Aliens

Aliens Basic Information:

The Alien franchise has been massively popular ever since the first film. With a focus on the terrifying unknown and the designs of the supremely talented H.R. Giger, this series has been a mainstay since the late 70's, with this game released in late 2014. The namesake of this game, Aliens, was the second film in the franchise.

This pokie operates under the use of the NetEnt gambling software system. The talented programmers and designers from NetEnt are well known for going the extra mile in their creations, and Aliens is no exception.

The NetEnt system is compatible with a great many devices which are capable of running Flash. This means most PCs, Apple computers and tablets, along with a variety of other mobile devices. Check if your device supports flash, if it does you should be able to run games from NetEnt.

Aliens Game Main Screen

Aliens comes with a total of 15 paylines over 5 reels in a 3×5 layout.

  • The minimum coins bet sits at 15
  • The maximum coins bet sits at 150
  • Minimum coin size sits a 0.01
  • Maximum coins size sits at 1.0
  • The return to player offered by this game sits at just over 96%, at or slightly higher than average.

This game runs an usual 3 level system, which is detailed in the other bonuses and features and how to play sections below.

Options

By clicking on the spanner icon towards the lower left of the game screen the player can access the options menu.

  • General options

These give the player two separate options. The first is quickspins, which speeds up the spinning speed of the reels. The second is the ability to turn off the intro screen which begins when you start the game,

  • Animations

The only option here allows the player to skip the animated intro scene.

  • Audio

This allows the user to turn off ambient sound and sound effects. The main game page also has a slider to change the general volume.

  • Graphics Quality

This comes with three different setting, High, Medium and Low. The highest setting is very impressive but this is a very resource intensive game, so those on less powerful systems should probably stick with medium or low settings.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts

This comes with the single option which allows the spacebar to spin  the reels.

Additional options can be accessed by clicking on the autoplay button. The basic options here allow the play to select from 10, 25, 50 ,75, 100, 250, 500, 750 or 1000 autospins.

The player can also click on the advanced settings button to further customise when their autoplay will end. There are four different stopping scenarios to choose from here:

  • On any win
  • When a single win exceeds an entered amount
  • If cash increases by an entered amount
  • If cash decreases by an entered amount

Other Helpful Additions

Aliens also comes with question-mark and i help icons. Both of these detail much the same thing, basic game and winning information, but the i button does this within the game and the question-mark opens a secondary text page.

Background:

The original Alien film, from where all other Alien media was derived, was the brain-child of Dan O'Bannon. O'Bannon was an American director, screenwriter and visual effects supervisor who wished to create what he considered a realistic looking alien. He gained this desire after some early work on a John Carpenter film where the alien was created by spray painting a beach ball.

After the completion of this film, titled Dark Star, some of the staff got together with O'Bannon, impressed by what he brought to the table, and attempted to create a new project together. After including a number of other talented people, including H.R Giger and artist Jean Giraud, the group eventually started on what would become Alien.

The plot revolved around a commercial spacecraft picking up a transmission from deep space and investing the source. On the way one of the crew is infected by the iconic face-huggers and is then brought back on board. Unknown to the crew, this has impregnated the crewman with an alien which gestates within, eventually bursting out through his chest, killing him in the process.

Over the rest of the film this Alien continues to grow, learning and killing the crew of the ship. At the end of the story only two of the crew remain alive, with the titular Alien being blasted off into space.

Other Features and Bonuses

Aliens Wild Symbol

The wild symbol in Aliens comes in the form of a Weyland-Yutani Corp logo, and can only appear on reels 2-5 in in Level 1, and randomly in level 2. These can substitute for all other symbols.

In level 1 the wild symbol only generates a payout for the highest possible combination.

This game features a three level system, which is split up into Level 1: The Search, Level 2: The Encounter and Level 3: The Hive.

How to Play:

Basic play for Aliens is as simple as a player selecting a coin value and level and clicking spin. Clicking the autospin button allows the player to go through a selection of different amounts of autospins From here the user can also click on the advanced settings button in order to manually select different stopping scenarios. These include on any win, if a single win exceeds an entered amount, or if cash increased or decreases by an entered amount.

The real meat of the game comes from the level system. This is separated into levels one, two and three.

Level One

On the first level the player must gain 10 ‘steps' to advance to level 2. This is done by consistently matching symbols. When 3 or more symbols are matched they are given a multiplier, starting with 2x, and are added to the alien activity meter at the top of the game. The best way to explain this is by example.

If the player managed to get three facehugger icons on a single spin then there would be three facehugger icons added to the alien activity bar. The first of these would be labelled with a 2x multiplier, the third a 3x, and the forth a 4x multiplier. Following this the reels would spin again. If the next spins were again facehuggers then these would also be added with the multiplier continuing to grow. If they were of another type then the multiplier would still continue. For each spin where nothing is won the alien activity bar removes the leftmost entry on the bar and decreases all of the gained multipliers by one while also resetting the multiplier for new combinations.

In the event that 2 or more different symbols are awarded from a single spin they will be added to alien activity bar first by the lowest symbol level. Once a total of 10 steps are gained on the alien activity bar level 2 begins.

Level 2

Level two has a maximum of 10 rounds. These rounds carry over the steps which enables the round to begin. In other words, the combination of steps which got the player to the round are kept up the top of the page and are used for each step in level 2. Each of the different icons here can only appear once, the remaining icons are removed and placed with random x1 multiplier icons.

Each step takes one of the entries from the alien activity bar, starting from the left, and places those wins on the reels. The remaining reels which were not winners, if there are some of these, then spin, creating further combinations. The greater the value of these spins, which is naturally aided by higher multipliers, the higher the chances of success.

This level is displayed as a first-person shot of a marine working their way down a corridor. For each step the marine will continue and then stop. This is followed by the reels spinning. Once this spin is completed a secondary reel will roll, which can give the marine ammunition for their gun. The better the score the more likely the marine is of gaining extra ammo. In the event that the marine runs out of ammo they will be killed by an alien and restart on level 1. If, however, they manage to make it through all ten rounds then they continue to Level 3.

Level 3

This is the most difficult level to reach in Aliens. The objective in this level is to destroy the hive before all ammo runs out.

During this level the marine starts with a Smartgun, an ammo clip counter, a hive health meter, and 2 reels. These are the grenade multiplier reel and the grenade strength reel. The marine starts with 4 ammo clips, which means a maximum of 5 total spins.

In Level 3 the round starts with the reels spinning, which designates the grenade's strength. A great roll here can kill the hive in a single shot.  After the grenade throw the marine takes a shot to keep themselves clear of aliens. This continues on until either the hive is dead or the marine runs out of ammo, in which case they are killed and the game begins again at Level 1.

The payouts for this level depend on the grenade multiplier and the bet places when this round was reached. Killing the Queen gives a 240x multiplier on the current bet.

Confused? Don't worry, it's a lot easier to play than it is to explain. You can even click here for a link to a free version of the game to try things out for yourself!

Overall Design and Usability:

There can be no denying the quality on offer here by NetEnt. One of the best looking pokies available, designed with clear inspiration and respect for Aliens and the franchise in general. All of the graphics are professionally designed, and the 3d intro and levels system are above and beyond.

In terms of usability Aliens is just what you would expect. The options are all clearly labelled and simple to navigate, and the graphics settings allow those with less powerful devices to get in on the action. That said, this is a very resource intensive game, even at the lowest settings, so your mileage may vary.

Where to find it:

NetEnt games stand with Microgaming as some of the most popular available. If you already have a favourite gambling website then check out if they offer NetEnt games, if they do then you might be able to find Aliens there. If it is not available, or if you want a more direct list then check out the links below.

Rating:

A great game for anyone, not just fans of Aliens. If you love well designed games which look fantastic and offer something unique then check out Aliens. There might be some problems for those on mobile or less powerful systems, so be sure to lower the graphics if you experience hangups or other performance issues.

4.7/5 Stars

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Fruit VS Candy

Fruit vs Candy Basic information:

When you think of modern small online games what do you think of? I can't predict exactly, I'm not psychic, but chances there are three things that came to mind. These are birds, both angry and flappy, candy and fruit. Fruit vs Candy decided to blend two of these into one of their most popular pokies.

Created by the talented folks responsible for the Microgaming gaming software, one of the most popular and powerful gambling software systems ever developed, Fruit vs Candy is a pokie game released at the beginning of February, 2017. It was only a matter of time before someone jumped on this theme, and it looks like Microgaming has finally gotten on board. You don't need a sweet tooth to love this game, though it might help.

As is standard with games offered by the Microgaming software system, this game is available for play on PC, Mac, mobile and tablet systems, such is the versatility on offer.

Fruit vs Candy main screen

Fruit vs Candy comes with a total of 243 paylines over 5 reels in a 3×5 layout.

