Each week, SlotBeats selects its favourite slot title to be released by various suppliers across the industry.
In 2023, we’ve awarded 50 Slot of the Week titles to a wide array of game developers, so as we begin the New Year, let’s take a look at a handful of slot titles that picked our fancy across the year.
Blood and Shadow – Nolimit City
Nolimit City’s blood-curdling slot release Blood and Shadow offered a selection of frightening features to claim one of our Slot of the Week titles back in March.
Taking place on a 5×4 reel board, Blood and Shadow offers up to 3,125 ways to win through a selection of features including disturbing duplicated symbols and cursed spins. While providing a fitting x6,666 maximum win, this game uses high volatility with an RTP of 96.13 per cent.
Sebastian Hovenberg, Product Owner at Nolimit City, commented: ”As the years go by, her time is running out. Shadow Girl now turns her eyes to the realm of shadows to find eternal youth, but will this come to her as a blessing or a curse. Welcome in and try out our very first-ever progression game where sacrifices are the only way to reach the highest potentials.”
Throughout the game, a blood meter is active underneath the reel set. Landing medium and high value symbols in a winning combination will apply one and two blood points respectively to this meter, while scatter symbols will apply 10 blood points to the meter.
Filling this meter with 20 blood points after a single spin will activate the first bonus feature of the game mode, with five features available in total as the player collects further blood points to continue filling the meter from that one spin.
Collecting 20 blood points will trigger the candle spins feature, awarding two respins each time the meter is filled up again. The meter resets with each feature, and players must collect an extra ten blood points each time they want to advance to the next set of candle spins.
For example, after activating the first set of candle spins by collecting 20 blood points, players will then have to collect 30 additional blood points to achieve an extra two candle spins.
During candle spins, wild symbols will lock into place on the bottom cell of the reel that they drop into and will remain there until the entire feature has ended.
Each level that is achieved will cause the lowest available symbol to be removed from play, making way for bigger wins.
If any readers dare to try Blood and Shadow for themselves, they can click here to be directed to Nolimit City’s official website.
Granny vs Zombies – PearFiction Studios
In April, PearFiction Studios staged a zombie apocalypse to claim our Slot of the Week pick as a less-than-petrified pensioner faced hoards of the undead in Granny vs Zombies.
Using a 5×4 reel set, Granny vs Zombies has 20-paylines and offers players a chance to gain a maximum win of up to x5,000 the player’s bet.
The horror-themed release showcases spinning wheel, Lock n Win and free spins game modes while having medium-high volatility with an RTP of 96.32 per cent.
When triggering the free spins feature, players have four game modes to choose from. Throughout each game mode, weapon symbols can drop into play, helping the Granny to defeat zombies that land on the reels. Defeating zombies adds points to a damage meter above the reels.
When filling this damage point meter, players will eventually unlock multipliers of x5, x10 or x20 to be applied to all wins achieved in the feature.
The free spins features are as follows:
- A total of 10 spins with frying pan weapons that award one damage point
- Eight spins in total with rolling pins that award two damage points
- Seven spins with knives that give three points
- Six spins and molotov cocktails that take four damage points
When each level is passed in the game mode, an additional number of spins will be awarded depending on which game mode the player has selected. Frying pan, rolling pin, knife and molotov cocktail game modes will provide an additional five, four, three or two spins for each level respectively.
When players have reached the second level, a golden zombie can drop into play, needing five points of damage to be destroyed.
In the Lock N Win game mode, players are awarded three spins to land as many coin symbols on the reels as possible. Each coin that drops in will reset the number of spins to three.
At the end of the feature when all spins have been played out, the player will receive the accumulated value of all golden coins on the board.
While the feature begins on a 5×4 reel set, green keys can drop into play to unlock an extra row for each reel. After doing so, these keys will provide a multiplied bet amount of their own. Pink multiplier coins can also appear, multiplying the values of each coin in play by up to x5.
If a golden star symbol drops into play, the jackpot Lock N Win game mode will be activated once the initial Lock N Win feature finishes. This takes players to an empty reel set where they will hope to land three jackpot stars in a row to win a jackpot prize.
This jackpot Lock n Win game mode is also activated when the golden disco zombie is destroyed in the free spins feature.
Furthermore, collecting golden coins throughout the base game without triggering the Lock n Win feature will apply the coins to a jackpot wheel meter above the reels.
Once this meter is filled, players will be presented with a spinning wheel that can award one of five jackpot prizes from micro (x15) to mega (x5,000).
If readers would like to test their luck Granny vs Zombies, they can click here to be directed to PearFiction Studios’ official website.
Nightmares vs Gigablox – Hot Rise Games
Moving into the Summer months, one of August’s slot selections saw Hot Rise Games pick up a Slot of the Week award for its monstrous slot release – Nightmares vs Gigablox.
Released via Yggdrasil’s YG Masters campaign, Nightmares VS Gigablox is a 6×6 reel slot that uses 50-paylines while offering a maximum win of up to x7,353 the player’s wager.
