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Crystals in Slot Games

Posted by THEPOGG on Aug 30, 2019

The end of this month will see the much-anticipated release of NetFlix’s reimagining of the 1982 “puppet animated dark fantasy adventure film” , “Dark Crystal”. The series will run for 10 episodes, is titled “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” and will continue to be attributed to the late master of puppets, Jim Henson .

Timing for the series couldn’t really be much better, with the dust just about settling over “Stranger Things” “Stranger Things” it feels like the moment is now perfect for a new fantasy series on the streaming platform.

The new series has been dubbed a prequel, which means this will not be a like for like re-creation of the original, but will instead take place in the same world with a cross-over of characters. Inspiration for the series comes from the extensive notes left by Jim Henson and Frank Oz who left enough material for what was originally meant to just be a single film but has consequently proved to be extensive enough to film the screen time needed for a 10 episode series.

Despite current levels of popularity, when “Dark Crystal” was released back in 1982 it was met with a fairly lukewarm response. The film cost 20 million dollars and only managed to double that total at the box office, a far cry from the mega-hauls of some of today’s fantasy franchises.

Critics argued that the film misjudged its audience, that it was a children’s movie that was too dark and frightening for most children. It also had to try to compete with one of the decade’s biggest and most enduring children’s movies: “ET”.

When Henson began making “Dark Crystal” he intention was to create something that evoked fear in his audience. As far as Henson was concerned there was nothing wrong with children being a little unnerved in the cinema. His frame of reference was the Brothers Grimm and the terrifying stories they had penned and intended for children to read without the modern filter of Disneyfication.

Despite under-performing at the box office “Dark Crystal” has obtained a status that surpasses cultism and tiptoes its way into the mainstream, arguably, in part to the success of “Labyrinth” , another Henson offering released a few years later.

This time round the puppets will be joined by green-screen technology, with stills and the series trailer highlighting the huge leaps we have taken in movie design over the years since the original was first released. Take a look back at that original movie and you will see scope and ambition streaking ahead of what the equipment at the time was capable of. Don’t get me wrong, what they achieved with what was available at the time was incredible, but the washed out graphics and the occasional scratchy focus did detract slightly from the viewing experience.

The series released at the end of the month will have no such issues. Netflix can provide the technology that the studio needed to have to make a series that looks as good as any you’ve seen before. However, that doesn’t mean that it has been plain sailing getting “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” from paper to streaming service. It was 2012 that the wheels started turning slowly into a stage of what was described as “development hell”. It would take 5 years before a studio could be convinced to take on the task and with help from a little Netflix money filming began in 2017.

So what can we expect from the new series? You can expect the expert melding of CGI and puppetry in what will be one of the most stunning looking shows to ever been made. You can expect darkness, on the same levels as the original movie, fully embracing the spirit of the Brothers Grimm. Yes, they will still be puppets and yes Henson’s blueprint will be all over this, but these will be the most real puppets that you’ve ever seen. You can expect Skeksis and urRu, good versus evil in an utterly rich and immersive world. As for the story, we can’t possibly know that until the series is released at the end of the month. All we can hope for is that the attention to detail spent on design has also been addressed in plot and in character.

Crystal Slots

The only slot games that I could possibly cast my eyes over this week had to be ones that have crystals in them. And boy, are there a lot of slot games that have crystals in them. The sheer quantity meant that choosing a list of 10 took a lot longer than normal. To help narrow things down a little any game that had “Crystal” in the title was considered and 6 of them made it into the top 10. The remaining 4 slot games might not be blatantly crystal themed but all of them use crystals or gems as their central symbols.

One key find in all of this is that slot games with crystals in them are 10 a penny and the results are relatively generic. For that reason I have tried to make the 4 slots that are not explicitly about crystals a little bit different and have done my best to avoid some of those more run of mill offerings. One thing I have also ensured is that this is a quality list, with every slot on it sitting with a score of 7 when we first reviewed it on release.

Without wasting any more of your precious time, here is ThePogg’s list of the best crystal themed slots as of August 2019, just in time for the release of “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance”.

Warlords: Crystals of Power

Warlords: Crystal of Powers dives you head first into a fantasy world where terrifying warlords fight it out for control over some very important crystals. There are three characters, each one with a different weapon skill and also a different animal that helps them along the way. The three characters have a different coloured banner that will signal the start of a battle, or in this case the start of a bonus feature when you land them in the correct combination. The slot looks stunning and there are plenty of bonus features to keep you engaged as you spin those reels. Whether you are a hammer wielder, proficient with a sword or a dead eye with a bow and arrow, Warlords: Crystal of Power has something for fans of crystals and fans of fantasy.