  • The minimum coins bet sits at 1
  • The maximum coins bet sits at 15
  • Minimum coin size sits a 0.01
  • Maximum coins size sits at 0.1
  • The return to player offered by this game sits at just over 95.5%, somewhere around average.

The game also lets you choose between playing the fruit or candy version, which is toggled via the button towards the upper-right of the game. This changes the symbols and themes and is a fun little addition.

Options

In terms of options, this game covers all the basics which you would expect from the options tab. This is accessed by pressing the purple up arrow on the bottom right corner of the game. Users have the ability to operate a volume slider to turn down or mute the noise from the game. Fruit vs Candy also comes with the option to toggle off individual sounds, these include game sounds, win sounds and background sounds.

Also on offer are two different graphical settings of Basic and Enhanced. These allow a greater range of devices to experience the game without suffering performance issues. There is also a quickspin button in the options menu, which is used to speed up the reels.

Additional options are found by clicking the up arrows under the credits, bets and win buttons. Auto-play options can also be found by simply clicking on the autoplay button. The credits options allow the user to switch between displaying in coins, credits or coins and credits. The bet options allow the user to change their coin size and total coins wagered in addition to a max bet button. Win options show the top 5 winners as well as recent winners. This can be displayed in both coins and credits.

Other Helpful Additions

The autoplay button give the player access to 10x, 25x, 50x and 100x quickspin options. The user can also choose to keep spinning until the stop button is clicked, or they can click custom to set further rules. These further rules allow the player to enter a custom amount of spins to complete and choose between two spin-end settings. The first of these settings allows the player to stop when all spins are complete. The second allows the spins to stop when wins equal or exceed a certain amount.

Also offered on the game itself is question mark icon which, when clicked, leads the user to a help page to answer any basic questions which the user might have. An additional tab to the right side of the game lets the player check payouts and combinations information.

Finally, Fruit vs Candy offers a statistics button which, when clicked, allows the player to see a variety of helpful information. This includes highest wins, spins player, spins per hour and session time. Note that these stats do not persist through sessions.

Background:

With the popularisation of Facebook games, and the increasing power of mobile devices, there was an enormous rise in the amount of gaming which was performed in these locations and devices. As the users of this site and these devices did not usually have a huge amount of time on their hands they tended towards smaller and quicker casual games. These could be picked up quickly, played quickly, and dropped quickly if something came up.

Among the most popular of these games were Fruit Ninja and Candy Crush. These games became absurdly popular, making their creators many millions of dollars a year despite being, ostensibly, free to play. Following this a whole bunch of other companies decided to get on board with the idea. This included dozens of ripoffs which stuck to these themes, in attempts to gain even a small portion of the success which these early games enjoyed. Most of these were awful, though occasionally a talented developer would come along and adapt the theme into something new and interesting. Fruit vs Candy by Microgaming is one of these developers.

While the theme is overplayed by now, and the graphics are nothing new, this is an uncommon adaption rather than a simple copy, and for that alone Microgaming is worthy of praise.

Is the game itself any good? Well, keep reading.

Other Features and BonusesFruit vs Candy wild symbols

The wild symbol in this game comes in the form of a symbol which switches between a WILD and Fruit vs Candy icon.

  • 3 of these give a bonus of 52.5
  • 4 give a bonus of 150
  • 5 give a bonus of 450

These can substitute for any icon except the scatter symbol.

Fruit vs Candy goodie bag

On any non-winning spin a the Goodie Bag feature can randomly be activated. When this appears the player is awarded up to a 20x multiplier on the bet which was placed in that spin.

Fruit vs Candy scatter symbol

The scatter symbol appears as the word SCATTER on top of a colourful background. This does not need to appear on a enabled payline to win and cannot appear during the free-spins bonus game.

  • 2 scatter icons give a bonus of 45
  • 3 scatter icons give a bonus of 90
  • 4 scatter icons give a bonus of 450
  • 5 scatter icons give a bonus of 2250

Free Spins Games and Sugar Rush

Gaining 3 or more scatter symbols on one spin starts the Bonus Wheel bonus game. The type of free spins game accessed depends on whether the player is playing the Fruit or Candy version of Fruit vs Candy.

The Fruit free spin game removes any A,K,Q,J and 10 symbols that land after the spin. Each of these icons which are removed are added to the players stash. Additional winnings are gathers after these symbols are removed. This free spin game will continue until all of these royal cards have been removed.

The Candy free spin game allows the wilds to stack. Each reel which has a wild stack is designated as sweetened. Once all reels are sweetened the game ends. The bonus game will also end if the player manages to reach 50 free spins. In this scenario a random bonus amount will be gifted to the player.

Wins are automatically collected during free spins and free spins cannot be reactivated during the free spin bonus games.

Finally we have the Sugar Rush Bonus. This bonus game is activated randomly on any non-winning spin. During this bonus game all high symbols award cash prizes and only a single scatter symbol is needed in order to trigger the relevant free spin bonus game.

How to Play:

There are a few ways to play Fruit vs Candy, depending on how involved and customised you want the process to be. For simple play the user need only select their bet and click spin. To customise further the player can click on the bet tab to select both coin size and the total coins bet. This also gives the user access to a max bet button. As this is a way-to-win game the player cannot choose how many paylines they wish to activate.

By clicking the autoplay button the user can access the quickspin options which allow a quick select of 10, 25, 50 or 100 auto spins, or to spin until the user manually stops the spin process. The custom button in this tab allows the player to enter their own amount of spins as well as stop when either this number of spins are completed or when a certain amount is won or exceeded.

Overall Design and Usability:

If you've ever played Candy Crush or Fruit Ninja you'll be immediately familiar with the layout on offer by Fruit vs Candy. Each variant has different icons and background, all of which are well suited to the two themes. This is one of those games where the animated pictures of fruit and candy, while being cartoonish, look utterly mouthwatering. If you have a sweet tooth and find that this makes you crave sugar then this might not be great for you. Otherwise the design is standard, though solid. The option to limit the graphics takes away a lot of the charm and most of the animation, but it still hold up quite well.

In terms of usability, if you've played a modern offering by Microgaming you'll know what you're in for here. It's apparent that Microgaming starts with a framework when they create their games, and while this allows quick understanding it can also lead to situations where the game seems less original than it might be otherwise. That is not to say that the design is bad, by any means. It works very well, and the limited graphics mode allows players on less powerful hardware to partake.

Where to find it:

As is common with websites that utilise the Microgaming software platform, Fruit vs Candy is available on a great many sites. If you already have a favourite gambling website then check it out, Fruit vs Candy might already be on offer.

If you want a more specific list then you can check out some of the following sites:

Rating:

One of our favourites. This two modes on offer by this game give great variety. Combined with the multiple bonuses on offer this makes this a very appealing game. Great graphics and the option to reduce the requirements don't hurt either. The only real downside is the lack of selectable paylines, if that matters to you as a player. Microgaming continues to improve, and this game is a fine illustration of that.

4.6/5 Stars

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Poltava

Poltava Basic information:

There are a lot of odd themes which can work for a pokie game. Treasure and mythology, sure, mystery and detective work, why not? Poltava is unusual in that it takes its inspiration from  a military conflict between Russia and Sweden. Does it work – keep reading to find out!

Poltava was designed and developed by ELK and was released in mid 2016. This team is a group of people with a different focus than many other slot game providers. Rather than simply focus on releasing a great quantity, ELK stick to fewer releases of something different. Poltava is definitely a great example of that.

As is standard with games offered by the ELK software system, this game will work with most flash enabled devices. This includes desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. It should be noted that ELK do tend to target mobile devices, so if you're looking for pokies on your phone then check them out.

Poltava Main Game Screen

Poltava comes with a total of 40 paylines over 5 reels in a 5×4 layout.

  • The minimum bet sits at 20
  • The maximum bet sits at 100
  • The return to player offered by this game sits at just under 96.5%, which is above average.

Basic Options

In order to enter the options menu in Poltava the player must first click the three horizontal lines towards the upper-right of the main game screen. When this is clicked they must then choose the settings button. The offered options are as follows:

  • Quickplay

This speeds up the spinning of the slots, leading to less lime waiting around.

  • Sound On

This allows the player to mute all sounds from the game.

  • Game Sounds

When clicked this allows the player to mute all sounds except the music.

  • Music

Wen this is clicked the player toggles on and off the music.

  • Show in Coins

When clicked this changes the currency display to coins, rather than Euros.

  • Reality Check Interval

This option allows the player to select how often they want to be reminded that they spent some time with the game. There are four options to choose from – 15m, 30m, 1h and 2h.

Other Helpful Additions

Poltava comes with some very interesting options thanks to the workers at ELK. By clicking the coins button down the bottom left of the main game screen the player can adjust the automatic betting strategy. This is split between regular and four other potential options. Changing between these pages is accomplished by clicking the left and right buttons on the left and right sides of the screen. The details of these pages are as follows:

  • No Strategy

When this is selected the player need only choose their total bet from a 3×4 table of total bets. Once this is selected this betting amount will remain constant until changed manually.

