Checkmate Hot 1 Review
We have to admit that we were not expecting to come across a chess-themed slot. We figured it would be old-school and not that interesting to players. However, the distinct theme and great visuals helped set Relax Gaming’s latest title apart from its peers.
Checkmate Hot 1 takes the medieval inspiration of chess and builds a fortress of entertainment with it! The slot offers exciting special features, including Wilds with multipliers, mystery re-spins, and free spins.
- High RTP slot game with 4,953x top prize
- Five-reel board with thirty fixed paylines
- Free spins with Hot 1 bonus feature
Rather than replicate the chess board, Hot Rise Games focused on recreating where kings, queens, and knights might actually live. The castle backdrop looks fantastic, and the relaxed soundtrack perfectly fits the theme.
The gameplay does not fall behind in priority, thanks to the bonuses. Checkmate Hot 1 has many promotions, and each spin has a chance of activating them.
How will your luck perform on this thrilling chessboard? We go in-depth in this Relax Gaming release to see how it performs.
Theme, Graphics and Sounds
We love how this game decided to make its theme work. Going for a lavish castle that just so happens to have a chessboard floor is much better than the alternative. Hats off to the team for the creativity and the talent to make it work!
Symbol designs include playing card suits and chess figurines. Seeing spades and hearts alongside rooks and queens feels odd, but Relax Gaming makes it work. The bonus icons have a blonde woman as a Wild and a golden lion gate as the Scatter.
We play this game on a five-reel playing field with thirty paylines. We cannot change the number of active paylines, limiting how low we can bet in one round.
The clover and diamond are the least valuable symbols on the playing field, worth 2.5x your total stake for a five-of-a-kin win. The most valuable piece is the king, worth 25x for a five-icon win. Neither Wild nor Scatter grant cash prizes.
Checkmate Hot 1 has three bonus features we can enjoy: multiplier Wilds, mystery re-spins, and free spins with the Hot 1 bonus. Additionally, we can buy free spins for money to skip triggering it manually.
Wilds can substitute all symbols except for Scatters. Wilds choose to replace the icon that creates the highest possible win. If a Wild is part of a winning combination, it will increase the total payout by 2x. However, multiple Wilds do not increase the multiplier past 2x.
Collect two Scatters to win the Mystery Re-spin feature. Two reels that hold the Scatters are held in place. Meanwhile, the remaining three reels spin again. The game randomly decides if the re-spin will be a bonus chance re-spin or a Wild Gambit re-spin.
Bonus chance re-spins give you a shot at landing a third Scatter during re-spins. Drawing the third Scatter will activate free spins.
Wild Gambit re-spin transforms triggering Scatters into Wilds during the re-spin. That increases the odds of landing a win but sacrifices the chance of activating free spins.
Three or more Scatters anywhere on the playing field activate free spins. Free spins can trigger during normal gameplay or mystery re-spins.
While free spins are active, the Scatters that triggered the feature become sticky symbols. All five reels then spin, with sticky icons transforming into the lowest character symbol.
If any new Scatters appear during this spin, they also become sticky. They also add another spin, which the game plays immediately.
If no new Scatters land, the sticky icons transform into the next character symbol. The transformation sequence continues through the top paying icon.
The final free spin activates the Hot 1 bonus. For that last free spin, all sticky symbols become Wild. Any new Scatters that land will also become sticky and trigger another Hot 1 spin. The Hot 1 bonus ends when no more Scatters appear.
Casino members can skip to playing free spins by buying the free spins bonus. The cost to activate free spins is 75x your total bet.
The triggering spin randomly decides if it will trigger the bonus with three, four, or five Scatters. Purchased free spins play following standard free spins and Hot 1 rules.
Where To Play Checkmate Hot 1?
RTP, bet sizes and volatility
Checkmate Hot 1 has an RTP of 96.14% during standard gameplay. The RTP increases to 96.34% if you buy free spins. Both RTPs are better than the current slot average of 96%. The game’s hit frequency is 39.33%.
Players looking to try this release should expect a high variance. The volatility offers big but rare wins, so expect a bit of grinding to get things just right. The minimum and maximum bet in this Relax Gaming release are $0.40 and $40 per spin.
We play casino games because they are fun and potentially lucrative. Checkmate Hot 1 ticks both boxes. It has a fantastic top prize, undoubtedly drawing in countless players. The above-average RTP and many exciting extra features make this game even more exciting.
The only notable thing we would change is to decrease the minimum bet. The current value might be too steep for low-budget players. We rate this release 4 out of 5 stars.