Wild Orient

New online slots are a critical part of the health of any online casino, and the same goes for the software companies that create them. By making sure that players have a fresh selection of titles go to after and try, they keep things moving along, and this gives them chances to try out new things, see how players react to certain themes and features, and stay relevant in the eyes of the industry as a whole.

Nobody knows this more than Microgaming, and they have two new releases along these lines in early March: Suntide and Wild Orient.

Visit the Beach With Suntide

The theme of Suntide is pretty interesting. It has a summertime, beach theme to it, but it also has references to older types of slots. In fact, it's a throwback to both classic, three-reel games and an older style of video slot. With five reels, three rows and nine paylines, this is a layout that we used to see a decade or more ago with the first online video slots that became popular (like their Thunderstruck game that put free spins with multipliers on the map). With that having been said, there are also a lot of fruit machine symbols and lucky sevens on the reels that are an obvious reference to classic slots.

Wild Orient and the Animal Kingdom

Microgaming hasn't been shy about producing games based on exotic animals in the past, and that's exactly what they've done with Wild Orient. This game features pandas, tigers, elephants and more in a jungle theme. It uses the 243-ways format across five reels and three rows, a format that they're particularly fond of, and it has some features that you might not have seen before.

For example, it has a great respin feature. After each spin, you get a chance to respin any reel you want as many times as you want, as long as you're willing to pay the price. There are respin buttons along the bottom of the reels, and just below that is the price that it will cost to spin that reel again. Only new winning combinations will get paid with this, so it's worth pointing out that you'll need to think long and hard about how you use this feature if you want to get the best value.

The Microgaming Difference

Microgaming's pair of releases here shows us something important: They've come out with two different video slots with completely different formats and features, and both of them look appealing, but neither of them required the use of some big brand from television, video games, comic books, etc. They're able to produce their own games with their own themes and have them get by on gameplay and a solid visual presentation alone. This is a huge contrast to some of the competition, which can sometimes seem like they can't put everything they have into a title unless they're building on a big brand that already exists.

Overall, these two games will probably appeal to two different types of audiences, but it's cool that Microgaming is looking to appeal to a wide range of players with a wide range of slot themes, formats and approaches to gameplay.