ISLE OF MAN – Microgaming and its growing network of exclusive studios have been busy ensuring clients can kick off the new year with some stunning new content.
This January, exclusive to Microgaming, it’s all about leprechaun detectives, giant gorillas, and nameless bounty hunters. Business as usual, then, as Microgaming wishes all its customers a very happy and healthy 2021.
The first new Microgaming game to go live in 2021 was Shamrock Holmes Megaways™ (All41 Studios) on January 5, a highly volatile six-reel slot with a big max payout, featuring the world’s most famous leprechaun detective. It’s the first of two Microgaming-exclusive releases from All41 Studios this month to employ the acclaimed Megaways™ license from Big Time Gaming.
In Shamrock Holmes Megaways™, when a specific combo of scatters and symbols occurs in the base game, a Magic Forest Respin is awarded, with a guaranteed number of Megaways™ based on the trigger. When three scatters land with both Shamrock Holmes and the pixie symbols appearing in the top row, the Magic Forest Respin will unleash a minimum guarantee of 117,649 ways to win. The game features Rolling Reels™, which clear winning symbol combinations from the reels as new symbols roll into the play area, creating unexpected and exciting new combinations. Rolling Reels™ are active during the base game, respins and free spins.
Successfully landing four scatters triggers 10 free spins where the starting multiplier is 2x. Each Rolling Reels™ win increases the multiplier by 1x and the maximum win multiplier is unlimited. Retriggering free spins delivers even more win potential!
On January 7 Microgaming heads to the Wild West for The Bounty (Snowborn Games), a very cool Spaghetti Western adventure where the reels are populated with the mugshots of various desperados. It’s the player’s job, as the nameless bounty hunter, to track down the bad guys and collect six matching wanted posters to win the jackpot. Landing three Ambush Bonus symbols triggers a free-spin feature, where players can collect unlimited free spins and win multipliers. Ambush Bonus starts with eight free spins and x2 multiplier. Bullet symbols award extra free spins and dynamite symbols award extra multipliers.
This a fantastically engaging twist on the traditional slot format with some great cutaway video sequences and – like all good Spaghetti Westerns – an awesome soundtrack.
Going live on January 12, Foxpot (Foxium) is a game which, with just three reels and just one active line, is anything but one dimensional. That’s thanks to the Fox Wheel that dominates the centre of the screen and operates as three bonus wheels in one: the Money Award, the multiplier and the respin mode, each with a different trigger. The Money Award Wheel contains three possible jackpot awards: Mini, Midi and the FoxPot, which offers wins of up to 10,000x.
Fans of the humble pub fruit machine will love the nudge feature, which can be used both in the base game and the Fox Wheel.
Golden Stallion™ Ultraways™, which launches on January 14, is the debut Microgaming release from Northern Lights Gaming. Featuring wild horses galloping through a canyon in the Old West, this is a high-volatility slot that’s packed with free spins. And three scatters in free spins mode will trigger the Ultraways™ mechanic. Here, reel positions are split to offer double and quad symbols, which can reach a staggering 196,608 Ultraways™. This game also introduces another new feature, the Golden Sequence. During this sequence of between 10 and 20 spins, horses will stop on reels and highlight them. On the final Golden Spin, all highlighted reels will change to higher-paying gold symbols or gold wild symbols.
Then on January 19 there is Hyper Strike™ (Gameburger Studios), a frenetic, explosive 5x3 reel, 20 payline title rendered in glorious technicolor with a pumping disco-funk-pop soundtrack. It’s all about the scatters in this game, which can appear anywhere on a reel and award an associated cash prize, escalating all the way up to 2,000x the stake. Meanwhile, players can spin the wheel to win up to 30 retriggering free spins, while the gold star wild can pay up to 125x the stake on each line.
January 20 sees the release of Pachinko (Neko Games), a video bingo game inspired by the colourful and wonderful pachinko parlors of Japan. In Japan, pachinko is a popular kind of pinball-slot hybrid played for prizes. The new Microgaming version reflects these dynamics, with the chance to play for free balls instead of free spins. It also allows players to hunt for prizes hidden behind shelves of Maneki Nekos, the famous Japanese beckoning cat figurine believed to bring good luck.
There’s more Megaways™ action on January 26 with Forgotten Island Megaways™ (All41 Studios), Microgaming’s new take on the legendary king of the apes. Forgotten Island is about more than Megaways™ and a giant prehistoric gorilla. The game is packed with features, including extra reels, Rolling Reels™ and ‘Kong Spin’. When Kong Spin is triggered, a special multiplier is added and each Rolling Reels™ increments the multiplier by one. The maximum win multiplier is unlimited during the feature. In this Megaways™ game, there can be literally thousands of ways to win when those reels get hot.
Finally, a nod to some of the partner content winging its way to the Microgaming games platform this month. Players will be heading to the jungle on January 6 following the release of Whisker Jones (1X2gaming), and January 18 sees the release of sun-tanned Aussie surfing extravaganza Bondi Break (Lightning Box Games). On January 21, there’s a modern take on a classic fruit machine with 777 Mega Deluxe (Crazy Tooth Studio). Then, it’s safari time on January 28 with Animals of Africa (Gold Coin Studios). Also going live on January 28 is Roulette x5 (Golden Rock Studios), a beautifully designed traditional European Roulette game but with a twist: it’s the only one on the market that awards a ‘double your winnings’ multiplier without changing the odds for the customer.