Monday July 2, 2012 : This past three-month review was dominated by the launch of a slew of the popular format Fast Fold Poker games, while internet, social and mobile presented new and exciting game releases leaving players spoilt for choice.
Clash of the Titans the culmination of a licencing agreement signed last year between 888 Holdings and Warner Bros Digital Distribution. The video slot, based on the blockbuster 2010 movie title was strategically launched as the sequel movie "Wrath of the Titans" hit the box office. Exclusive to 888.com, the game is a 5-reel 20-payline slot showcasing images, video clips and inspirational quotes from the movie.
888 Casino debuted a quartet of sports-themed 20-payline video slots, timeously released in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympic games. The four download video slots Cash Dive, Sprint to Cash, Cash Slam and Cash Goals are tied in to a joint jackpot and feature Wilds, Multipliers, Scatters and Bonus games.
Amaya Gaming released its new generation slot game “Aladdin’s Legacy” a 20-line slot featuring quality graphics, movie-like 3D animation and imaginative gameplay.
Aristocrat Interactive debuted "Sun & Moon" which emerged from an agreement between terrestrial slot machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure Limited and online gambling network GameAccount. It is a 5-reel, 20-payline Mayan-themed video slot with a top prize of 1000 credits in the base game. The online version of Aristocrat's terrestrial "5 Dragons" followed with the launch of "50 Dragons", a 5-reel 50-payline video slot themed around all things Asian. And, last but not least, the Aussie-themed “Big Red”, a 5-reel 5-payline game where crocodiles, kangaroos and dingo’s set the scene along with a generous gamble feature that could potentially quadruple the player's winnings.
Scientific Games Corporation subsidiary Barcrest will launch a selection of its most popular games online in a partnership deal with the GameAccount Network platform, signed during the review period. In a similar deal completed with Gaming Technology Solutions, Barcrest games will be integrated into GTS’s EdGE platform and will initially include Rainbow Riches and Ca$hino, two of the company’s most popular games.
3D online slot developer Betsoft unveiled “Slots Angels”, a colourful and fun online slot machine with reel images that include tough-looking bikers, pool tables, motorcycles and dart boards. Betsoft's game has a Reel Respin feature, empowering the player to win additional prizes every time a win is achieved by spinning the central reel again. Each time the reel respins, the multiplier value increases up to a maximum of 5x.
The company also released two new games into its Slots3 series titled “The Exterminator” and “Under the Sea”.
“The Exterminator” is a five-reel, thirty-line slot game featuring Alvin Goodman, an ordinary man working a mundane job with an unusual "client" – he must face off against a wild raccoon! “Under the Sea” boasts a meticulously rendered seascape that takes the player deep below the waves to an enchanted coral reef. Both games feature the rich, visually stunning 3D graphics, smoothly cinematic animations and engaging, dynamic soundtracks for which BetSoft has become respected.
Betsoft released its latest Slots3 library addition, branded “Miles Bellhouse and his Curious Machine”. The game follows the adventures of the eponymous inventor and genius Miles Bellhouse as he manipulates his time machine to escape the dastardly General Traytor who will stop at nothing to steal the technology. It’s a five-reel, thirty-payline game boasting an exciting Vortex! feature that maximises the chance to win by centering on an icon and then spinning all the surrounding icons in a rapid counter-clockwise whirl.
Core Gaming Ltd a UK-based software developer was granted a five year contract to build online slot games around the exploits of legendary motor cycle daredevil Evel Knievel. A branded slot game is already well into development at Core’s midlands studio.
“Polar Tale” from online gaming provider CTXM is a 30-payline video slot featuring 3D symbols and an amusingly animated Inuit.
Skill-On-Net launched its latest – and it claims unique – 3D slot branded “Ghost Pirates”. The game is a 5 reel, 20 pay-line game themed around ghostly pirates depicted through detailed graphics and 3D animations, all backed by sound effects and music. Features include Wilds and Scatters, and free spins.