  • Optimizer

When this page is accessed the player is able to choose from a table of 4 different amounts. These are percentages which are derived from a player's total stash. This simply allows the player to keep betting a static percentage.

  • Leveller

When this page is accessed the player is given access to a range of bets in a 3×4 table. A selected bet will automatically raise after 5 consecutive losses, the idea being to recoup losses. This can occur twice, with the maximum bet amount being ten times as great as the starting bet. This strategy resets after a win.

  • Booster

Another page where the players are given access to a range of bets in a 3×4 table. In this strategy the bet level will jump up 1 level after a loss, up to a maximum of 4 levels. This means a maximum bet of ten times the initial wager. This strategy resets after a win.

  • Jumper

Yet another page where the players are given access to a range of bets in a 3×4 table. In this strategy the play's bet will raise 1 level for each winning spin, up to a maximum of 4 levels higher. This is equal to ten times the player's initial bet. This strategy resets after a loss.

The autospin in this game is accessed via the regular spin button. By holding the spin button the autospin box comes up which offers the player 4 options. These are 10x, 25x, 50x and 100x.

Also on offer is general game information which can be accessed by clicking on the three horizontal lines which indicate the options menu. When in this screen the player can choose to simply click the given left and right arrows in order to switch between payouts and payline information, or they can click into the rules screen. When this is clicked the game brings up the basic game rules as well as a general explanation of some of the gambling strategies.

Background:

The namesake of this game Poltava, references a great battle which was held between Sweden and Russia on the 27th of June, 1709. During this battle the Swedish forces were effectively crushed, leading to one of the most decisive battle victories of the century. Subsequently, this was thought of being one of the driving forces of Sweden losing its place as what is known as a Great Power.

Part of the reason for this victory was the poor weather and state of the Swedish, though mostly it came down to numbers. Russia has 20 times the cannons, twice the cavalry and almost 3 times the infantry. Who knows, if gambling was better understood on the day of combat maybe the Swedes might have throught of staying home.

Other Features and Bonuses

Poltava Wild Symbol

The wild symbol in this game comes in the form of a golden Poltava text over a background of blue. Only the highest winning combination of those available will payout.

These can substitute for any icon except the lion, and do not contribute as combat arms in the Marching Reels bonus.

Poltava Sticky Lion

The Bonus Lion appears as a raised golden lion face. Getting three of these in one spin turns them into sticky wilds and will also trigger the Flames of War bonus game. This symbol can appear on reels 2, 3 and 4 in normal mode, and on all reels during bonus mode.

Bonus game

The free spins bonus game operates the same as the regular spins, and is accessed if 3 or more bonus lions were gathered in one spin. This game runs like regular spins and can be reactivated during the free spins game.

The Marching Reels bonus is triggered when a reel gathers four identical combat arms symbols in a single spin. Wild symbols cannot be used as substitutes. When this is activated a respin will be triggered. During this respin further reinforcements are added to rows 2 and 3, and all reels to the left of the combat arm. Once this is complete all troops will move one step to the right and respins will be generated if new identical matches are collected.

When a higher value arm is collected over a full reel the lower worth reel will be upgraded with the higher. Any active combat arms symbols spun on rows 1-4 or behind the front-line will be added to the formation.

Marching Reels will end once it reaches the front line or if it not reactivated.

How to Play:

Placing your bets in Poltava is quite simple, regardless of player level. Simply click the coins button on the lower-left of the main game page and select a strategy. The simplest of these is the no strategy selection, where the player simply chooses their total bet and clicks spin.

From here the player can choose to click through and change their strategy and activate autospins by holding down the autospin button which can be accessed from the betting and the main page. If autospin is not selected the player only needs to hit spin.

Overall Design and Usability:

This a game designed for mobile devices, that much is immediately obvious. From large buttons to a simple layout, if you play phone games you should be immediately familiar with the type of layout on offer by Poltava. While this does mean a directed and focused experience it also means that it might appear a little bit unsightly or cramped when users are not playing from mobile devices. The layout is generally quite pleasing, with the graphics and sound effects all being well suited to the, admittedly odd, theme.

When it comes to usability, this is a game with some major ups and downs. Generally speaking, the strategy options are fantastic, and are something which are offered by very few pokies. What does somewhat let down the experience is the inability to set autostop rules. While this is likely due to Poltava being a mobile experience it is still a common and missed option. Some graphics options would also be nice, as this is a great looking game which might not play well when it is run on a older or less powerful mobile device.

Where to find it:

If you already are into mobile gambling then you might already have a favorite site in mind. If this is the case then check around, Sam on the Beach might already be on offer, if it is not, or you want a more direct list, then check out our reviews below. Each of these offer the game by ELK, and by taking a look at our reviews you can easily find a site which works for you!

Rating:

When rating this game it is important to take into account where it stands in the general field of pokie games. This is a targeted mobile game. Because of this it is expected that it would have less options on a more streamlined interface. This is not always a positive attribute when played on a desktop system however, and one wonders how much effort it really would have been for the designers to include a simple button to switch between mobile and desktop versions. Regardless of niggling complaints, this is a solidly designed pokie, especially for mobile players.

If you like history, gambling on the go and nice graphics then check out Poltava, it's strategy options might surprise you, and the rest of it isn't bad either.

4.3/5 Stars

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Neon Staxx

Neon Staxx Basic information:

Think of the 1980's. For those of us who were around at the time, it was a era of horrible, garish colours and awful hair. Now try to consider what the people of the 1980's though of as futuristic. If you imagined neon blues and pinks then congratulations, you just predicted the theme of Neon Staxx.

Developed my NetEnt, one of the big boys in online pokies, Neon Staxx really shows off the quality which they so often bring to the table. Released in mid 2015, this is a game which wouldn't look out of place in a slot machine parlour from Blade Runner, had the people in Blade Runner access to cleaning equipment.

As is standard with games offered by the NetEnt software system, this game will work with most flash enabled devices. This includes desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

Neon Staxx Main Game Screen

Neon Staxx comes with a total of 40 paylines over 5 reels in a 5×4 layout.

  • The minimum bet sits at 20
  • The maximum bet sits at 200
  • Minimum coin size sits a 0.01
  • Maximum coins size sits at 0.5
  • The return to player offered by this game sits at just under 97%, which is above average.

Basic Options

Accessing the options menu in Neon Staxx is as simple as clicking on the spanner icon on the bottom-left of the main game page. Opening this gives three simple options:

  • Quickspin

This speeds up the spinning of the slots, leading to less lime waiting around.

  • Intro screen

This allows the player to disable the intro screen for the next time they play.

  • Space-bar to spin

This option allows the player to spin the reels with the space-bar, when selected.

Other Helpful Additions

Neon Staxx comes with an autoplay function. This is accessed by clicking either the big autoplay button or the small auto button. This brings up a tab which lets the player choose from a preset list of autospin amounts. These are, from smallest to highest – 10x, 25x, 50x,  100x, 250x, 500x,750x and 1000x.

From this autoplay screen additional options can be found by clicking on the advanced settings tab. These settings allow the automatic stopping of spins if one or more of the following options are selected:

  • On any win
  • If free spins are won
  • If a single win exceed an entered amount
  • When cash decreases by an entered amount
  • If cash decreases by an entered amount

From the main page of the game the players can also choose change their level, which changes the total bet, and their coin value. Neon Staxx also comes with an included max bet button, which instantly sets these to maximum.

Finally, this game offers 3 more clickable buttons. The volume button allows the player to adjust a slider or mute all noise. The ‘?' and ‘i' buttons both bring the player to screens which explain the game rules and payouts, as well as displaying all the individual paylines.

Background:

Retro-futuristic has been a growing trend over the last few years. This is especially evident in video-games and movies, with games like Hotline Miami and Far Cry: Blood Dragon and movies like Kung Fury effectively including this same theme and colour scheme.

This pink and blue colour scheme is divisive, so check out the above screenshot to take a look. For those who like the scheme this game looks amazing, for those who don't this game will be worth a pass.

There isn't really much else to say here, if you love 80's nostalgia then you'll know what NetEnt were going for.

Other Features and Bonuses

Neon Staxx Wild Symbol

The wild symbol in this game comes in the form of a pink wild banner over two circles of silver and gold.

  • 3 of these give a bonus of 15
  • 4 give a bonus of 30
  • 5 give a bonus of 200

These can substitute for any icon except the scatter symbol.

 

Neon Staxx Scatter Symbol

The scatter symbol appears as the word SCATTER on top of black and green background. This does not need to appear on a enabled payline to win and cannot appear during the free-spins bonus game.

