Austrian slot maker Novomatic has built a huge business since their start in 1980. While this company does not have the reach of IGT or Aristocrat in the US – their presence around Europe is large. Novomatic started by supplying local casinos and bars with mechanical games, before expanding their reach by buying casino properties and then entering new markets. Slots, casino management systems and other games are now supplied to more than 30 jurisdictions.

I’d use the word ‘solid’ to describe the 100’s of slots in the Novomatic range. There are some titles with fancy features and graphics, though on the whole you should expect the focus to be on the core game play. Free spins rounds, wilds and scatters are common.

Novomatic recently announced Nicki Lauder as their brand ambassador. This motor racing legend is a huge name in Austria and Germany. With awards for innovation received in their native Austria, this company recently showed that they are serious about competing with the biggest and best companies in the industry by creating the biggest ever slot gaming booth at a recent casino trade show in London.

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What Makes Novomatic Slots Different?

There are more than 30 years’ worth of titles available covering everything from super-simple 3-reel traditional slots through to complex video slot titles with up to date features like cascading reels and expanding wilds.

While you will not find movie or TV tie-ins, the common thread shared between all of these titles is the focus on engaging game-play. This company has a history of taking their popular titles and expanding on them (backing the winners). For example, Book of Ra is one of the most popular titles – and now has alternative ‘Book of’ games and special editions including a 6-reel game in the same range. Other well-known titles include the Columbus slots and the ‘Hot’ slots, which now also include ‘Sizzling’ variations.

Egyptian themed slots are popular in casinos around the world. Novomatic has more slots themed on this theme than any manufacturer I have seen! Almost all the slots have a ‘gamble after win’ system. This allows you to double up (often via choosing red or black for a playing card). Some games allow you to continue doubling up to 5 times.

Recommended Novomatic Slots

There are 100’s of titles available, covering just about every popular theme and format. My picks below are some of the most popular games over the years – and will give you a solid starting point to explore the range.

#1 – Book of Ra: On the surface this looks similar to many other ancient Egypt themed 5-reel video slots. What made this one popular is that a symbol gets chosen at random when you trigger free spins via a screen featuring the ancient book. You’ll then see stacked book symbols on the reels, which will all turn into your symbol – making it possible to cover a lot of the reels in the same symbol on occasion. This solid and enjoyable game has triggered many follow ups and versions with improved graphics.

#2 – Sizzling Hot: The concept with this range of games is flaming 7’s. There are several variations, through the theme running throughout is that any wins that you hit burst into flames.

#3 – Columbus: This proved to be a hugely popular stand-alone game, and has now got an updated version with better graphics and smoother game-play. The theme is the voyage of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the America’s. While the overall game play is simple, this is a solid and enjoyable 5-reel slot which is a great example of a 1st generation video slot product.

Company Overview

Novomatic was formed in 1980 by Austrian Johann Graf and still has a headquarters in the city of Gumpoldkirchen, Austria. From small beginnings and a single type of gaming machine, Novomatic has grown to become a big player in the world of casino gaming – and slots in particular. During the early 80’s most of their business was based locally in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. With the fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’ in 1989, new opportunities became available in central Europe – while at the same time expansion to the west and even to South Africa was driving growth.

A big date in the history of this company was 1990, when their hugely popular ‘American Poker II’ video poker game really took off. During the 1990’s production facilities were expanded in many counties to cope with surging demand. This decade also saw the acquisition of casino properties around the world.

More recently, the pace of expansion has increased. This includes products (slots and casino gaming systems) and jurisdictions in which they are licensed (Peru, the UK and Spain – among many others – were added to the list).

With revenue now measured in the billions, Novomatic are currently one of the biggest gaming companies. With multiple awards at G2E and for business innovation in their native Austria, I expect to see new innovations coming from this company soon.

Summing It Up

With so many slots and so much variation, there is a fair chance you have enjoyed a Novomatic slot without even realizing. There are plenty of mechanical options still available for those who prefer this format – though video slots now make up the majority of the range. What I like about their titles is that they stick to the tried and tested solid game + free spins feature format, only occasionally adding complicated extras.