Intro: Game Theme
Dead or Alive got a much-deserved comeback through NetEnt’s 2019 release fittingly named Dead or Alive II. The theme stays the same – gritty Wild West infested with outlaws such as Billy the Kid, Belle Starr, Jesse James, Della Rose and Apache Kid, although here the protagonists aren’t specifically named like in the original game. They still know how to use sharp knives, rifles, pistols, machetes and light a cigarette in a cool way, so once again players are needed to step into the boots of the sheriff to bring order into the endangered frontier town.
The style and design of the slot are more refined. We can see the designers being inspired by the global popularity of video games such as Red Dead Redemption. The reels are set on a porch of a western house, looking onto the rest of the town and the church. They are transparent, which contributes to the depth of the graphics even more.
- RTP: 96.82%
- Betting Range: £0.09 – £18
- Max Win: more than 100,000x the bet
- Similar Slots: Dead or Alive, Wild Wild West, Gunslinger, Sticky Bandits
How it Works
In terms of structure, Dead or Alive II stays faithful to its predecessor. It has 5 reels, 3 rows and 9 paying lines. The controls are also kept, with the only exception of bet levels – instead of 4, there are only 2 bet levels to choose from. The coin value goes from 0.01 to 1 and you can bet from £0.09 to £18 per spin across 9 activated betways. The Autoplay option offers a range from 10 up to 1,000 spins that will play automatically, whereas the Max Bet button sets all the values to their maximum.
Looking at the symbols, we can say that they are equivalents to those presented in Dead or Alive with slight alterations. Instead of just one shot of bourbon, there is a whole bottle next to the glass. The rest of the icons are just differently designed boots, hat, pistol and a belt and the sheriff’s badge. Lower values are attached to 10, J, Q, K and A which look like they were made out of metal. The Wild symbol, which can be any of the 5 bandits, pays from 25x to 1,500x the stake. Two crossed revolvers and a skull represent the Scatter icon which is the key to the Free Spins feature.
The player needs to land at least 3 Scatters simultaneously anywhere on the reels to unlock the Free Spins round. A set of 12 freebies is awarded and three choices are offered to the player regarding the way they ought to be played:
- High Noon Saloon Free Spins: this feature uses NetEnt’s “MAX” technology and comes with a max win of over 100,000 times the bet, which is insane. Try to remember another non-progressive slot with a top win so high. The same features of the Old Saloon free spins apply, but several Wilds that land at the same time they will acquire a multiplier. For example, when 2 Wilds appear, they will become a 2x multiplier, 3 Wilds will receive a 3x multiplier, etcetera.
- Train Heist Free Spins: free spins are played with an increasing multiplier. Whenever a Wild lands on the reels, the multiplier increases by 1 while also adding 1 extra spin. Should the multiplier meter reach 16x, 5 extra free spins are awarded.
- Old Saloon Free Spins: probably a shoutout to the original Dead or Alive slot. All wins are doubled and any Wild landing on the reels locks in position for the remainder of the bonus. Landing all 5 Sticky Wilds will trigger 5 extra spins
Dead or Alive II was released exactly 10 years after the first slot and it makes for an excellent sequel to an iconic game that is still among the casino favourites. The variance is high and the graphics are both vintage and modern, with the ambience being very suspenseful. As a second instalment, it improves on the original by adding two additional free spin features to pick from, cranks up the variance even higher and brings a ridiculously high top win. The 9-reel slot is surely one of the highlights of NetEnt’s recent production, likely to earn just as much fame as Dead or Alive.