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Dead or Alive

The Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger once launched a famous thought experiment about a cat trapped inside a box with a deadly object. The experiment, famously known as “Schrödinger’s cat”, stated that the cat had to be considered both dead alive for as long as it was inside that box.

That was a slightly academic sidebar to lead us to the topic of this page: the online slot Dead or Alive. While Schrödinger’s thought experiment was highly theoretical and innocent, the historical context of the phrase Dead or Alive is anything but.

This 5-reel, 3-row slot is set back in the Wild West era, where “Dear or Alive” meant someone wanted to get a hold of you. It didn’t matter if you were dead or alive, as long as you were captured. Now that’s worlds apart from the academic labs of Erwin Schrödinger.

In this NetEnt slot, you neither need to worry about boring academics or fearing for your life with lawless cowboys on your tail. That means more time to focus on the elegant graphics, the realistic soundtrack and potentially lucrative bonus round.

Design

As always with online slots from NetEnt, the graphics in Dead or Alive are impeccable. The sky is stormy in the background western landscape, and lightning blinks as the weathervane spin around. The main cowboy would not have looked out of place in an episode of Deadwood, dressed in black boasting a cowboy hat and a cigarette hanging from his mouth.

The reels are spinning inside what looks like some sort of saloon doors, and the symbols all represent something you would expect to find inside a darkly lit saloon in the old West. You find the standard playing card symbols ranging from 10 to A, cowboy boots, whisky glasses and a cowboy hat. The two most valuable symbols are a pistol in a holster and a gold sheriff’s star.

You couldn’t have a game called Dead or Alive and not include a Wanted poster. In this slot, it acts as the Wild symbol.

Gameplay

Dead or Alive ranks is a fairly simple and straightforward slot, especially compared to other NetEnt titles like Warlords: Crystals of Power or Planet of the Apes. The slot has 5 reels, 3 rows and 9 bet lines.

You rack up wins by landing 3 or more matching symbols on a payline, starting from the leftmost reels. You can choose a total of four bet levels to go with the 9 bet lines, and the coin values range from 0.01 up to 0.50. The minimum stake, using one line, is 0.01, while the maximum bet playing all bet lines is 18.00. While the gameplay of this slot is relatively simple, it does come with a very entertaining and potentially rewarding bonus round:

Dead or Alive Free Spins

If you land three or more pistol Scatter symbols anywhere on the reels on one spin, you start the free spins round. You’ll then be rewarded with 12 free spins and minimum a 4x multiplier, according to this table:

Scatter SymbolsCoin WinFree Spins
52500x wager12
425x wager12
34x wager12
22x wager

What makes this a fun bonus round is that it has a Sticky Wild feature.

Whenever the wild symbol, the Wanted poster, lands on the reels in this feature it remains in its position for the rest of the free spins round. So if you are lucky enough to land the wild symbol early on, you could be looking at a big chunk of free spins with minimum one guaranteed wild on every spin.

You can also retrigger the free spins round once per session, by landing three or more scatter symbols on the same spin. It’s a simple bonus round, but we quite like it. NetEnt has put a lot of thought into the graphics and the background sounds, and that in combination with the Sticky Wild is more than enough to keep us entertained.

We also like that you get a 2x multiplier for landing 2 scatter symbols, and we won’t deny that our heart is beating faster whenever we’re waiting for that last scatter symbol on the reels to start the bonus round.

High volatility

Dead or Alive is what we often refer to as a high volatility game. That means that you might not win as frequent as in other slots, but that the win will be higher when you do. You might experience periods where you don’t get much in return on this slot, but if you get to the free spins round it’s very likely that you win big.

With a solid 12 free spins and the Sticky Wild feature, the bonus round offers a big win potential. That is also part of the reason why Dead or Alive is among the most popular slots online.

Dead or Alive Mobile

You can always count on NetEnt to deliver a good mobile slot. Dead or Alive is available with NetEnt Touch, meaning you get the same seamless gaming experience on your phone or tablet.

It doesn’t matter if you’re playing on the go from your phone or at home from your desktop computer. Dead or Alive will run on more or less every modern handheld device, both Android and iOS. The desktop players can also enjoy the game across all the biggest operating systems.

The Verdict

Dead or Alive was released back in 2009. The fact that slot ranks among the most popular online slots, 10 years after its release, speaks volumes. Very few online slots get sequels, but Dead or Alive did in 2019 with Dead or Alive 2.

The game is uncomplicated, and maybe that’s what appeals to people. The design and soundtrack are outstanding, as usually is the case with NetEnt slots. We like the free spins round with the Sticky Wild feature, but we would have liked to see maybe one more feature. Maybe we have become a bit spoiled with the feature-packed modern slots, and Dead or Alive was definitely industry-leading when it came out 10 years ago.

NetEnt has delivered a timeless classic that transfers players back to an authentic Wild West setting, and they have given the players the opportunity to return with good money in their pockets.

Play Dead or Alive at Wildz Casino

You will find Dead or Alive, and hundreds of other online slots, at Wildz Casino. You can try the game for free before wagering real money, and you can play it across all your devices. Log in to your Wildz account today (New player? Register here) to experience why this game is still popular 10 years later.

RTP: 96.82%
Min/Max Bet: € 0.01 – 18.00
Volatility: High (10/10)
Platform: Desktop & Mobile
Developer: Netent

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