2019 ended on a strong note, with megaways slots galore, as well as the latest instalment in NetEnt’s Finn series and of course a ton of Christmas-themed slots. These are our pick of the best slots from December 2019.
iSoftBet’s Great Wall is a perfect example of how developers can integrate a particular theme into the game mechanics of the slot. Here, the theme is, of course, the Great Wall of China. We are presented with a basic 5 reel, 3-row grid, along with typically Chinese symbols, while traditional relaxing music plays in the background. At the top of the reels, a series of rewards comprising multipliers and free spins are displayed, and if you land the Empress symbol on any reel, that reward is triggered. In the bonus round, you are rewarded with 10 free spins, with a potential maximum win of 2000x your stake. The Great Wall is a high volatility game with massive potential rewards, which all serious slot fans will love.
No month would be complete without a new Norse-themed slot. NextGen Gaming takes us to the home of the Norse Gods – the mythical city of Asgard – for a slot with a truly epic feel. Pillars of Asgard is a joy to look at, with runic-style symbols and a feeling of spinning reels while high in the clouds. However, the biggest draw of this slot is the high volatility, enormous payouts and million ways to win. The slot starts off with a bog-standard 6 reels and 4 rows but landing 3 or more scatter symbols means you enter a free spins round where you get to play with 1-4 extra rows. Scatter symbols landing during these free spins mean yet more rows appear, and if you manage to get the maximum 10 rows across all reels, then the Odin’s Blessing feature is triggered. This is where the million ways to win and the enormous 10,000x payouts come into play, making Pillars of Asgard the go-to slot for big win hunters. Best of all, if you are too impatient for the free spins round to come around, you can buy it for 80x your wager. It’s probably worth it just to see those extra rows rise up before your eyes.
NetEnt’s favourite leprechaun is back in the latest instalment of the popular Finn series. In the Golden Tavern, Finn is right at home, with enough jugs of beer to keep him spinning the reels and hopefully picking up some big wins. Once again, the reels are swirly, with wins being created from joining 3 or more symbols, which are comprised of coins and drinks. The cool thing is that each coin has a value, and winning combinations of the coins mean these values are added together. The free spins bonus is triggered by the chest symbol landing on the centre of the reels, awarding 5 free spins, with wild symbols providing some decent multipliers. Although it doesn’t pay massive amounts, Finns Golden Tavern is a charming slot which fans of the Irish theme will enjoy playing all the way to St. Patrick’s Day.
Monopoly Megaways was one of the most highly anticipated slot releases of 2019, and we are pleased to report that Big Time Gaming did not disappoint us. Once again, we see a developer taking the time to fully integrate the theme with the slot mechanics. Underneath the reels you will notice a section of the classic Monopoly board, which Mr. Monopoly passes around whenever you hit a winning spin, picking up houses, hotels, stations, and utilities. Like most BTG megaways titles, this slot features reactions, where a winning spin removes the winning symbols, allowing new symbols to fall onto the reels with more potential wins. And when the bonus round is triggered, your property portfolio allows for more free spins and more multipliers, meaning some huge potential payouts are on the cards.
Our second favourite megaways release of the month was Black Gold by Stakelogic. This oil-drilling Western-themed slot shows off the best of the megaways mechanics, with 6 basic reels holding 2-7 symbols, as well as a row of 4 symbols on top. Such a complex grid means there are over 100,000 ways to strike oil on Black Gold Megaways, and that’s just in the base game. The slot also comes with a ton of features, including a bonus round where you start off with 12 free spins, with more and more added by landing 3 or more scatter symbols. With a max payout of 14,400x, an RTP of 96.03% and medium volatility, Black Gold Megaways manages to combine entertaining gameplay with high-end graphics, as well as the chance to strike yourself a fortune. We have a feeling that Black Gold Megaways will be considered a slot classic in future years.
There were several Christmas-themed slots released in December, but our favourite was Quickspin’s Polar Paws. The beautiful graphics and festive jingle certainly captured the spirit of the season, making this the perfect slot to play with a glass of mulled wine and a slice of Christmas pudding. Symbols include polar bears, candy canes and elves. Papa bear is the highest paying symbol, and if you spin five of a kind, he will award you 10 times your stake – which is the kind of win which will make you feel both joyful AND triumphant. The free spins bonus comes with multiplier wilds and multiple levels, allowing for a maximum win of 800x your stake. As a medium volatility slot, Polar Paws hits the perfect sweet spot between frequent wins and the chance to win a decent payout.
Playtech Originals has released some innovative slots in the past year, and Kingdoms Rise Reign of Ice is no exception. While most slots are focused on reaching the free spins round above all else, this title avoids bonus features almost entirely. Instead, Kingdoms Rise Reign of Ice is all about the respins, with some jackpots thrown into the bargain. The symbols in the base game comprise the typical Norse weaponry, while the bearded dude has the highest value. The Hammer Respins feature mean that any wild freezes in place until a special wild appears on reel 2 and a hammer drops down from above, multiplying any wins by 1x, 2x, 3x or 5x. This is where the decent-sized wins come in the base game, while there are 3 jackpots on offer – with the Epic Jackpot paying out the most. The beautiful graphics and interesting use of respins means Kingdoms Rise Reign of the Ice will appeal to slot fans looking for something different in terms of gameplay.
Cygnus is a modern take on the Ancient Egypt-theme, and Elk Studios have created a stunning design for this slot game. Symbols include cats, camels and birds, set on a grid of 6 reels and 4 rows, while multipliers are inscribed on a pillar on the right-hand pillar. This slot makes full use of the avalanche feature, replacing winning symbols with more symbols, increasing your chances to win. What makes this feature unique, however, is that the symbols to the right of the winning symbols fall down and to the left. The free spins are triggered by moving the scatter symbol all the way to the far-left pillar. Cygnus slot initially comes with 4096 ways to win, but in the free spins game, this goes up to 262,144 ways to win, as you get to play with a full 8 rows. It’s pretty high variance and comes with a max payout of 5000x, so will appeal to serious slot players, as well as fans of the Ancient Egypt-theme.
Leonardo da Vinci was a genius of the Italian Renaissance, mastering the arts of painting, science, mathematics, architecture and plenty more. This man of many talents is the inspiration being Da Vinci’s Mystery slot by Red Tiger Gaming. While the design isn’t exactly top drawer, this slot more than makes up for it with some compelling gameplay. In particular, the use of super lines (where matching symbols don’t need to be on the same payline in order to trigger a win), multipliers and cascading symbols give the sense that a big win is always just around the corner. And when you trigger the bonus round, the potential is certainly there, since there are no limits to the number of free spins on offer, and the multipliers mean you have the chance to build up some truly epic wins.
There have been several slot versions of this popular TV show, and Big Time Gaming’s new version is certainly a decent effort. Now hosted by petrolhead Jeremy Clarkson, Who Wants to be a Millionaire is the quiz show with the highest payouts, and this slot doesn’t pay too badly either. It features impressive multipliers and wilds which can trigger large wins in the base game. The bonus game has good potential too, thanks to the large number of free spins on offer. You start off with up to 20 spins, and this number can grow as you move up the levels. If you enjoy watching the show, spinning the reels of Who Wants to be a Millionaire Mystery Box is an absolute must.
We certainly enjoyed the new slot releases last month. Indeed, the past year saw many innovative and entertaining new slots appear on the market. Why not check out our review of the best slots of 2019?