If you’re unfortunate to be as old as me, you may also be unfortunate to remember Jon Bon Jovi’s huge ballad hit, Dead or Alive. We are pleased to announce that this NetEnt five-reeler, is – like Jon’s big acoustic shout-along – filled with clichés from western movies though.
If this game does nothing more than make you read up on the fascinating actual history of the American frontier then it will have done more than many other slot games. It will do more than that though because besides being around since 2013, the game delivers a great playing experience that hasn’t dated in quality of graphics or sound.
Oh, and a massive top prize of 54,000 coins – potentially – is something that even a pretty hard-core Western bandit might consider worth going out on a limb for.
Is it worth you saddling up for though? Let’s have a look in our Dead or Alive slot review.
The five reels and three rows of symbols here give us 15 symbols across the screen.
The theoretical return to player, which is a long-term measure of how a machine will perform across its history rather than what you can expect in each game, is 96.8%. That’s very generous. A lot of games offer RTPs at about 96%, but this is really at the top end of that scale.
The top possible prize is 54,000, with betting from 0.01 to 0.5 coins. This is the figure advertised on the game, but you should make sure you know what the deal is on the machine you’re actually playing – top pay-out limits are different on some sites, as are coin values.
For once, the appearance of the card symbols on the reels is completely appropriate for this game. It all starts off with the 10, paying twice stake for three, 10-times stake for four, 25-times stake for five. The Jack pays twice for three, 10-times for four, and 40 for five. Queens pay four times for three, 12-times for four, and 50 times for five. Kings are worth five-times, 15-times, and 75-times. Aces pay out 10-times stake for three, 20-times for four, and 100-times stake for five.
Then we’re into the high paying symbols. The whiskey glasses pay 10-times stake for three, four-times for 50, and five-times for 200. The cowboy boots pay 12-times stake for three, 60-times for four, and 300-times for five. Three cowboy hats pay 15-times stake, four pays 75, and five pays 400. The gun belt pays 20-times stake for three, 100-times for four, and 750-times for five. Finally, the sheriff’s star pays out 20-times stake for three, 125 times for four, and 1,000 for five.
The wilds are Wanted posters with a set of outlaw characters on them, and they stand-in for all symbols except for the scatter. Some of these are sticky wilds. These also pay out. For three you’ll get 25-times stake; four are worth 150-times stake, and 1,500 times stake is your reward for a set of five.
Let’s head further into the special symbols. The crossed guns are a scatter, and they’re worth double your stake for two, four times for three, 25 times stake for four, and 2,500-times stake for five.
The scatter triggers free spins. Three of these are worth 12 spins. In the free spins round, sticky wilds can add an extra five spins; all wins have a two-times multiplier on them. You can also retrigger free spins up to, erm, once.
This is a NetEnt production, and if you play slots you will have seen plenty of them.
Among their current hits – from a stable of hundreds of games, that includes slots, casino games, and behind the scenes stuff – are Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Twin Spin, Halloween Jack, and Jungle Spirit: Call of the Wild.
Dead or Alive slot game is a great looking slot.
The backdrop is nicely drawn, showing a frontier scene, with saloon-style doorframes around the reels. The whole set-up is quite muted in colours, with grey reels, and lots of browns and blacks in the palate.
The symbols are nicely drawn too, especially the outlaw characters, who have a real style to them.
The Dead or Alive slot game controls are even on fake wood. You can see that a lot of work has been put into styling this machine, and it’s paid off.
The main controls run along the bottom of the screen on a single wood-effect panel. At the far left is the information button, which opens a four-page guide to the pay-table and bonuses.
Next up is the coin value selector. It’s not a straight numerical sequence but climbs from 0.01 to 0.50. Then you select the level, which picks how many pay-lines you bet on. This has four choices, which set the total bet level that is shown in the top of two windows over to the right of the centre buttons. Those centre buttons are a big green spin button, an auto-play button, and a max bet button. Underneath the Bet window, there is a coin level for your balance.
To see the actual monetary amount you need to check the game frame, where you’ll also find real monetary values for your bet amount and most recent win. Also in the frame is a settings icon, a sound icon, and another auto-play and help option.
There is a “feature preview” button on the main panel that shows you the free spins round.
The Auto-Play feature is standard for this brand and is quite sophisticated, allowing you to set up to 1,000 spins, with options to stop the feature if you win free spins or on monetary triggers.
You might think we came into this game on quite a negative note, but if you stuck around you’ll have picked up our positive vibes around this fantastically designed game that looks as good as it plays – and it plays fantastically!
Great bonuses, a great base game, and generous RTP and jackpots. What’s not to love? We should all head out West for this.