It is time to draw a line under yet another year of online gambling. Becoming somewhat of a widespread phenomenon, most players will likely remember 2018 as the year of the MegaWays.
Our round-up of the best online slots of 2018, however, is dominated by diversity and outstanding quality, provided by the best mathemagicians and visual designers the industry has to offer. Coupled with ever-improving technology and innovation, 2018 certainly had no shortage of memorable releases. This is our list of the 10 best online slots of 2018.
10. Fat Rabbit (Push Gaming)
Upon its release, this gluttonous rabbit turned a large part of the slot community into feeders, catching us off guard with its simple, yet unique game design. Trending for weeks on the charts, it’s all about the juicy carrots in this brilliant farm themed slot.
While the base game is admittedly rather ordinary and the bonus frustratingly hard to trigger, the massive potential allocated to the free spin feature brings great excitement. Once triggered, watch as the friendly little rabbit harvests his carrots while growing in size. Collect enough carrots and the rabbit will turn into a 5×5 wild symbol, covering the full screen! 1000 times the stake per spin awaits those who manage to reach the final level! Beware, however, as it’s an all or nothing type slot of extreme volatility.
9. Ivan and the Immortal King (Quickspin)
In many ways, 2018 has been Quickspin’s year. Once mocked for being the poster boy of low potential, the Swedish provider suddenly made a U-turn, releasing some of the most explosive titles of the year. There’s still some work to do as the games appear to suffer from relatively low RTP, as you can see in our slots statistics brought by the Slot Tracker, but titles such as Ivan and the Immortal King show great promise for the future nonetheless.
This Russian folklore themed title offers strong narrative delivered through outstanding graphics, great music and excellent features. From a gambling point of view, however, it’s all about the free spins. Collect scatter symbols and watch as you progress up the multiplier ladder while at the same time unlocking additional free spins. Knowing there’s potential of over 10,000 times the stake, Ivan and the Immortal King is undoubtedly worth a shot.
8. Valkyrie (ELK Studios)
There certainly has been no lack of Norse themed slots this year and Valkyrie is most definitely one of the better examples of this genre. This 1024 win ways slot brought to you by Swedish provider ELK Studios is a grand production of epic proportions.
It’s an ambitious undertaking and an impressive accomplishment by a relatively small provider though there’s more to Valkyrie than what you see on the surface. For one, it’s one of ELK’s highest potential titles with a chance to land up to 5000 times the stake wins. It comes packed with randomly triggered bonus features as well, which means you’re always kept on your toes. It’s entertaining, easy on the eyes and one of the best slots produced this year in our humble opinion.
7. Primal MegaWays (Blueprint Gaming)
Players can’t seem to get enough of MegaWays and this year has seen an explosion of MegaWays titles. Largely responsible for this is Blueprint Gaming who acquired the license earlier in the year. With the risk of people growing tired of the phenomenon, Blueprint has skillfully managed to navigate around the problem by delivering games that make unique use of the MegaWays mechanics.
Initially, Primal came in as the third-best scoring game ever on Bigwinboard.com but had to be downgraded slightly due to its extremely volatile nature. As much as we love high variance, Primal took it one step further, and while we have no direct problem with that, being the group of crazy gamblers that we are, it might not suit everyone’s taste.
The MegaWays approach on offer here is thrilling and makes use of multiplier symbols of between 2x and 6x in the free spins that, in combination with up to 46,656 ways to win, can result in colossal payouts of up to 50,000 times your stake. The cartoonish Ice Age inspired visuals are amazing as well and really makes for some exciting gameplay, especially if you’re a fan of extreme variance.
6. Dragon Maiden (Play’n GO)
It’s no secret that Play’n GO has perfected the art of cloning popular titles, in some instances even outcompeting the originals with Book of Dead being one such example. In this fantasy-themed creation entitled Dragon Maiden, Big Time Gaming stands as the inspiration.
Visually, we see elements of Dragon Born while mechanically it’s undoubtedly based on Big Time gaming’s 2017 super hit White Rabbit. It’s not nearly as sophisticated as White Rabbit and we can’t see players abandoning the original for the clone in this case, but it’s nonetheless an outstanding creation of excellent quality that comes packed with potential. For those unable to play Big Time Gaming, Dragon Maiden is a worthy alternative for sure.
5. Dark Vortex (Yggdrasil Gaming)
On the forefront of innovating stands Yggdrasil Gaming, a software developer with a knack for originality with each new game being completely different from the other. Unfortunately, we have to say, it doesn’t always reach all the way despite the consistently high-quality visual productions. What we’ve seen is the win potential all too often having to take a back seat at the expense of merrymaking entertainment.
Dark Vortex, on the other hand, is one of those beautiful examples where Yggdrasil manages to get most things right, and when they do, they’re unstoppable. Being quite an unusual game, it’s slightly confusing at first, but as you get into it you’ll soon succumb to the creepy horror-inflicted theme and its freaky monsters. With a setup of 5 reels and 243 win ways, Dark Vortex has the capacity to dish out wins of over 7000 times the stake should you manage to open all 5 Vortex reels. This game has all the great elements you could ever ask for – a well-designed game engine, outstanding visuals and, most importantly, whopping potential.
