Ever since Microgaming created the first online pokies and launched the first online casinos, Australians have been hooked on these games. And we’re not the only ones.
After realising that there was more money in simply licensing their software and letting others run the casinos, Microgaming changed tact, focusing on development instead. And in the years that followed, they created hundreds of pokies and inspired many other developers to follow in their footsteps. Without Microgaming, there would be no Playtech, no Net Ent and no BetSoft. In fact, without Microgaming, there would be no online pokies and no online casinos.
As we shall discover, Microgaming have played a huge role in making this industry what it is, and in introducing a long line of pokies and pokie genres.
So, just what pokies are available, what are the biggest and the best in these categories, and what are the pros and cons of each type of pokie?
The first ever progressive pokie was Cash Splash, which was, unsurprisingly, created by Microgaming. This game was released in 2003 and introduced a novel idea. It reduced the RTP and used the extra money it generated from doing so to create a rolling jackpot. This jackpot built up over time and was eventually won by one lucky player, at which point it would reset.
This game went on to break records for the biggest online payouts and it inspired many similar games. A few years later, Microgaming released Mega Moolah, a game that has since become the ultimate progressive jackpot pokie. The beauty of Mega Moolah is that it has a seed amount of $1 million, which means that this is the very least you can win. Mega Moolah set and broke the record for the biggest win, and it continued to do this for many years.
In 2015, it blew previous records out of the water when a player would close to $20 million playing it. That bonus is the main draw of this game and of all the other progressive pokies offered by Microgaming casinos.
Other Microgaming progressive pokies:
- Major Millions
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- The Dark Knight
- Mega Moolah Summertime
Probably the most popular form of online pokie, there are more of these than any other. These are the games that offer big graphics, stacks of paylines (often with a minimum of 5 reels) and some bonus features. More often than not, these features are unlocked via “scatter” or “bonus” symbols. These need to land anywhere on the reels, at which point the feature is triggered.
These can range in style. The most common feature is a free spins round, whereby you basically get a number of free spins. Most games will offer something in addition to these, such as extra wilds or a multiplier, but some just take you to the same reels and allow you to have a free shot at them.
Other bonus features include “choose-me” rounds, where you make a selection and randomly trigger a win; an instant win, which gives you money; multipliers, which boost your winners twofold, three fold or more; adventures, where you play a mini-game and unlock prizes on the way; and many more.
The best Microgaming bonus pokies include:
- Game of Thrones
- Jurassic Park
- Avalon II
- Thunderstruck II
- Terminator 2
- The Dark Knight Rises
These are the games that you might be most familiar with, as these were the first online pokies and the first interactive pokies. They tend to use 3 reels and between 1 and 5 paylines. They are the classic pokies, using fruit symbols, “bar” symbols and “7s”. They have no bonus features, no free spins rounds and they do not include scatter symbols or anything of the sort.
So, what is their purpose you ask? Well, they tend to have very high Return to Player averages, which means you can aways generate a decent return. They are also ideal if your computer is slow or if you don’t have patience for the bigger and more advanced titles.
Microgaming retro titles:
- Retro Reels
- Bah Bah Black Sheep
- The Gee Gees
- Winning Wheels
- Sterling Silver
Where to Play
There are hundreds of Microgaming casinos out there, but to get the best out of this software, you need casinos that offer the full roster of Microgaming pokies, instead of cherry picking the ones best suited to their casino. You also want ones with big bonuses and, preferably, a loyalty scheme.
Royal Vegas casino fits that bill perfectly and has been one of the best Microgaming casinos on the market for over a decade now. In fact, it is one of the longest running Microgaming casinos and is one of the most popular here in Australia.