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Hot Ink Pokies

Despite the current popularity of tattoos, there aren’t many pokies dedicated to the subject, in fact Hot Ink, from Microgaming, is the only one that comes to mind. So it’s not surprising that it’s been pretty successful across the many online casinos that feature software from this well-known developer, while the multitude of bonus features like free spins, multipliers, bonus game and re-spins option will attract players even if they are totally turned off by body art.

Hot Ink does away with the normal paylines that most pokies have and replaces them with a format that creates winning combinations when 3 or more examples of the same symbol lands anywhere on adjacent reels, running from the left hand side. There’s an impressive 1024 ways that this can happen although the downside is that there’s no option to place just a tiny bet on a single line to see how it all works, with the minimum wager being 0.50.

Using the control panel beneath the reels, players are able to adjust the value of a coin from 0.01 to 0.25 and play with up to 10 coins. Multiply that by 50 and we have a maximum bet per spin of 125.00.

The game itself is suitably colourful, with an intricate image of swirly patterns, butterflies, cobwebs, flowers and other popular tattoo designs behind the reels.

Lower value symbols consist of further tattoos with an 8-ball design paying 3x, 10x or 50x the coins bet per way when 3, 4 or 5 land on adjacent reels. Moving through the images we see a winged heart, star, flaming dice and lucky horseshoe with clover symbol that’s worth 7x, 25x or 150x for the same combinations.

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Hot Ink

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Hot Ink
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Higher up the payscale is a picture of the tattoo studio, some chairs, and the tattoo artist himself, who is worth from 25 to 400x the coins per way. Then we see a couple of his customers, the brunette Luci and blonde Angel who on their own are worth from 75x to 750x the coin value, but in the first of many special features that grace this pokie, any combinations of the two ladies will still be worth a mixed pay award of between 50x and 500x.

That’s just for starters however, as Hot Ink is packed with other little treats, the most frequent of which is the respins feature. After every spin, whether it was a winner or not, players get the option to respin any reel for an extra wager. The amount it will cost them depends on how likely it is that respinning it will result in a win, with the cost clearly displayed before they have a go. It’s an interesting idea that requires a little skill and judgement, although on average won’t really boost the Return To Player ratio.

There’s a couple of bonus symbols including the almost obligatory wild, which in this game is simply the Hot Ink logo, that acts as any other standard symbol to help complete winning lines, while landing the wild on adjacent reels will pay 150x, 250x or 1000x the coin per way amount.

If 3 or more Tattoo Bonus symbols appear after a spin, it triggers a game where players are taken to a display case and they need to click on the 3 tattoo books on show. They win prizes with each pick, but if all 3 books have matching symbols on them then 10 free spins with all wins doubled in value will play out with a potential 122,500-coin maximum win.

Another free spins round will start when 3, 4 or 5 of the fish design scatter symbols appear in any positions on the reels. Players will initially receive a scatter payout of 2x, 10x or 100x the total bet per spin, and then the 20 spins will commence. Again, all wins throughout these games will be doubled in value, and they can be re-triggered if 3 or more scatters land at any point during them.

Hot or Not?

Hot Ink is certainly an action-packed pokie, with plenty of bonus features to add variety to the run of play. The respins should perhaps be treated with caution as they can be quite expensive and there’s no guarantee that they will lead to a prize.

It looks good, with lots of nice tattoo-inspired symbols and a rock-style soundtrack to go along with it, while the 1024 ways to win system should help to bring in lots of smaller wins rather than fewer big ones, which suits many players who like to see regular prizes heading their way.

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