Pragmatic Play invites you to a Mexican block party, Hot Fiesta, where you can drink tequila and smash piatas. You’d think a slot with such a moniker would bring the heat and provide all kinds of incendiary shows. Hot Fiestas has the ability to dole out large victories technically, but its emotionless bland character makes it hard to fall for. Unfortunately, the remainder of the game fails to follow through.
A generic 5-reel, 25-payline grid is showered with confetti and placed in an unspecified warm and exotic location. Unfortunately, this game lacks both polish and charm, and it has just about every Mexican cliché there is. The soundtrack of Hot Fiesta is the film’s saving grace, allowing you to tap your toes along to the beat and, if you’re feeling brave, burst out into a cha-cha or at least bob your head.
Although the 5,000x victory ceiling isn’t as impressive as the overall concept, the game’s other statistics are extremely respectable. High volatility means the game can shoot off like a firecracker or fade out if the fuse bursts, and a default RTP of 96.56% applies when the Ante Bet option is not used. Keep in mind, though, that the Pragmatic Play RTP is adjustable, so it might be much lower than shown above depending on which casino you play at. Base bets of 25 p/c to £/€125 per spin mean you can go all fiestery on any gadget.
The 11 normal pay symbols in Hot Fiesta are split between the low-paying 10 through A card royals and the high-paying premium tiles. Here we have some maracas, guitars, accordions, a sorority girl and a soror. A victory of five identical high-paying symbols pays out between four and thirty times the wager.
Fiery Slots: The Fiesta Experience
The purple piata wild appears on all reels and may be used in place of any other icon outside the bonus one. When used in a winning combination, Wilds can increase the payout by a random amount (x2, x3, or x5). If a victory contains several wilds, the values of all of the wilds are summed together.
Scatters appear on reels 1, 3, and 5 and feature a cluster of three pyrotechnics. Free spins and a win equal to three times the wager are awarded for getting all three at once. Each piata in a 3×3 grid will explode before the round begins, revealing a number between 9 and 27 free games.
All wild symbols that appear during the free spins round will stay on the screen for the whole length of the bonus round. These wilds move to a different location on the board between each spin. Any winning combination that includes a sticky wandering wild is increased by a random multiplier of x2, x3, or x5. Free games cannot be retriggered because there are no bonus symbols available.
In place of a traditional feature purchase option, Hot Fiesta offers a wagering mechanism known as the Ante Bet. By doubling the cost of each paid spin, players may increase their chances of getting three scatter symbols and therefore triggering free spins by 400%. With Ante Bet enabled, the return-to-player percentage drops to 96.53%.
Party in the Slots: A Winner!
Hot Fiesta is, in a sense, a fiestery game, but it doesn’t feel like much love or sweat went into making it. It’s as if Pragmatic Play just wasn’t feeling the festivities. The melody keeps you playing for a long, but if you don’t get a good score soon, it’s hard to keep going. Hot Fiesta is competent and doesn’t have any glaring flaws, but it also fails to impress. What you see on screen is a standard physical reel setup with generic Mexican music and scenery. It gives the sense that the production company wasn’t trying very hard.
The game play is just as good. Most of the time, Hot Fiesta is unable to get out of neutral and has trouble getting the crowd amped up. There are a few thrills here and there thanks to random wild multipliers in the main game. Sticky wandering wilds that increase and pound out decent wins provide the free spins a boost. So much so that Pragmatic Play capped free spin wins at 5,000 times the initial wager. Despite criticism from the public over overstated figures that never materialized, the studio seems to be using this estimate as their go-to for the time being, since it has been used in many slots as of this writing.
Technically, Hot Fiesta is flawless, but the movie’s obvious lack of enthusiasm makes it less enjoyable. To add insult to injury, Hot Fiesta just can’t hold its own against other Mexican-themed slot machines like Esqueleto Explosivo 2, Wild Chapo, and Wild Luchador, to name a few.
Hot Fiesta, in the end, is just like going to a party because you feel forced to, having a couple of drinks, and then leaving early to go home and watch television. It’s fun for a little time, but staying for too long would get old, especially since nicer parties are going on the opposite side of town.