Microgaming slot machines are some of the most popular online slots in the world. And this is as true in 2020 as it was in 2010.
The software powers some of the best-known online casinos. And the software is aimed specifically at slots players, especially progressive jackpot lovers.
The number of Microgaming slots available is impressive. Other providers of online casino software might have dozens or a hundred slot machine games. Microgaming, on the other hand, offers literally hundreds of games to choose from.
They also roll out new slot machine games at a seemingly constant rate. These are all video slot machines, even the ones that look like traditional slots.
But the graphics, sound effects, and RTP (return to player) are some of the best in the industry.
Below I’ve listed my personal best 7 Microgaming slot machines along with some details about each of them.
1- Hot Ink Slots
Hot Ink slots is a 5-line slot machine game with a tattoo theme. It’s also one of the new breed of 1024 ways to win slots. I feel like many modern online slots players prefer games with a high hit frequency, and that’s what you get with 1024 ways to win slots–lots of wins (even though they’re usually smaller wins).
During the bonus round, you can win up to 122,500 coins. During the free spins round, you an win up to 100,000 coins. Hot Ink slots has other bonus features, too, like their re-spin option.
What kind of symbols can you expect?
Naturally, since the game has a tattoo theme, most of the symbols represent that kind of iconography. The most important 2 symbols are female tattoo artists:
- Luci – She’s your typical Goth chick with tattoos and dark hair.
- Angel – As you might expect, Angel is a contrast to Luci. She’s a blonde.
These gals are also the highest paying symbol in the game. Get 5 of either of them, and the game pays out with a 750X multiplier.
Other symbols include a male tattoo artist, tattoo chairs, and a tattoo parlour storefront.
You can play for stakes as low as a penny, and you can bet a maximum of $2.50 per spin.
I’ve seen multiple sites claim to have RTP information for Hot Ink slots. But the numbers aren’t the same from site to site. None of them (as far as I know) have published their methodology for estimating this percentage. I’ll refrain from commenting, other than to offer an opinion that the RTP for the game is probably at least 95%.
2- The Dark Knight Rises Slots
The Dark Knight Rises slots are, of course, based on the Batman movie of the same name. This is one of the new breed of slot machines that offer 243 ways to win. So, like Hot Ink slots, you can expect more frequent payouts than other games. But the payout are also smaller than you’d see with other games, too.
The Batman logo acts as a wild symbol. The time bomb symbol acts as a scatter symbol.
Unlike Hot Ink slots, which is admittedly kinda cartoony, The Dark Knight Rises Slots use extremely realistic, high quality photographs for its symbols. Mostly these include characters from the film itself. The music for the game uses Hans Zimmer’s score.
You can play for as little as a penny per spin, but the game is available in higher denominations as well.
3- Mega Spin Break Da Bank Again Slots
Mega Spin Break Da Bank Again slots offer multiple panels. It’s a sequel to an earlier Microgaming slot machine game named “Break Da Bank”. Unlike the other 2 games listed so far, this one does not feature lots of small, frequent payouts. It’s a volatile game with infrequent payoffs, but those payoffs tend to be huge.
As far as symbols and theme, you can expect to see lots of money-related iconography like gems and gold bars. You’ll also see images of bank vaults, checks, and cash money. Like many Microgaming slot machine games, it also features symbols based on playing cards.
Break Da Bank Again slots has 4-reel panels. It’s mobile friendly and has 3 dimensional graphics. (I love this new trend of 3D slot machine games, by the way.) The graphics and sound effects are original and interesting.
With the 4 panels, you’re basically playing 4 online slot machine games at one time. These games all feature wild symbols and scatters, just as you’d expect any modern video slot to offer.
4- Alaxe in Zombieland Slots
If you re-imagined Alice in Wonderland as a zombie movie, but then made it into a slot machine game, you’d probably come pretty close to imagining Alaxe in Zombieland slots. Like many of Microgaming’s slots, Alaxe in Zombieland is not a licensed property–it’s an original creation unique to their software package.
If you like your horror mixed with generous doses of humor, Alaxe in Zombieland might be the perfect game for you. The setting is a graveyard during the full moon. The background graphics feature the gate of the cemetery where the “action” takes place. The palette of the game features dark blues and grays to maintain the horror movie themed atmosphere. You’ll also see plenty of blood red to provide a contrast.
The soundtrack and sound effects for the game are also spooky. The animation is acceptable but not especially advanced–don’t expect the kind of photo-realistic symbols you get when you play The Dark Knight Rises slots. This is just a regular 2-dimensional slot machine game, too.
Alaxe in Zombieland has 5 reels and 25 paylines. Like most Microgaming slots, the ubiquitous playing card symbols are present–9, 10, jack, queen, king, and ace. But at least they’re presented on tombstones instead of just as playing cards.
The other symbols are undead versions of the characters from Alice in Wonderland:
- The Cheshire Cat
- The Mad Hatter
- The March Hare
Alaxe in Zombieland made the list largely because I like the original theme and the unique spin on a classic work of literature.
