Free Love Island slot
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Love Island slot by Microgaming takes us into the crass world of the infamous ITV Dating show of the same name, where young singles are sent to live on a tropical island to see if they pair up with each other, usually in the glare of the tabloid media, and hopefully don't commit suicide when it's over. Trash TV has been done a few times before on slots, with Microgaming's very own awful Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Ash Gaming's Britain's Got Talent and IGT's dreadful Baywatch game. You may think I'm a little critical here, but invariably the cost of these licenses results conversely in a cheap and ill-designed slot and I'm afraid it's no different here. The appearance is pretty basic with sand behind the window, a simple Love Island logo above and the obligatory monotonic beat music as we play. Will our bankroll feel the love here though?
A very plain white reel set of 5x3 greets us here because Love Island slot has 243 ways to win and no fixed pay lines. Symbols are single although two can appear on the same reel and before you begin you are invited to pick one of 4 male or female contestants and one of 4 other males or females to become your 'date' and therefore the two high-paying characters. Hetero only here as Microgaming haven't accommodated the LGBT variations that I can see.
Your first choice will be the only man or woman on the reels thereafter but all 4 of the opposite sex still appear. The 5-of-a-kind pays to your 15-coin stake are your Male and Female at 200 coins with the 3 rejected partners all at 100 and five card values from 50 down to 30 coins for a full line. Wilds do appear in the form of a Sunlit Embrace and are the top pay at 400 coins but there are no scatters as we don't need them for features.
You don't need scatters but if your first chosen character appears in the centre position of reel 1 along with any character of the opposite sex (aside from your other chosen one) in the centre of reel 5, you get a cash award of 4,6,8,10 or 20x stake. These centre positions are known as Hot Zones and you need to land both your chosen characters in the Hot Zones of reels 1 and 5 respectively to trigger a cash prize and 10 free games.
There are 2 modifiers here - firstly the Wild only appears on reel 3 but now will expand when it does and double any wins. The second is that all the 3 characters of the opposite sex you didn't choose at the beginning now become your chosen one on the reels, therefore only high-paying characters can land on the reels. No extra spins or retriggers, scintillating stuff.
Love Island slot is pretty mediocre at best. Very little effort has gone into the characters, symbols or general appearance and the music is grinding very quickly. We get a decent 96.39% RTP and not too bad a base game return and there's even some potential in the free games although they are over very fast and usually provide a lot of near misses and dead spins to frustrate you. If you can accept a reasonable base game turnover, tolerate the theme and put up with poor free games returns on a regular basis then Love Island may bring you some fun. Me? I would take a holiday far away from this island, preferably on my own...