Five underrated Microgaming slots to play
If you are a slot gamer then you will already be familiar with many of the best slot games that Microgaming has released over the years.
Newer game such as Halloween, Tarzan, The Phantom of the Opera, Highlander, King Tusk, Deco Diamonds, Playboy Gold, Temple of Tut, The Amazing Aztecs, Poke the Guy, Wild Scarabs, Fortunium, Robin of Sherwood, Agent Jane Blonde (sequel), Astro Legends, Crystal Rift, Showdown Saloon... and the list goes on, may become classics in their own right.
However, with well over 550 games released over the years, Microgaming has an extensive back catalogue that stretches well beyond their most popular games. Furthermore, there are a number of real gems in this catalogue, some of which are rarely played when compared to some of the more well-known slots.
So, with that in mind, we are bringing to you a selection of five corking games from Microgaming that perhaps do not get the attention they deserve and all of which are well worth a few spins of anybody's time.
Microgaming have produced a number of different sporting themed slots in the "Stars" series, including Rugby, Cricket, Ice Hockey and Basketball and the slots all share many of the same features, as such, you can pick your sport of preference if you wish to play a game, but for me the Football Star slot is where I'd tend to head to spend my money.
The slot features 243 Ways to Win, which is the most flexible ways to win option on a slot game comprising of five reels. Furthermore, Rolling Reels is part of the slot, which means you can land consecutive wins from a single spin, as the winning symbols disappear and are replaced by other symbols dropping down from above.
The Wild symbol is key in this game and can lead to some sizeable wins in the base game as it is stacked on the third, fourth and fifth reels of the slot, thus enabling you to turn those entire reels Wild. When landed in conjunction with each other and higher value symbols on the first two reels, this can produce some big wins.
A Striking Wild bonus can be kicked into action at any time and will turn the middle reel completely Wild and if you don't land a win, then the remaining reels will spin again until the feature does pay you out a cash prize.
Finally, with Free Spins, you can win 15, 20 or 25 Free Spins and this time, Rolling Reels wins will trigger a Multiplier Trail, increasing the size of each win up to 10x the standard amount with the size of the multiplier increasing with each successive Rolling Reels win.
With a sizeable jackpot to be won, this is a very enjoyable game, as are all the games in the Microgaming Sporting Stars series of games and as such, they are well worth a closer look if you are into sports. There are a couple other football related slots too, such as Shoot! which was released for Euro 2016.
With spins starting at just 0.30 per spin, this 5-reel, 243 Ways to Win slot is a celebration of the famous Sunday evening darts-themed quiz show Bullseye, hosted by the late, great Jim Bowen. The show was famous for offering some unusual prizes during its history and perhaps one of the most memorable was a team from Birmingham, arguably the most land-locked place in the UK, who ended up winning a speedboat.
Microgaming have captured the spirit of the show brilliantly in their slot game complete to the theme tune playing as you spin the reels. Bully, the animated character in the show, is stacked on the reels and serves as the in game Wild symbol. Other symbols on the reels include some of the great and not-so-great prizes that teams used to be able to win when they player the final two rounds of the quiz.
With a potential jackpot of 1,215,000 coins available to be won, this is a slot which can see you land some sizeable wins, especially during the two bonus features, Bully's Prize Board Bonus, which can see you win a cash prize of between 2x and 15x your stake on each of your five throws, and then there is the Free Spins bonus, which is triggered by landing three Free Spins Scatters and which see you land 15 Free Spins with a 2x multiplier on all wins.
This is a relatively simple 243 Ways to Win slot, but it is one of the best reproductions of a TV show in slot form that Microgaming have ever made. It is certainly a slot that hits the bullseye when it comes to playability and one you should definitely try if you have not already had a few spins.
This Tattoo-themed slot is slightly larger than most Microgaming offerings as it boasts a 5x4 reel set and a massive 1024 Ways to Win, however it is also one of the more player-friendly 5x4 reel games with a higher than average Return to Player (RTP) and as such, it is a slot game that doesn't really eat into your bankroll too greatly.
