From its inception in 1976 in California, video slot games have become extremely popular around the world and with players from the UK just look at casino sites like Casinos.org.uk to see how many video slots there are. Today, we can see tens of thousands of people playing them every day in online casinos all over the world and the scene in the UK is not different. Slots provide an experience unlike any other, especially with today’s technology and animation quality. It immerses you and creates enough anticipation to keep you on the edge of your seats as time ticks by.
The very first video slot machine was created in 1976 in California by the Fortune Coin Co, a company from Las Vegas. It used a Sony Trinitron colour receiver for its 19-inch display and a logic board for functionality. The rest, as they say, is history as video slots burst into the gambling scene all over the world.
Amongst the hundreds of amazing video slots one can play in the UK today, three new games stand out for providing a very satisfying gaming experience. They are the “Rise of Maya”, “Druid’s Dream” and “Long Pao”. From Ancient South American civilisations to mystical and enchanting druids and an Asian theme with manga-like visuals, these video slot games appeal to a wide range of players and do great justice to their respective themes.
Rise of Maya
- Intro – The Rise of Maya is an all-round entertaining slot from NetEnt packed with very interesting features and visually appealing graphics with bright and colourful symbols and animations. It comes with 10 pay lines, 5 reels and a non-progressive jackpot of 6000x to keep you hooked. With so many features such as Free Spins, Re-Spins, Second Chance Scatter, Bonus Bet and more, the game keeps you engaged throughout and creates a sense of urgency at every step.
- Visuals – Although the Mayans and Aztecs were different civilisations altogether, the game merges unique characteristics of both cultures to create an interesting, fictional, melting pot of immersive gameplay and exotic visuals. The game has bright and colourful symbols and utilises a serpentine theme throughout which is apt as the Mayans saw serpents as vehicles that transport one through the cosmos. Overall, the game sets up an amazing ambience and immerses you in the rich Mayan culture.
- Features – Wilds are given a lot of prominence in the game as there are four of them. The single Wild symbol, 2 expanding Wilds and Wild stacks, all substitute any of the base pay symbols. The expanding wilds can expand either up or down and may or may not cover the reels based on where they land. However, the stacked Wild symbol only appears in Free Spins and will always cover the full reel. You can get a maximum of 24 free spins which is not as high as some of the other games out there but not too low to disappoint either. Once Free Spins are triggered, the reels that contained the scatters and Wilds transform into Hot Reels which is required for the Wild stack to land. The two unique features you get with this game are the Bonus Bet – Second Chance Scatter and the Second Chance Scatter Re-Spin. They can be triggered in the base game and can potentially double the stake and provide a better chance of landing scatters and wilds. What makes it unique and fun is that when 2 scatter symbols, or wilds appear on the reel, every reel that does not have a scatter or wild will be re-spun which gives you a second chance for winning big. The scatter nudge feature can be triggered in either the base game or the free game and will help you out in difficult situations.
- Game Concluding Thoughts – One of the best aspects of this fun and immersive video slot game is that unlike other games with a similar theme, it presents a nice balance of uncluttered visuals, effective animations and easy to understand features. It keeps you engaged from one feature to another, which is what you want from a video slot game. The 6000x of your stake jackpot is, of course, the icing on this delicious cake.
- Intro – Druids Dream is one of the latest video slots from NetEnt that follows the Celtic theme and comes with good features and striking visuals to provide a rewarding gameplay experience. It comes with 40 pay lines, 5 reels and a very interesting math model. The game pays from left to right as well as right to left with the highest combinations paying out. It is important to note that this isn’t one of those games which reward you regularly. This might put off some, but it also makes the big wins that much more exhilarating when you get it.
- Visuals – With an enchanted forest backdrop and mystical themes throughout, the game is visually appealing, especially if you are into mystic fantasy themes. The stone cut reels and different coloured stones set behind the symbols give off a beautiful and enchanting visual experience. The ambient animations on the dark backgrounds and sounds mesh well together and take you away into a different world altogether.
- Features – The game is all about the free spins mode, and this is where the magic happens. The scatter symbols are represented by the male and female druid symbols. When they appear simultaneously, you get 6 free spins. If one of them lands on a reel with Wild stacks, the Wild charge feature will get triggered. This awards a re-spin for every Wild and increases your chance for winning more. Apart from that, you also get a nudge feature which gives you a chance to get a second scatter symbol on the reel. Wild stacks landing on reels 2 and 4 will trigger the nudge feature for the next re-spin. It can either stop due to the re-spins ending, or it can continue if you manage to have another scatter symbol land.
- Game Concluding Thoughts – The game provides an engaging old school gameplay experience with basic features and great visuals. Though it has an RTP of 96 percent, you will find yourself slogging a bit to get the big wins. The only one thing that may put off some is the maximum jackpot value of 200x your stakes which is pretty low when compared to other online slots. Nonetheless, if druids and Celtic themes are your jam, this game will not disappoint when it comes to an immersive experience.
- Intro – Long Pao is another game offered by slot game giant NetEnt and is based on the popular Asian theme. The game features cartoony visuals, an exquisite soundtrack and a handful of fun features to keep you immersed and engaged. The game has 25 pay lines, 5 reels and a top prize of 3000x which may not feel like much but with an RTP of 96.96 percent, it’s pretty sweet.
- Visuals – The game features an almost anime-ish aesthetic throughout with stylistic backgrounds, reels and symbols that will surely take your breath away. The colour combinations used in the symbols are vivid and stand out from the reel. If you are a fan of the Asian theme, then visually it offers you everything you could have asked for. On top of that, the soundtrack is also good, and pulls the visuals together to provide one hell of an immersive and engaging gameplay experience.
- Features – The feature that stands out, however, is Sticky Wins. In this feature, same symbols on a winning combination stay on the reel while the rest spin. If any of the same symbols land on the reel, they too will stick on the reels while the rest continue to spin. This continues until there are no useful symbols to land or the entire reel set is filled with the winning symbols. What makes this feature so enticing is that other symbols can get locked in place too. So you can have 3 royal symbols with 3 of the high paying emperor symbols locked in place.One amazing aspect of this game is that it is great for both small and big spenders due to the wide range of betting options. Gameplay-wise, the Wilds are designed as Chinese symbols and substitute for symbols in a winning combination. When 5 or more bonus symbols (golden dragons) land, the free spins feature will get triggered. Here you can get anywhere between 10 to 30 free spins. With a 3x multiplier on each free spin and the bonus round working with Sticky Wins, you can potentially win a large chunk of change in a single round.
- Game Concluding Thoughts – What will probably appeal most to you in this video slots game are the visuals and soundtrack with the features coming in second. It is a slot that is fast-paced and one that provides quick thrills in the short term. The potential of having a maximum of 30 free spins is very enticing, especially with the highest prize being only 3000x. Overall, this is a really solid, fun-packed game with great visuals, immersive sound and fun features.