When it comes to online slots, there are few names as big as Microgaming. Our guide tells you all you need to know about the complete range of Microgaming slots, including its best-known and most popular games, as well as the UK slot sites where you you can play the best Microgaming slots.
|ABOUT||FEATURES AND BONUSES||BEST SLOTS||SOFTWARE||MOST POPULAR GAMES|
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Who is Microgaming?
Ever since its founding in 1994, Microgaming has been one of the leading innovators in the world of online gaming, and its name has become synonymous with the boom in the industry over the past decade or so. It was one of the first providers of software to UK online casinos, and Microgaming slots continue to dominate the market today, with its games appearing at many of the sites that we feature here.
Microgaming’s standing in the industry is amply demonstrated by the numerous awards it has garnered over the years from all the major online gaming organisations and publications for all aspects of its operations, including most recently the award for Innovation in Slot Provision at the 2019 EGR B2B Awards.
Having been a leader in the industry since online gaming’s earliest days, Microgaming slots have always been known for their innovation, and many of the online slots features that we take for granted today were first introduced in Microgaming games. Likewise, it pioneered the introduction of HTML5 technology and mobile gaming platforms, both of which have revolutionised the ways in which online slots are played.
Today, the Microgaming slots catalogue features more than 500 games in all categories (as well as table and card games, video poker and other casino games). This means that at our recommended online casinos you can play old-school 3 reel slots, video slots, themed slots and progressive jackpot slots, featuring a dazzling array of game themes and styles. The sheer variety of the Microgaming slots portfolio is one of the reasons for the success and popularity of its games, as every possible gaming taste is catered for. Likewise, state-of-the-art technology is a hallmark of all the best Microgaming slots.
Microgaming has further sought to consolidate its industry-leading position through beginning to work with a growing number of smaller, independent game producers whose games it releases under the Microgaming banner. Some of the boutique developers who Microgaming is now partnering with include Atomic Spin, Gameburger Studios, Pulse 8 Studios, all41studios, Switch Studios, Fortune Factory, Slingshot, Stormcraft and Triple Edge Studios, and these relationships mean that the Microgaming slots catalogue is constantly being refreshed with input from a growing range of sources.
What special features and bonuses can be found in Microgaming slots?
Innovative gameplay, special features and bonus rounds are all keys to the success and popularity of the best Microgaming slots. These additions enhance the action of the game and are usually where the biggest payouts can be won, so for many players the special features and bonuses are the main attractions of playing online slots games.
Ways to win slots
A number of Microgaming slots are ways-to-win games, a form of video slot that increases the number of potential winning combinations on any spin.
Ways-to-win slots don’t have conventional paylines — instead, any combination of 3 more symbols on left-to-right adjacent reels pays out as a win, which not only increases the number of potential payouts but also creates more action and greater player engagement. 243 ways-to-win slots have 3 rows of symbols on 5 reels, while 1024 ways-to-win games have 5 reels and 4 rows of symbols.
The best Microgaming slots that are ways-to-win games include Game of Thrones, Immortal Romance, Jurassic Park and Hot Ink.
Progressive free spins bonus rounds
One of the most popular and potentially lucrative special features that you can enjoy in Microgaming games is the progressive free spin bonus.
This is a multi-level bonus where you pass through different tiers, making progress through the levels each time you trigger the free spins round. The rewards are different in each round, with a changing number of free spins, multipliers and other features becoming available as you move up to through the levels.
What makes this feature even more engaging is that the free spin bonus level you attain carries over from one playing session to the next, so you are able to continue building your rewards and bonuses every time you play.
Popular Microgaming slots featuring a progressive free spins bonus round include Avalon 2, Thunderstruck 2 and Immortal Romance.
Stacked and expanding wilds
Stacked and expanding wilds are similar special features in Microgaming slots that enhance the gameplay by increasing the possibility of hitting winning combinations. There, is however, a key difference between the two.
With stacked wilds, wild symbols can fill all the rows on a reel, so that you have entire reel filled by 3 (or 4) symbols. This is of course increases the chance of a wild symbol appearing in a win.
An expanding wild, on the other hand, comes into play when a wild symbol lands on a reel and it then expands and replaces the other symbols on the reel with a single, expanded wild. However, the effect is the same as a stacked wild, in that the expanded wild symbol creates more opportunities for wins.
In some games, an expanding wild can trigger a free spin (or spins), in which case it may also be sticky i.e., the expanded wild remans in place for the free spin, creating the opportunity for multiple wins from a single spin.
Some of the best Microgaming slots with stacked and expanding wilds that you can play at our recommended UK online casinos include Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones and Hitman.
What makes Microgaming software unique?
Perhaps the aspect of Microgaming games that is best known is the progressive jackpot slots network. These games have to date paid out more than £750 million in prize money, and Mega Moolah, the premiere title in the range, continues to attract players from around the world who try and land the major jackpot, which starts at £1 million (and has an average payout in excess of £3 million).
