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Chinese New Year

Posted by THEPOGG on Feb 01, 2019

2019’s Chinese New Year will take place next Tuesday, February the 5th. This year will be the year of the pig, the last of the 12 animals to arrive at the great meeting called by the Jade Emperor. The myth goes that the Pig was the last to arrive because he stopped along the way for a nap. Other, more sympathetic versions have him rushing to the meeting after hours on the phone to his home insurance following a bust up with a wolf who took it upon himself to destroy the Pig’s house. Either way, he turned up last, just as the meeting was coming to an end and that is why the pig is the 12th symbol of the Chinese Zodiac.

The festival is also known as the Spring Festival as it signals the end of the coldest and darkest days in China. It is also the day when the most fireworks are set off anywhere in the world; that’s more than Bonfire Night and more than New Year’s Eve. The use of fireworks to celebrate the Spring Festival taps into the myth of Nian, a terrifying monster who was scared off by a small boy and a pile of firecrackers.

But the scariest thing you need to know about the Chinese New Year is that no one gets to wash. Washing during the Spring Festival is bad luck because everyone washes it all away the night before, leaving nothing but good luck to take into the new year. Washing would remove all that positive energy, as would throwing out rubbish and other modes of hygiene.

If you are into your horoscopes and you happen to have been born on one of the years of the Pig then you might be interested in knowing that you are meant to be slow to temper. That you are patient, want the best for everyone and are always willing to compromise. Those born on the year of the pig are meant to make the best teachers, coaches and mentors.

I don’t know much about horoscopes but what I do know is that Chinese slots games are huge. There are hundreds, possibly even thousands, of them and some of them are utterly fantastic. Our focus this week will be to bring you our most comprehensive list of the best Chinese themed games out there.

You can expect to see lanterns, temples, the 12 signs of the zodiac. You can expect to see long grey beards, pandas and impressive fireworks displays. There will be dragons, tigers and Buddhas. Unfortunately it’s quite likely that elements from other east Asian cultures might sneak their way in there too and if we don’t spot them we apologise now in advance for our ignorance.

We are going to stick to a list of 10 games in total, despite the fact that we could have probably doubled it, given the vast number of Chinese themed games there are to choose from. There will be notable exceptions, great games with a steep house edge being the most common exclusions. You will also notice a number of games from the same developers, which tells us that some software companies do better with this theme than others. We will also be unable to include any games that are due for release next week on the Chinese New Year, the most obvious example of this being iSoftBet’s Fortune Pig that is has been advertised on their site but is currently unavailable for testing.

In absolutely no order of preference at all, and in celebration of Chinese New Year, here are ThePogg’s list of the 10 best Chinese themed slots games on the market today:

Chinese New Year

Of course we had to start here! Play ‘N Go’s only offering is also the only game we are including that deals directly with the theme in question. The game looks great, taking full advantage of the zodiac signs that it gets to play with. All 12 animals (I’m counting the dragon as an animal) are in this game in the form of a symbol. Special symbols are your dragons, tigers and monkeys, with the remaining 9 animals making up the standard ones. There is a fireworks related bonus and some free spins on offer too, meaning there are more than enough features to keep you entertained and I like how effort has gone into making them relevant to the theme. Play ‘N Go don’t often veer away from a 4% house edge but in this instance they are starting the Chinese New Year by offering one of their best value for money games available.

Play the game for free here

Untamed Giant Panda

Untamed Giant Panda is an oldie but a goodie, brought to us by Microgaming. It is part of a series of games all celebrating some sort of wild animal and because the giant panda is China’s national animal and because we rated the game so highly way back in the day we feel it is only proper that Untamed Giant Panda finds itself a spot on our list. The panda and its glorious habitat are celebrated here with amazing looking symbols, pictures that seem almost grown up compared the comic book symbols that make up most games today. The features are excellent, with plenty to keep you entertained and the house edge is very reasonable indeed.

Play the game for free here

Mystery of Long Wei

If we were crowing the kings of the Chinese themed slots game then it is more than likely that iSoftBet would be wearing that crown. This their first of three entries on our list and amazingly there were others that we chose not to include. I don’t know exactly what Long Wei’s mystery is, but I do know it has nothing to do with spending ages in the bathroom and that it’s not about a famous Chinese football player (blame Google). But what I do know is that Mystery of Long Wei has all the elements we want from a Chinese themed game. The dragons look incredible and that background is so well drawn that you might just find yourself staring at that for hours instead of playing the game. There aren’t too many features but you do get free spins and some colossal symbols to help keep things interesting.

