There are lots of great video game slots but let’s start with the all-time favourite and granddaddy of them all, the one that launched a thousand games and in fact an entire industry - it has to be Space Invaders! What a heritage - the game was developed in Japan and first released in 1978 to a somewhat bemused world that had never seen anything like it before. On a blurry video screen, armies of icon-styled invaders moved up and down the screen to get onto your spaceship. You could play it in pubs and arcades and it was soon a smash hit worldwide. Now nostalgia is all very well but today’s players would find the 70s game laughably simple and the graphics like something from ancient Rome! So, Ash Gaming has subtly updated Space Invaders as a slot game for today, while including lots of references to the original video game. The slot has a frame that looks like an old arcade machine with buttons. The symbols are the same but the gameplay is way better. Yes, each spin enables you to shoot at the symbols but this slot is full of surprises, as the symbols have the ability to become wilds. Well worth a visit whether you can remember the original or weren’t even born then! Click here to read more.
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Retro rules - or does it?
By their very nature, many video slots have a strong retro component. iSoftbet has taken another iconic arcade game, Pinball Wizard, and yes, you can play a mean pinball while triggering bonuses and free spins. This slot’s really big on atmosphere - you’re meant to feel as though you’re hanging out at an American diner, so you’ve even got the sound of crockery being stacked on the soundtrack, over the period songs. Think neon signs, red Cadillacs and guys with quiffs. And as with all iSoftbet titles, great gameplay.
In case you’re thinking video game slots are one long history lesson, think again. We’ve got Tomb Raider, Secret of the Sword. MicroGaming seem to have been touched by the generosity fairy because this game has a really generous jackpot prize which can be up to £1,500. Lara is looking particularly fetching in the video, and the scatter is the Sword of the title - Excalibur. Three of those on a line and you trigger free spins.
NetEnt are never ones to be left out of the competition, and they’re responsible for the much-loved Reel Rush. There are references to Mario, Nintendo’s famous game, but it’s an original NetEnt production. There are sweeties galore on the reels, and the soundtrack sounds as though the designer was in the middle of a major sugar rush - it’s manic! Subtle it isn’t but Reel Rush still has tons of fans.
Fast, furious and roasty
How can anyone resist a video game called Roasty McFry and the Flame Busters? You’re going to look at this game and wonder if you shouldn’t cut down on the wine. But don’t worry, this is how things looked in the 80s. Imagine what games would look like if they only had a Lego set to make them with and you’re getting close. However, it’s actually good fun, with Thunderkick, the designers, providing a game that’s fast and much more sophisticated than its graphics make you realise at first.
We’ve moved on to the late nineties for Worms Reloaded. Do you remember the Gameboy? The Sega? The Amiga? All classic games machines fondly remembered. Well, kind of - looking at them now you can’t help thinking people were pretty easily entertained in those days. But when you put slot gameplay on top of Worms Reloaded - now that is entertaining. Those worms are still tooled up and battling it out, so you won’t be surprised to hear that one of the scatters is a rocket launcher and there’s a whole weapons dump full of hardware waiting to be used. The wild is a worm wearing - what else - a joker hat.
Blueprint have included random bonuses in this game, just to make sure you’re awake, though it would be pretty hard to nod off given the high decibel explosiveness of the soundtrack. The bonuses include Banana Bomb Wilds and the Holy Hand Grenade and like the rest of the bonuses, they cause total chaos.
Why did three chickens cross the road?
Genesis Gaming joins in the mayhem with Crosstown Chicken. Once a one-liner in a Christmas Cracker, now a fully fledged video-game slot, this takes “Why did the chicken cross the road?” to a whole new level. You look down on a townscape with cars at an intersection and a pedestrian crossing (or poultry crossing in this case). The chickens have got to get across the road to the hotel on the other side. I’m sorry to say that our feathered friends may not like the names of some of the bonuses. They can live with Eggscalibur as a stacked wild and the prize wheel being called the Hard Boiled Egg Wheel. But Chicken Caesar for the pick-a-prize feature? Genesis, how could you?
For something calmer but truly delightful, try Castle Builder. It’s based on the video game, so the screen’s split into an area for building the castle and three reels on the right, which have symbols for the tools and materials you’ll need to build it. It has a great feature, whereby when you collect a certain number of materials, they’re sent over to the building site side of the screen, to use in building the castle. The Royal Family are on the reels too, and Rabcat’s graphics are cute and funny. This and Castle Builder 2 have a different feel from many of the video games here. Great for Dungeon and Dragon fans.
There are too many video slots to list them all, so if you’re a fan, you won’t run out of games anytime soon.