Hot Ink may sound like a tool in a dominatrix’s box of tricks, but Microgaming are thinking more along the lines of a tattoo parlour. What you get up to you in your own time is your own business. Although, after playing this hot and grungy title we may well be talking about the same business – the business of playing Hot Ink and having the satisfaction of scooping some extra benefit from it rather than paying to have our own bodies stabbed with needles in an artistic manner.
Appropriately, this title rocks out some grungy chords and some tinkling glass sounds as we spin these five reels in search of wins across Microgaming’s 1024 Ways To Win system. Rather than use paylines, left-to-right adjacent symbols bring about the winning ink we’re after. Fortunately, Microgaming will pay out our winnings in actual cash rather than tattoo vouchers.
Not that there isn’t some Hot Ink on display. All the game’s symbols are brilliantly drawn in that kind of faded-on-skin aesthetic that tattoos have, while there are a couple of gameplay features that make this title stand out like a rainbow coloured tramp stamp.
Firstly, the ReSpin feature is a unique thing to behold. We can choose to re-spin any reel at a cost to ourselves in an attempt to complete a win. The cost to ReSpin is dependent on the reel. For example, a row of four Tattooed Temptresses split by Reel 3 might cost 200 credits to re-spin, but the potential gains from that re-spin may land us with the top payout for that symbol combination. ReSpins are completely unlimited, so it’s up to our gaming strategy how to best utilise this unique feature.
Then comes the game’s Double Pay symbol – our two beautiful Tattoo Temptresses back to back in a ménage à du that pays out in a host of ways. Mostly that they pay out for either of their symbols if we land the duel-symbol, and give us a sultry animation for the bank to boot.
The game’s Yin & Yang Bonus, triggered when we land three or more Yin & Yang Lizard Bonus symbols is our main bonus feature that grants us 20 free spins. Don’t ask me why they are lizards. Maybe the development meeting happened after Microgaming’s Christmas Party, where the embarrassing songs were only outflanked by Benicio del Toro licking a frog. All wins are doubled, while the free spins uninterrupted Muse-esque rock track creates the perfect soundtrack to a high octane free spins feature that can be re-triggered.
Not content with this title’s already feature-rich offering, Microgaming have included another bonus feature – the imaginatively titled Tattoo Bonus. Perhaps it was an excuse for the game’s artist’s to pen an attractive girl in her underwear. We must pick a tattoo album to ink some tattoos on her legs, arms and back, and if we pen a matching set not only will this semi-naked beauty be pleased but we’ll also bag ourselves another 10 free spins. Double bonus!
The artwork is brilliant, the soundtrack is grungy, the game’s features and bonuses incredibly well developed. Whether or not you are a fan of tattoos, this game simply has to be experienced. It’s up there with the best of them.