NetEnt are known as one of the biggest game providers in the business and it's absolutely clear why. What's most interesting about NetEnt is that while they make great looking mobile slots, they are one of the few software developers who consistently innovate gameplay and take risks.
So in celebration of the creativity behind the NetEnt team, here is a list of the slots where NetEnt's creative spark managed to burn the brightest.
Five Unique NetEnt Features
NetEnt have continued to innovate throughout their years of activity. In this article, we have slots that are from this year, all the way from half a decade ago. Yet they all seem like they could've been made yesterday. Here are the five shining examples of that skill and craft that has gone to bring us some of the greatest slots around.
Spinata Grande – Colossal Symbols
It has wilds, scatters and a free spins bonus round. Business as usual. But look closer and you may notice that the symbols are much bigger than typical slot symbols. It's always been a NetEnt tradition to do something interesting with wild symbols, which could be anything from making them stacked, to wilds that take up entire reels.
But Spinata Grande has made it so even the regular face symbols can now take up multiple spaces and this isn't even confined to their own reel. These are known as Colossal symbols and can be 1×1, 2×2 and even 4×4 in size, taking up entire chunks of multiple reels. If you need to complete paylines by making a line of three symbols and single symbols are now worth two of those slots, then the potential to make lines increases dramatically.
The balance comes in the fact that Colossal symbols take up more space, therefore preventing wilds and scatter symbols from appearing as often. If you're looking for a slot that has bonus rounds, then Spinata Grande isn't the one. But if you want regular payline wins, that is something Spinata can certainly provide.
Dazzle Me – Uneven Reels
5×3 – that's the layout we know most slot reels by. It's a classic image, but the problem is that by reaching classic status, the style simply isn't that original anymore. Dazzle Me was released in 2015 and completely redefined the look of slots from the ground up.
5×3 is gone and in its place is a very irregular 3x3x4x4x5 reel format. It doesn't quite have the same ring to it but it does reinvigorate the way you play. Paylines are completely reshuffled, so you you will have to learn a whole new layout of paylines, but once you invest the time into learning them, you won't look back.
Gonzo's Quest – Avalanche Reels
Many avalanche slots have come since, but still very few can break even with the impact Gonzo's Quest left over five years ago. Half a decade is a long time in slots. Look at most slots from even a few years ago and there's a noticeable dip in production values.
But Netent nailed the look of Gonzo's Quest, to the point where it looks easily like it could've come out mere months ago. It really is ahead of its time in many respects. The greatest achievement of the slot is its avalanche style, which is when the reels appear to fall into the slot. In a fashion similar to Tetris, whenever you make a line of symbols, their blocks then smash, causing more blocks to fall in. In this way, you can chain lines and so create combos of wins.
It's an almost cinematic experience for every line you connect and the thrill of chaining them is still present to this day. Take a spin yourself and see why it's lasted so long.
South Park Reel Chaos – Bonus Games Galore
Third party IPs are the lower echelons of the slots world. Most slot makers would slap a brand name on a standard slot with a free spins mode and let that be the end of it. NetEnt have demonstrated that they are willing to do something interesting with branded slots and that slot is South Park Reel Chaos.
In fact, they've made 2 South Park slots and both have been themed perfectly to match the chaos of the South Park show. Reel Chaos once again capitalizes on the insanity of the show and it does so by packing the slot with bonus rounds. There are four mini-games that allow you to take control one of the main characters and do anything from hunt streakers in bushes to fight Professor Chaos.
There are also loads of multipliers, stacked wilds and running wilds which can turn up during regular gameplay to shake up your game. The slot can end with you defeating all 4 of the antagonists of the slot to win an awesome Victory Bonus.
All in all, the slot does so many things right. It's not only fun by itself, but it goes a long way in trying to capture the theme of the brand its based on and that is very rare for a slot maker to put the time into doing. We all like the Dark Knight Rises slot for its progressive jackpot, but we can hardly say it feels like the film that spawned it.
Beach – Switching Wilds
Beach is a little known slot released in 2012 by NetEnt. Its mascot being a cartoon squid and the lack of fanfare at the casinos would make you think that this was a slot with little quality to it and just another forgettable entry into the NetEnt library.
However, Beach has one of the more interesting features in it that we've seen. Its wild symbols already offer the player a 2x multiplier, which would be good enough on its own. But on top of that, Beach also contains switching wilds.
Whenever a wild is spun, the squid mascot is sat on top of it and will switch adjacent symbols if they would get you more points by being switched. Switching only occurs if its to the benefit of the player, so the wild will only serve to help you score better. Once that's happened, then you receive a double multiplier.
Spinning wilds with Beach is really rewarding and the whole process of switching symbols is well animated. We're surprised there isn't more praise of this game. It looks great, plays great and offers some neat new features.
A Great 2015 With NetEnt
As 2015 comes to an end, we can only look back on the amazing successes that NetEnt have had in both the last few years and 2015 alone. 2016 is coming up and we are looking forward to what new innovations they can cook up to make our 2016 slots the best they've ever been. For starters, their new Guns ‘N Roses slot already looks to kick the year off with bang.
As the years roll on, innovation will become harder and people are going to have to get a lot more creative to satisfy the slot's crowd. If there's one provider who's up to it, we imagine it'll be NetEnt and we are excited for what's in store.