FremantleMedia Enterprises tasked Square Enix Ltd to develop an online slot based on the classic arcade game “Space Invaders” in a two year agreement signed during the period. The new online slot will target UK and European players, made available via the OpenBet and GTS platforms towards the end of this year. The company also signed an agreement with Hasbro Inc. for the development of the Trivial Pursuit and Connect 4 brands to slots and instant win games on the online and mobile gambling channels.
Gamesys’ Jackpotjoy brand launched a new version of its innovative online Snap! game which combines the style of a casino game with the community spirit of a traditional bingo room. One of the unique attractions of “Super Snap!” is the Community Chest, which takes a percentage of every Snap ticket bought in a similar fashion to betting on a progressive Jackpot.
"Lucky Rabbit's Loot" is a new 50-payline slot that originated from the Genesis Gaming studios that features free spins, stacked wilds and "Wild Slide" free spins.
New Jersey-based gaming developer High 5 Games released "The Prince of Lightening", a 3×5 reel game set in the future with the Prince of Lightening on a mission to keep his metropolis safe, and the mythological Greek-themed "Golden Odyssey" featuring tumbling reels, split symbols and stacked wilds.
"Cherry Mischief" and “Diamond Diamond” followed. The first a fairy fantasy themed 3 x 5 reel slot game featuring Super Stacks and a bonus round triggered by an innovative capture feature and the second, a 5-reel 40-payline slot themed around the golden age of film and old-world Hollywood style.
IGT Interactive increased its presence with a new video slot named “Diamond Queen" a 5-reel, 20-payline game adapted from the popular terrestrial version of the same name. “Coyote Moon”, a 5-reel, 40-payline slot also adapted to the online environment from the terrestrial floor followed.
iSoftBet developed a new suite of 32 online casino games boasting a selection of 28 types of video poker, 3 new variations of Blackjack and the introduction of a new Spanish twist on Baccarat, Punto Banco.
The successful lo-tech JPM terrestrial classic "Kerching" was adapted to the online environment by JPM's interactive arm. The much anticipated 3-reel online version will be instantly recognisable to those familiar with the land casino game with features including hidden bonuses and dedicated symbols awarding access to streak features and a progressive award card.
Mazooma’s "Monkey Business", a 5-reel, 20 payline slot launched over the period. It is a safari jungle-themed game that allows players to select the amount they want to stake on each spin by changing the wager per line value along with the number of lines they wish to bet on.
Productive as ever, online gambling software developer Microgaming kept its licencees in the spotlight with a multitude of new game offerings and the launch of a Fast-Fold Poker product titled “Blaze Poker”. The firm’s entry into the phenomenally popular speed poker market invented by Full Tilt Poker with its Rush Poker innovation will go up against Pokerstars' Zoom product, which the online poker giant – also based on the Isle of Man – formally launched in real money format following some 300 million hands of beta-test action.
On the traditional online gaming front, the firm released a 5 reel, 40 pay-line video slot titled “Karate Pig”. This game is one of those big, multi-featured games at which MGS excels with a theme based on a mythical Japanese pig that has talents as a celebrated sushi chef, a fierce samurai, a musician, a karate champion and a philosopher among other attributes, guiding players through a most entertaining game.
Microgaming’s Flash technology platform added new titles, which were originally developed in the Genesis Gaming Studios, namely; “Jekyll and Hyde” – based on the tale of the dual nature of good and evil, as an experiment goes awry, “Alaxe in Zombieland” – a rather different adaptation of the old nursery tale Alice in Wonderland and “Steam Punk Heroes” – a game crafted in the style of a sub-genre fantasy, and set in an alternative historical dimension where steam is still the primary source of power.
“Arctic Fortune” followed, a Nordic fantasy-themed game that offers players 1024 ways to win – generating more opportunities to win rewards through a combination of Multipliers, bonuses and Free Spins. This is a 5-reel video slot game with superior graphics, animation and sounds where players can explore forgotten caves and reclaim long lost treasures.
The launch of an All Pays, 5-reel classic fairytale-themed video slot titled “Mystique Grove” showcased an art style that reflects the surreal theme of the game. The original music and sound add to a unique player experience.