4. Wild Heist at Peacock Manor (Thunderkick)
2018 started off great for Thunderkick and peaked with the release of Wild Heist at Peacock Manor. Following an unusually long summer break, however, the Swedes fell behind and failed to produce anything of relevance for the remainder of the year. Seeing just how large-scale and ambitious Wild Heist is, it’s not hard to imagine that it left the whole production team exhausted, forcing them to go on a long break.
In this caper story set in the Victorian era, we get to follow a group of four masterminds on a mission to pull off a seemingly impossible heist at the Peacock Manor. Packed with an array of entertaining features that include three mini modifiers striking at random, players can look forward to plenty of action. The way Wild Heist is designed using combinations of modifiers, every bonus feature you play is likely to be different from the next. With the help of multipliers, extra wild symbols and additional free spins, Wild Heist has the capacity to dish out wins of over 8000 times the stake.
3. Extra Chilli (Big Time Gaming)
As a follow up to Bonanza, recognised by many as one of the most iconic online slots every produced, Exra Chilli became the most anticipated and talked about slot of the year. Although fundamentally identical to Bonanza, a couple of changes were made to add a new dimension to the game while also making it more volatile.
For one, a Feature Drop option was included, allowing players to buy their way into the free spins at the cost of 50 times the stake. Furthermore, the free spins gamble became its most prominent feature, allowing players to collect the free spins triggered in the main game or to gamble them with a chance to win up to 24 free spins or potentially lose them all.
While most players still seem to prefer the original version, Extra Chilli undoubtedly helped cement MegaWays as one of the most successful and popular phenomena in the world of iGaming.
2. Vikings (NetEnt)
Announced early in the year, this adaptation of the hit series Vikings was one of the most anticipated titles and didn’t disappoint. It’s a powerful statement, and to anyone in doubt of NetEnt, Vikings is a game that manifest they’re still a force to be reckoned with.
With a spectacular intro and exquisite in-game visuals, Vikings leaves a jaw-dropping first impression. The mathematical aspect of it didn’t let us down either. Making use of 5 reels and 243 ways to win in the base game, it comes with several thrilling extras, although ultimately, it all comes down to the free spins game where the action takes place on an expanded 78,125 win ways reel set.
Due to the volatile nature of this slot it will not sit well with every type of player but if you understand what you’re up against and ready to take on the challenge, there is potential of up to 10,000 times your stake per single spin in the bonus! Vikings is loud, grandiose and ambitious!
1. Jammin’ Jars (Push Gaming)
This fruity, rainbow coloured disco slot made quite an impact this year, in more ways than one we should say. As reports of casino streamers landing identical win sequences started to surface, it soon became apparent that Jammin’ Jars was more simplistic in design than one would have thought. Despite the initial backlash, players eventually came to their senses once the smoke had cleared and the tinfoil hat theories had been answered.
Due to its volatile nature it’s often frustrating and discouraging to play and the base game does little to keep you afloat, yet there’s something mesmerising about its neon colours and upbeat disco loop that makes Jammin’ Jars hard to resist. Or maybe it’s the countless screenshots we’ve seen of wins near its max capacity of 20,000 times the stake that has kept us motivated, who knows. Be that as it may, Jammin’ Jars is a massive mainstream success that seems to sit well with almost every type of player there is. With its superb design, excellent soundtrack and proven great potential, Jammin’ Jars is our number one pick of 2018.
The Game Providers
Bigwinboard.com would like to take this opportunity to thank all the studios that have provided us with the information needed to complete our reviews. Most providers have gone to great lenghts to ensure we get the facts right and by answering all our annoying and often intrusive questions, even at times when they have received bad reviews.
Good providers can take critisism and learn from the mistakes. In some cases, unfortunately, we have been met with the cold hand as is the case with Microgaming for example, who, after a series of bad reviews called our comments “nasty”, fully missing the point and failing to understand the purpose of our site. Unbeknowns to them, we’re not here to offer providers free advertising and unlike traditional casino review sites our job is not to sell their games for them. We have only one obligation and that is to provide our readers with unbiasted and honest reviews. To do so, we do not only take into account what we think, but also what the community has to say once the game becomes available to them which is also why the score can fluctuate.
A special thanks goes out to all the awesome people at Red Tiger Gaming, NetEnt, Blueprint Gaming, Quickspin, Big Time Gaming, ELK Studios, Play’n GO, Push Gaming and Thunderkick who really are the best of the best. We’ll be looking forward to revewing all your 2019 releases!
If you want to try any of these great games we suggest you have a look at our best casino bonus page for all the top bonus offers from our group of accredited online casinos. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Bigwinboard.com to everyone out there visiting our site! Thank you.