  • 3 scatter icons give a bonus of 10 free spins
  • 4 scatter icons give a bonus of 15 free spins
  • 5 scatter icons give a bonus of 20 free spins

Neon Staxx also comes with the SuperStaxx feature. This feature appears as a stack of randomly selected symbols which can appear on the first reels. After the first stack has been randomly selected by the game similar stacks will be added to the other reels. Lining up these large stacks results in large rewards. In freespin mode the stacked symbols can only be the predator or wild symbols.

Bonus game

The free spins bonus game operates the same as the regular spins, and is accessed if 3 or more scatter symbols are collected on one spin. These free spins run of thee amount which was wagered in the round where the free spins were won. Additional free spins cannot be won during the free spins bonus game.

How to Play:

For simple and easy play the user need only select their coin value and their level before hitting spin. They can also click on the maxbet button to set these two options instantly to the maximum.

More involved autospins come from entering into the autoplay section by clicking one of the two auto button. This will allow the player to select an amount of autospins from a list. Also available here is an advanced button. When this is clicked it opens a tab which allows the player to choose in what situations they want their autospins to stop.

Overall Design and Usability:

When it comes to design, this is game with a very clear target. The fonts, the colours and the symbols all scream out 80's. As is usual with NetEnt, this is not just a halfhearted attempt, this is a game where the graphics have obviously been designed by talented professionals. This  extends to the spinning of the reels, which appears to have been rendered at 60 frames a second rather than the standard 30. What this means is that spinning appears much more smoothly that what most games offer. Not a necessary touch, by any means, but one that is very welcomed.

In terms us usability, Neon Staxx is somewhere in the middle of the pack. All of the options which are included work perfectly, but there is this nagging feeling left that they could have done more. Graphics and sound options, for example, would be very well suited to this game. Graphics options would be welcome because the game is very pretty, and therefore might not work well on older or under-powered devices. This could be on purpose, as NetEnt might have designed this pokie for maximum looks and to be run only on modern computers, if this is the case then they succeeded.

The problem with sound comes, as it often does, with the music. While the music is well suited it will eventually become quite grating, which might cause players to mute the game. This is unfortunate because the sound effects are very well done and there exists no option to only mute the music.

Where to find it:

NetEnt games stand with Microgaming as some of the most popular available. If you already have a favourite gambling website then check out if they offer NetEnt games, if they do then you might be able to find Neon Staxx there. If it is not available, or if you want a more direct list then check out the links below.

Rating:

This has to be one of harder games to rate. Neon Staxx wants to achieve a particular look and feel,and it succeeds in that. The only problem is that I'm left thinking that there might have compromises to bring this concept to reality. The graphics and sounds are amazing, basically, but the lack of options and decent bonus games is a bit of a let down. If you don't mind simplicity and love the whole eighties theme then definitely check this out. It's also worth a look if you want a great general example of impressive looks in a pokie. Just know, going in, that this is likely not a game which will hold your attention for long.

4.3/5 Stars

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Emperor of the Sea

Emperor of the Sea Basic information:

There aren't many pokies in the ocean, at least not operable ones. That doesn't mean that the whole nautical theme is abandoned, however, as we can see with the development of Emperor of the Sea.

Created by the talented folks responsible for the Microgaming gaming software, one of the most popular and powerful gambling software systems ever developed, Emperor of the Sea is a pokie game released at the beginning of March, 2017. This is a simple looking game, with obvious reverence for Chinese history and mythology.

As is standard with games offered by the Microgaming software system, this game is available for play on PC, Mac, mobile and tablet systems, such is the versatility on offer.

Emperor of the Sea main game screen

Emperor of the Sea comes with a total of 88 paylines over 5 reels in a 5×4 layout.

  • The minimum coins bet sits at 1
  • The maximum coins bet sits at 10
  • Minimum coin size sits a 0.01
  • Maximum coins size sits at 0.05
  • Maximum lines bet sits at all 88
  • Minimum lines bet sits at 38
  • The return to player offered by this game sits at just under 96.3%, somewhere around average.

Options

In terms of options, this game covers all the basics which you would expect from the options tab. This is accessed by pressing the blue up arrow tab on the bottom right corner of the game. These options are spread under the three following headings:

  • Game Play Settings

This comes with the quickplay option. When activated this speeds up the spinning of the slots to cut down on wasted time.

  • Graphics Settings

In this area players can choose between two different graphics settings; basic and advanced. While advanced looks slightly better it is also a larger drain on computer resources, so those with less powerful or outdated hardware might consider choosing basic here.

  • Sound Settings

This section includes four possible options. The first option simply mutes all sounds which come from the game. This can also be achieved by clicking the sound button at the top-right of the main game page. The other sound options allow the player to individually mute game sounds, win sounds and/or background sounds.

Other Helpful Additions

The autoplay button give the player access to 10x, 25x, 50x and 100x autospin options. The user can also choose to keep spinning until the stop button is clicked, or they can click custom to set further rules. These further rules allow the player to enter a custom amount of spins to complete and choose between two spin-end settings. The first of these settings allows the player to stop when all spins are complete. The second allows the spins to stop when wins equal or exceed a certain amount.

Also offered on the game itself is question mark icon which, when clicked, leads the user to a help page to answer any basic questions which the user might have. An additional tab to the right side of the game lets the player check payouts and bonus information.

Emperor of the sea also offers a stats button, which lists the player's best three win results as well as total spins, player session time and average spins per hour. These stats persist for the current session only.

Background:

Unknown to many of us in the west, the ancient Chinese were certainly no slouches when it comes to the sea. Admiral Zheng He, who operated during the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century, was purported to work with ships over 130m long and 55m meters wide. This is often disputed, but if the ship sizes come anywhere near this then they would have far out-sized anything out of Europe at the time.

This Zheng He, busy as he was, completed a total 7 voyages in his time. From each one he brought back hordes of treasure in terms of both goods and knowledge of other cultures.

It is from Chinese culture from which the rest of the game draws inspiration as well, specifically those including eastern dragons and carp. The dragon seems especially happy to be here, as in his symbol he appears to be throwing up the jazz hands.

Other Features and Bonuses

Emperor of the Sea wild symbol

The wild symbol in this game comes in the form of an Emperor of the Sea icon.

  • 2 of these give a bonus of 1.5
  • 3 of these give a bonus of 3.75
  • 4 give a bonus of 12.5
  • 5 give a bonus of 26.25

These can substitute for any icon except the scatter symbol.

Emperor of the Sea scatter symbol

The scatter symbol appears as a golden hat. These do not need to appear on an enabled payline in order to win. Gaining 3 or more of these scatter symbols in one spin triggers the 8 free spins bonus game.

  • 3 scatter icons give a bonus of 88
  • 4 scatter icons give a bonus of 3300
  • 5 scatter icons give a bonus of 4400

Free Spins Game

When 3 or more scatter symbols are gathered on one spin the free spins bonus game will begin. The amount wagered in the free spins game is equal to the amount which was bet during the round where the free spins were activated.

In this game the player is gifted with 8 free spins. This game also includes the rolling reels and growing wilds features.

For the rolling reels feature all winning symbols in a spin will be added to the player's bonus game total. When this happens the winning symbols will vanish and the above symbols will fall into the now empty spots. This process will continue until no winning combinations remain, after which an additional spin will start (if there are any more remaining).

The growing wilds feature lets wilds stack when consecutive spins payout. These can grow per spin up to a maximum of 15.

How to Play:

One of the simpler games on offer. When a player wishes to play they need only select their bet and click spin. For further options the player can click on the bet tab which allows them to choose coin size, coins bet and lines bet.

For more advanced and customised play the user clicks on the autoplay button. This allows the player to run a 10x, 25x, 50x or 100x autoplay, run until play is manually stopped or set further options by clicking the custom button.

This custom button allows the player to enter their own custom amount of spins and choose if they want the autospins to end when either all spins are complete or if wins meet or exceed a certain amount.

Overall Design and Usability:

The design of Emperor of the Sea will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played a modern offering by Microgaming. Generally, the design is well suited, if a bit phoned in. Graphically speaking, the best part of the game is the free-spins game, which comes with a beautiful gold motif. It's not hard to win access to this either, which is nice. The music here is also especially well suited. The only problem with the music is one common to most pokies, since the same tune is going to repeat itself many times you might be better off selecting your own appropriate backing music.

In terms of usability, Emperor of the Sea comes with what you would expect from a modern Microgaming creation. The game runs well, loads quickly and comes with most of the basic options which users have come to expect. This is a bit lacking when it comes to the customisation options of some other developers, but that tends to be the price you pay for games which are produced in such volume.

Where to find it:

As Microgaming is one of the most popular gaming software systems on the market you shouldn't have much difficulty finding where to play Emperor of the Sea. If you already have a favourite gambling website then take a look around, it might already be available. If you want a more direct list then check out our reviews below – each of these websites should have the game on offer!