While showcasing giant symbols of 2×2 to 6×6 sizes, the game has medium-high volatility with an RTP of 96.1 per cent.
Mark McGinley, Chief Gaming Officer at Yggdrasil, stated: “Horror-themed slots have a huge fan-following and Nightmares VS GigaBlox is a great addition to our YG Masters portfolio.
“Our proven GigaBlox mechanic can see symbols take over the entire reels for huge coinciding wins, while the VERSUS feature with collection characters and improving free spins is sure to be a hit with players.”
Six monsters depict the high value symbols, with Swamp Man, Dead Beard, Princess Cleo, Max Wolf, Adam Frankenstein and Vamptress. These symbols can offer between x0.2 and x10 the player’s preferred wager.
Throughout the game, and due to the Gigablox mechanic, symbols can appear in larger sizes of 2×2, 3×3, 4×4, 5×5 or 6×6 to increase the win potential as these symbols act as four, nine, 16, 25 or 36 symbols respectively.
Additionally, wild crown symbols are available, substituting for all symbols other than the VS scatter. Both of these symbols can appear on every reel.
Moreover, VS scatters will trigger the VERSUS free spins feature when six or more appear on the same spin. Each scatter will represent one free spins in the bonus game mode when at least six appear at once.
When activating the free spins game mode, the game will spin through the six high value monster characters to select two to be enhanced for the duration of the bonus game mode.
One of these symbols will be chosen as the champion, and the other will be the challenger, each with their own respective meters beside the reels.
Landing these chosen symbols on the board during the free spins will cause them to climb up their respective meters, awarding prizes when a certain number of symbols have been collected.
The champion meter will award enhancements such as x2 multipliers for the respective symbol, x5 multipliers, champion symbols turns wild, three extra spins, wild gains x2 multiplier, another extra three spins, wild gains x5 multiplier and, finally, a payout equal to the number of champion symbols collected times by the player’s bet, in that order.
Meanwhile, the challenger symbol can award x2 multipliers, two extra spins, x5 multipliers, another two extra spins, challenger symbol turns wild, another extra two spins, wild challenger gains a x2 multiplier, a payout equal to the number of symbols collected times by the player’s stake and then multiplied by two, in that order.
For readers wishing to test their luck with the Nightmares VS Gigablox demo, they can click here to be directed to Yggdrasil’s official website.
Chaos Crew II – Hacksaw Gaming
Hacksaw Gaming gained its second of two Slot of the Week titles for the year in September, coming by the way of a slot sequel that introduced an abundance of fresh features in Chaos Crew II.
Witnessing the return of Cranky and Scratchy, this slot sequel presents a 5×5 reel title that uses 19-paylines and four bonus game modes to offer a maximum win of up to x20,000 the player’s bet. The game is highly volatile with an RTP of 96.27 per cent.
Wild Cranky cat symbols can appear, substituting for all symbols other than the various bonus scatters. These wilds will always produce a multiplier to enhance any wins it contributes to, which range from x2 to x20.
Bonus text scatters can also drop into play, triggering either the bonus game mode if three drop into play, or the super bonus game mode if four drop in.
When the bonus game is activated, players are taken to an empty reel set where multiplier values sit above each reel, starting at x1.
Throughout the feature, Sketchy skull symbols can appear to add to these multiplier values and Cranky cat symbols can appear with their own multipliers to further enhance the multiplier values.
Players are given three spins, while each symbol that drops into play will reset the number of spins to three. Once all spins have been played out, the reel multiplier values will be added together and attributed to the player’s bet.
In addition to standard Cranky and Sketchy symbols, bonus alternatives to these symbols are available. These include:
- Sticky Sketchy skulls: stays on the grid and adds its displayed value to its multiplier reel on every subsequent spin
- Epic Sketchy skulls: adds its displayed value to all reels on the board
- Epic sticky Sketchy skulls: stays on the grid and adds its displayed value to all reels on the board on every subsequent spin
- Sticky Cranky cat: stays on the grid and multiplies its respective reel multiplier value by its own multiplier on every subsequent spin
- Epic Cranky cat: multiplies every reel on the grid by its own value
- Epic sticky Cranky cat: stays on the grid and multiplies every reel on the grid by its own value on every subsequent spin
If the super bonus game mode is activated by four scatters, the first bonus game spin is guaranteed to have at least seven symbols drop into play.
Additionally, ‘best of bonus’ scatters are available, triggering the best of bonus game mode if it appears with three standard bonus scatters. If it drops in with four standard bonus scatters, the best of super bonus feature is activated.
Activating the ‘best of three’ bonus feature allows players to play the bonus feature three times before returning to the base game, but only the highest multiplier value achieved will be awarded to the player.
With the best of three super bonus, players get to play the super bonus game mode three times before receiving the highest payout.
An epic drop feature is also available in the base game, awarding players one single spin in the bonus game mode – with five cat multipliers guaranteed to appear – before returning them to the base game.
