Some online slots have forged a place in history for innovation. We round up seven of the most influential video slots ever made.
There are thousands of online slots around in 2019. Many of the best can be found at Betway Casino.
But only a handful of games have shaped the industry. They have innovated and broken records while remaining popular and relevant today.
Here are some of the most influential online video slots ever to hit the casino lobby.
Cash Splash 5-reel (Microgaming)
Features: Wilds, scatters, progressive jackpot
Microgaming launched an online casino platform in 1995, but it would take another three years for the developer to release its first linked progressive.
Cash Splash was already out in a 3-reel format, but the 5-reel version featured a wild symbol that helped to activate the game’s progressive jackpot.
To win the progressive, you must line up five wilds on the 15th payline, a tricky prospect given the true odds of that happening.
Features: Free spins, wilds
The Norse-themed Thunderstruck slot came out in the early 2000s as part of a wider Microgaming software upgrade. Despite the game being popular enough to warrant a successful sequel – Thunderstruck II – players still flock to the original.
In the game, you can trigger free spins by landing three, four or five scatters. Wins are tripled during the feature as well. Thor, the God of Thunder, acts as the wild symbol and substitutes for all regular icons in the game.
Mega Moolah (Microgaming)
Features: Free spins, wilds, progressive jackpots
Microgaming’s Major Millions had been breaking records for its progressive jackpot, but Mega Moolah is leagues ahead.
The game came out in 2009, shortly after Microgaming were celebrating their 400th slot release. It’s a simple 5-reel slot with an African theme, and a fun free spins bonus game.
The real highlight of Mega Moolah, though, is the progressive jackpot. In fact, there are four separate progressives you can win.
Tomb Raider (Microgaming)
Features: Free spins with multiplier, Tomb Bonus round
Released in 2005, Tomb Raider was one of the earliest examples of a branded online slot. It was developed in conjunction with Eidos, the makers of the hugely popular Tomb Raider video game series.
Technology didn’t allow any kind of skill-based bonus round based on the original video games, but Tomb Raider still featured actual imagery of Lara Croft in a range of poses.
Microgaming have released several sequels to Tomb Raider, including 2019’s Lara Croft Temples and Tombs.
The Incredible Hulk (Playtech)
Features: Smash Bonus, free spins, expanding Hulk
The Incredible Hulk was released in the mid-2000s by Playtech as part of a larger series produced in conjunction with Marvel. The series also included games like Iron Man 2, The Fantastic Four, and X-Men.
The game featured lots of paylines, an adrenaline-fuelled Smash Bonus feature, and special Expanding Hulks.
But following Marvel’s takeover by Disney, the new owners decided that online slots didn’t fit in with their wholesome model. The Marvel series – which also included a range of progressive Marvel Jackpot games – bit the dust.
Playtech kept the software and bonuses intact, relaunching the Marvel games as a series of successful Age of the Gods slots.
Gonzo’s Quest (NetEnt)
Features: Avalanche Reels, multipliers, Free Falls
Released in 2011, NetEnt’s Gonzo’s Quest introduced slot players to a new concept: Avalanche Reels. After a regular spin, any winning symbols are removed from the reels, only to be replaced by symbols sitting above on the reels.
In addition, after a winning spin, a multiplier is attached to the prize, and keeps increasing after subsequent wins. Every major developer now has their own version of Avalanche Reels (Cascading Reels or Microgaming’s own Rolling Reels) but Gonzo’s Quest was the original.
Jack and the Beanstalk (NetEnt)
Features: Free spins, expanding wilds, Walking Wilds
3D slots have been around for a few years, but few are as well-designed as NetEnt’s Jack and the Beanstalk.
The fairytale-themed slot features a slick animated intro film showing our hero trying to make his way out of the giant’s lair with the golden eggs.
In terms of bonuses, Jack and the Beanstalk was the first slot to feature Walking Wilds. These are special wilds that shift one reel to the left on every respin.
The game was also adapted into an experimental VR slot where the player could immerse themselves in Jack’s world while playing.