- Checked by Thomas Williams
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It started small, grew big, so big it has a sequel! This is Dead or Alive by NetEnt we're talking about. A typical western slot, packed with several different bonus elements, that the majority video slots simply cannot match. For more than a decade ago, Dead or Alive slot has been popular on casino promotions pages, and has been a resident of the "popular" game tabs. We're going to see how and why this NetEnt release has been so popular in our very own Dead or Alive slot review. Let's start with the basics before we touch the bonus game mechanics.
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Dead or Alive Slot Details and Wager Limits
The Dead or Alive slot game is a 5x3 with 9 paylines. Even though it looks simple, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The minimum bet is $/€/£0.01, while the maximum bet is $/€/£18.00. Dead or Alive coin values range from a low value of 0.01 to a high value of 0.50, while the game levels range from Level 1-4. As with most of NetEnts slot games, Dead or Alive has an auto-play function which has multiple settings, as well as automatic spins which can range from 10 to 1,000 spins. We salute NetEnt's decision to add advanced settings to the Auto-play feature. The Dead or Alive slot game will stop if:
- you trigger Free Spins
- a single win
- the balance goes beyond a given amount
- the balance goes below a given amount
- on any win
Personally, we like the Auto-play feature to stop only when we trigger the free spins.
Dead or Alive Slot RTP
The Dead or Alive RTP is 96.82%, which slightly above the industry average. In addition, the game is considered high variance, which guarantees memorable playing sessions. The base game itself is not the volatile aspect, but the bonus game that we're going to discuss later. It still is popular mainly because of the Dead or Alive slot variance which is used almost as a benchmark for slot comparisons.
Dead or Alive Game Design Features - Classic Western
Dear or Alive is anything, but not a slot that looks like it was released in 2009. The graphics are so clear, it can easily match any slot launched after 2015. However, the audio hints at 2009. There's a huge disparity between the volume of the reels spinning and the sound when you win. If you are playing with the sound on, you might want to be careful with it. Besides the background of the slot, the Dead or Alive slot symbols are also crispy clear. In addition, if you pay close attention to the background of the Dead or Alive slot game, you can seem random bolts of lightning. Although it's not affecting the outcome of the spinning reels, it's a nice detail.
The symbols showcased in the paytable, the ones you get to see on the reels, are partly unique matching the theme, and the card like symbols, 10 to A. However, even the card symbols are brought closer to the theme. Clearly, NetEnt has put in some extra effort! This kind of symbols are sort of the "necessary evil" that makes the slot games easier to understand and identify the winning line on the reels. Unsurprisingly, the highest paying symbol is the scatter. Here's a full breakdown of the higher paying symbols for a 5 of a kind:
- Scatter - 2,500
- Wild - 1,500
- Sherrif's Badge - 1,000
- Pistol Belt - 750
- Cowboy Hat - 400
- Cowboy Boots - 300
- Whiskey Glass - 200
Note, the Wild and the Scatter have other roles, besides paying high prizes! We talk about them in greater detail in the next Dead or Alive slot review section. Back when the Dead or Alive slot was released, in 2009, a slot with a "Wild West" theme was much needed. It perfectly filled the gap!
Dead or Alive Slot Bonus Mechanics
It sure has a lot of win potential for such a simple-looking slot! In our experience, video slots that HAVE bonus features, yet are still simple in nature, really age well. To illustrate, games like the legendary Mega Moolah, or Starburst, have passed the test of time simply because new slot players understand them quickly, and experienced players come back for more, for an excellent reason. The Dead or Alive slot machine fits this description. Players can trigger free spins, and there's also a twist, another bonus element available during Free Spins.
Dead or Alive Free Spins - 3 Scatters is All You Need!
Apparently, the Wild West is full of Free Spins. Strangely though, NetEnt chose the Two Revolvers to be the Scatter Symbol. At least 3 of these on the reels, and you trigger the Dead or Alive free spins. This doesn't happen as often, but when it does, you're in for a real surprise. You can win up to 12 Free Spins per trigger. However, you can re-trigger the free spins and win additional 12 Free Spins. Most video slots with free spins do not allow players to re-trigger the bonus games. Clearly, this is a considerable advantage which all reasonable players should consider. Note, these are not Dead or Alive bonus spins that you get as part of an online casino promotion.
And that's not all! All Dead or Alive online free spins won in game, pay x2! That's a multiplier of a factor of 2 for the free spins!
We mentioned how there's a twist in the free spins of Dead or Alive. Here it is!
Dead or Alive Sticky Wilds
In the base game, Wilds simply substitute for any other symbol except the Scatter. That's the case in the Free Spins as well. However, these are not just regular Wild symbols. These are STICKY WILDS. Any Wild Symbols that show up on the reels during Free Spins, will STICK, stay in the same position for the duration of the Free Spins. Also, to make things even better for you, if you manage to retrigger the Free Spins, the Wild Symbols stay in place for the FULL free spins. That's a total of 24 potential free spins with Sticky Wilds. The only thing that you might find disadvantageous is that you can re-trigger the free spins only once!
Dead or Alive Slot Review Summary
Dead or Alive is considered to be an all-time favourite slot game. It features a fantastic bonus game, which includes wild bonus symbols, super-fun free spin features and sticky wild symbols. It doesn’t have any over the top graphic features, or anything out of the ordinary, but it does follow the Wild West theme perfectly and is very entertaining. It is a high variance slot, but only because of the super rewarding bonus game. We made sure we've covered all important aspect of the bonus feature in our Dead or Alive slot review. Since you're here, you probably want to play Dead or Alive online. We're not here to judge, even if you just want to take it for a spin, with some Dead or Alive slot demo version, or as some say, get a taste of a Dead or Alive free to play session! Whatever the case is, we've pointed out three casinos that offer Dead or Alive just under the introduction of the review.
Dead or Alive FAQS
- How to play Dead or Alive slot?
It depends on what kind of Dead or Alive slot play session you're looking for. You can play Dead or Alive online for real money and for free. If you want the real deal, you will have to sign up with a casino, make a deposit, find the game, and spin the reels with real money. A good place to start are the three casinos showcased above.
- Are there any Dead or Alive Free Spins?
Back when Dead or Alive was released, there were a lot of free spins that players could claim as part of casino promotions. Nowadays, you can win Dead of Alive slot free spins only in-game. All you need are 3 scatters and you will get 12 bonus rounds.
- Is there Dead or Alive 2 slot?
Due to the major success of the Dead or Alive slot game, NetEnt released a sequel in 2019, 10 years after the initial release. It looks better, but players still go back to the genuine, original Dead or Alive 1 slot. Strangely, some of the symbols are identical to the original game. They just got a visual upgrade.