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Crystal Queen

This isn’t the first time that Crystal Queen has made it onto one of our lists and who can blame us for tipping our caps to this brilliant slot yet again. An impressive 10 out of 10 puts this slot on par with Warlords: Crystals of Power with a slot that has the absolute lot. There are lots of amazing and exciting features that completely engage and mesmerise throughout. Surprisingly there are no actual crystals in the slot but the title alone is enough for it to make an appearance on this list, with crystals most likely a reference to the icy world that the slot is set in.

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Astro Legends

Astro Legends takes space and crystals and jams the whole bally lot into some tight tight lycra, all topped off with an afro and the ultimate symbol of 80s musical decadence: the guitar keyboard. The colour scheme is neon and the beats come straight out of any sci fi film from that decade. The slot is fun, it is over the top and it is exactly what we want from a crystal themed slot. Clusters of crystals instead of paylines and a pile of other features mean that MicroGaming have ensured that this game is both fun to play and fun to look at.

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Dwarf Mine

Dwarf Mine is a Yggdrasil slot that was released early this year. The title speaks for itself, with Dwarf Mine managing to achieve an 8 out of 10 you spin reels in an attempt to get that dwarf of yours to dig up as many precious crystals as you can. This is one of the best mining games out there, just pipping the very popular Bonanza to the post, thanks mainly to a vastly superior house edge and a slicker design. This is a slot that takes something tried (often very tried) and tested and elevates it. It might be hard to make mining themes slots original but Yggdrasil are one the best developers in the business for doing just that.

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Queen of the Crystal Rays

Queen of the Crystal Rays was only released this month and already it finds itself on one of our lists. This Microgaming slot was most impressive because of its low house edge. It does however comes with a few interesting features, none more so that the crystal itself which has the capacity to change the directions of playlines and increase the number of chances you have to win. The game was designed by Crazy tooth Studio who were also responsible for Artic Valor, a game that holds many similarities to Queen of the Crystal Rays.

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Gemix

Gemix was released last year by Play ‘N Go and is a really cracking looking game, owing much of its design to the Candy Crush template that more and more slots are adopting these days. Play ‘N Go have a few slots with similar features to Gemix, like the most recent Rich Wilde slot. The main similarities between these slots is the larger grid, the combinations in place of paylines and the meters that you charge to unleash some pretty tasty special features. In this instance the meter is called a Crystal Charge, which allows us to tick the crystal box quite nicely. You will also find a few characters in here who have popped up in different Play ‘N Go slots before.

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Dazzle Me

Dazzle Me was released by Net Entertainment all the way back in 2015 and is one of our purest, 23 carrot diamond crystal slots. This slot is all about the crystals, to the point that there really is nothing else going on here. No characters, not story, just pure unadulterated crystals. You get reels that are different sizes, many paylines and above all else you get excellent value for money, something that this needed if it was ever going to score big from us.

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Enchanted Crystals

Enchanted Crystals is another Play ‘N Go slot, one that was released a few years ago now. This slot takes the crystals we are relying on for this list and drops them off into an enchanted fairy world, where goblins, butterflies and fairies all jostle for space on reels that you desperately want to fill up with those every elusive crystal Wilds. What makes this game stand out is something rare in a Play ‘N Go slot. It is not very often that you get a Play ‘N Go slot with a house edge below 4% but here we have one very fine example of just that. That alone is enough for this slot to get the thumbs up from us.

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Crystal Rift

Crystal Rift hit the reels back at the end of 2018 and is yet another slot from those busy bees over at MicroGaming. Crystal Rift is a pretty simple game, set in a cave where you need to try and unearth as many crystal combinations as you can. This slot is pretty light on features but the cascading wins and the resulting Wild Grid feature make this worth a play even without any Free Spins. Whilst there may not be much diversity on the reels, what you do get is beautifully designed, making this a slot that is worth stumbling into a cave for.

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Crystal Clans

Crystal Clans is the first and only slot on this list brought to you by iSoftBet. Like most of their slot games this is another absolutely stunning looking offering. When we reviewed it on its release we scored Crystal Clans a 7 out of 10, essentially based on how good the slot looked and on the number of different and engaging special features that come with it. Our only criticism was the high house edge. If it wasn’t for the lack of value on offer there’s every chance that this slot would have scored an 8 or a 9 out of 10.

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Conclusions

I came into this article apprehensive about the number of quality slot games that I guessed I would find. In the end it turns out there was nothing for me to have been worried about. Assembling a list of 10 slots that I felt could be recommend was actually pretty easy as there are a number of excellent crystal themed slot games out there for you to sink your teeth into.

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