It has been over a century since the original one-armed bandits first graced saloons and public houses the world over. The very first slot machine was invented by Charles Fey in San Francisco toward the end of the 1800s. This antique machine was called the Liberty Bell and had just five symbols and three reels.
A lot has happened since then, with countless variations and new games coming and going as the decades passed. Arguably the greatest development in the evolution of casino slots since they first emerged is the advent of the video slot.
When they came out in the 1970s, video slots revolutionised the casino slot game, enabling engaging interactive slots with far greater functionality – including five or more reels, hundreds of paylines, bonus games, and more.
Everyone Has Favourites
The best video slots had carefully thought-out themes, with minute attention to detail, stunning graphics and effects, and riveting game play. Naturally, players soon began to develop favourites. Some of these favourites proved to be passing fads, whilst others have stood the test of time to reach cult status.
Microgaming, the slots developer of all Casino Época titles, has a particular knack for creating cult-worthy casino slots. Let’s take a look at five of Microgaming’s most iconic video slots:
Mermaids Millions is pretty much part of the online casino furniture and has been around for as long as most of us can remember. This five-reel 15-payline slot is set under water and features entertaining cartoon graphics, exciting sound effects, free spins, wild and scatter symbols, a treasure bonus, and a 7500 credit jackpot.
Inspired by the computer game Angelina Jolie blockbuster of the same name, Tomb Raider is recognised by many as the greatest video slot of all time.
This 15-payline slot features five reels jam-packed with extra features, including free spins, multipliers, a Tomb Bonus, and three special symbols.
Whilst the graphics on the original Tomb Raider slot are a bit out-dated – it was one of Microgaming’s very first video slots – they do have a certain charm as they remind us of the early Tomb Raider PC games. Tomb Raider II: Secret of the Sword is a 30-reel upgrade that also has many players hooked.
Thunderstruck and Thunderstruck II
Presided over by iconic Norse gods like Loki and Valkyrie, both Thunderstruck and Thunderstruck II have all the qualities required for an epic slot.
Whilst the original featured just nine paylines across five reels, it still managed to draw players in with exciting graphics and sounds as well as numerous bonus features. The revamped 2010 sequel meanwhile retains all of the original Thunderstruck charm, whilst adding enhanced graphics, even more bonus features, and a whopping 243 paylines to the mix.
Although the Mega Moolah slot’s theme and setting in the African bush veldt does have its charms, it is the four standard jackpots plus the progressive jackpot that really keep ‘em coming. In fact, Mega Moolah is responsible for creating the second-biggest online jackpot winner in history. In 2009, a Greek businessman managed to rake in a staggering €6.3 million playing this game, which has been responsible for many other historic wins too.
Avalon II: The Quest for the Grail
Even if the mesmerising graphics and epic soundtrack of this iconic five-reel 234-payline slot aren’t enough to draw you in, its multiple lucrative bonus features certainly will be. Avalon II is a sequel that took this Medieval-times-themed game to the next level. It includes, free spins, multipliers, and several interesting bonus rounds.