The online gambling industry continues to grow with year-on-year profits having risen for 10th year in succession. Online casinos are central to that growth and provide players with a huge selection of hundreds – and sometimes thousands – of games, each with their own unique features and themes. Both the big software houses and boutique providers are capable of the sort of innovation which ensures that new games remain fresh and interesting. They draw their inspiration from a multitude of influences, and popular culture is one of the foremost.
Films, TV series and popular music all exert their influence over many of the most popular games on the market. From NetEnt’s rock slots series, featuring games like Jimi Hendrix and Guns N’ Roses through to Playtech’s longstanding agreement with DC Comics (which itself replaced a similar deal with Marvel), the online gaming industry is bold enough to honour some legendary cultural reference points. Access to these themes isn’t cheap, of course. However, the high cost ensures that software providers put even more effort into creating the best games possible to take full advantage of the opportunity in from of them. As a result, many of the leading online casino games originate from popular culture references.
Slot Game Themes
Online casinos have won a regular player base from a range of people who would never have stepped foot in a real-life ‘bricks and mortar’ casino. Ease of accessibility is one of the chief reasons for this popularity. That said, nobody should underestimate the importance of creativity – not least with their approach to promotional campaigns. Nearly all casinos offer an inventive welcome bonus package and you can collect some, like the All British Casino No Deposit Bonus, without spending any money. It’s not just the promotions though, online casino games are subject to similar levels of innovation. Video slots are the most popular type of online casino game and there are literally thousands available to play. They are inspired by traditional slot games, colloquially known as one armed bandits or pokies, but they have drawn influences from video gaming too. This means that most online slots now boast not only a wealth of ‘bonus features’ to excite players, but also well-developed themes, characters and even storylines.
These characteristics create a whole new type of gaming experience which is some way removed from the ‘nudge and hold’ nature of offline slot machines. Some slots are increasingly blurring the lines between video gaming and casino play. Even a cursory glance through the games catalogue at a leading online casino will reveal the influence of film and TV on these developments. It doesn’t take you long to stumble across Ted, Game of Thrones, Terminator II, The Goonies, and others. These are just the franchised games too. Other games are unashamedly influenced by film without explicitly referencing them. Rich Wilde, the lead character from the hugely popular Book of Dead slot, is more than a little redolent of Indiana Jones, for example. Meanwhile, MicroGaming’s Immortal Romance game shares a good few similarities with the Twilight series.
The Best Slots Influenced by Film
Other slots reference their influences directly. The big software companies are successful enough to buy the rights to huge film franchises and build their games around them. UK based provider Playtech has built much of its success on the relationship it established with Marvel Comics, as mentioned earlier in this article. When that relationship ended – resulting in the withdrawal of loads of popular slots – they hopped into bed with DC Comics instead and released iconic games like Superman and The Green Lantern. Other gaming giants like NetEnt and MicroGaming sporadically introduce release their own film-based slots too. Here are three of the very best film-based games you can play:
- Planet of the Apes
This game is so good that we devoted a full review to it last year, but it’s very much worthy of another mention here too. The game pays homage to both the Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of Apes films, and in some style. Just when you through that game designers had thought of everything, NetEnt pulled off a masterstroke by creating ‘two games in one’. There are two sets of independently spinning reels, one devoted to each of the films, and you can win on either side (or both at the same time). When the two different games interact, players can win huge sums. Bonus features include the possibility to turn all paying symbols into instant wins on the Rise side, while on the Dawn side, all high paying symbols can combine into one big super symbol. There’s a lucrative free spins round too, alongside a host of other features. It’s the epitome of a ‘lovingly created’ film-based online slot.
- Terminator II
From 2017’s Planet of the Apes to a much older game, which many film-based games try to replicate but few can rival. Terminator II is a MicroGaming online slot with a superb soundtrack and symbols featuring all the main characters from James Cameron’s movie epic. The 3D graphics and animations are on point, and the gameplay is undeniably engrossing. The free spins bonus round is worth a special mention too. During this round, the shape of the grid changes from a 3x3 reel format to a 5x4 layout, which offers a whopping 1204 potential paylines. The T800 bonus feature is excellent too, enabling you to play the game through the eyes of the Terminator while picking up plenty of cash wins along the way. Terminator II was one of the first film-based slots to capture the essence of its target movie so perfectly and it remains as popular as ever.
- Top Gun
I wanted to include a Playtech slot in the list and strongly considered one of the DC Comics games. Man of Steel and Green Lantern are both particularly impressive, but I’ve plumped for something a bit different. I am a child of the 80s and Top Gun is an iconic film for many of my generation. The slot itself is faithful to the film and has a distinctly ‘retro’ flavour in comparison to flashier games of its ilk. There are frequent nods to the film too. All the main characters make an appearance, while the bonus features include ‘Dogfight’ wilds and the ‘Danger Zone’ Free Games round, where you stand the best chance of winning big. For those of us of a certain vintage, it’s a great chance to spin some rounds while enjoying the sights and sounds of one of most iconic movies of the 1980s.