“Tiger vs. Bear Siberian Standoff” is an innovative 25 Line, 5 reel video game that invites players to choose between two different interactive characters, the tiger and the bear, as they go into battle.
The month of May showcased new game titles “Untamed Bengal Tiger”, “Shoot!”, a 5-reel, 20-payline slot titled "Around the World", “Magic Boxes” – featuring colourful and entertaining graphics, the amusingly titled “Fat Lady Sings”, a new pub-style slot titled “Spin Magic” and the “Lost Princess Anastasia” a 25-payline slot themed around Rasputin’s curse and a Czar’s fortune. These titles feature on Microgaming’s Flash platform.
This month (June) saw the launch of another tranche of games that included a follow-on from the May release of Untamed – Bengal Tiger, a 5-reel, 243 way video slot titled "Untamed – Giant Panda". Along with other slots in the series, innovative features include Collect-A-Wild, Lucky Nudge, Brilliant Wilds and Your Gamble. This game is available on Microgaming's Viper and Flash platforms.
Other new online Flash offerings included an All Pays video slot titled "Surf Safari" on the Flash platform and a 25-payline, 5-reel video slot titled "White Buffalo".
Ending its contribution to the online game review on a high note, Microgaming’s latest, much anticipated” block buster “The Dark Knight” was released at the end of the month (June). The game is a 5-reel, 243 "ways to win" slot featuring characters from the iconic Batman series that include Bruce Wayne and his alter ego The Joker. The game is billed as graphic-rich with superior sound effects and animations, as has become expected of Microgaming’s quality offerings.
Online scratchcard and instant win game developer Neogames launched a new soft game addition to its inventory with the introduction of ‘Quick Play’, an offering especially suited to the lottery sector. Based on classic quick draw games found in national lotteries worldwide, the game takes the genre to a new level, because every 60 seconds, six balls are drawn out of a possible 36, giving punters the opportunity to guess what the six winning numbers will be in order to win up to GBP 200,000.
Swedish online gambling software provider Net Entertainment had an active quarter with the launch of a variety of new offerings. “Crime Scene”, a new 5 reel, 15 pay-line slot features a unique Sticky Countdown Wild and an Evidence Collection bonus game and the 5-reel, 243 Ways to Win title “Thunderfist” is an Asian martial arts themed game featuring stunning graphics and realistic sound effects.
The anticipated ghoulish, action-packed adventure game “Zombies” came next, followed by "Super Nudge 6000" – a 3-reel, 5-payline slot displaying the classic oranges, lemons, watermelons, pears, cherries, bells, sevens and crown iconography.
NYX Gaming Group subsidiary NextGen Gaming released its latest Superbet! slot “Merlin's Millions” on to the QuickFire and Finsoft platforms. The game showcases an anime design, 3D Visuals, an interactive Merlin character and a unique 5-level ante-bet option gives players a go at wild multiplied wins.
Novomatic too displayed a busy quarter with the release of a slew of 5-reel, 40-payline games titled "Secret Elixir", “Fairy Queen”, “Mystic Secrets”, “Fruits ‘n Royals”, a humorous farm-themed slot “Moorhuhn” and a surfer’s paradise-themed slot “Costa del Cash”. These games presumably originate in the company’s GreenTube development studios.
Other new offerings included a new 3D slot game titled "Fruit Sensation" in Flash format, “Spinning Stars” – a 5-reel, 10-payline game and finally a classically-styled fruity in the 3-reel, 5-payline game “Hot Chance”.
Online Poker room PKR launched a software update that included 3D versions of its Caribbean Stud Poker mini-game, a fixed-odds single player Casino Hold'em game and a multi-player extension to its single-player Blackjack game.
Online gaming software developer Play'n GO released two new games into its web-based Flash portfolio along with six new mobile games. The new offerings are titled "Jewel Box" and "Triple Chance Hi/Lo".
Playtech delivered various new game releases over the period, the first in the month of April being a 5-reel, 15-payline game titled “Ice Hockey” with particularly noteworthy graphics that create a good sporting ambience. April’s roster included a new online progressive slot game from the company titled "Everybody's Progressive" – a game that offers players an opportunity to win offline as well as online if they had played a minimum of Euro 50 in the preceding 24 hours.
