With the sequel fast approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to re-visit the classic that started it all. While Dead or Alive never reached the same heights as some other NetEnt classics, it has a strong cult following! But how does this cowboy-themed slot hold up, several years later?
We were pleasantly surprised to find that NetEnt’s release is still quite impressive! Dead or Alive’s RTP is set to 96.8%, which is well above the current average! Considering how atrociously high the house edge could be on older games, we were pleasantly surprised. Add some free spins and sticky Wilds to the mix, and you can win up to 3000x your total stake!
The visuals obviously can’t compare to modern NetEnt slots, but they hold up quite well. But while the visuals could use an upgrade, the gameplay is just as addicting as we remember it being. Sweet and simple, it uses its bonuses and high volatility in the best way possible. It’s boring, up until everything lines up, and you get a huge win that leaves your pockets feeling heavy.
Symbols are not split by value, but they are by design. On one end, you have playing card royals 10, J, Q, K and A. These icons look decent, but they’re clearly filler symbols. On the other hand, you have icons with unique artwork: whiskey glasses, cowboy boots, hats, revolvers and sheriff badges. Wanted posters are Wilds, while a pair of revolvers on a grey background is the Scatter.
The Scatter is the highest valued symbol, since it pays 2500 coins for a five-of-a-kind win! The value of other icons drops quickly after that. However, we can praise NetEnt for spacing out the values, so each symbol is worth more than the previous. The least valuable icon is 10, paying 25 coins for a five-of-a-kind win. So, if you plan to win the 3000x jackpot, make sure to hit as many Scatters as possible!
Free Spins: Collect three or more Scatters in any position to win twelve free spins. It is possible to re-trigger the bonus, and win additional extra turns. However, this can only be done once per free spins session. During the special feature, all wins pay double.
Sticky Wilds: While free spins are active, all Wilds become sticky. Once they land on the playing field, they do not move until the bonus is over. If you land a sticky Wild on each reel, you win five extra free spins. If the extra turns are re-triggered, existing sticky Wilds remain in position.
We mentioned it earlier, but Dead or Alive still looks good, despite its age. Obviously, it cannot compare to modern slots. But you can still see small animations, and the little details that NetEnt was always so good at including. We have to wonder just how awesome this game would have looked like if it was released today.
Whether or not you enjoy the gameplay will depend on how much you like high volatility slots. Dead or Alive’s bonuses can be difficult to activate, but they are more than worth the long grind. With a 3000x prize hanging over their heads, we imagine many players will throw caution to the wind to win it. Fortunately, the high RTP means your success chances are better than average!
While it’s not perfect, we can understand why this NetEnt release is still popular to this day. We can only hope that the upcoming sequel will be just as impressive as the original! In the meantime, if you’ve never played Dead or Alive, we recommend trying it out. Just make sure to budget responsibly while playing!