5- Thunderstruck Slots
Thunderstruck slots have been available since 2004. It’s impressive that a 13-year-old slot machine game is still good enough to warrant a place on this “best of Microgaming slots” list.
Thunderstruck slots has 5 reels and 9 paylines. It’s a Thor-themed game, but it’s not based on Thor from the movies. It’s an original creation that taps into Norse mythology. So yes, the game’s characters have resemblances to the characters from the Thor movies, but that’s unavoidable. They’re both tapping into the same source material.
The symbols in the game include the following:
- Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer)
Like most 5-reel games in Microgaming’s stable, Thunderstruck slots feature playing card symbols in addition to their themed symbols. These are the 9, 10, jack, queen, king, and ace. They are designed to look like they’ll fit in with the theme of Thunderstruck, though.
Thor acts as both a wild symbol and a multiplier. He can substitute for any symbol needed to create a winning combination. He also acts as a multiplier. Any time Thor is part of a winning combination, the payoff for that combination is doubled.
Thunderstruck also has a free spins possibility where you can win up to 15 extra spins with a possible multiplier of 3X.
Thunderstruck II, by the way, has the same theme, with improved graphics and gameplay. It’s one of these new 243 ways games. But the symbols and themes are largely the same. This sequel was released in 2010, 6 years after the original game. It also has bigger jackpots available–the top prize is 2.4 million coins.
6- Jurassic Park Slots
Jurassic Park slots are another example of a blockbuster movie turned into a slot machine game. Microgaming’s access to such big hits from the movie theater is demonstrative of the size and power of the company, too.
The graphics for Jurassic Park slots are probably more impressive than the graphics for any of the other games on this list. The game also features a scrolling effect that makes the game even more immersive. The symbols include:
- Characters from the movie
Like many of the more modern games, Jurassic Park does away with the traditional concept of paylines, instead offering you 243 ways to win.
My favorite aspect of the game is “T-Rex Alert Mode”.
At random times during your playing session, this mode gets activated, and you get 35 extra wild symbols over the course of your next half-dozen spins.
The game also features scatter symbols, free spins, and bonus rounds.
As with the other games on this list, I’m unable to find verifiable information about the payback percentage for the game. But it’s safe to assume that it’s at least 95% or 96%.
A Quick Note about 243 Ways and 1024 Ways Slots
If you’re from the old school, you might be unfamiliar with 243 ways and 1024 ways slots. The lack of paylines on such games might be confusing.
Here’s a quick explanation:
On a 5 reel slot machine, you have 3 visible symbols on each reel. The line across the middle is usually the main payline. Games usually have multiple paylines you can activate in various patterns.
On a 243 ways machine, every possible winning combination from left to right counts, regardless of whether it’s on a payline or not.
The reason you have 243 ways to win is because you have 3 symbols on each reel visible. The number of possible combinations is 3 X 3 X 3 X 3 X 3, or 243.
A 1024 ways to win machine uses the same concept, but instead of showing 3 symbols on each reel, 4 symbols are visible. 4 X 4 X 4 X 4 X 4 = 1024.
The Pros and Cons of Playing Microgaming Slots
Microgaming slots have their good points and their drawbacks. The biggest pro on the table is the wide variety of games they have available.
It doesn’t matter what kind of slot machine game you prefer, Microgaming offers a version of it. They have 3-reel slots and 5-reel slots. You can find progressive jackpots galore there, but they also offer plenty of flat-top machines. They have original games you can’t find anywhere else, and they also offer games based on licensed intellectual property.
Various sites claim to have Microgaming slots RTP data. This is the theoretical return for the game. But as far as I know, Microgaming doesn’t publish a database of their payback percentages. This goes in the con column, even though it’s not customary for casinos to offer this kind of information to the public.
I just have a problem with the opaque nature of slot machine RTP in general. In literally every other casino game that exists, you can compare the probability of winning with the payouts for the game to get a RTP figure. (In table games, it’s called the house edge.)
But with slot machine games, the only information you have is the payback percentage for each combination. You don’t have the details about how likely it is to hit these prizes. So you have no way of knowing what the payback percentage for the game is.
Another pro for Microgaming casinos is the large variety of progressive jackpot games they make available. No other casino software on the internet offers more progressive jackpot games or bigger jackpots.
Another con is that Microgaming won’t allow its licensees to offer their games to real money players from the United States. As a large company, Microgaming was one of the first online casino software providers to pull out of the U.S. market.
Finally, on the con side, even though the number of games available number in the hundreds, many of Microgaming’s slot machines are almost identical in terms of gameplay. They might feature slightly different themes with slightly different images on the reels, but many of their games are on the repetitive side.
Microgaming slots are some of the best in the business. But their large number of games doesn’t equate to the kind of variety you’d expect. Yes, you can find plenty of games to choose from.
But many of their games and gameplay features are repetitive.
That being said, they offer the biggest jackpots online. If you’re not a player based in the United States, Microgaming slots might be the best deal on the table for you.