Dead or Alive
Dead or Alive is a five reel nine payline video slot designed by NetEntertainment. The theme of Dead or Alive is the gun battles of the Old West. The story of the game is simple enough – you’re a frontier lawman tasked with stopping bandits. The game sees you moving through an old-timey Western landscape, battling bad guys while you try to spin big wins.
NetEntertainment is one of my favorite designers, in large part because their games have a lot of replay value. The addition of the “catch the bad guys” sub-plot makes this slot a little more like a video game than a repetitive series of spinning reels. But as we’ll see a little further down, this is a fairly volatile game.
Volatility in slots a good thing in some respects – it means big wins are possible. It also means that some players will get frustrated by a lack of wins, even if the wins they do rack up are more lucrative.
Dead or Alive slots
Coins Range:$0.01 to $18
Free Spins/Multiplier Better:Yes
Dead or Alive allows for bets in the following coin sizes: $0.01, $0.02, $0.05, $0.10, $0.20, $0.50. But things get a little tricky after that. Players are asked to bet on any of nine available paylines. The game also allows multiple coin bets per line per spin, between 1 and 4.
All told, that gives us a minimum wager of $0.01 per spin, making this a true online penny slot. Those are becoming pretty rare. At the high end, bets of up to $18 per spin are available. Overall, the stakes are pretty limited (compared to other NetEnt slots that top out at more than $100 per spin), but that’s a good thing if you’re a budget gambler.
According to NetEnt’s website, the theoretical payout percentage for Dead or Alive is 96.8%. That’s one the high end for an online slot game. Let’s say you play Dead or Alive for an hour at $0.50 per spin – that means on total outlay of $300 per hour, you should expect to lose just $9.60.
At that price, Dead or Alive costs about as much to play as the price of a movie ticket, and if you consider that you stand a chance to win money back, it makes more entertainment sense than watching a static movie.
The top fixed jackpot is worth 2,500 coins. You trigger this prize by spinning five of the game’s scatter Crossed Pistols symbols on any active line. This is a rather meagre top prize, worth just $1,250 at the top coin size, but other more lucrative prizes are available during the free spins round through the use of multipliers.
As far as I can tell, the top non-fixed prize (when multipliers are taken under consideration) is worth $54,000, assuming the top multipliers apply. That’s the kind of prize worth chasing.
There is no bonus game in the traditional sense – instead, there is a free spins bonus round that comes with an expanding sticky wild symbol setup, which all add up to big multipliers and free cash, should the player be lucky enough to trigger them.
Dead or Alive is available in mobile format on a small number of mobile-capable gaming sites and apps. Like other NetEnt mobile titles, it’s a shame that more existing mobile services don’t license their games, because this one translates extremely well to smartphone and tablet display sizes.
Dead or Alive is a weird little bird – a true penny slot that pays out winnings up into the tens of thousands of dollars. This is a highly volatile slot that also has a high payout percentage. If you’re a budget gambler or enjoy the Old West / cowboy theme games, Dead or Alive is right up your alley. Otherwise, the limited bet sizes and small top prizes may scare some bettors away.