Playtech’s June line-up included a 5-reel, 25-payline game titled “Lakshmi Gold” which had a distinctive Indian flavour featuring cultural deities and the relevant music. The game was withdrawn following complaints from staunch Hindu followers who deemed the game as disrespectful.
Game Technology Systems, Playtech’s online gaming solution subsidiary, signed a multi-year game supply deal with the Stockholm-based game developer Quickspin. Quickspin games such as “Rapunzel’s Tower” and “Goldilocks and the Wild Bears”, currently on Facebook, will be available to GTS EdGE licencees later in the year.
Rounding off, Playtech soft-launched its Fast-Fold poker product on its iPoker Network under the brand “Speed Poker”.
RealTime Gaming provided its licensees with a different version of the “Bulls and Bears” slot, themed on the stock market rather than ball sports. The games Buy-Sell free game feature gives players the opportunity to experience a Bull or Bear market and comes with a patented Feature Guarantee system, which ensures that the feature will be triggered within 100 paid spins if not won randomly.
“Loch Ness Loot”, a fun 25-payline slot themed around the mystical Loch Ness Monster followed. The game features animated, cartoonish iconography that include treasure – the scatter symbol and Nessie – a substitute for all symbols including scattered Treasures.
The Alderney-licenced Relax Gaming Network Ltd rolled out its fast-fold poker product dubbed "Fast Poker" to Unibet, Betsson and iGame. The product joins PokerStars’ “Zoom Poker”, Speed Tube’s “Speed Tube Speed Poker”, Playtech’s “Speed Poker” and Microgaming’s “Blaze Poker” products all vying for a top spot in the market.
The latest offerings from Rival Gaming studios include a car racing-themed 5-reel, 50-payline video slot branded “Fast Lane”. It features good graphics and appropriately loud car and crowd sound effects, an annoyingly repetitive music track and a slew of animated features designed to entertain and occasionally reward the player. An amusing release titled “Moonshiner’s Moolah” is inspired by American hillbillies, and features a cast of colourful animated characters like Grandpa “Pa” and Granny, who brew their own powerful liquor.
Ending off the review with “Pub Crawlers”, Rival’s most recent release is a five-reel, 20-payline video slot centered around a typical British pub with interesting patrons. A Bar Fly, a sophisticated grasshopper, a cigar-smoking beetle, a caterpillar with a penchant from wine, a tarantula playing poker and an inebriated cockroach all overseen by a scorpion bouncer who swats the pests.
Online casino Slotland added another unique proprietary video slot to its gaming inventory with the release of “Greatest Hits”, a five reel, 19 pay-line game with a retro popular music theme.
A Texas-based online gambling information site, Slotmuscle, has developed what it claims is a unique and unusual concept to promote world peace. The site is promoting a free-to-play 3 reel slot titled USA vs. the World, which is apparently designed to "…draw attention to the challenges that face the United States in 2012." The graphics feature President Obama, Iran, Syria, North Korea, terrorists, a nuclear explosion, and other symbols that represent the problems the planet in general and the United States in particular face in the world today.
Spin and win are offering its customers a choice of twenty-seven new online scratchcards which it boasts are exclusive to the site. Ace Squadron, Aqua Lotto, Black Jack, Cash Clown, Cash Flash, Count Fortune, Boogie Time, Daring Diamonds, Fairy Flutter, Galactic Quest, Gunslinger, Ice Fishing, Jackpot Artist, Jackpot Jousting, Holy Cow, Martian Millions, Mexican Piñata, Midnight Steal, Monkey Thimble, Murder Mystery Cruise, Mystical Money, Operation Keno, Police Line Up, Super Stylist, Three Ball Roulette, Tritons Treasure, Vikings Plunder and Voodoo Dolls. Owned by Daub Alderney Limited, Spin and Win utilises IGT, Microgaming and Sheriff Gaming software.
Software provider Top Game launched "Lost Inca's Gold", a 25-payline video slot themed around the ancient Peruvian civilization along with “Happy Circus” featuring characters and icons associated with the Big Top in bright colours and backed by typical circus music.