Rating:

Not a bad game and with a fun theme. I really wish they had just put a bit more effort in here when it comes to overall design and bonus games. What they have focussed on is great, but I can't help but feel this is a little bit of a missed opportunity. Never-the-less, if you are interested in playing a new pokie, then I would never recommend avoiding Emperor of the Sea. Just don't go in expecting to be blown away and you might pleasantly surprised.

3.9/5 Stars

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Avalon II

Avalon II Basic information:

The pokie Avalon and the Legend of King Arthur – both have proved to be incredibly popular over the years, but only Avalon has recently received a sequel from Microgaming. If you loved the first Avalon, as many people did, then be sure to check out Avalon II. More of a good thing can't be bad, right?

Over the past decade plus, Microgaming has proven itself to be one of the most popular and powerful online gambling software systems on the market. These talented designers and programmers have a lot on offer, and design sequels like any savvy media developer. Avalon II is one of these sequels, which was released in the very beginning of 2014. Who knows, we might see Avalon III some time in the 20's.

As is standard with games offered by the Microgaming software system, this game is available for play on PC, Mac, mobile and tablet systems, such is the versatility on offer.

Avalon II Game Screen

Avalon II comes with a total of 243 paylines over 5 reels in a 3×5 layout.

  • The minimum coins bet sits at 1
  • The maximum coins bet sits at 5
  • Minimum coin size sits a 0.01
  • Maximum coins size sits at 0.05
  • The return to player offered by this game site at around 97%, higher than average. Arthur was a generous king, after all.

Options

Avalon II is much more advanced than its predecessor, nowhere is this more obvious than the option screen. Here the player has options under 4 separate headings.

  • Game Play Settings

These allow the player to activate quickspin for both regular and free spins. This speeds up the spinning of the slots to cut down on wasted time.

  • Graphics Setting

These allow the user to select between three different graphical settings, basic, standard and advanced. Advanced looks the best but is the most taxing on the system. Basic cuts out much of the animation and effects but allows the game to run much better on dated or under-powered systems. Standard is somewhere in the middle.

  • Sound Settings

These allow the player so turn off a selection of sounds. This can be all sounds, game sounds, win sounds and background sounds.

  • Balance, Bet and Win Values

This allows the player to display the currency as either credits or coins.

Additional options can be accessed by clicking on the autoplay and bet buttons. The bet button simply allows the play to customise the amount of coins they wish to wager and the coin size.

The autoplay button gives the player the ability to choose 10x, 25x, 50x and 100x autospin, as well as the ability to stop only when the stop button is pressed. Player can also further customise their autoplay by clicking on the custom button. This allows the player to manually enter the spins they want and select one of two end conditions. These are either when all spins are complete or when wins meet or exceed an entered amount.

Other Helpful Additions

Also offered on the game itself is question mark icon which, when clicked, leads the user to a help page to answer any basic questions which the user might have. There is also a View Pays button which opens up further information on payouts and bonuses.

Clicking on the coins button quick-changes between coins and credits display, while clicking on the win button shows the top 5 wins. It doesn't mention when these were won, and by whom, however.

Finally, Avalon II has a small Stats button which, when clicked, opens some basic statistics for the current game session. This includes stats on total spins played, session time and spins per hour, as well as the player's top three highest wins.

Background:

The Legend of King Arthur has a few key components which are most important to the tale. The first is the sword Excalibur, with which most people are familiar. The second is the sword in the stone, which is actually a separate sword. The third and forth are, arguably, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table.

What of Avalon then? Avalon was an island which was instrumental to the sword Excalibur. In some versions of the story the sword was forged here, while in others it was gifted to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake. This is island was also where Arthur was thought to have retreated to recover after a life-threatening injury.

The game itself is a direct sequel to Avalon, a previous Microgaming creation from 2006. This game proved to stand the test of time, just like the Arthurian legend. So much so that Avalon II was created.

Other Features and Bonuses

Avalon II Wild Symbol

The wild symbol in this game comes in the form of an Avalon II icon.

  • 2 of these give a bonus of 12
  • 3 of these give a bonus of 300
  • 4 give a bonus of 1500
  • 5 give a bonus of 6000

These can substitute for any icon except the Grail and Lady of the Lake symbols. These can also create wild stack and create their own winning combinations when they appear on the same payline. In the event that they occur on multiple paylines only the highest payline value will payout.

Avalon II Expanding Wild

The Lady of the Lake icon represents an expanding wild. This can only appear on reel 3 and does not create its own winning combination. In the event that the occur on multiple paylines only the highest value will payout. It can substitute for any symbol except the Grail.

Avalon II Grail Scatter

The scatter symbol for Avalon II comes in the form of a grail.

  • 2 scatter icons give a bonus of 90
  • 3 scatter icons give a bonus of 450
  • 4 scatter icons give a bonus of 1800
  • 5 scatter icons give a bonus of 9000

Gaining 3 or more of these on a single spin activated the Grail bonus game.

During this bonus game the player must journey through the Kingdom to retrieve the Grail and return it to Avalon. For each round the player can select one of two paths, with each path giving a different bonus game. There are 8 possible bonus games. Once each of these games are completed the player is returned to the regular game, continuing on their journey the next time they activate a 3 or more Grail Bonus. These games are listed below.

The amount multiplied in these games is the amount wagered in the spin which activated the bonus games.

  • Lake of Legends Bonus Game

The player is awarded ten dice rolls which determine multiplier values.

Each dice face represents a piece of a sword. For each number rolled a piece of the sword is put in the forge, forging the entire sword gives a 15x multiplier on your total bet and a 6x multiplier for each remaining dice roll.

  • Misty Vale Bonus Game

For this bonus game the player is awarded 15 free spins. During these free spins an extra wild multiplier symbol doubles the payout of winning combinations.

  • Whispering Vale Bonus Game

The Whispering Woods bonus game has the player select one of 5 shields to reveal random multiplier amounts. You can also choose again a maximum of two times to select another shield, abandoning your previous multiplier in the process.

  • Forest Falls Bonus Game

In this bonus game the player is awarded 20 free spins. The Avalon II symbol counts as a trailing wild in this game, which means it remains in place once gained.

  • Dusky Moor Bonus Game

This game has the player attempt to match symbols. Twelve cards are displayed in total, with the player revealing them until two of the same helms are matched. These matching helms have different bonus amounts, which is then multiplied by the multiplier value. The multiplier value starts at 2x and increases on every non-matching pick, up to 8x.

  • Morgan's Keep Bonus Game

In this game the player is awarded 20 free spins. Any winning combination here activates the Rolling Reels feature which causes matching symbols to explode, gifting the player the amount and having the empty slots refill with further dropping symbols. If these dropping symbols count as another win then the multiplier value will increase by 1x. The maximum multiplier value in this game is 6x. This bonus game cannot be reactivated during these free spins.

  • Hall of Shadows Bonus Game

Hall of Shadows has the player select fighting sequences against the Black Knight. Each of these reveal random multiplier amounts. At the end of the game the player's bet is multiplied by the sum of the multipliers.

  • Isle of Avalon Bonus Game

In this game the player spins four wheel to form a bonus multiplier value. Each of the wheels contains a numbered segment, with wheel 4 only unlocking if wheel 3 stops on the bonus of 0.

How to Play:

The simplest way to play this game involves merely changing the bet and clicking spin. By clicking on the bet button the player can change the coin size and coins bet before using spin.

More advanced users can click the autoplay button to start a 10x, 25x, 50x, or 100x autospin, with the additional option to keep spinning until the game is stopped manually. The custom option accessed from this button allows the player to further customise how many spins they want, as well as when the spins will stop, either once the entered amount of spins are completed or when an entered amount has been won or exceeded.

Overall Design and Usability:

Players who are familiar with the first game will be immediately familiar with Avalon II. The basic design incorperates various aspects of the Arthurian legend on top of a misty background of the island itself. Most of the symbols are well suited, from Merlin to Guinevere, with only the royal suits seemingly not adapted for the specific theme, though this is a minor complaint.

The usability of the game is nothing to turn your nose at either. Everything is clearly labelled and easy to understand, with the additional 3 levels of graphics settings allowing players with less powerful hardware to get in on the action. The game runs well and plays well, with the bonus games being especially visually impressive.

Where to find it:

Microgaming is one of, if not the most popular, gambling software system available, so if you already have a favourite gambling site then take a look around, it might already be on offer.

If you want a more specific list then you can check out some of the following sites:

Rating:

Avalon was a great game for its time, and Avalon II is not slouch either. If you play a lot of ways-to-win games then you'll know what you're in for with Avalon II. What really stands out in this game are the bonus games on offer. With 8 in total these have far more variety than most, and they also go above and beyond with their theme. You actually get the impression of going on a quest in this game, which is not something which is simply to pull off in a pokie game.

