Turn of the year is traditionally the most exciting time in online gambling industry; for most of the software developers it is also the busiest part of the season, when all the hard work of the past months is coming to an end and literally everything is at stake. The long-announced new titles are finally being promoted, launched and placed at the altar of the players’ appraisal and final judgement.
Things are far less stressful for the online gamblers who get to kick back and wait for the latest releases and innovations from both the acknowledged and the up-and-coming developers. Judging by the first glance inside 2018, our expectations will be met this year as well – different gaming providers have given us a lot to look forward to, although our hat is off to NetEnt, as one of the most prolific developers this year, entering 2018 with several brand new releases.
Twin Spin Deluxe – a long awaited sequel to the NetEnt’s Twin Spin slot from 2013. Although it has a similar structure as its predecessor, Twin Spin Deluxe offers a completely new payout system and is regarded as an addition to the developer’s Cluster Pays slot series. The sequel retains the Twin Reel feature from the original release, where two reels are linked during a spin, potentially expanding and linking 3, 4 or 5 more reels at the same time.
Universal Monsters: The Phantom’s Curse – based on Andrew Lloyd Webber famous operetta, The Phantom’s Curse is a 5 reel, 4 row and 40 fixed payline NetEnt slot, set against the Opera House background. The players can expect a fair share of bonus features, starting with Masked Phantom Re-Spins with the Sticky Wild, which is unlocked by the stacked Phantom and the Phantom’s mask. The stacked Phantom and beautiful Christine on reels 1 and 5 will unlock the Pick and Click Bonus game, offering a choice between 8 roses in the first part of the game or 3 mirrors in the second part. Free Spins are triggered by the Chandelier icon that lands on reels 1, 3 and 5 and produces new spins until the final rope on the chandelier is cut.
Asgardian Stones – 5 reels and 20 fixed paylines slot inspired by Norse mythology, NetEnt’s Asgardian Stones is a mixture of exceptional graphics and great bonus features. Unlike most of the slots, this one does not employ regular spinning reels; instead, the icons are falling down onto the reels in an avalanche like manner, similar to what we can see in Gonzo’s Quest. During the spins, Colossal symbols can land at any given moment and destroy the icons below, increasing the potential multiplier placed on the left side of the screen. Bonus Wheel Feature can also be triggered at any spin, awarding either Free Spins or coin awards with the multiplying potential of up to 5x.
Xuan Pu Lian Huan – Playtech has clearly not been wasting time and they are coming in the arena with an Oriental themed, 5 reels and 25 paylines video slot. The game has four Mystery Progressive Jackpots which can be randomly triggered at any spin and betting level, carrying a guaranteed win of at least one cash award. Scatter icons will unlock a re- triggerable Free Games session (Baozhu Bonus) with a multiplier, which, with the help of new Scatter icons, could last for an unlimited amount of time.
Wild Seas slot is coming to us straight from Elk Studios, known by the unique cinematic experience they provide to their players. If you are down for some treasure hunting, get ready to set the sails and roam the Caribbean sea in search for the ships to sink and riches to steal. As always, Elk provides the player with more than mere spins, placing the reels in a context of a revenge story of Anne Bonny, an honourable Irish pirate. Appropriately enough, bonus game will have you sinking ships like a true pirate, collecting treasure chests until you hit an explosive barrel and return to the base game.
Midas Gold by Red Tiger – Red Tiger is a relatively young gaming provider that quickly managed to establish a position of a serious competitor. Midas Gold is the developer’s first release of 2018, offering 243 Ways to Win and a bet increase to up x2000.
The main symbol is of course no other than King Midas, which unlocks the Midas Touch bonus feature. Once activated, the bonus prompts the player to pick a symbol that will get to turn into gold and lock on the reels during a re-spin. With the maximum payout of 1,000,000 coins and 96.26% return to player percentage, the slot truly justifies both the title and theme.
The Falcon Huntress by Thunderkick – entering the realms of mythical fantasies, Thunderkick is definitely coming out of their comfort zone with their new slot, the Falcon Huntress. It is still early to tell if this venture will surpass their earlier releases, but bonus points are awarded to Thunderkick for thinking outside the box and not being afraid to explore new themes, and, most important of all, for centralizing a female character.
Pied Piper by Quickspin – a somewhat forgotten story about the Pied Piper of Hamelin, responsible for the death of hundreds of rats and accused of child abduction. Fortunately, Quickspin does not take such a disturbing approach to the story and Pied Piper is a visually stunning slot with plenty of bonus features – Piper Respins, Free Spins and Mystery Re-trigger feature which awards an extra five spins session.
Tree of Fortune by iSoftBet is a 5 reel and 243 paylines slot that definitely delivers on its promise of fortune with the return to player percentage of 97.5%. The theme of the game is Oriental, with corresponding symbols – Lanterns, Bamboo, Lotus Flower etc. Bonus features include the traditional free spins and an innovative version of a Re-spin feature, which allows the players to spin a reel of their choice.
Royal Wins by Booming Games is a tribute to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe – London! The slot incorporates all the most notable symbols of The Old Smoke – Red Arrows, Big Ben, Umbrellas and Rainy Clouds. The slot variance is medium with a total payout of 100,000 coins and although there are no mind-blowing special features, the Free Spins, unique design and Gamble feature will be enough to make anyone fall in love with this game.