The retirement of Adobe’s Flash software platform has forced slot developers to overhaul their back catalogues, as modern browsers will no longer support older games running on the older technology. One classic online slot that has received a revamp due to this advancement is NetEnt’s title, Dead or Alive, which is one of my all-time favourite machines! This is a nine-line game with a 96.82% RTP, and it’s legendary for its ability to pay out unbelievably huge wins, which can reach up to a maximum of 13,888x the bet.
Dead or Alive comes from an era where video slots were much more straightforward than they are today, so this isn’t a game packed to the brim with special features. Instead, NetEnt focused its efforts on perfecting the balance of the line hits available on the paytable, resulting in some amazing wins, such as the five-scatter return of 2,500x your bet! The main bonus round offers 12 free spins with sticky wild symbols, which is where the magic happens in this game. More on that later!
If you’ve never played this all-time classic slot, then I’d recommend you fire up our free demo slot of Dead or Alive below and give it a try, just don’t play for too long in free play mode, as you’ll be cursing if you win thousands of times your stake on our demo!
Wild West-themed online slots are ten-a-penny nowadays, but that was not the case when Dead or Alive first hit the scene more than a decade ago. In fact, I would even credit this game for kickstarting the trend of Wild West slot machines, which has eventually led to modern games such as Wilds of the West, Outlaw Saloon, and Outlaw Megaways. Dead or Alive may seem simplistic compared to those games, and if you feel this slot to be a little too basic, you may prefer to check out the sequel Dead or Alive 2. Rumour is that NetEnt is currently working on a new incarnation of Dead or Alive featuring Big Time Gaming’s popular Megaways payout mechanic, so keep your eyes peeled here at Demoslot for a full review of that game if and when it drops.
When a game features just a single highly volatile bonus round and only nine paylines, it leaves the developer a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to bumping up the value of the regular line hits. You can see this in action in Dead or Alive, starting with the scatter symbols, which have a crazy return of 2,500x your bet for a full complement of five of a kind! The wild symbols have a chunky payout, too, at 166x the current stake for each complete payline, and it’s possible to hit several of these at once during the bonus round. As for the regular symbols, the Sheriff’s badge is worth 111x your bet for all five symbols, whilst the gun and holster take second place with a return of 83x. The lower-paying symbols include a cowboy hat at 42x, cowboy boots at 33x, and finally, a whisky tumbler at 22x your bet. Many other Wild West games have “borrowed” this symbol set over the years, so if you feel a strange sense of déjà vu after reading this, that is likely to be the explanation!
The wager selection process has been tidied up a little in the HTML5 version of Dead or Alive. Gone are the coin size and coin number selectors, replaced by a single bet selector, which is far more sensible and intuitive. The minimum bet of €0.09 per spin will suit the low rollers out there, and whilst the maximum bet of €18.00 may seem a little low, I guarantee you that the volatility of this game will destroy you and your bankroll if you were allowed to bet any higher!
base game & modifiers
Dead or Alive slot base game
The base game of Dead or Alive sticks to the traditional video slot fundamentals in every way, starting with a 5x3 playfield. There are just nine paylines spanning the reel set, and whilst the earlier flash version of the game would allow you to choose how many lines you wished to play, the current game lacks this ability and forces you to play all nine lines on every spin.
The layout of the paylines used in Dead or Alive is a little different to those commonly used in nine/ten pay line games, so it may be worth looking at the line diagram on the paytable before starting to play.
dead or alive slot bonus features
Dead or Alive slot free spins feature
Dead or Alive includes only one special feature, and while that may sound a tad disappointing, it is important to note that this is “the daddy” of all slot machine features! Very few games have the potential to pay out as much as this one, and I personally have won several thousand times my stake over a dozen times whilst playing this slot for real money.
Hitting three or more scatter symbols during the base game will activate the bonus round. The game will award you 12 free spins initially, and whilst a re-trigger in the traditional sense is not possible, you can win an extra five free spins by landing a wild symbol on all five reels whilst the feature is in play.
However, you won’t need to land all those wilds on a single spin, as every wild that lands in this mode will become sticky and remain in place for the remainder of the bonus round. This would be awesome by itself, but all wins are doubled during the free spins too, meaning all those big numbers on the paytable just became twice as impressive as they were before!
Every Dead or Alive player dreams of hitting five wilds on a payline during this feature, as that line then becomes worth 333x your bet for every remaining free spin. Remember, the game will add five more free spins to your remaining total if a wild lands on all five reels, effectively guaranteeing you 1,665x your bet the moment that wild line first appears.
Oh, and did I mention you can theoretically fill the entire screen with wilds? I haven’t seen this happen yet, but I’m sure a player will manage it someday. It could even be you!
An all-time classic online slot.
The bonus round can be incredibly exciting and potentially lucrative if things go your way.
Lots and lots of sticky wilds.
The removal of the quick spin option for UK players was a real blow for this slot, as the base game has no features or modifiers. It's all about that free spins bonus.
Admittedly, Dead or Alive is showing its age these days, yet it is still an entertaining slot machine that was way ahead of its time when it was first released. This HTML5 update runs faster and smoother than ever before, and if you haven’t played this slot before now, then you owe it to yourself to check out one of the most important slots in online casino history. A true classic.