Online slots have come a long way in their relatively short history. Whereas early titles were very clearly based on actual slot machines, advances in computer-generated images and connection speeds have allowed developers to get really creative. Modern online video slots often bear little resemblance to real-world slots. For many players, the wonderful graphics on offer are a big part of why they play slots.
In this article, we look at 10 of the slots with graphics, animations, and artwork that really make them stand out from the crowd. Here are our favourite 10 slots in terms of their visual content alone!
Book of Dead by Play ‘n’ Go
Set in a Pharaoh’s Tomb, Play ‘n’ Go’s Book of Dead slot is probably the best looking Egyptian-themed slot on the market today. The game’s reels are sandwiched between great stone pillars and the symbols are all typical images from the forgotten civilisation. Each has been beautifully illustrated and gold detailing really makes them pop off the reels.
Standout performer at all online casinos
The standout feature is certainly the Book of Dead Free Spins mode. We zoom in on the book itself and flick through the pages. The expanding symbols throughout the feature magically transform too, making for some potentially epic winning combinations. See for yourself by playing the Book of Dead demo at DogSlots today.
Planet of the Apes by NetEnt
This masterpiece of slot design is based on the Planet of the Apes spinoff movies. The game starts with an extravagant intro with real footage of the apes attacking human cities from the films. The reels are split into two different sets of reels, meaning it’s kind of like playing two slots at the same time.
Being a licensed slot, all symbols are represented by photoreal pictures and there’s no shortage of clips from the movies on which the title was based. Bringing the action to life are the chimps that periodically storm across the bottom of the reels or breakout of the symbols to take part in another destructive rampage. If you enjoyed the action-packed movies, we reckon you’ll love the slot too!
1,429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick
This nautical-themed slot with great graphics is by the innovative firm Thunderkick. On 1,429 Uncharted Seas, the action takes place on a treasure map of old. Throughout the game, there are beautiful illustrations of sea monsters, epic voyages amidst choppy seas, and traditional pictures of the sun, moon, and stars – which sailors of the day would use to navigate.
So different makes it so beautiful
Whilst the lavish animations that standout on some of our other selections are absent from the title, we really think the art style alone makes this one worthy of inclusion. The various symbols, the map itself, and full-page illustrations really look like the kind you’d see on ancient maps depicting strange lands. These give the title exactly the vibe you’d expect from a slot based on the seafarers of a forgotten time!
Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt
Despite being almost 10 years old, Gonzo’s Quest is still one of the best-looking casino games around. The classic NetEnt Aztec adventure slot takes place at a South American temple. The symbols are represented by mysterious symbols from the ancient civilisation and the cascading reel dynamic has become a much-loved staple of many online slots.
The game is brought to life by Gonzo himself who watches over the action, ever ready to leap for joy at the player’s successes. He’s on hand to march us off to the second screen on which the game’s free spins feature takes place too. If you manage to drop a massive win, our intrepid adventurer pal catches the falling prize in his helmet before dancing a merry jig!
Birds on Wire by Thunderkick
Our second selection by Thunderkick, Birds on Wire is an amusing slot that’s all about electrocuting cute little birdies that are minding their own business. Each row of symbols is a different telegraph wire. When you click Spin, the birds jump up in unison, and flutter out of view. They’re then replaced by another set of 15 feathered friends.
Again, this one doesn’t have extravagant animations, but the art style used throughout gives it loads of character. It’s a quirky-looking slot and this matches the quirky subject matter. There are, of course, some animations. Our personal favourite is when you do match three of the same birds along a win line. A current suddenly runs through the cable and zaps them all, with tragic, yet hilarious, consequences!
Attack on Retro by Microgaming
Attack on Retro is a vision of the future from the past. You know how people (particularly movie directors) from the 1980s thought that we’d all be wearing neon suits and have wild haircuts? Well, it’s like a slot version of that.
The game is set in front of a futuristic cityscape and ominous robots scuttle up and down the side of the reels. When they line up with each other, the Attack Feature starts and a swarm of the robots descend onto the reels, adding high value symbols. Along with the garish colour scheme and plenty of animative touches, the artists got really wild with their character and symbol designs. Hoverboards, keytars, and boomboxes, are the symbols because, of course, we’ll all eventually own one of these symbols of the future from the 1980s!
Age of Asgard by Yggdrasil
Age of Asgard is a fantasy-lover’s dream and Yggdrasil’s artists really got creative when designing it. There are two sets of reels, each with their own symbols. The top set represents good and features fearsome female warriors. Meanwhile, dragons, trolls, and soldiers from an undead army are the high value symbols from the evil reel set below. All these high value symbols appear as stacks, allowing for lavish, full-length portraits of each.
Age of Asgard really comes to life when you trigger one of the special features. The Clash Feature pits fighters against one another, conjuring Wild Symbols to scatter across the reels. Then the Randomizer Wheel can transport players to a new reel set for the Ragnarok Free Spins. Surrounded by shadowy creatures and licked by the flames of two smouldering torches, the bonus feature makes the game even more atmospheric!
Arctic Valor by Microgaming
Arctic Valor is another slot that’s sure to appeal to fantasy fans. Again, the character symbols could each be taken directly from the pages of Tolkien. When these form part of epic winning combinations, they come to life with dramatic animative sequences.
At the top of the reels hang precarious-looking icicles. These can fall at random and the player must smash them to reveal bonus features such as Wild Symbols. If you manage to activate the Bonus Feature itself, you’re instantly magicked off to a different set of reels deep within an icy cave. Yet more icicles cascade down the reels throughout the feature transforming symbols in their path. All told, it’s a very impressive offering from one of the industry’s most experienced companies.
Raging Rex by Play ‘n’ Go
This prehistoric slot takes place deep in a mysterious jungle where fearsome dinosaurs are our only companions. The forest background to Raging Rex is alive with various creatures, which makes for a highly atmospheric experience.
Each of the dinosaur symbols animates when they form a winning combination. They’ll let out a bloodcurdling roar or grunt before wins are awarded. Meanwhile, the Primal Rage feature presents players with a stacked Raging Rex. The enormous reptile’s scream provides the soundtrack as the massive, and expertly illustrated, Wild Symbol jumps to new positions on the reels!
Warlords: Crystals of Power by NetEnt
Last on our list of slots with the best graphics is another fantasy-themed game. NetEnt’s Warlords: Crystals of Power starts with an impressive opening sequence that really wouldn’t be out of place on a modern video game. During the intro, we’re introduced to each of the characters and the creatures that support them in battle.
Best game of 2020
Again, as with Arctic Valor and Age of Asgard, the background and symbols for the title are impressively illustrated. They really give the feel of a battlefield and each of the mighty warriors and their powerful beastly familiars have a strong look of their own. They come alive when they form a winning combination and all other wins set the reels themselves ablaze.
Visually, it’s all very impressive and the designers managed to create a real sense of the magic within each of the power crystals that the warriors protect. During the Free Spins mode, fireballs, daggers, and other weaponry fly. All of this combines to make Warlords: Crystals of Power easily one of the best-looking games on the market today.