My favourite Microgaming slot releases of 2018
Over the course of the year, I review a large number of slot games and many of them are releases from Microgaming. In 2018, Microgaming has released a total of 20 different slot games, plus two new games of roulette, a poker game and an unusual arcade gambling style game called Poke the Guy.
Focusing on the slots that have been released since January 1st 2018, the full list is as follows:
- January 2018 - Deco Diamonds
- February 2018 - Lucky Little Gods
- March 2018 - Playboy Gold
- April 2018 - Dream Date, Diamond Empire
- May 2018 - Temple of Tut, Amazing Aztecs
- June 2018 - Wild Scarabs, Fortunium, Poke the Guy
- July 2018 - Robin of Sherwood
- August 2018 - Exotic Cats, Rainbrew
- September 2018 - Sidewinder, Wicked Tales Dark Red
- October 2018 - Cash of Kingdoms, Romanov Riches, Lucha Legends
- November 2018 - Reel Talent, Crystal Rift, Astro Legends Lyra and Erion, Icy Gems
- December 2018 - Showdown Saloon, Action Ops Snow and Sable, Book of Oz
So looking through this list of very different slot games across a broad range of different themes, which are the ones that stick out in my memory and which do I feel are more likely to stand the test of time?
In no particular order, I have listed the top five slots released this year together with the reasons why I thought they were particularly noteworthy and impressive.
- Playboy Gold
Building on the popularity of their first Playboy slot release back in July 2013, Microgaming decided to craft a different beast for their sequel appropriately called Playboy Gold and building a much larger than usual 6-reel slot, with each reel containing ten different symbols visible on screen at any one time.
With 100 lines in play, the minimum bet value of 0.50 means that it was a decent value slot to play and that was a positive. As was the Jumbo Blocks feature, which can see huge symbols appear on several reels at once and trigger some very valuable wins.
The slot also came with a number of Free Spins features including Cash Prizes, Free Spins and a Matched Bonus feature, with a wide range of cash prizes available from each of the different bonus features.
So if you want a slot that is a little different to your standard three or five reel fare, then Playboy Gold is certainly one to take a closer look at.
Microgaming first announced this collaboration with Stormcraft Studios back in February and it was a relatively long wait before the Fortunium slot finally hit the casinos in June. However this steam-punk inspired slot was well worth the wait as it had a very appealing 100,000 coin jackpot, and a Win Booster feature which a player could choose to activate (for a cost of 50% of their total stake), or not.
With a 5x5 reel set up, the game featured Wild symbols (offering wins of up to 12x your total stake) plus Mystery Symbols which could be super-stacked on the reels and lead to some very high value wins.
Add into that a great value Free Spins feature and some stunning visuals and you have a slot that I feel will be one of Microgaming's more popular modern releases and an excellent start to their long-term partnership with Stormcraft Studios.
- Robin of Sherwood
As the developer most directly responsible for 243 Ways to Win slots, I felt that the company's Robin of Sherwood slot released in the summer, was certainly one of their best games in this particular genre of slot.
With stunning graphics, this Rabcat game produced for Microgaming had a very low minimum bet of 0.20, which is a very low cost for a slot with 243 Ways to Win. As a medium volatility slot, it also offered a nice mix of wins ranging from lower to higher value wins.
The Wild feature was pretty bog standard in the game, but the Free Spins feature was a real highlight with a chance to eliminate the King, Queen and Ace from the reels by Robin hitting a series of targets located beneath where the Sheriff of Nottingham sits on screen. Of course, as you eliminate these symbols from the reel, your chances of a bigger value win in Free Spins increases.
With the Free Spins game also being easier to trigger than on some comparable slots, it is also made for a rewarding experience when you played the game.
The Rainbrew slot was developed by Just For The Win for Microgaming and it was a five reel slot with a difference as at the top and bottom of each of the reels were two "sidewinder" reels which could add additional Wilds to the spin when they are triggered. Potentially, this can increase the number of winning lines from 243 up to a huge 1125.
What was really impressive with the Rainbrew slot (and the Sidewinder slot released shortly after) was that it sounded like a rather complicated addition to the slot game, but once you played through a few spins and saw how the feature worked, it was relatively easy to understand how the slot worked within a couple of spins.
The real jewel in the crown of the slot was the Free Spins bonus game which awarded the higher value wins you can find in the slot and which allows you to turn up to all of the middle three reels completely Wild.
- Crystal Rift
The last slot in the list is Rabcat's Crystal Rift slot which was released for Microgaming later in the year. This futuristic slot has some stunning visuals and presentation, which would not look out of place on a PS4 or Xbox One game.
As well as stunning visuals and sound, the actual game is made more exciting by the Wild Grid feature , which can lead you to some decent wins. In short, this looks and plays like a slot but is different enough for it to feel more like a different type of game and the effect is excellent.
There's no Free Spins bonus but in truth, what makes Crystal Rift appeal is that it is so different to your standard slot, yet is still instantly recognisable as a slot game.
Given the smash hit success of 2018 for Microgaming and the fact that the company has already signed partnership deals with individual production companies for exclusive content to be released under the Microgaming banner, we are confident that as we look ahead to 2019, next year will be an equally exciting and productive one for fans of Microgaming slots.
All that remains is for me to wish you a very Happy New Year and that you continue to visit us regularly throughout 2019!
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.