4.6/5 Stars

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Stash of the Titans

Stash of the Titans Basic information:

Stash of the Titans, the name itself evokes the thought of treasure, how could it not?

Created by the talented folks responsible for the Microgaming gaming software, one of the most popular and powerful gambling software systems ever developed, Stash of the Titans is a bold and colorful video slot game released in June of 2013. This is a game with an obvious dedication to its theme, with the entire layout reminiscent of the art, architecture and creatures of ancient Greece and Rome. This is the type of pokie that the Roman’s and Athenian’s would have played, had they the technology for advanced electronics.

As is standard with games offered by the Microgaming software system, this game is available for play on PC, Mac, mobile and tablet systems, such is the versatility on offer.

Stash of the Titans offers a grand total of 20 paylines, available over a total of 5 reels. The minimum bet which needs to be met by Stash of the Titans sits at 1 coin per line, while the maximum caps out at 10 per line. Stash of the Titans offers a minimum coin size of 0.01, while the maximum coins size sits at 0.20. The RTP offered by Stash of the Titans sits at just over 95%.

In terms of options, Stash of the Titans gives the players a quickspin option as well as the ability to switch off all sounds, or individually choose game sounds, win sounds, or background sounds. They also offer the ability to switch the value display between coins or credits.

Stash of the Titans also offers an expert button, which allows for further customization of the quickspin bet for the experienced player, and a stats button, which lets the player know their total spins results as well as their highest three spins. These stats do not persist, however, and are only generated for the current game session.

Also offered on the game itself is question mark icon which, when clicked, leads the user to a help page to answer any basic questions that the user might have.

Stash of the Titans

Background:

In Greek mythology, later coopted by the Romans, the Titans were the second generation of divine beings, have been created just after the like of Chaos and Gaia and before those with which most people are much more familiar, the Gods of Olympus. You remember Zeus, Athena and Hermes? These were some of the children of the Titans, who had an apparent attitude problem with their parents, given the war between the groups that would eventually end in the demise of the Titans.

The Titans most are familiar with are Atlas, the Titan who held up the sky, and Prometheus, the Titan who created humanity and was punished by Zeus for stealing the fire of the Gods to keep us warm. Seems like a nice guy, but then the Greek and Roman Gods weren’t exactly known for their compassion and sunny disposition, at least the bosses weren’t.

So, why choose this for a video slot machine? Well, some of these Titans were incredibly enormous beings like Atlas, you’d probably have to be a pretty big guy to hold up the sky. What comes to mind when you think of a stash? A little hideaway of coins and treasure, no doubt.

While these stashes might not be large for us mere mortals, we need to take into account to sheer size and wealth of these god-like beings. While some accounts place Atlas as a mere giant, others paint him large enough to stand over mountains. This guy’s wallet was likely bigger than a city block, so it stands to reason that his stash, wherever he kept it, was more than any human could ever comprehend, let alone spend.

Thus, the Stash of the Titans.

Other Features and Bonuses

Stash of the Titans has no sort of progressive jackpot system, but this is easily countered by the generous RTP on offer.

Stash of the Titans Wild

What Stash of the Titans does offer is a wild multiplier, which comes in the form of a Stash of the Titans icon. This symbol also acts as a 2x multiplier with each symbol, up to a maximum of 10x. This can create its own winning combination when five of these symbols appear on an active payline. This icon does not substitute for the scatter symbol, however it can be substituted for a Pegasus and Treasure symbol.

Stash of the Titans Scatter

Speaking of the scatter symbol, this one comes in the form of a Medusa symbol, who you might recognise as the snake-haired gorgon whose mere gaze can turn a person into stone. Fear not, such is not the case here. Instead, the scatter symbol in this game counts as a win when two or more of these appear on the wheels, and when there are three are more active the free spins bonus game becomes available. To calculate the scatter wins payout the scatter symbols are multiplied by the total number of total regular coins which have been bet.

For mixed combinations the game utilizes the aforementioned Pegasus and Treasure symbols, which act as wilds for the sake of these mixed pay lines. These payout from the left side of the screen to the right and must be started from the very first reel, any of these symbol combinations which start from the remaining four reels do no activate a payout. It should also be noted that only one winning combination is possible for each of this paylines, in the case that more than one occurs the player will gifted with payout from the highest of the possible combinations.

For the bonus free spins game, which is accessed if the player is able to gather three of more Medusa symbols over all of the reels, the player is given fifteen free spins. During these free spins each of the payouts are multiplied by four, and the betting contributions that count towards these free spins are counted as the same amount as that amount which was bet when the free spins were awarded. This bonus game cannot be reactivated during this free spins period, you’re going to have to get more Medusa’s in regular play for that.

How to Play:

This is a fairly simple game to figure out and play. First the user must select the number of paylines that they want to play, then they place the amount which they want to bet.

When a winning combination comes about the game will automatically highlight this on the reels and the total payout amount will be displayed in the win box, if there is no winning combination then you the game kicks straight back to its base state for the player to start again.

If the expert mode is selected then the player is given the opportunity to auto-spin 5 or 10 times, or to enter the auto-play option in order to further define their auto-spin parameters. Here they can set their own custom quantity of spins and set the game to stop spinning either after these are complete or a certain amount of winnings have been met or exceeded.

 Overall Design and Usability:

There are a lot of video poker games out there, and if anything that is an understatement, and they run the gambit from amazingly professional looking to appearing as something a child made out of stolen assets. This game, Stash of the Titans, is one of the more striking and well-designed games on the market. The general aesthetic of Stash of the Titans is one of bold colors, pictures and text. The cartoon graphics, which are also fantastically animated, really stand above the herd when it comes to effort.

Whether it’s the seductive Medusa, the roaring Gryphon, the hissing Hydra or the DeVitoesque Satyr, a lot of work has been put into these characters, both in terms of design and animation. More than anything else it speaks from a place which was obviously inspired by the look of Disney’s Hercules, with enough of a difference to free it of any possible issues regarding copyright and other legal troubles. This extends to the lines, coins, bet max and spin buttons, all of which represent stylized versions of actual objects which exist within Roman and Greek history.

In terms of usability the game is no slouch either. Due in part to the Microgaming platform, and in part to the well-designed nature, Stash of the Titans is quick to load, quick to play, and doesn’t suffer any of the nasty graphical hiccups or catches that can occur with other software with similar levels of graphical effort and fidelity. A really great effort all around.

Where to find it:

As is common with websites that utilize the Microgaming software platform, Stash of the Titans is available on a great many sites. If the site or sites you use employ the use of this software system then do a quick search, it could very well already be on offer.

If you want a more specific list then you can check out some of the following sites:

In fact there are far too many sites available to reasonably list, so if none of these or the sites which you already use strike your fancy then try a simple Google search, you won’t be lacking for results.

Rating:

Great looking, fun to play, fast and reliable. The only thing which could really be marked against this game is if the player is not a fan of cartoonish graphics, classical mythology or the fact that this comes without a progressive jackpot system. If none of those issues concern you then check it out, you might love it as much as we do.

4.5/5 Stars

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Burning Desire

Burning Desire Basic information:

When a video slot game has a name like Burning Desire it’s not difficult to see what you’re in for, and this one does not disappoint.

Created by the talented folks responsible for the Microgaming gaming software, one of the most popular and powerful gambling software systems ever developed, Burning Desire is one of the more striking pokies out there, with an emphasis on reds, purples and yellows. This game was released in February of 2009 and comes with a 5 by 3 layout. Burning Desire is a game which evokes both comfort and elegance, and is the sort of game you would expect to see in an upper-class gentlemen’s club circa 2000.

As is standard with games offered by the Microgaming software system, this game is available for play on PC, Mac, mobile and tablet systems, such is the versatility on offer.

Burning Desire

Burning Desire is a Ways to Win machine, meaning that in effect there are 243 paylines, or that figuring out a complicated line is a non-issue as all possible combinations automatically count. These are available over 5 reels.

This poke has a minimum bet of 1 coin per line with a minimum coin size of 0.01. The maximum coins per line sits at 10 while the maximum coin size reaches as high as 5. The jackpot for this game sits at 3000 coins and the RTP sits at 96.2%

In terms of options Burning Desire does not give the players a quickspin option, while they do offer the standard mute all sounds button common to most video pokies.

Burning Desire comes with an expert button, this is the button needed to activate the quickspin or auto-play features that might come off as slightly confusing for the novice pokie player.

Also offered on the game itself is question mark icon which, when clicked, leads the user to a help page to answer basic questions that the player might have.

Background:

There’s not much to say on the background of Burning Desire, as its theme isn’t based off any particular legend or historical event, but rather seems reminiscent of a plush and comfortable lounge bound in velvet, reds and purples.

Given the name and some of the symbols it is supposed to have some sort of relationship to red hot passion, though it achieves through means that are more subdued than they might be.

