In the latest installment of their Hot Shots series of slots, software developer iSoftBet invites you to come play soccer with them. If you haven’t heard of this show, it’s basically football, only the players are animals instead of people. This is the first game to combine Big Time Gaming’s Megaways gaming engine with anthropomorphic animalistic athletes. But hold on, maybe not so much prestige after all, since Hot Shots Megaways is simply a reskin of Aztec Gold Megaways/Aztec Gold Extra Gold Megaways, with all the same features like optional betting extras, cascading winnings, Cash Respins, and modifiers.
However, Hot Shots Megaways has a very distinct visual and auditory style. Hot Shots Megaways is far more simplistic than its predecessor, which immersed players in a stylish jungle. Despite the upbeat score, the game lacked the positive vibes of previous entries in the Hot Shots series. Perhaps it’s because the game grid, which is not see-through as in the first game, and the sitting-in-a-crowd effect are both absent. Therefore, the football motif isn’t heavily utilized, save for a few footballs spinning away on the sides of the screen. Fear not; the animal emblems are just as odd as ever, and a sporty disposition isn’t hard to achieve.
Hot Shots Megaways may be approached in a number of different ways. One option is to go for it on a consistent basis by placing a wager of 20 pence to £/€20. This method yields a 95.98% return on investment for the player. You may also increase your chances of winning the bonus by 25% by activating the Hot Shots Cup Fever side bet, which has a return to player percentage of 96.48%. The option is to just purchase free spins, which is discussed below. Until then, the action unfolds across a 6-reel game grid, with up to 7 symbols per reel, for a maximum of 117,649 possibilities to win.
There are 10 normal pay symbols, and players are paid when a winning combination lands in a payline from the leftmost reel. The first six are colorfully designed 9-A low payouts that pay out between 0.5 and 1.75 times the wager for a full house, while the last four—cheetahs, chickens, dogs, and deer—pay out anywhere from 2 to 50 times the wager for a full house. Because of the cascading function, winning symbols are vanished from the reels and new ones fall into their place. This pattern of consecutive cascades will persist until a new victory occurs. Wild symbols, when they show up on reels 2, 3, 4, or 5, can be a big assistance by standing in for any other symbol outside the Gold Ball scatter. Also, there are hidden symbols on every reel, and if one of them becomes visible, it changes into a standard pay icon.
Advantages of Playing Hot Shots Megaways Slots
Three random modifiers and a Cash Respins bonus round finish out the game, which has already featured a decent amount of animalistic football analysis. These three adverbs modify:
When the Hot Shots Cup symbol appears, either Cash Respins or a Big Win is triggered.
When the Max Megaways feature is activated during a real-money spin, all 117,649 possible paylines are used.
When this modifier is activated by Goal Scatters, each paid spin has a chance of awarding either Cash Respins or VIP Cash Respins. However, this outcome is by no means assured.
Spins for Money
If you get at least 5 Gold Ball scatters during normal play, or 4 during the Hot Shots Cup Fever side bet, you will enter the Cash Respins bonus round. When a trigger scatter appears, it remains fixed in place and the game transitions to a “hold ‘n win” type round. Here, you have 3 respin attempts, and any new scatters that appear become stuck in place while the respin counter resets to 3. If a reel is completely covered by locked scatters, the value of all of the scattered symbols on that reel is multiplied by the number of scatters present.
Apart from the regular Gold Ball scatters, there are also Mini jackpot scatters (worth 30x the bet), Major jackpot scatters (worth 100x the bet), and Mega jackpot scatters (worth 1,000x the stake). All visible scatters’ values are paid out after the respins conclude. Two further bonus rounds may be purchased if offered in your region. The standard Cash Respins feature is unlocked at 100x the stake, while the VIP Cash Respins feature at 150x the bet is played on a 7×6 game board with maximum scatter landing spots on it.
Our Final Thoughts on Hot Shots Megaways
It might seem like a long way to go from the jungle to the football field, but iSoftBet’s reskin process makes the transition quite easy. Hot Shots 2 feels like it’s missing several key features and, as a result, has been undersold. The presentation of the game is also unfinished. Players used to be able to squint, utilize their imaginations, and, at a stretch, think they were at an animal-filled football game. This time around, the screen is a pastel shade of purple, and there are a couple of balls on it. The character icons are witty, but the reel action isn’t exactly a thrilling football match.
The gameplay is thankfully just as fun as it was in Aztec Gold Megaways and Aztec Gold Extra Gold Megaways. The primary game is animated by modifiers and cascades, and the bonus round is fun in its own right. The iSoftBet team has a great deal of expertise developing hold ‘n win games. Because of this, it would have been good if they had improved Hot Shots Megaways in some manner to make it more appealing, but alas, it remains mostly unchanged. Aztec games featured large maximum win amounts, which are likely carried over to Hot Shots Megaways. Otherwise, not much has changed.
The gameplay is just as wonderful, we claimed, but now we’re not so sure. The aesthetics and design of Aztec games were unlike anything else available at the time. In comparison, Hot Shots Megaways looks and feels really dull, which is a major letdown. It retains its predecessors’ firing capabilities, but the experience is hampered by its low budget aesthetics and the absence of any new features.