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Every so often there comes along a slot that, for no reason at all, just cheers you up. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, but you keep coming back because, whether you win or lose, it makes you smile.
Hoot Loot is a perfect example.
Sure, it isn’t going to win any awards for technical innovation, the gameplay is generic, and the features offered aren’t exactly extensive, but Hoot Loot has one thing in abundance: a sense of fun.
Overview: Hoot Loot
The theme of Hoot Loot is a forest filled with an eclectic mix of animals and items.
These range from purple toadstools, birds nests with eggs about to hatch, leaves, and paw prints, through to a rather cheerful bear, a happy moose, and a rather evil fox.
They are the friends of the game’s protagonist, a top hat-wearing owl.
As you can tell from the descriptions, the cartoon-style is evident in the characters and also the animations of the high symbols when they make a winning payline.
They are rather charming and amusing to see. In fact, there are little splashes of humor throughout the game. (Watch out particularly for what Mr. Owl says when you hit a winning Hoot Line).
This is a typical 5×3 slot by IGT, with 20 selectable paylines and the ability to bet from between $0.01 and $2 per payline. To get the top prizes, you need to play with all 20 paylines in operation.
In addition, there is another winning line, the Hoot Line. This is made up of symbols that land anywhere on the reels with a Mr Owl symbol in the bottom right corner. Land a winning combination of the symbols in the Hoot Line and you win up to 22 times your line bet.
Who will the Hoot Loot slot appeal to?
Hoot Loot doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what it is, a 5×3 reel slot with a great sense of humor, some generally amusing animations and sound bites, combined into a fun and playable slot. It is a game simple enough to be enjoyed by even fledgling slot players, while those more used to slots will enjoy the Hoot Line and Hoo’s Safe Bonus.
The fact you can play from such a small amount up to $40 per spin also makes it affordable for all. If you are looking for a darker, more mysterious slot or one packed with modern features, then Hoot Loot probably won’t fit your requirements.
But it is fair to say the majority of New Jersey online slots fans will find something here to keep themselves entertained.
Gameplay: Hoot Loot
The first thing to do in Hoot Loot is select your coin size per line and how many lines you want to play.
We’d recommend playing all 20 paylines, even if this means you play for less per line. Once that is decided, you can either hit spin yourself, or use the handy autoplay feature to spin automatically up to 25 times.
The slot itself isn’t massively complicated and is very easy to understand. There are the usual low symbols (forest flora and fauna) plus high symbols (the animals of the forest).
You’ll win regularly on the slot, but most wins are generally small. Other than that there are no special features in operation on the reels in the base game.
What you have instead is the Hoot Line, a special line made up of any of the 15 symbols that land on screen during a spin. The Hoot Line is comprised of up to five symbols that possess an owl icon in the bottom right corner of the symbol.
Land a winning combination of these symbols anywhere across the reels and you trigger a Hoot Line win, which playing at 20 spins, is 22 times your line bet.
You can win this Hoot Line bet relatively frequently and better still, if you win on your usual paylines, your Hoot Line win is paid out in addition to any of these other payline wins.
The Hoot Loot symbol acts as the in-game wild and as usual, can replace any low or high symbol to create a winning payline.
The other bonus you can access here is Hoo’s Safe Bonus. To trigger this, you need to land the Hoo’s Safe Bonus icon on reels one, three and five on a single spin. When you do, you enter the bonus feature where you get to pick a safe, which will contain a cash prize of between five and 25 times the total bet you made on the previous spin.
Special features: Hoot Loot
This is a very clever feature, essentially offering you one additional payline for free on every spin. Best of all, it isn’t too difficult to trigger a Hoot Line win, so you can get paid out at 22 times your stake (if you play all 20 paylines).
Hoo’s Safe Bonus
This is a simple pick’ em game where a player gets to pick from a selection of safes in order to win a cash prize based on their initial bet. It can be anywhere from 5x to 25x your total spin bet.
Hoot Loot is one of the best and most enjoyable slots I have played in a long time in terms of presentation. Some great touches include humor throughout and excellent animations, music and sound effects.
The Hoot Line bonus adds a little added dimension to the base game as it is essentially an additional payline, where you can win without having to cover it as part of your initial wager.
You only tend to win smaller amounts in Hoot Loot, but that isn’t a problem if you prefer regular smaller wins to less frequent bigger wins. This is a game definitely suited to people preferring a lower variance slot.
No free spins bonus
A free spins round is almost a necessity for any modern slot. The fact that there is no free spins bonus does diminish the appeal of this slot considerably. That’s a real shame.
Lack of features in base game
Other than the Hoot Line, a lack of features like stacked symbols/wilds or expanding symbols/wilds does mean the base game does rely on its gimmicks and presentation to appeal, rather than the substance of its gaming.
Relatively small jackpot amount
A 20,000-coin jackpot is not going to put Hoot Loot anywhere near the top of the list of big money slots. This is a game to which big jackpot hunters won’t pay much attention.
Graphics and soundtrack: 3.5/5
It is fair to say that Hoot Loot won’t win any awards for breaking technological boundaries, but what it does it does very well. The music is a delight and keeps with the fast-paced nature of the slot.
Originality and creativity: 2/5
The Hoot Line bonus in particular is a great way of adding another payline to every spin. That is a very clever addition to the slot as to be fair, everything else in the slot is somewhat generic.
Play value: 3/5
You’ll win relatively frequently on the Hoot Loot slot, but massive wins are rare. With 20,000 coins as the top jackpot, you aren’t going to be winning a life-changing amount of money.
However, the regular wins will keep your balance topped up and that is always a positive.
Jackpot potential: 1/5
A 20,000-coin jackpot is by far the biggest amount available to be won in the game, but that’s so rare. Most wins are for much smaller amounts and as such, the jackpot potential here isn’t huge.
Repeat play: 3.5/5
By rights, this is a basic slot which shouldn’t really appeal beyond a few spins, but somehow it does. The slot grabs you with neat presentation and keeps you smiling.
Total score: 14/25
Hoot Loot is a perfect example of how you can make a simple slot, have one clever feature, a simple bonus game, and present it well to have a solid game on your hands. Sure, it won’t win any awards for innovation and the lack of free spins is a disappointment, but there’s a lot to enjoy here on this well-designed and well-presented slot.