Microgaming is an online gaming software design company, one of the biggest names in the industry. At one time, Microgaming was the cream of the crop, established in 1994 well before the Internet wagering boom. They even claim to have invented many aspects of the Web-based gaming industry, though there’s some controversy about which company produced which features first.
According to the company’s website, Microgaming was responsible for introducing the first online casino in 1994. The buzzwords most often associated with this designer are “innovation” and “reliability,” thanks to the company’s constant new releases of slot and other games, and a long history of doing business with online casinos.
As of this writing, this particular software designer has over 600 unique games in its library, but when you add in both the instant play versions of games that run on Flash technology and games released for other platforms (such as Android smartphones), the total is closer to 2,000. The sheer size of this company’s game library puts them head and shoulders above the competition.
Microgaming makes their software available in twenty-four languages, so players from all over the world have access to gaming in their native tongue. Add in the fact that these games get high marks in Internet reviews for both graphics and sound effects, and it’s no surprise that Microgaming is one of the top names in the business.
That’s not to say that everything about Microgaming software is top-notch. Players struggle with the fact that games are often set to full-screen mode as a default, meaning players who want a smaller game size have to go out of their way to alter the default setting. This may seem like a small gripe, but when you have to constantly resize your games, it can be a headache. This company also has an annoying habit of attaching pre-game video clips, either advertising other games or showing off the features of the title you’re about to play.
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Microgaming Slots vs. RTG Slots
Casino software designer Microgaming has a bit of a not-so-friendly rivalry with their competitor Realtime Gaming. This is especially true in the slot machine category; RTG has more experience in the industry, the popular Real Series line slots, and better name recognition, but Microgaming offers a wider variety of machines and appears to produce new titles more consistently than their rival.
Microgaming has not yet come up with a line of slots to compete with Realtime’s Real Series juggernaut, focusing instead on tweaks to gameplay and new looks for their most popular slot titles. Sure, they release new machine games regularly, but nothing as exciting for the player as the bonus-laden Real Series available from Realtime. Microgaming’s tactic appears to be to flood the market with new titles based on pop culture and popular themes rather than compete directly with RTG’s better-known slot machine games.
Microgaming’s wide variety of titles would keep even the most ADD-afflicted machine gambler busy with new titles to try out, and their choice to offer instant slots games in Flash rather than Java gives their titles a unique look. Since Microgaming can’t come up with anything to surpass the popularity of their rival’s Real Series titles, sheer volume of new titles will have to do.
Types of Microgaming Slots
As an industry leader, it should not surprise you that this company has a full line of Internet slot titles. Microgaming produces classic slots, video slots, multi-reel slots, and titles with progressive jackpots. This designer puts out slots with paylines ranging from 5 to 50, and an equal variety of wagering sizes and bet denominations.
This company is known for their large progressive payouts, with games like Cash Splash, Mega Moolah, and Treasure Nile among the best-known progressive prize games. In fact, the Mega Moolah progressive game resets to $1,000,000, a starting figure that leads to massive jackpot wins. Microgaming was responsible for the single largest jackpot ever awarded: a progressive prize from a Mega Millions machine worth $1,445,684.65.
Traditional slot players have a home at Microgaming-powered casinos: the company’s Reel Slots look a lot like the old-school machines you’d find in a classic Vegas gambling house, with 3 reels and just one payline. Jackpots available on these classic titles range from 500 to 15,000 coins, so you don’t have to sacrifice big wins for simple game play.
Examples of Microgaming Slot Titles
1 Arm Bandit Slot – This multi-line slot has three reels and three paylines, placing it somewhere between a classic and more modern title. The top jackpot is just 4,000 coins, so it is not one of the more lucrative games. Your maximum bet on 1 Arm Bandit is three coins, and as with most machine gaming, you should always place max bets in order to become eligible for the top payout. Because of the wager sizes and betting options, 1 Arm Bandit is available to play for between $0.75 and $15 per spin.
The name of this machine comes directly from slot gaming history: the nickname “one-armed bandit” was applied to slot machines thanks to the single lever pulled to start the reels spinning. To incorporate the one-armed bandit theme, the game features wild west images, complete with bandits and all the trappings of the frontier casino scene.
You win the top prize of 4,000 credits only when you activate the third pay line with a three coin max bet and spin three bandit symbols. The same combination on the first payline is worth 1,000 credits, on the second line you win 2,000 credits, and lining up all three bad guys on that final line will put 4,000 credits in your pocket.
Now for a downside: after that top prize, your winnings drop off. In fact, the next biggest payout after the 1,000 coin win for three bandits on the first line is only 150 coins, earned for lining up three sevens on any active line.
Andre the Giant Slot – Based on famous pro wrestler and movie star Andre the Giant, this Microgaming slot features five reels and twenty-five paylines. This is a video slot featuring animated clips of Andre himself in action. The top prize is worth 5,000 coins, triggered when you line up five of the game’s wrestler symbols. This particular title has three bonus features.
Watch for the Andre the Giant symbol: this is what is known as expanding wild, and it will only pop up on the second and fourth reels. This symbol is huge, covering up all three spots on those two reels. This expanding wild symbol increases your chances of putting together a winning combo, substituting for any symbol that leads to a payout.
The game’s scatter symbol is a logo featuring a smaller image of Andre the Giant; spinning three or more of these images anywhere on any active reels starts the Battle Bout Bonus. This leads to ten free spins, during which you’ll earn special wrestling moves that appear on the fifth reel. These moves have names like Hug, Chop, and Choke, and can be used later if you’re lucky enough to make Andre the Giant appear on the wrestling mat.
Using the special moves you acquire, Andre has a good shot of winning his video wrestling match, and if he does, your free spins are doubled. Three or more hits earns you the Andre the Giant Finishing Move, which makes you eligible for a 20x multiplier.