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    Hockey Hero

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    Hockey Hero Slots

    Of all the sports in the world, it’s Ice Hockey which strikes us as the strangest. We wonder how it developed, an eclectic mix of American football, played with skates, on ice. Not only that but the game actually encourages fighting during the match, with just a five-minute penalty applied, unless you remove your helmet, which gets you another two-minute punishment! This weird unofficial system is called simply ‘the code’. It’s a big draw for the sport and that’s something any game developer can understand, as their games all require a big draw to bring players in.

    As confusing as Ice Hockey may be, It does however, make a great idea for a sports themed slot game and one that isn’t that common. Only Playtech’s ‘Ice Hockey’ game really springs to mind as a big title using this theme. Push Gaming, producers of the wonderfully entertaining Bonus Beans game, have clearly seen a gap in the market. They’ve produced a great slot game out of it too, sharing many of the mechanics with their successful Meet the Meercats slot game which has developed a loyal fan following online as both a real money and free to play slot machine.

    Theme

    Hockey Hero takes place in a huge Ice rink, with flags of successful Ice Hockey nations adorning the walls and ardent fans all chanting their support for their hero’s. The reels are cleverly portrayed as cracked ice in good use of the theme, although this shows only on the low pay playing card symbols and not on the higher paying icons. All the big win symbols are bespoke, there’s a hockey puck, helmet and skates in addition to the three Hockey Hero’s themselves.

    The three main characters are decked out in vibrant red,green and blue team colours, the red player is a charmer for sure, the big guy in blue looks quietly confident whilst the green player scowls at the screen – clearly the enforcer of the team! As with the Meercats game all the character icons are super stacked and come with their own bespoke animations and sound effects.

    The two other symbols of note are the stacked trophy wild which substitutes for all symbols except for the scatter and, the scatter itself. That is represented on the game by a traditional hockey goal, though there is no goalkeeper present to defend it when you try and score!

    Features

    With a 5x3 reel setup and 40 pay-lines the structure is very easy for slot players to follow. There’s no exact data yet on variance, RTP, hit ratio or bet width for the slot but, judging from the other titles we would imagine this to be released as a medium variance machine. The base game play is likely to be full of streaks of slightly chilly play to allow for the big wins to hit using the feature mechanics.

    The hold and re-spin feature from Meercats is back here, any of the characters as a full stacked symbol on the first reel will trigger a free reel re-spin. This can theoretically continue until all 5 reels are full and the wild can substitute. It’s clear that some full screen wins are definitely going to be making an appearance at random intervals for some lucky players.

    also exist in the bonus free spins round, here you start the round by selecting one of the three players to be used during the free games. With only one selected the hit ratio has a chance to really increase and even with only 5 games available and no re-trigger, it’s clear there is some big win potential out there on the ice.

    Summary

    As with other Push Gaming titles, Hockey Hero is fantastically well rendered, it’s right up there with the best from NetEnt, Betsoft and other slots developers who produce beautiful games. Their talent in bringing land based slots online shows through, as a mobile slot this plays amazingly well although, it can be a little graphics intensive on older phones. One criticism of some games developers is that their sharpest looking games often lack bite, not something which can be said for Hockey Hero’s. Whilst the champion of this match will find themselves rich beyond measure, plenty of players will find their bankrolls sent straight to the sin bin for a cool-off without careful strategy.

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