Other Features and Bonuses

Burning Desire has no sort of progressive jackpot system, but the generous RTP can help make up for this.

The wild offered by Burning Desire comes in the form a Burning Desire symbol in front of a burning heart, which can only appear on reels number 2 and 4. This wild does not substitute for the scatter symbol and does not create its own winning combination when multiple symbols appear at the same time.

The scatter symbol for Burning Desire comes in the form of a coin symbol. A winning scatter combination is reached when two or more of these appear on the reels on the same spin. The payout for this scatter symbol is dependent on the total amount which was bet on the round where the symbols appeared. In order to start the free-spins bonus game a minimum of three of these coin scatter symbols must appear in a single spin, these all give 15 free spins. As a multiplier 2 symbols add a 1x multiplier, 3 symbols give a 2x multiplier, 4 symbols give a 10x multiplier and 5 symbols give the maximum 100x multiplier.

During the free-spins bonus game the amount counted as bet is based off how much the player bet in the turn in which the free-spin bonus game was activated. In this game all wins are tripled. In the event that a player is able to gain another 3 or more scatter symbols during these free-spins another 15 free spins will be added to the total quantity of free-spins that the player has yet to play.

When a player scores a win they are given the option to activate the gamble feature, provided the win does not exceed the gamble activation limit, which allows them a chance at a double-or-nothing game. During this game the player must selected a color of card which is then revealed, in the event that the player loses all money won in that turn is lost, if they win it is doubled and they have the chance to use the gamble feature again. This can be performed up to a maximum of 5 gambles per game or until the gamble limit is reached. Winnings from these gamble games are collected automatically.

Over all of these the only payouts given will be for the maximum win per payline.

How to Play:

This is a fairly simple game to figure out and play. First the player selected their coin size as well the total amount of coins which they want to bet and then they simply click on the spin button. In the event where they feel especially lucky they can just click the Bet Max button to maximize everything and spin. As this is a 243 way to win game the player is not required to choose how many paylines they want, all are automatically selected.

If the expert mode is selected then the player is given the opportunity to auto-spin 5 or 10 times, or to enter the auto-play option in order to further define their auto-spin parameters. Here they can set their own custom quantity of spins and set the game to stop spinning either after these are complete or a certain amount of winnings have been met or exceeded.

When a winning combination comes about the game will automatically highlight this on the reels and the total payout amount will be displayed in the win box, if there is no winning combination then you the game kicks straight back to its base state for the player to start again. In the event of a win the player is also offered an opportunity to use the gamble feature, which works as detailed above.

 Overall Design and Usability:

The design of Burn Desire has to be one of the prettiest available, if you go for that sort of thing. Reds, purples and yellows with a symbol set of hearts, roses and diamonds in addition to the standard high cards really help to sell this theme. This is one of those themes that just oozes comfort to the point where it’s pleasing to simply look at. This even lights up and adapts more gold as the free-spins bonus game is activated, really selling that impression of a winning game. The graphics designers really did a great job with this one. This is somewhat let down by the music which isn’t quite as well suited and earned a quick mute from us. Match it with some relaxing music of your own, set it on full-screen, kick back and relax and you’ll be set.

In terms of usability Burning Desire is fairly standard. This is a game which offers everything that users have grown to expect, covering all the bases when it comes to options and auto features.  Burning Desire runs well and looks great, reaching that sweet-spot where it doesn’t suffer from the bad graphics of much older games, nor the large file size of modern games. Despite the high RTP, however, this game often feels as if you’re not really getting much out of it, possibly due to the Ways to Win nature of it, and this is a common complaint among players. Obviously your individual mileage will vary.

The gamble feature on offer is a bit more subdued than most, as it only offers the two way double or nothing rather than the common 2 way double-or-nothing in addition to the four-way quadruple-or-nothing, but this is a minor complaint.

Where to find it:

As is common with websites that utilize the Microgaming software platform, Burning Desire is available on a great many sites. If the site or sites you use employ the use of this software system then do a quick search, it could very well already be on offer.

If you want a more specific list then you can check out some of the following sites:

If none of these sites make your fancy then try out a simple Google search, there will a wealth of results related to this game, as it has proven to be quite popular.

Rating:

Burning Desire is one of our personal favourites when it comes to theme and layout. As one of the most visually pleasing pokie games on offer this is one which you could just look at for hours. Coming with all of the basic options that players have come to expect and its 243 ways payline system means there is a lot you can get from this experience. If you’re not a fan of this type of theme and prefer something a little cartoonier, entertaining, animated or masculine then this might not be the right game for you, but if you like simplicity and beauty then definitely check this out.

4.2/5 Stars

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Pure Platinum

Pure Platinum Basic information:

Pure Platinum, not as glorious as gold nor as sterling as silver but not without its own charm and brilliance.

Created by the talented folks responsible for the Microgaming gaming software, one of the most popular and powerful gambling software systems ever developed, Pure Platinum is a vivid and gleaming pokie released in May of 2009. Pure Platinum is game with an obvious dedication to the glitz and glory of wealth and treasure, with a design that evokes jewels and polished chrome. This is a very sharp game, with graphics that would not look out of place in casino of the future.

As is standard with games offered by the Microgaming software system, this game is available for play on PC, Mac, mobile and tablet systems, such is the versatility on offer.

Pure Platinum

Pure Platinum offers a grand total of 20 paylines, available over a total of 5 reels. On offer, apart from the regular symbols, are a Wild symbol, a Scatter symbol, a free bonus game and a Gamble feature. The minimum bet which needs to be met by Pure Platinum sits at 1 coin per line, while the maximum caps out at 10 per line. The minimum coin size of Pure Platinum sits at 0.01, which the maximum caps out at 0.5 The RTP offered by Pure Platinum sits at 96.5%.

In terms of options Pure Platinum gives the players a quickspin option as well as the ability to switch off all sounds, or individually choose game sounds, win sounds, or background sounds. They also offer the ability to switch the value display between coins or credits.

Pure Platinum also includes a stats button, which lets the player know their total spins results as well as their highest three spins. These stats do not persist, however, and are only generated for the current game session.

Also offered on the game itself is question mark icon which, when clicked, leads the user to a help page to answer any basic game related questions that the user might have.

Background:

Pure Platinum comes with two obvious inspirations, there are the glamorous casino and the element of platinum.

Winning huge from casinos comes from the idea of wealth, which is represented by shiny jewels, shiny cars, shiny watches and shiny, well, everything. If this were a machine that existed in real life it would no doubt be utterly blinding, given the sheer amount of twinkly little graphics contained within.

Why was platinum chosen? Well, it’s a precious metal for a start. This means that it exists only in rare quantities and holds high economic value. In addition to this platinum is well known for its resistance to corrosion and non-reactivity. In basic terms – this is a metal that is worth a lot, is nice to look at and will stay that way for a long while.

This is why, in the simplest possible terms, it was chosen as theme for a pokie game. Not the greatest backstory, nor the deepest inspiration but it works. This is a game that looks great, at least for those interested in such gloss.

Other Features and Bonuses

Pure Platinum has no sort of progressive jackpot system, but this is easily countered by the generous RTP on offer.

What Pure Platinum does offer is a wildcard, which comes in the form of a Pure Platinum icon. This icon does not substitute for the scatter symbol, but can stack on itself to create a wild symbol stack. 3 of these stack to give 100, 4 stack to give 500 and 5 stack to give a bonus of 1000. It is also possible for the wild symbol to create its own winning combination in the event where multiples of the wild symbol occur on the same enabled payline. The wild symbol can occur in both the base game and within the free spins bonus game. In the event that the wild appears on multiple paylines at once only the payline with the highest win will be counted.

The scatter symbol for Pure Platinum comes in the form of what appears to be a hard drive or some other disk system that has been lowered into mercury or perhaps liquefied platinum. It’s actually not very clear what this symbol is supposed to represent, though that is really of little importance. The scatter symbol does not need to occur on an enabled payline in order for a win to occur. When a scatter win does occur it is displayed as a multiplier value. 2 of these give a 1x bonus on the total bet, 3 scatter icons give a 3x bonus on the total bet, 4 icons give a 20x bonus on the total bet and 5 scatter icons give a massive 100x bonus on the total bet. How much a scatter win pays out depends on the quantity of a players total bet. In order to qualify for the free spins bonus game 3, 4 or 5 scatter icons must appear on a single bet.

During the free spins game the player is able to select 50 free spins at a 1x multiplier, 25 free spins at a 2x multiplier or 10 free spins at a 5x multiplier.

The gamble feature of this game is enabled after a win, though this is not available if your win exceeds the gamble activation limit, a limit which does appear to be listed. When a regular win occurs the player can choose to either play or skip over the gamble feature. If they choose to play then the player is given two different modes of multiplying their winnings. They can choose a card color, with a correct guess doubling their winnings, or they can choose a suit, with a correct guess quadrupling their winnings.