As you would expect, most of the symbols on the slots are themed on different types of tattoos and the higher value symbols are some of the tattooists more shapely and attractive clients, which is where we assume the heat in the name of the slot comes from.
One nice touch is the ReSpin feature which allows you to re-spin any of the reels after a win for the stated price in order to try and trigger a win. The value of the re-spin depends on how likely it is you'll land a win and you can choose to use this feature as often as you like, or ignore it.
There's also a mini game called the Tattoo Bonus. In the bonus, you click through the pages of three books in the hope of landing three of the same tattoos. If you do, you will get 10 Free Spins with a 2x multiplier. If not, then you will still receive a cash prize for each of the tattoos you do see on the pages of each book.
The standard Free Spins bonus is landed when you hit the Koi Fish Scatter three or more times across the reels. For this you land 20 Free Spins with a 2x multiplier and a nice touch is that you can re-trigger Free Spins in the same way from within the bonus game.
This is a slot which offers slightly more engaging game-play and bonuses and more readily available wins than most 5x4 slot games and as such, it is a popular choice with those players who prefer slots with a higher RTP.
Bar Bar Black Sheep
With spins starting at just 0.15 per spin (up to 15.00) this 5-reel slot with 15 pay liens offers a change of pace from the ways to win slots listed above. The name of the slot gives a clue as to the inspiration of the game, which is of course, the famous Children's nursery rhyme.
The game is a simple, but rather endearing one to play which has some nice touches of humour throughout. The symbols are a mix of items related to sheep and farming, as well as a number of different types of fruit. The Bar Bar Black Sheep logo is the in game Wild symbol and can substitute for all symbols on the reels apart from the Scatter.
There are two bonus features to look out for and the first is the Free Spins bonus round, which sees you land 10, 15 or 20 Free Spins if you hit three, four or five of the Scatters across the reels respectively. All wins during Free Spins come with a 3x multiplier and you can also re-trigger additional Free Spins from within the bonus round too.
The other bonus is the Bar Bar Black Sheep bonus and this triggers when you land two of the Bar symbols on the reels, plus the Black Sheep symbol in a straight line. When you land this combination you receive a special cash prize, which is a random multiplier win of up to 999x your line stake. You cannot however land this win in the Free Spins bonus game.
While it is a simple game and has only a couple of bonus features, there is no doubt that the creativity shown in Bar Bar Black Sheep, plus the humour and the fact that you can land some sizeable wins, makes this another game that is well worth a closer look.
Holly Jolly Penguins
Although a Christmas slot, and likely to be most popular at this time of the year, Holly Jolly Penguins is a slot game so good that it should be on your playlist whether it is Christmas or the middle of the summer. Blessed with some lovely and amusing characters and animations, nice design and a rather cutesy feel, it is certainly one of Microgamings best ever Christmas-themed slots.
This 5x3 reel slot is a medium variance game which sees a nice mix of wins in terms of size and the backdrop to the slot is of a snowy wonderland, which is presumably home to our family of penguins on the reels.
Spins start at 0.50 per spin, up to 125.00 per spin, which means that it is a game suited to higher rollers as well as those who prefer smaller stakes. The Wild symbols are two different types of penguins, one holding Candy Canes, the other singing. These can be stacked on the reels and they substitute for other icons on the reels, as well as combining together to produce their own wins.
There's also a Free Spins bonus game which is triggered when you land three, four or five of the Scatter symbols across the reels, triggering 5, 10 or 20 Free Spins. You can trigger up to 7 of the Scatters in this bonus and the more you do the greater the number of Free Spins you win (up to 80 Free Spins can be won if you land all seven on a single spin on adjacent reels).
Holly Jolly Penguins is good fun and features some unusual bonuses and is a great option for those who like to wager more than low value minimum bets.
Regardless of which of the five slots listed here you decide to play first, you can be sure that any of them will offer you something a little extra and enjoyable alongside your favourite slot games. So why not give them a try?
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Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.