Love Island slot: A Microgaming tie-in with ITV's hit show
I have to hand it to the producers of ITV's hit show Love Island, which has returned to the screens in recent times. The very notion that the contestants are seeking to find love on the island is a appealing selling point, even if it is miles away from the actual truth of the show.
What the show actually is, is an excuse for young, attractive, fit people to spend a great deal of time together in the sun, with little responsibility, plenty of booze and wearing very little and for them to work their way through each member of the opposite sex under the guise of creating prime-time television.
As you can tell, I'm not the biggest fan of the show and in truth, I don't really watch it. I'd rather watch paint dry to be honest, but I am a fan of slot games and when I heard Microgaming had released their own Love Island slot, I will admit I was a little intrigued. How would they capture the essence of the show and would I be able to put aside my disdain for it and enjoy the slot?
Well, there was only one way to find out, so I loaded it up to see if I would fall in love with the slot, rather than the TV version, and this is what I found out.
- Game: Love Island
- Developer: Microgaming
- Reels: 5x3
- Pay Lines: 243 Ways to Win
- Minimum Bet: 0.15
- Maximum Bet: 60.00
- Jackpot: 125,000
- Free Spins Bonus: Yes
- Other Bonuses: Yes
- Progressive: No
- Volatility: Medium
The presentation of the Love Island slot is surprisingly simplistic. I was expecting something a bit more lavish to be honest. You have a simple backdrop of a sandy beach, sunny skies and deep blue sea but that is all and the reels are superimposed over this. The musical accompaniment is very simple, basic and repetitive, but not in an unpleasant way.
The reels are 5x3 and the main controls for them are at the foot of the reels. It is a 243 Ways to Win slot which is a positive, and the fact you can spin the reels from just 0.15 per spin makes it one of the cheapest 243 Ways to Win slots you can find today, which is a positive for those lower stakes fans.
One nice touch and in a nod to the show, you can personalise the slot a little at the start of the game or during your spins. You can select which Islander you want to be from those in the game and then you get to pick the person you want to date from the others on the island. When you select these two characters, they become the higher value symbols in the game (although you can change this at any time by clicking the recouple option at the top of the screen.
What is on the reels?
It is fair to say that the approach taken to the Love Island slot has been very basic. The reels are white with the symbols displayed on them in a range of colours. It is basic, but effective and it does make distinguishing wins very easy.
The lower value symbols are the playing card low symbols from the 10 through to the Jack and these offer lower value wins from around 1/3 of your bet up to 3.3x your bet for five across the reels.
The higher value symbols are the characters on the island. These take the form of your character, your main love interest (who are both the highest paying symbols on the reels) and the three other characters of the same sex as your main love interest, which pay around half the value of the top two symbols.
There is only the Wild on the reel with these symbols as the Love Island slot triggers its Free Spins bonus in a different way to usual, without the need for a separate Scatter symbol.
The Wild symbol on the Love Island slot is the picture of two people embracing and this appears across the reels. The Wild substitutes for all other symbols, apart from symbols in the Hot Zones (which we will explain more of in the Free Spins section below).
Wilds also offer their own pays which range from small amounts for two Wilds in sequence on a line up to a larger pay-out for four or five across a line. The Wild is the highest paying symbol in the game when you land five across the reels, paying double the amount that you get for the two high paying standard symbols.
The Wild also plays a key role in the Free Spins bonus as you will see below.
Free Spins features
With no Scatter symbol on the reels, the Love Island slot triggers its Free Spins bonus game in a rather unusual way. This is because the middle symbol on the first and fifth reels have been designated as the Hot Zone.
When you land your chosen Islander and the date you chose for them at the beginning of the game in the two Hot Zone spaces, you will trigger a cash prize win and the Free Spins bonus round. If you land your date and any of the other islander characters, then you will win a cash prize of between 4x and 20x your total bet.
When Free Spins triggers, a number of things happen. First of all, all the island characters of the same gender as your hot date are turned into your hot date character (so there are many more of this character on the reels), secondly, the Wild symbol when landed on the third reel becomes an Expanding Wild and will expand to cover the entire reel when landed. Furthermore, any win that utilises a Wild within the sequence receives a 2x multiplier.
Best feature of the Love Island slot
While I like the simplicity of the Love Island slot, I do feel the novel way that the theme of the TV show has been worked into the game using the Hot Zone regions of the reels, plus your choice of character and their date, is a very clever way to introduce Free Spins and some of the better pays on the slot. This is an innovative and unusual way to trigger Free Spins and/or a cash prize and I think it makes the slot a great deal more interesting as well as fitting perfectly the theme of the game.
I may not enjoy the TV show and the Love Island slot is never going to persuade me to watch it, but millions do and they, like me, may well find that Microgaming have released another little gem. It is a little simplistic, repetitive and it does look a little rushed compared to some other recent Microgaming releases, but the structure of the slot is excellent and it does have some very nice features that tie in brilliantly with the TV show. With a decent jackpot to chase too and a novel Free Spins bonus to play for, Love Island is a very playable slot and one I will certainly come back to for a second date.
You can play this fantastic new slot at any of our Mega Moolah casinos.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.
Next article: Dragon Shard slot breathes fire at Microgaming casinos