How to Play:

This is a simple game to figure out and play. First the user must select the number of paylines that they want to play, then they place the amount of coins which they want to bet, as well as the coin size.

Pure Platinum also offers an expert button, which allows for further customization of the bet for the experienced player. This can allow the user to set at total number of spins which the game will go through automatically, and stop settings which allow the user to stop when all auto-spins are complete or when the total amount won meets or exceeds a custom amount.

When a winning combination comes about the game will automatically highlight this on the reels and the total payout amount will be displayed in the win box followed by an opening of the gambling feature offer, if there is no winning combination then you the game kicks straight back to its base state for the player to start again.

 Overall Design and Usability:

How well the design resonates for you really comes down to how much you appreciate the whole polished platinum and shiny jewel aesthetic. If you are the type of person who likes the reminder of glitz and glamour then you might feel right at home, whereas if you find this type of display more ostentatious and obnoxious then it might be worth a skip over. This is a modern and well-designed pokie game, of that there is no doubt, if you will like it or not really comes down to just a matter of taste.

At the very least the bonuses on offer as well as the gamble feature add another layer of interest and complexity to what could otherwise become another standard and unimaginative creation. The included graphics displaying the different payouts, bonus offers and line routes are also very easy to understand and clearly labeled, so in this regard Pure Platinum is quite user friendly. The auto-bet and spin features also cover the basics well, so they deserve some points here.

Where to find it:

As is common with websites that utilize the Microgaming software platform, Pure Platinum is available on a great many sites. If the site or sites you use employ the use of this software system then do a quick search, it could very well already be on offer.

If you want a more specific list then you can check out some of the following sites:

In far there are far too many sites available to reasonably list, so if none of these or the sites which you already use strike your fancy then try a simple Google search, you won’t be lacking for results.

Rating:

Solid, if divisive design, fun to play and reliable, this is definitely a game which ticks all of the boxes. Your personal enjoyment will come down to your appreciation of the aesthetic, though there is no denying the bonuses and gambling feature of their quality. Somewhat let down by its small maximum coin size. If you’re on the fence then check this one out for sure, you might be surprised by how much you like it.

4.2/5 Stars

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Avalon

Avalon Basic information:

King Arthur didn’t play a lot of slot games, at least not according to the mythological record, but if he did he might well be interested in the likes of Avalon.

Created by the talented folks responsible for the Microgaming gaming software, one of the most popular and powerful gambling software systems ever developed, Avalon is well known pokie game which released in early 2006. Not quite as old as the Arthurian legend from which it takes its name, but it certainly no spring chicken. Despite its age this is still a well performing game which obvious thought given to its theme and namesake.

As is standard with games offered by the Microgaming software system, this game is available for play on PC, Mac, mobile and tablet systems, such is the versatility on offer.

Avalon

Avalon offers a grand total of 20 paylines, available over a total of 5 reels. This game has a minimum coins per line limit of 1 with a minimum coin size of 0.01. The maximum amount of coins per line sits at 10 while the maximum coin size sits at 0.5. The maximum jackpot on offer is 800, while the RTP reaches 96.01%.

In terms of options Avalon gives the players a quickspin option as well as the ability to mute off all sounds generated by the game.

Avalon comes with an expert button, this is the button needed to activate the quickspin or auto-play features that might come off as slightly confusing for the novice pokie player.

Also offered on the game itself is help button which, when clicked, leads the user to a help page which answers any basic questions that a player might have about the game and how it operates.

The possible payouts for Avalon can be reached through the View Payout button which details a list of the different icons and the payouts for each of the individual cards, as well as the rules for payouts.

Background:

Avalon is a big part of the legend of King Arthur. Specifically it is an island which holds two important places within the story. The first, and more well known, is its location as the place where the legendary sword of Excalibur was forged, or given to Arthur. This was the blade associated with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain which has been thought to contain magical powers. This is often confused with the Sword in the Stone, but in most versions of the story these are different weapons. In simple terms it was the Sword in the Stone that proved Arthur’s true lineage, where Excalibur was the sword that represented the right of Great Britain to exist as its own nation.

The greater tale of King Arthur starts after Britain has been invaded and conquered, with its rightful king deposed. During this time there was a legend about a man who rise up to take back Britain, and this man would be known for his ability to pull a legendary sword from a presumably less legendary stone. Many attempted this feat and all failed until, one day, a young unknown man came up and effortlessly succeeded where so many others has failed. Thus Arthur becomes the new king, no doubt prompting those who attempted the pull before him to brag that they had loosened it.

Together with the wizard Merlin and his newly recruited Knights of the Round Table, Arthur sets out to build his castle of Camelot and rid Britain of the invading menace. While he succeeds in this, Arthur later falls after his most trusted knight, Lancelot, falls in love with his Wife, Guinevere.

The end of Arthurs life is disputed, with some saying he died shortly after going to war with Lancelot, and others claiming he simply waited for another time to re-reunite Great Britain.

One thing is constant throughout this legend, this is the mystical power of Avalon, and the beings contained therein.

Other Features and Bonuses

Avalon has no sort of progressive jackpot system but the high RTP can help alleviate this issue.

Avalon’s wild comes in the form of an icon representing the castle of Camelot. 2 of these on a line are worth 10 credits, where 3 are worth 150, 4 are worth 1000 and 5 are worth a total of 3000 credits. These create their own combination when on the same payline but cannot be substituted for the Lady of the Lake scatter symbol.

This Lady of the Lake scatter symbol represents the mystical entity which, in some versions of the story, lived on Avalon and gifted Arthur Excalibur. The scatter symbol does not need to appear on an enabled payline in order for the bonus payout multiplier to be applied. When a win is achieved with the scatter symbol active it acts as a multiplier which is displayed as a multiplier value on the payout table. The total payout from the scatter icon depends on the total bet wagered. 2 scatter symbols activate a 2x multiplier where 3 symbols activate a 4x multiplier,4 activate a 20x multiplier and 5 activate a massive 200x multiplier. When 3, 4 or 5 of these scatter symbols appear on a single spin the free-spin bonus game is activated.

In the free spins bonus game the amount bet is taken from the total quantity which was bet during the round in which the bonus spin game was activated. During this game additional free spins can be gained if the player is able to gain another 3 or more scatter symbols in a single spin. The maximum amount of free spins which can gained in a single spin is 12. In this free spin the Chest symbol accounts for another wild symbol, which can combined with the other Camelot wild symbol. During these wild combinations only one payout can be achieved at a time, this payout will be the highest possible of all the combinations that the player has achieved during that spin.

The gamble feature of this game is enabled after a win, though this is not available if your win exceeds the gamble activation limit, a limit which does appear to be listed. When a regular win occurs the player can choose to either play or skip over the gamble feature. If they choose to play then the player is given two different modes of multiplying their winnings. They can choose a card color, with a correct guess doubling their winnings, or they can choose a suit, with a correct guess quadrupling their winnings. During this gamble feature all winnings are collected automatically.

How to Play:

This is a fairly simple game to figure out and play. First the user must select the number of paylines that they want to play, then they place the amount which they want to bet, and the size of the coin which they bet.

When a winning combination comes about the game will automatically highlight this on the reels and the total payout amount will be displayed in the win box, if there is no winning combination then you the game kicks straight back to its base state for the player to start again.

If the expert mode is selected then the player is given the opportunity to auto-spin 5 or 10 times, or to enter the auto-play option in order to further define their auto-spin parameters. Here they can set their own custom quantity of spins and set the game to stop spinning either after these are complete or a certain amount of winnings have been met or exceeded.

 Overall Design and Usability:

Another game which takes it theme seriously, and which does a great job representing various parts of the Arthurian legend. Relevant symbols include crowns, crests, jewels and treasure chests (what is a king without wealth?) as well the wild symbol of Camelot and the Scatter symbol of the Lady of the Lake. These all fit well and are well designed, with even the standard K, Q, J and A symbols being slightly modified to fit the theme. There is no Excalibur to speak of, but that might be because we are simply not worthy.

The layout of the game is straightforward and should be quickly understandable for anyone with experience with older Microgaming pokies, the buttons are large and the game responsive. The game being over a decade old at this point does show, to some extent, but this isn’t entirely a bad thing, as the age means the requirements and loading time is below what you might expect from a more modern offering.

Where to find it:

As is common with websites that utilize the Microgaming software platform, Avalon is available on a great many sites. If the site or sites you use employ the use of this software system then do a quick search, it could very well already be on offer.

If you want a more specific list then you can check out some of the following sites:

Rating:

A fun game which, while showing its age, still holds up very well. Simple and colorful while also being responsive and reliable. This game, like the legend of King Arthur, has stood the test of time.

4.3/5 Stars

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