Dead or Alive is a May 2009 release from Net Entertainment: a 5 reel, 9 payline video pokie with a very decent 96.8% RTP. The design is smart, the game play smooth, but this pokie really shines in the free spin rounds. There you can pile on sticky wilds, enjoy a double payout, and even retrigger more spins if you get lucky.
Select a coin value from $0.01 to 0.50, then pick the number of coins from 1 to 4. You play all 9 paylines on each spin, so that means your bet can be from $0.09 up to $18. Are you feeling lazy, or lucky? Try one of the many Autoplay options, including a robust set of advanced settings, which let you fine-tune the spin automation. You can click MAXBET if you’re feeling confident with putting down the highest bet size, and this will also initiate a spin. If you want to keep total control, spinning one round at a time, just press the big green button in the center of the panel and you are off to the Wild West.
The reel symbols are the usual Spaghetti Western standards, in order of descending value:
As usual, winning combinations start from the leftmost reel, except scatters which count anywhere. Only the highest win on a payline counts but winnings from wilds and scatters are added to the payline win.
Dead or Alive conveys the atmosphere of a ghost town in the American Old West. The background sound effects – dogs barking, doors creaking, wind whistling – may make you feel part of a Western movie, but the design is infused with NetEnt’s well-drawn graphical style and quality feel.
You can get some great multimedia effects when you hit a winner, and there is a wild audio track to accompany the bonus game, which sounds like a raucous night at the saloon. A nice effect is clicking on any of the nine numbers on either side of the reels. You get a pleasing view of all the different paylines and, even more satisfying, you get the sound of a cracking whip to spur you on. The designers and animators added subtle touches, too, such as a windmill occasionally turning with the breeze, or flashes of lightning periodically illuminating the stormy sky.
Dead or Alive is not a progressive slot offering the promise a huge jackpot, but the multiples and free spins even on this fixed prize game can produce some impressive outcomes. Getting 5 scatters in the main game, at maximum bet, could make you 25,000 coins without even counting what you win in free spins. Coming up with 5 of the wanted poster wilds in free spins can net 1,500 coins on one payline!
If you end up with three scatters anywhere, not just on a payline, you can trigger a round of up to 12 free spins. A set of Dead or Alive wanted posters come to life in animation when they appear in a win in the free spin game, substituting for any symbol except the dueling pistols scatter and sticking in place on the bonus screen. It looks brilliant! There every win pays double and each wild is sticky, so once find yourself in the middle of a free spin frenzy, you can lean back and watching your winning multiply in a really exciting way. Wilds during the free spin sequence can retrigger (one time) a round of 5 freebies.
Dead or Alive is more proof that NetEnt can be counted on to deliver a solid video pokie, bringing to life even a Spaghetti Western cliché with great gaming action. With the prospect of that 96.8% payout percentage pulling you forward, you may be tempted to jump right in. NetEnt does a great job making the pokie play perfectly on mobile devices as well. But it’s a good idea to try the free game first. Then, when you are comfortable in the saddle, go for the real money game with its free spins, sticky wilds and multipliers!