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Firehouse Hounds offers a 5x3 playing field with 30 fixed paylines. Alongside two bonuses. One of the bonuses can at random, transform the first, fifth, or both reels completely Wild at any given point, while the other is a regular free spins bonus with a light element of click and choose.
They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but we wouldn’t have expected them to have reached such heights as to start saving the city from fires. We have to admit, when we first booted this game up, we were sceptical. The dogs have quite stiff animations, the symbols aren’t that varied up, and the features were relatively simplistic.
As we already mentioned, the visuals did not win us over. For starters, it seems to use an older version of IGT’s standard user interface, and it’s very difficult to get your bearings on where what is. Some key things, like spins and options are obvious, but others are hidden at the top of the screen, seemingly completely detached from the menus at the bottom which sometimes show the same information as the ones on top. We’re not really sure exactly why this is the case, but it certainly left a foul taste in our mouths.
The symbols are alright. The bad side of things is the number seven, repeated five times with different skins thrown on top of it, which screams laziness. On the other hand, you have quite a few firefighter things, such as their iconic axes, hoses, lunchboxes, hats, and so on. Wilds can replace any symbol except the Scatter, and simply exist as yellow letters reading Wild on top of a purple background, while Scatters are a red alarm bell hanging on a brick wall, ready to ring and alert the firefighters at a moment’s notice that their help is needed in the city.
The free spins bonus is activated by collecting three Scatters, which rewards 30x the coin value and between four to six free spins. How many turns you get is dependent on a random choice between three different fire poles, so picking one will grant four, five or six free spins, while the other two are discarded. The real strength of the free spins is in the ability to re-trigger the feature, as you can keep winning free spins up to 200 extra turns, which is the hard cap. In addition, during free spins, both the first and fifth reel are constantly fully Wild at all times.
None of the special features really stand out to us. The randomness of having the first, fifth, or both reels turned Wild at any given point during normal gameplay is nice, but the fact it’s guaranteed makes it that much better. Firehouse Hounds also pays both left to right or right to left, which is a neat little detail.
The title offers a 96.06% RTP with a jackpot of 2000x your wager. It won’t be winning any awards, but it is a decent slot to play if you don’t mind the slightly outdated graphics.
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