters are the key to unlocking the Free Spins bonus; getting three of them on the middle three Hotlines triggers 7 free games. Wild symbols on Hotlines always extend to fill a complete reel during free spins, and their height on the reel increases by one symbol. The maximum height for all three Hotline reels when expanded to 6 rows is 1,944 ways to wager. When a Hotline reel reaches its maximum height, 2 more free spins are offered.
There is a bonus buy feature available if you don’t want to wait for NetEnt to release the bonus. Players can opt to play the bonus with 1, 2, or 3 Hotlines engaged for a fee of 20x, 40x, or 60x, respectively.
Verdict (Hotline 2)
As it turned out, Hotline 2 was a lot of fun. It’s a game that’s easy to pick up and play and has a few extras thrown in for good measure. Some may argue that the sequel is overly derivative, a reheated version of the first film. There’s some truth to what you’re saying. A lot has changed, but not drastically, and Hotline 2 reflects that. Just a few spins will reveal the modifications, which may be welcome or disappointing depending on your perspective.
Players who like the original will likely enjoy Hotline 2 as well. Like with Dragon Maiden and White Rabbit, expanding rows perform nicely during free spins, making this slot machine generally competent. It’s worth noting that expanding wilds do appear regularly, albeit this is usually at the expense of the number of times you’ll trigger free spins.
Although Hotline 2 isn’t particularly original, it is well-executed in every way, making for a satisfying slot experience. This includes everything from the RTP and the smoothness of the gameplay to the features and the quality of the visuals and audio. The gameplay is solid, but the game really shines thanks to the great atmosphere it creates, especially the breathtaking soundtrack. When you factor in the potential of 5,184 times the stake, it’s impossible to resist donning a pair of Ray-Bans and acting like you belong to the crew.