Hockey League Wild Match
Sports have been used as the basis for online slots for a couple of decades, and it's a theme that's not going away anytime soon. However, because it's been used so often, games with this theme have to stand out a bit to keep from just being overshadowed by the crowd of games with similar themes. The Hockey League Wild Match game by Pragmatic Play has largely avoided this trap by offering a feature-packed experience with graphics that make sense. Overall, it's a solid game, especially considering that it's based on hockey, and its gameplay values really show what Pragmatic Play can do.
Though this game uses five reels, three rows and nine paylines, it's atypical in that payouts can be paid for symbols lined up in both directions. You can win both left-to-right and right-to-left in this game as a result, and that gives players more chances for wins than they would normally expect to receive in online slots (read more) with this format.
In terms of betting options, coins range from $0.01 to $0.50, and the lowest bet size available per turn is a super-low $0.09 because all nine paylines are locked in. This doesn't change much since you wouldn't want to play with fewer anyway, but it's worth pointing out. Players also have the option to be anywhere from one to ten coins on each payline, so there are plenty of options for honing in on the exact bet size that you want.
The league cup is the wild symbol in this game, and it's pretty important overall. One reason it's so important is that it shows up on every reel to give players better chances of hitting winning combinations they wouldn't have received otherwise. Wild symbols are a critical component for most games from this software provider (more here). The top jackpot is also won with the wilds, and five of a kind gives a massive 5,000x line bet win as a result.
The wild is also important because it's the basis of a key feature. The Random Stacked Wild feature gives you a chance on every single spin to randomly have the second, third or fourth reels (or some combination of those reels) turned completely wild. There's even a chance to have all three reels turn totally wild, so it's clear to see that there are plenty of extra opportunities to win with this feature, especially since payouts are had in both directions.
There are eight regular symbols in this game that pay out other than the wild and the scatter. This is lower than average in terms of the total number of symbols available, so the hit-rate is increased as a result. The ref has an orange background and pays 200x for five or 100x for four. The player in the red background pays 100x for five of a kind, and the player with the blue background has a 70x win for five. Five of a kind of the player in the black uniform on the green background is good for a 35x win.
The green A symbol, stylized with a glowing flame, pays 30x for five, and you can also earn 25x for five of the yellow K. Five of the orange J is good for 20x, and five of the red Q pays 15x. This is kind of interesting because they changed up the order of the wins, and it's worth keeping in mind when you play so you don't get confused about the pay structure.
Scatters and Free Spins
The hockey puck is the scatter. Five of a kind pays 20 times your total bet, which is like a 180x line bet win. Three or more will also give you a set of free spins, and there will be a 3x multiplier applied to all of your payouts in this feature. Players can earn between 10 and 35 free spins in this way.
Hockey League Wild Match is a more than adequate sports-based slot. While it's not going to win any awards, it's also not a complete stinker, and it's a perfectly playable game even for players who aren't a fan of hockey. The wild feature and free spins with multipliers are good additions to the game, and the top jackpot is sizable as well at the 5,000x level, which jumps to 15,000x in the free spins. This is a solid enough game, and it doesn't disappoint like many sports-based titles do.