Readers wishing to test out the Chaos Crew II demo for themselves can click here to be directed to Hacksaw Gaming’s official website.
WitchyPoppins – AvatarUX
Claiming one of our Halloween-themed Slot of the Week awards in October was AvatarUX, who produced a cauldron-stirring PopWins title with WitchyPoppins.
Implementing its flagship mechanic into a 5×3 reel grid, Witchy Poppins offers up to 32,768-ways to win while players can grab prizes of up to x20,000 their stake. This witchcraft-fuelled title uses an RTP of 96 per cent.
Nicola Longmuir, CEO at AvatarUX, stated: “Halloween is always a wonderful time to create fantastic games with a theme that really appeals to players with its seasonality.
“Powered by our PopWins mechanic, Witchy Poppins is another engaging, exciting title in our portfolio that we’re certain will resonate with our fans across the world.
“With the success of our PopWins mechanic, we are now excited to roll out a new type of game, jam-packed with features and win potential, that showcases the innovation and diversity that AvatarUX can offer.”
With AvatarUX’s PopWins mechanic, each winning combination of symbols that is formed will pop and disappear. These symbols will then be replaced by two extra symbols that drop in to increase the win potential.
This feature allows the reel set to increase to a maximum size of 5×6, while any symbols that pop while the reels are this size will only be replaced by one symbol.
To provide thrills in the base game, nudge features can randomly occur, causing the reels to nudge either upwards or downwards to enhance the spin. This can cause winning symbols, bonus scatters and wild symbols to be placed on the board to increase the win potential.
As the free spins feature begins, one random paytable symbol is chosen to be enhanced throughout the game mode. These symbols will become ‘pay anywhere’ symbols, allowing them to form winning combinations anywhere across the board, as long as five or more individual symbols appear across the reels.
Landing between five and 35 ‘pay anywhere’ symbols across the reel set can provide wins between x12.5 and x500 the player’s preferred bet.
Additionally, a win multiplier sits above the reel set throughout the game mode. Starting with a value of x1, this multiplier can be enhanced by both additive and multiplicative enhancement symbols that can appear throughout the feature.
Multiplicative symbols can range from x2 to x11 – depending on how the player activated the free spins feature – and additive multipliers can range from +5 to +50.
These multipliers will then cause any win that is formed during the free spins game mode to be multiplied by their values that are displayed above the board.
For those looking to test out Witchy Poppins for themselves, click here to be directed to AvatarUX’s official website.
Wild Hogs – Stakelogic
Lastly, picking up our final Slot of the Week prize for 2023 was Stakelogic, who claimed the award for its latest pig punk-themed slot – Wild Hogs.
Offering big wins in the form of three bonus game modes, Wild Hogs is a 6×4 reel slot with up to 46,656-ways to win and a maximum win of up to x5,000 the player’s wager. The slot has high volatility with an RTP of 96.01 per cent.
Daniela Fricchione, Head of Account Management at Stakelogic, commented: “Stakelogic is turning up the heat with the Wild Hogs slot game. This is one of our hottest slots to date, both figuratively and literally.
“The game is packed with exciting bonuses, with the super trail being a huge selling point. It is also one of our most visually striking titles, with the design team really delivering an intense and exciting experience for our players.”
Throughout the game, three wild modifier features can randomly occur, including a ‘wild hog general’ feature that causes up to five wilds to appear on the board, each with multipliers between x2 and x5 to be applied to any subsequent wins.
Additionally, the ‘wild hog lieutenant’ feature causes up to three expanding multiplier wilds of either x2 and x3 to fill reels on the board, while the ‘wild hog sergeant’ feature adds standard expanding wilds onto just one or several reels on the board.
Bonus gold hog scatters can appear on reels two, three, four and five, triggering access to the bonus wheel if three or more land on the same spin. If four or more land at once, the super bonus wheel will be awarded.
On the bonus wheel, players can win between six and 15 free spins or access to the bonus trail game, or the super bonus trail game.
In the bonus trail feature, players are taken to a board game-style trail path while they spin a set of reels that reveals numbers between one and nine, or blocker X symbols.
Players are given three lives, with each X that appears removing one life, as the numbers represent how many steps the player takes around the board.
At each step, a multiplied bet amount will be available to win, but collecting these prizes will cause those steps to become dead, removing one life if the player lands on them as the game mode continues.
In addition to multiplied bet amount prizes, players can also land on question mark steps, which will cause one spin of a golden reel set that can award game-enhancing bonuses such as:
- Values to be added to all remaining steps on the trail
- Extra lives
- Trail reset (removing all dead steps from the trail)
- Multiplied bet amount prizes between x5 and x500
The wheel can also award access to the super bonus trail game mode, which enhances these prizes as some of them become persistent, performing their feature at every step.
Furthermore, the game mode ends when players lose all three lives, awarding the collected multiplied bet amount prizes to the player before returning them to the base game.
Readers looking to try out the Wild Hogs demo can click here to be directed to Stakelogic’s official website.