Online slot machines are fantastic entertainment. Like music and movies, they take you into a make-believe world. But they offer you with a chance to win money as well. 2019 has been a great year for online slots. Competition has raised the inventiveness and design to new heights. We have picked three video slots released in the last few months that will set the benchmark for 2020.
#1 The Wolf’s Bane from NetEnt
Werewolf hunting has been a recurrent theme in online slots. NetEnt labels the werewolf hunter as the wolf’s bane and this sets the tone of the online slot. NetEnt’s tagline Better Gaming reflects every way in this slot game.
Treatment of Theme
The reels are set in a desolate 18th century village under cloudy wintry skies and a blood red full moon. The sounds of the wind whistling through the bare trees, cawing of crows and the howling of the werewolf puncture the silence. The Wolf’s Bane seems to be the pub where the werewolf victims gather to tell their horror stories. These are a scarred soldier, a creepy clairvoyant, a ghastly grave digger and a nightmarish nurse. When these symbols appear in winning combinations they get clawed by the wolf. The werewolf is the regular wild symbol and the werewolf hunter armed with a crossbow is the bonus symbol.
- Free Spins: 3 or more full moon scatter symbols trigger up to 30 free spins. In each free spins trigger you will randomly be awarded one of four wild features. The wild symbol for each of the features will be a different monstrous aspect of the werewolf.
- Regular wild: This wild feature does not have any extra properties.
- Expanding wild: The wild symbol will expand across the entire reel.
- Multiplier wild: The wild symbol will double all payouts when substituting in a winning combination.
- Spreading wild: The symbol will appear as an overlay wild on reels 1 to 3 on every free spin.
- Pick & Click Feature: This is triggered when you land the bonus symbol on reels 1, 3 and 5 in the same spin. You click one of the symbols to win a bonus that can be up to 50 times your bet.
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#2 Golden Glyph from Quickspin
There are innumerable slot games based on the Ancient Egypt theme, but more are launched every month. The best of the new slots brings something extraordinary to the table. Golden Glyph from Quickspin is one such online slot machine.
Treatment of Theme
The reels are set in the background of imposing pyramids with the River Nile meandering through mud house townships. The 7×7 reel set employs the cluster mechanism in which groups of 5 or more like symbols award payouts. The high paying symbols are deities and kings from Egyptian mythology. For the low paying symbols, the online slot uses common hieroglyphic icons like Ankh and Uraeus.
- Tumbling Reels: This mechanism is usually associated with cluster payouts. The symbols that form a winning cluster will be removed and new ones will fall in the empty spaces. If new winning combinations result from a tumble, then the process will repeat.
- The Golden Glyph is an additional wild symbol that is not removed in a tumble. The win multiplier associated with it will increase by 1x after every successive tumble.
- Power Ups: These are special symbols that add additional features when activated by a Power Wild symbol.
- Blaze of Fire: This symbol pays for all other symbols in the same row and column.
- Eye of Horus: This symbol pays for all visible occurrences of a randomly chosen low paying symbol.
- Golden Scarab: This symbol spawns between 4 and 10 wilds randomly placed on the reels.
- Free Spins Bonus: 9 free spins with the Golden Glyph are awarded by this symbol. If the symbol lands during the feature, then you will get 3 additional free spins.
#3 A Dark Matter from Microgaming
Everybody loves a whodunit. Microgaming has added a paranormal twist to the mystery to make it more intriguing. The slot game has been developed for Microgaming by Slingshot Studios.
Treatment of Theme
There have been unexplained disappearances in the quaint English town of Stonehurst leading to a growing sense of dread. It is suspected that these mysterious events are related to the eerie Wraith Manor, but no one dare speak out. Ultimately Nathan Highmore, Scotland Yard’s paranormal investigator, is called in. The reels are set at the gates of the manor. A ghostly dirge accompanies the spinning of the reels. The high paying symbols are Highmore and the characters that have vanished without a trace. Winning combinations heighten the fear on their faces. The game logo is the wild symbol. It releases the evil dark matter when it substitutes in wins.
- Invading wilds: A full stack of wild symbols on reels 2 or 4 spreads the dark matter to an adjacent reel, also turning it fully wild. In the extreme you can get a block of 9 wild symbols.
- Free spins: Three door knocker scatter symbols grant entry to the manor and trigger 12 free spins to start with. You will be awarded one extra free spin for each additional scatter symbol landing on the reels during the feature. If you manage to get the three middle reels as wild then all payouts are doubled.
- High volatility: A Dark Matter is a 5×3 slot machine with 5 paylines that pay both ways. The volatility is very high so if you persist big wins are for the taking.
Those That Did Not Make The Cut
Selecting only three slots from the amazing releases in recent months was a tough task. Some of the games that did not make the cut are:
- Reel Rush 2 from NetEnt
- Da Vinci’s Mystery from Red Tiger Gaming
- Jungle Jim and the Lost Sphinx from Microgaming