The Heat is On is a Microgaming 45-payline online pokies depicting a confrontation between two attractive women portraying opposite roles. One is a gorgeous Policewoman, while the other is a daring Thief. The two women represent Wild Symbols capable of substituting for any icon except their counterpart Wild and the Bank Scatter. All 5 reels may return after a spin with both Wild Symbols on display; simultaneously functioning as a joker card that can complete or expand a winning combination. Outstanding results are likely, especially if their Wild images occur in multiples across the reels.
The Bank Scatter image activates up to 20 free games; but is capable of triggering as many as 80 free games during a single round. Two Scatter Symbols appearing on Reel 2 or Reel 3 trigger a multiplier feature that increases the free-spins. However, it is important to note that a winning Scatter combo; just like regular payline wins, must originate from the leftmost column and in adjacent reels.
Some of the symbols are briefcase full of Gold Bars; a Helicopter; a Police Car, a getaway Motorcycle, and a Bomb which represent the top paying symbols that could land notable payline wins. The Gold Bar awards the highest payout; 3, 4, or 5 appearing on consecutive reels; and from the leftmost position of a pay pattern earn payouts equivalent to 20x, 50x, or 225x the coin bet staked per payline.
The Policewoman and the Thief Wilds may land on any reel, row, or payline. Both Wilds can form their own winning combination; awarding uniform pays equivalent to 10x, 150x, 300x, or 1000x the amount wagered per line. A combination of Policewoman; and Thief Wilds may also count as winning combination if the arrangement meets the criteria of a payline win. Wild combos comprising 2, 3, 4, or 5 Policewoman; and Thief icons award pays equivalent to 5x, 100x, 200x, or 500x the Line Bet.
Three or more Bank Totems activate 5, 10, or 20 Free-Spins. The Heat is On Bonus Round is configured to reward players with as many as 80 bet-free turns. Obviously, the round can be retriggered to award a fresh set of free games; if a bonus spin produces another Scatter combo. Yet this game’s Scatter icon has a multiplying attribute that makes it possible for players to activate a round of free games in greater numbers.
The Bank Scatter Multiplier doubles (2x) the number of free-spins; if the 2nd or 3rd reel has at least two Bank Scatters on display. Now if both the 2nd and 3rd Reel simultaneously displays two Bank Scatters in their respective column; the bonus spin awarded on a winning 3, 4, or 5-symbol Scatter combination will be quadrupled (4x). In addition, a winning Scatter combination comprising 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 Bank images earn instant bonus wins amounting to 50x, 75x, 100x, 125x, or 150x the Line Bet.
Sexist Crime Scene
If you prefer gender-neutral or less sexist gaming, the issue surrounding the imagery here is going to be of importance. pokie machines have been around for years, and so there are many staple sexualized images used of women. However, we’ve come a long way since then, with the community now including many female gamers. So to still see a brand continuing this type of aesthetic seems a tad backward. Some may feel it doesn’t take away from the game, but we feel it does.
Instead of presenting tiny waists and huge boobs, Microgaming could have gone for a more neutral style, like that seen in Loaded PI or Bobby 7s. There’s no need to slap some breasts on the interface to make it more appealing, for the content should already be appealing enough as it is. All we ask is that some unisex content is introduced back into the aesthetic, rather than making this a ‘boys only’ title. It would mean greater success for The Heat Is On in the long run.
Two Wild Icons
We could now move on to the main feature of the game, the free spins, but we wanted to draw your attention to a smaller element: the two wild icons. The reason being is that it’s less predictable than the bonus extra spins seen here. Microgaming has utilized two women as their wilds, and in doing so covers the bases of good and evil in the image of the cop and the image of the bad guy.
Both of these symbols appear to do the same job, and so all that you’ve given here is double the chance of landing a substituting win. However, that in itself shouldn’t be overlooked, seeing as wild payouts can be quite large, as much as 2,500 credits. The thing is, gamers won’t get that amount unless they bet the full 125 credits of the game, and so you have to ask yourself whether a 10 credits return for a min bet of 0.50 is worth it.
Under the Hammer
We’ve already mentioned two titles before now, and so you should be sorted in terms of other slot machines, but just in case here’s Jack Hammer 2. This slot machine is from NetEnt, bringing you a gangster-oriented aesthetic rather than a modern-day crime-fighting one. As a result, you get a film noir aesthetic inside a comic book strip style, two elements that shouldn’t work together but do. We love the visuals, and can’t commend the brand enough.
In terms of variance, there are free games and wilds, just like in The Heat Is On, and so it comes down to which is the more interesting to play. And for that, dear players, we have to leave the conclusion up to your lovely selves, for it’s a subjective experience. Why not play them one after the other and see which one tickles your fancy more?
Crime Isn’t Sexy
The Heat Is On may deliver sexy lifestyles and the such, but let’s face it, the world of crime isn’t a sexy one, and nor is it one that holds our interests for very long. Microgaming could have done something special here, but they chose to limit their creativity and develop a lackluster title instead. It’s okay for a low-value punt, but for anything else, we’d suggest seeking slot machines from further afield.