Newcomer Topjack Games seems to have piqued interest with a new white label instant lottery millions and mega jackpot games offering which its says are insured by Lloyds of London. It signed three new licencees within just three weeks of launch. The first tranche of insured jackpot games include a mega jackpot three-reel slot and GBP/$/Euro 2 million jackpot keno, video poker and bingo games.
Online gambling software developer and white label supplier, TotalESoft announced the latest additions to its online casino and sportsbook games inventory, adding over 20 new games, including a number of 3D animated video slots. Mobile sports betting and multiplayer poker with Texas Holdem, Omaha and Stud card games were also included in the package.
Finnish state owned lottery operator Veikkaus launched the EuroJackpot lottery game with a first pot up for grabs of Euro 10 million.
Viaden Gaming's “Easter Feast” is an amusing Easter-themed 21-payline video slot featuring two bonus games, one of which is based on a traditional Easter game called egg tapping or egg fight.
WGS Technology, a software provider that suddenly popped up late in 2011, is still the topic of investigation by players and affiliate marketers across several message boards who want to know who is behind the scenes at the company. The website claims that this previously unheard of developer has been in the internet gambling business for 14 years, boasting a games inventory of around 100 products, yet gives no information on its corporate ownership, location, facilities, history, game fairness testing or licensing affiliations and its website was only copyrighted late last year.
“3 Lions” debuted at William Hill – it is a 5-reel 20-line slot machine game with 2 Bonus Rounds along with a Take It or Leave It style Free Spins Bonus. The game features footballers, fans and a rather repetitive brass band sound track.
WinADay's proprietary gambling software platform launched “Keno 101”, the company's second online keno offering, and one with a straightforward, traditional design that will be instantly familiar with keno fans who have played the game everywhere from coffee shops to grocery stores in Las Vegas.
The online casino also launched its 31st proprietary slot titled “Joker’s Tricks”, a 5-reel 20-payline game featuring bright, full screen graphics. Most recently, in celebration of the operation’s fourth anniversary, was the release of its 32nd proprietary title “Birthday Bash”. This instant play slot is a five-reel, fifteen-payline game with a “hold” feature and built-in bonus round.
Increasingly active over the period, WMS Gaming introduced a new 25-payline slot "Magic Wand" on to its operational website Jackpot Party featuring free spins, two random Wild reel bonuses and links to the Jackpot Party Progressive bonus system.
“Gorilla Chief 2” followed, a 5-reel 50-payline game version of its popular land game, and a new forty-line game titled “Mayan Sun” that features a fourth row of symbols for additional winning opportunities. The 5-reel, 40-payline slot “Rome & Egypt” came next, featuring pre-expanded wild symbols depicted by Caesar and Cleopatra. The games are all networked into a progressive jackpot that is randomly awarded regardless of stake, game or time frame.
WMS closed off the period with the release of an online version of the popular Vegas slot classic “Life of Luxury Progressive”. The game has two different base games to choose from Jungle Cats or Riches of Rome with 5 different levels of progressive as part of The Life of Luxury feature.
Future game releases will include those from Las Vegas-based games developer Konami Gaming who licenced a selection of its slot titles and game content to WMS Gaming for use on its online platforms.
Malta-licenced developer World Match released a mix of offerings that included a mini Blackjack side game in three formats Standard, Pro and Privée according to minimum and maximum bets set by the Licensee. It also debuted its Casino Hold’em card game which plays along the same dynamics as Texas Hold'em but pits the player against the casino. The company debuted an online 3D multi-line slot titled "Into the Woods", this 5-reel game is an enchanted forest-themed offering featuring two squirrels.
In June, the company maintained its ambitious monthly release program launching two new single hand video poker products titled “Super Las Vegas” and “The Saloon”. The theme for Super Las Vegas is pretty obviously that gambling city and its bright lights, whilst The Saloon is clearly inspired by classic Western folklore, complete with scenery, sexy waitresses, rivers of whiskey, brave cowboys and ugly mugs.
It’s most recent releases include "Monkeys vs Sharks" and "Zen Blade".