It is that time of the year when we all take stock of the previous 12 months, re-evaluate our lives, and make those resolutions that we hope will only enhance our self worth. Or you don’t do any of that rubbish and instead just look back on what the last 12 months of slot games has delivered.
Here, we look at my own picks of slots releases in 2014, the big, the brash and the downright amazing!
We start with this 5 reel, 15 payline slot from NetEnt that was highly anticipated from the very beginning of 2014. It is based on the classic James Cameron 1986 blockbuster that starred Sigourney Weaver. This slot has a jackpot of 570,000 coins and players have to navigate through different alien-infested levels. It fulfilled its potential across the board leaving fans wanting more.
Game of Thrones (Microgaming)
A controversial one with slots players, especially those that adore the HBO television show. Never before has a slot received so much hype before its release and never before has a slot failed to deliver the goods. It was released by Microgaming with the option to play both with 243 ways to win and 15 paylines. However, it did not include any of the characters from the television show due to licensing issues and instead relied on the different house banners leaving fans extremely disappointed. The fact that upon its release it was paying out regular wins and then mysteriously dried up also left players fuming. Included in this list purely because of the excitement its release generated with players across the world.
Raging Rhino (WMS Gaming)
WMS Gaming know how to release a big slot and this 6 reel, 4,096 ways to win title was no exception. Everything about this slot is epic. The number of reels, the number of ways to win, the potential to play up to £60 per spin, the number of free spins players could earn, and the Serengeti landscape that the reels are set against. This was arguably the slot of 2014 and further established WMS Gaming as one of the leading slots developers both online and in the land-based genre.
Thunderhorn (Bally Technologies)
Sticking with the rhino theme from another big name developer, we have the 5 reel, 1,024 ways to win Thunderhorn by Bally. Bally are another developer that have shown they can do the business on the land-based casino floor and is now proving itself online as well. Thunderhorn was their big statement of 2014 leaving fans hoping for big things from Bally in 2015.
Jurassic Park (Microgaming)
Another big licensing deal saw Microgaming secure the rights to release Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster movie as a slot in 2014. Fans of the franchise got all nostalgic when the game came out and, unlike the later released Game of Thrones, it did not fail to live up to the hype. The inclusion of the T-Rex Alert feature, free spins, and five different bonus rounds made it an instant hit.
Zeus III (WMS Gaming)
WMS Gaming were plugging this release at ICE 2014 having seen Zeus make such an impact on the slots market and the follow-up Zeus II receive positive reviews on the social slots market. This third instalment saw everything bigger, better, and more ambitious. With 6 reels, 192 paylines, two Wilds, and the potential to trigger 50 free spins with a 50x multiplier, it is understandably to see why this slot only enhanced the Zeus slots reputation.
Black Widow (IGT)
It was a very hit and miss year for IGT. It seemed like they were releasing a new slot every other week and in amongst all the female-orientated slots releases by the developer throughout 2014 such as In Bloom and Red Mansions, this darker slot, based on the 1987 Hollywood smash hit starring Debra Winger, left slots players in awe as it showed the real potential of IGT slots. Stacked Wilds, free spins, and the Black Widow acting as a multiplier contributed to the rave reviews this slot received.
Foxin’ Wins Again (NextGen Gaming)
One of the more bizarre sequels to hit the market this year was this NextGen Gaming slot. Its predecessor helped NextGen to win over a new audience and unlike the developer’s other sequel release of the year, Medusa II, showed that a sequel can out-perform its predecessor. The slot had double the paylines of the original, Mr Fox maintaining his role as the Wild, and the inclusion of a Superbet feature. This was a big statement from NextGen showing that it could take one of its most popular titles and make it even better. It also further endeared the character Mr Fox to a generation of slots players.
Football Carnival (Playtech)
It was the battle of the football-themed slots going into this past summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Playtech released their Football Carnival slot that combined the Brazilian vibrancy with the fanaticism of football and it was a mix that worked, helped on by Extra Wilds of course! It encapsulated a time when the US developed a love for the beautiful game and the rest of the world watched on as one of the greatest World Cup tournaments of all time unfolded. Slots players benefited with Football Carnival being the archetypal “right slot at the right time”.
Nemo’s Voyage (WMS Gaming)
As brightly as 2014 began for WMS Gaming with the releases of Zeus III and Raging Rhino, it ended on an equally joyous high for the developer. Nemo’s Voyage took inspiration from the 1870 Jules Verne classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and re-wrote the slots rule book with four different levels of Wild features determined using the innovative Depth Meter. This slot showed that WMS Gaming has every intention of hitting 2015 as hard as it hit 2014. Bring on the New Year!
So there you have it, my choices for the top slots of 2014. You may have your own, so please come tell us your favourites over on our Facebook page on our post Top 10 slot releases 2014.