There has never been a better time to be a casino players. Game developers, large and small, are constantly creating, developing and launching new titles, which means that players are spoiled for choice.
This year, we have seen a number of game developers really push the boat out, coming up with video slot games that are memorable, exciting and full of engaging features. It would be impossible to list them all but the team here at JohnSlots has carefully picked out their favourites.
Today we will be presenting you with our choice of the top 5 slots released in 2018. These are the ones we believe will go on to enjoy player interest for many years to come thanks to their top-notch design, game play and features. Read on to learn more and then visit your favourite casino to give them a spin!
Vikings Go To Hell by Yggdrasil
The third in the Vikings series of slot games, Vikings Go To Hell was released back in May but we haven’t been able to stop playing it since!
Yggdrasil has developed a unique and appealing in-house style and that comes through in its slt games. Just like its predecessors, Vikings Go To Hell is visually appealing, packed with thematic motifs and memorable characters. It fits in well with the other games in the series and yet also manages to stand out – it is clear that this installment has built on the success of the others and is all the better for it.
Vikings Go To Hell is built on 5 reels and 4 rows, with 25 paylines (the two previous Vikings slots also have this structure). Again, we get to meet the fearsome Vikings characters first introduced in Vikings Go Wild and these warriors have a Rage Meter that tracks just how annoyed they are at having to battle the creatures of the underworld.
Armed with their weapons, our protagonists face off against new enemies, including the Lord of the Chains and Lucifix, neither of which you’d like to meet in a dark alley. With boosted free spins and rage all round, our Vikings stand the best chance ever of defeating these foes.
Jumanji by NetEnt
It can be risky, from a game studio’s perspective, to base a slot game on a highly popular franchise. If the fans love it, there will be attention and accolades to follow but if they don’t? Well, that would most certainly spell disaster.
Luckily, NetEnt isn’t just any other game studio and Jumanji isn’t just another slot-based-on-a-movie. Released in June 2018, Jumanji brings the best bits of the beloved film franchise into a slot game, without over-complicating things or making them seem too contrived. Players get the opportunity to actually play Jumanji, which, as anyone who watched the original 1995 movie as a kid will tell you, is like a dream come true.
Of course, slot games are only for adults but this game taps into a deep vein of nostalgia while also speaking to the success of the 2017 sequel film, which features The Rock, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan.
The NetEnt Jumanji slot has a reel structure of 3-4-5-4-3, with 36 betlines built in. There are several types of Free Spins to activate as well as random features, Wilds and the amazing board game bonus feature that puts you at the heart of the action.
With animals running riot all over the screen and even the vegetation getting in on the action, Jumanji is a glorious return to a much loved and fondly remembered cultural icon.
Amazing Aztecs by JustForTheWin/Microgaming
Choosing one game released by Microgaming or any of its partners is a tough call. The sheer volume of titles launched over the course of a year makes it particularly challenging. Amazing Aztecs, created by JustForTheWin and launched via the Microgaming platform Quickfire, really stood out in 2018 as an example of what a small studio can do in tandem with a big name.
Launched in the summer, Amazing Aztecs certainly brought a lively splash of colour to our screens. Drawing on the rich ancient cultures of South America, JustForTheWin created a slot that celebrates the visual motifs of the Aztecs in a way that makes them accessible to 21st century players.
The Aztec culture has been an inspiration to a number of slot games already but JustForTheWin imbued Amazing Aztecs with the polished quality we have come to expect from this relatively young studio. Smooth animation and beautifully rendered imagery make this game a memorable one.
There are 243 ways to win on Amazing Aztecs and no fixed paylines – identical symbols landing on adjacent reels are considered winning combinations. The giant 3×3 blocks of symbols add a little intrigue to the game, which has a 5×3 reel structure.
Overall, Amazing Aztecs is a pleasure to play, both thanks to its cohesive and appealing good looks and to its simple, approachable gameplay that even inexperienced players can easily grasp.
Kaiju by ELK Studios
Kaiju was released by ELK Studios way back in February but this slot game is not one you quickly forget! Set in a futuristic world, with society on the brink of extinction, ELK has successfully conveyed a feeling of urgency and menace with this slot.
Cyborg HA-42 is humanity’s only hope against a group of ancient beasts, set to rise up out of the ocean and extinguish the last of the species. Gems and holographic cards abound on the reels, which have a 5×3 structure and 7,776 ways to win.
There are Wilds to watch out for and it’s during the Free Spins feature that HA-42 takes on the fearsome reptiles, targeting their hot spots with lasers to weaken them. Surprisingly for a slot game, Kaiju is an edge-of-your-seat ride with surprises around every corner as HA-42 tries to keep her city safe.
Another great feature built into Kaiju, which also makes an appearance in the recently released Valkyrie, is the Betting Strategy option. This lets players set out a plan for their gameplay, based on wins and losses. It takes the hassle out of manually keeping track of performance and adjusting one’s strategy accordingly.
ELK Studios’ Kaiju is a dino-sized winner in our books, not least because of its visually stunning appearance and exciting game features. We think other game developers would do well to look into this developer’s Betting Strategies feature as well.
Big Bot Crew by Quickspin
Sometimes, you just need something light to cap off a gambling session. Quickspin’s Big Bot Crew is a happy, colourful slot that is all about a couple of kids making their robot dreams come true – what could be more wholesome than that?
There is definitely a time and a place for slots that are dark and broody, with adventure or horror themes. By the same token, there is also room for slots like Big Bot Crew. Built on 5 reels and 4 rows, Bog Bot Crew is all about robots, the friendly kind.
BigBot is the main metal man here and his companions – three teenage geniuses – are hoping to build their own machine crew. BigBot helps by nudging other symbols out of his Wild way so he can occupy a full reel space.
With Free Spins and Re-spins to look forward to, players spinning Big Bot Crew can expect a relaxed and enjoyable game session that nevertheless, does not disappoint when it comes to rewards. Quickspin has, in true Quickspin style, created a great slot game to the highest of standards.
These have been our top choices for slots released this year. To explore reputable casinos that host these titles and others, head over to our online casinos page for a host of comprehensive reviews.