Set in the wild and explosive Old West, Dead or Alive was first released way back in 2009. One of NetEnt’s most famous and popular games of all time, it’s 5 reels and 9 paylines of exciting action. Despite being a bit dated, the quality of NetEnt’s development team back in ‘09 means it still keeps pace with modern video slots.
The RTP is 96.82% and the game includes a bunch of features including Wild Substitutions, Scatters, and Free Spins.
Typical of the games from its era, Dead or Alive is incredibly simple to play. There are a host of buttons beneath the reels which describe exactly what players need to do:
Symbols include typical Wild West tropes, like Stetson hats, guns, sheriff badges, whiskey, and wanted posters. There is no more complex player involvement required, even during the bonus rounds, which means it can get a little repetitive over a long course of time. However, a few special features and the Free Spins round help to throw in some variety.
Being an older game, Dead or Alive lacks the bells and whistles and movie-like nature of NetEnt’s newer games. That said, it remains immersive and engaging. It all starts with the audio: there’s no musical soundtrack, just the gusting breeze, wolf whistles, creaking timbers and occasional lightning strikes. When we hit “spin”, the sound is that of a cocking pistol; when we win, there’s an upbeat musical chime.
The visuals are less impressive: it’s a pretty basic set of reels and cartoon symbols, with very little going on in the background. The animations on winning combinations do feel very dated and that’s where the game shows its age.
The change of scene during the bonus round is nice (we move into a rowdy saloon bar) and overall, while the game feels a bit old, it is very much still playable.
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It’s theoretically possible for players to win up to 2,500x their wager for 5 scatters on a payline. However, during the main game the upper limit is $3,000, and $6,000 during the free spins round where winnings are doubled!
There is only one special feature of Dead or Alive worth talking about, and that’s the free spins round. Players trigger this bonus by landing at least 3 scatter symbols during one spin, which also doubles all winnings for the duration of the round!
Players receive 12 spins, and all winnings go straight into the player’s balance and can be wagered or withdrawn immediately. There’s another huge advantage to players during this round: all wilds become Sticky Wilds, meaning they lock in place for the duration of the round. Since the bonus can be re-triggered by landing 3+ scatters again, there is the potential for monumental wins.
Ever crazier, every sticky wild which lands on the reels unlocks another 5 free spins, driving players’ winnings up through the roof. While the graphics remain somewhat dated, it’s hard to argue that the win potential in this game as it’s just as good as anything produced today – and then some!
There’s a reason Dead or Alive remains one of the most popular games in the world, and why it merited its huge sequel, Dead or Alive II – it pays. The slot is good fun to play, but mostly for the regular payouts it provides and, in more rare cases, the outstanding sums produced during the free spins round.
Probably a medium variance game overall, it does begin to show its age after 20-30 minutes of constant spinning: the sounds get a little more irritating, and the relatively static graphics aren’t too engaging. However, despite being nearly 11 years old, this NetEnt classic still outshines the majority of its modern competitors!
Not sure? Decide for yourself by playing Dead or Alive by NetEnt today!