When slots players first start to recognise their favourite games, then find sites with similar slots, then notice brand logos and so on, there’s one name that often comes to the fore.
And the folks at NetEnt have worked hard to earn this recognition too, becoming one of the go-to names in slot tiles, alongside peers like Microgaming, Yggdrasil and IGT.
NetEnt (short for Net Entertainment) is based in Stockholm and has 20 years of experience, serving over 170 casino operators with 200 casino games. You may have seen – and played – the famous Starburst, but there’s some other big hits from 2017 that are most certainly worth a spin or two. Here they are…
Planet of the Apes
This is the official game of the new, rebooted movie series. NetEnt has the license to create games with the actual artwork from the movies and it totally capitalised on that, with amazing HD imagery straight from the big screens that features all the main characters, including Caesar.
The game also packs the first two films of the new series into one game, both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
This is achieved with an interesting two reels system, essentially putting two slot games side-by-side – typical of the clever ways in which NetEnt continues to innovate. Each side is a distinct 5-reel game with 20 lines.
They have bonuses, stacked wilds and free spins. The wilds are the key to a unique mechanic where a stack of wilds on the Rise side will copy over to the corresponding place on the Dawn side, hopefully triggering another win.
There’s also a random feature where one symbol is chosen to be highlighted for a re-spin and more can drop in on both reels, spreading the wins again. The overall game has a 96.33% Return to Player.Find it at any major NetEnt casino, like bgo Casino.
2017 also saw the release of this sequel to the popular Bloodsuckers. As you can imagine, it’s a vampire-themed slot! Bloodsuckers II is quite colourful for a gloomy, gothic adventure and that’s partly due to the presence of Amilia.
This is our heroine, the attractive vampire lady to the left of the reels who sports a crossbow and red outfit. She is battling other vampires and demons to reclaim her ancestral home, which is also full of treasure, so that’s handy! The game has a 96.94% RTP, so you should see a fair few wins yourself, with any luck. You can find it at sites like Mr Green Casino.
Amilia is animated and responds to what you do on the reels, such as landing a win or getting the bonus round. Three Blood Roses gives you 10 free spins that can re-trigger, plus all wins are multiplied by three during that time, so it’s a pretty lucrative mode.
The Hidden Treasure game is where Amilia can try to reclaim her lost treasure, in a pick-and-win game based around coffins and chests. Watch out for the demon who will end the quest, while you seek out keys to advance to the next level. This is a quirky and upbeat vampire game, with a style that would suite a video game pretty well.
Earlier in the year, this game was released as a kind of sequel to Neon Staxx. Butterfly Staxx features the same approach aesthetically, with a kind of bright, neon, retro feel. This is a very attractive game and focuses on a very distinct aesthetic style, rather than being the most advanced in terms of 3D.
The landscapes are beautifully rendered and the colourful glowing flowers and butterflies bring the game to life. The game itself is pretty tranquil and luminescent, a great game for bedtime or just when you fancy relaxing.
This game has a 96.8% RTP, so it’s quite generous as well as attractive. Gameplay is simple, with a free spins round activated by a stack of butterflies (the clue was in the name).
Three or more purple scatters activates the Butterfly Spins round where only cocoons land on the reels. Active cocoons turn into butterflies and stay in place on the leftmost reel to create big wins. It’s a simple, pretty game that shows how it’s still possible to take a fresh approach, without needing the usual Viking or Egypt themes.
Fairytale Legends: Hansel and Gretel
This is another very attractive game by NetEnt and also a sequel to the earlier Red Riding Hood. Hansel and Gretel follows in the same footsteps, painting a mysterious world based around classic fairy tales.
This slot imagines the two lost children trekking through a gleaming midnight forest, with spooky shadows and gentle glowing effects.
The artwork is stunning and supported well by mysterious music. You can find this game on most big online casinos, such as Power Spins.
Gameplay itself is also strong, yet simple too, thanks to an uncomplicated 10-line setup and a nice 96.7% RTP. You’re seeking high-paying symbols like Hansel and Gretel themselves, but the real wins come from a stable of several bonus rounds: Fairy Wonder, Fairy Surprise and Fairy Wild Spin.
Fairy Wonder simply add more top-paying logo symbols to the reels, Surprise turns other symbols into one randomly chosen symbol if you get no win, or Wild Spin randomly throws out stacks of wilds. This isn’t even counting the Red Chests, which can reveal a win, free spins or the Candy House pick-and-win round!
Finn and the Swirly Spin
This has to make the list of top NetEnt slots for 2017, simply because it goes totally outside of the box. Bored of spinning reels? Play a slot without any! Yes, Finn and the Swirly Spin is named for the unique spiral reel that does away with the usual 5 vertical reels, side-by-side. Each spin swirls a block of symbols in a spiral, aligning a new set of symbols each time along a grid of five rows and columns. See it in action and it all makes sense.
Finn is a leprechaun and his magical slot is animated, fun and interesting. This is no ordinary Irish-themed game, thanks to the unique mechanics. The symbols on the ‘reels’ still follow the patterns you expect and have wilds, free spins and bonuses.
Irish Luck is the main feature, which triggers on any spin and turns one row or column of symbols into one matching symbol, for a guaranteed win. This slot packs a 96.61% RTP and you will easily find Finn and the Swirly Spin on sites like bgo casino and Mr Green.
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