Play the game for free here

Nian Nian You Yu

Nian Nian You Yu was released a few years ago now by Playtech and is a game that contains so many wonderful elements of Chinese culture. The first being the name itself, which fits our brief perfectly. In fact you could go as far as to say that it so very more effectively than the first game on our list. The phrase translates to something along the lines of, “have abundance, year after year” and is used as a standard greeting between people during the Chinese New Year. The game might lack some of the pizazz that a few of our other games have but is because Nian Nian You Yu is all about the house edge. At less than 3% the game is offering you more chance for an abundant new year than nearly any other game on this list making it our 2nd best value for money Chinese themed game.

Play the game for free here

Legend of the Golden Monkey

Here at ThePogg we don’t do best of lists without including at least one Yggdrasil game. Legend of the Golden Monkey hits all the high notes that you might expect from this inventive bunch of game designers. Does it look great? It’s Yggdrasil, of course it looks great. In terms of the theme we are arguably a little off the beaten track here, but there’s no doubt that this is a Chinese themed game. Golden monkeys are native to China and the Monkey King is also a main character the 16th century novel, Journey to the West (I’ll be mentioning this novel again in another entry). Feature wise this game has a few things to keep you engaged and the free spins come with options.

Play the game for free here

Dalai Panda

It’s that time again folks. I’ve tried to space them out as best I can but it was only a matter of time before we were due another iSoftBet game. I’m assuming there’s something relatively sacrilegious about a panda replacing the figurehead of one of the world’s most popular religions but if anyone needs to pay for this apparent blasphemy I’m sure the universe will dish it out in equal measures, perhaps not in this life but in the next. iSoftBet deserve some praise for the workmanship that has gone into their most recent crop of games, all of which look as good as any I’ve seen. Dalai Panda fits this description and then some. However, it would be unfair to suggest that the Dalai Panda is just a pretty face. The game is all about its reels. This is not a standard 5 by 3 game, instead you have 2 sets of reels that can be pulled together by the mystical panda to create a larger grid when the free spins kick off. The house edge is a bit on the steep side but we felt that the other elements of this game were good enough for it to earn a place on our list.

Play the game for free here

Fireworks Master

I’m going to keep this one brief as this game has already made an appearance on another one of our lists. Back in the heady days of Bonfire Night 2018, Playson’s Fireworks Master was one of the first games to make it onto our list. We liked it so much back then that we feel it needs to our first game to make an appearance on two lists. What we liked then, we like still like. The game looks good, is undeniably Chinese themed and has some interesting features to keep you amused.

Play the game for free here

Wild Orient

If you were wondering what game on our list would offer the best value for money, then look no further. Microgaming’s Wild Orient is all about the house edge. At 2.51% you are going to struggle to find a game anywhere that offers better value for money than this. The keen-eyed amongst you might have noticed that there has been some symbol cheating going on here, with a number of the symbols appearing in other Microgaming games (Check the Untamed Giant Panda game we’ve already mentioned). However, in this instance we are willing to turn a blind eye and take that value for money and run!

Play the game for free here

Imperial Wealth

This is our 3rd and final entry from those stalwarts of the Chinese themed game, iSoftBet. This game is so new that we’ve only just finished writing our review of it. Like all the other iSoftBet games that have already made it onto our list this one looks fantastic. The game is filled with symbols that tie in with our theme, with bright and bold the order of the day. We were impressed with the low house edge and with some of the features that this game has to offer. It’s new and it’s shiny and it’s nearly the Chinese New Year, so what are you waiting for?

Play the game for free here

Xi You Ji

Our last game on the list is the most recently released. Even hotter off the press than Imperial Wealth, we felt that Pariplay’s Xi You Ji deserved a place on our list, thanks in no small part to how fantastic the whole thing looks. Xi You Yi means Journey to the West and is the title of a famous Chinese novel that describes an epic (this thing is 100 chapters long) pilgrimage, filled with all sorts of incredible characters, twists and turns. The novel is seriously complex, drawing on elements of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, making this a 500-year-old novel that is pretty hard to pin down. That complexity makes its way into this game with an array of features, the most notable being the bonus, where you try and win x1000 your bet.

Play the game for free here

If you like the sound of any of those games you can try them out for free by following the links at the bottom of each entry. We also appreciate that there might be games we have missed and welcome any suggestions that you think we should have included.

For anyone celebrating the Year of the Pig, Nian Nian You Yu from everyone here at ThePogg.

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