Although many other slot game producers have progressive jackpot networks that also pay out enormous prize wins, none of these can rival the Microgaming network, and more casinos feature Microgaming progressive jackpot slots than games from any other producer.
Most popular games by Microgaming
With more than 500 games in its catalogue, it’s a pretty daunting task to try and decide which are the five best Microgaming slots. There’s no chance that all slots players will ever agree on this, but these are the games we think should be considered for this illustrious title.
Game of Thrones
Theme: Game of Thrones TV series
Special features and bonuses: Gamble Trail Feature, which gives you the chance to double any win up to four times; wild and stacked wild symbols; scatter symbol; auto play feature
Volatility: low to medium
Minimum bet: $0.15
Design: The design and soundtrack of the game are outstanding, with stunning images from the TV series (including the Iron Throne and the banners from four of the major Houses), backed throughout by the iconic and haunting theme tune.
Verdict: It’s probably unsurprising that the most popular TV show of all time is also the theme for one of the most popular Microgaming games. Among the many features that make Game of Thrones a stand out slot is the fact that it can be played in both 15 payline and 243 ways-to-win versions, which is highly unusual.
Released in 2015 (before the HBO series reached its conclusion), it’s not all about the look of the game, however, as Game of Thrones has a host of highly engaging gameplay features as well. Overall, this is one of the most impressive Microgaming slots in recent years, and being able to play the game in two versions is a big part of its appeal.
Theme: 1993 film Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg
Special features and bonuses: five different free spin bonus rounds; wild and scatter symbols; stacked wilds; T-Rex Alert feature (35x additional wild symbols are available for 6x spins); auto-play feature
Volatility: medium to high
Minimum bet: £0.30
Design: Jurassic Park is a spectacular looking game, with the setting, characters and soundtrack all drawn from the groundbreaking film. The cinematic spins and video animation in particular are stunning, and this was one of the first online slots to feature parallax reels. The soundtrack also features original music from the film.
Verdict: There is so much to like about Jurassic Park, it is hard to know where to start. Alongside the stunning visuals, there is a great deal of innovative gameplay, in particular the T-Rex Alert feature and the free spins feature, which consists of five separate bonus rounds, each of which gives you a different number of free spins and offers different payouts.
Phantom of the Opera
Theme: 2004 film Phantom of the Opera, with music by Andrew Lloyd-Weber
Special features and bonuses: Music of the Night Free Spins Bonus (10 free spins with multipliers. wild reels, extra wilds); Masquerade Bonus (pick and click bonus round); All I Ask Of You Free Spins Bonus (10 free spins with dancing wilds and 3x multiplier); Chandelier Feature (3 reels randomly turn wild); Letter Feature (awards a random cash prize of up to 20x total bet).
Minimum bet: £0.30
Design: The game uses a range of imagery from the 2004 film (directed by Joel Schumacher), including major characters such as the Phantom, Christine and Raoul. The soundtrack is even more impressive, including all the biggest hits such as Music of the Night, All I Ask of You and Think of Me.
Verdict: One of the reasons Phantom of the Opera works so well is that it’s a fast-paced game that introduces some new gameplay features like the dancing symbols, while the two different free spins bonus rounds (featuring a variety of free spins, multipliers and wild symbols) means that the gameplay is always changing. Combined with an elegant and lush design, Phantom of the Opera has proved itself to be one of the most popular Microgaming slots in recent times.
Theme: Arthurian legend
Special features and bonuses: Holy Grail Bonus Feature (a multi-level progressive bonus feature); wild and expanding wild symbols; scatter symbols; animated Merlin character that randomly awards cash prizes.
Minimum bet: £0.30
Design: The design of Avalon 2 takes slots games set in the ancient world of Camelot to a new level, while the sound effects and soundtrack are genuinely groundbreaking. Each character symbol has its own recurring them, and they also animate on winning spins.
Verdict: It seems as if there are hundreds of slots with an Arthurian setting, but few have the overall attention to detail and exquisite artwork of Avalon 2. Furthermore, the eight tiers of the Holy Grail Bonus Feature really enhance the gameplay by adding variety and a range of ways to win, with different numbers of free spins and multipliers on offer in each round. For slots players who like high levels of engagement, Avalon 2 is one of Microgaming’s most impressive offerings.
Theme: Modern day vampires
Special features and bonuses: Chamber of Spins feature (progressive free spins bonus round with four different levels, each of which offers a different number of spins and multipliers); Wild Desire feature (where reels can randomly become wild); wild symbols; scatter symbols
Minimum bet: £0.30
Design: Capitalising on the vogue for teen vampire stories (inspired by Twilight), what makes Immortal Romance stand out is the detailed back stories of the characters, combined with the overall Gothic look and feel. The music too is very impressive, with a specially commissioned piano score throughout, so for those players who like a holistic gaming package, Immortal Romance should undoubtedly be on your list.
Verdict: Immortal Romance marked a new direction in online slots, as it was one of the first games to combine elaborate storytelling with high quality gameplay in this way. The progressive free spins feature provides many opportunities for significant wins as well, and this only adds to the game’s universal appeal.