With Easter just around the corner it’ll soon be time to fill up on the chocolate eggs left for you in the night by a giant chocolate egg laying rabbit.
Daylight saving has been activated. Daffodils, lambs and some occasional good weather mean winter should be firmly behind us and the smoke from our summer barbeques can begin their premature waft into neighbours’ gardens.
Easter is the most important of all the Christian festivals. If you’ve ever been to church then you might have noticed that the vast majority of the responses, the prayers and the hymns all hark back to that single pivotal moment in the Christian calendar.
Sympathy for the Devil
Jesus is obviously the most important figure in the Easter festival but there is one person who often gets forgotten in all of this. One person, without whom none of this would have been possible. And by none, I don’t just mean Easter, I mean everything that Christians hold dear.
No-one gets as bad a rap in any of the Christian texts as Satan. That’s because he literally ruined everything. He took God’s plan and wiped his charred, eternally weeping backside all over it. Sure, it still worked, it still functioned but not in the manner that God intended. If you were to sacrilegiously compare God’s plan to a Toyota Prius then just imagine Satan came along and stole the battery.
The Easter Lowdown
Adam and Eve had the lot. Eternal happiness. No shame. No sin. They had it so good that they didn’t even have to worry about dying. Chilling the Garden of Eden for eternity, feasting from the Tree of Life and questioning absolutely nothing.
Satan wasn’t too keen on this set up. He had questioned God and it hadn’t ended well for him. For his exploits he was destined to spend the rest of forever in eternal suffering whilst these mindlessly insufferable humans hit the bloody jackpot.
That’s the point where he decided to ruin everything.
One rule. That’s all God made. One little rule. Every tree in the garden was fair game except one. All Adam and Eve had to do was not eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Satan took his opportunity and convinced Eve to do the one thing she was told not to and with that humanity was cast out of the Garden of Eden, we lost our Tree of Life privileges and we were now horrid sinners.
Satan couldn’t beat God in any kind of a contest but he could irritate and annoy him by ruining his creations. A veil of sin now existed between humanity and God, making us more inclined to do what pleased us, opposed to what pleased God.
But, fair play to God, he sat down and wrote out exactly what we could not do to make it clear for those of us who don’t know any better exactly what sin was. God’s not-to-do list comprised of 10 bullet points that if stuck to would keep you in his good books.
Unfortunately, Satan knew that even the best of us couldn’t go a day without at least thinking about something on that list. As far as God was concerned even thinking about doing stuff on his list was sinning and because of those sins we could not stand before him and had no chance of getting into Heaven.
Satan was very pleased with all this; he hadn’t won the game but he had burst the ball and ran away with it. However, surely somewhere in the back of his mind he must have remembered that God can do whatever he likes, so when God said that sins could be abolished as long as the blood of an innocent animal was spilled without blemish once a year, Satan is unlikely to have been too surprised. He was forced to hand back the ball, but got to keep the puncture repair kit.
Whilst the sacrifice of innocent animals was a solution to the problem it only really papered over the cracks. People would sin, sacrifice a lamb and then keep on sinning until the following year when they would kill another lamb and continuing on sinning.
What God needed was someone to show all us frightful sinners what living without sin looked like. He had a look around and couldn’t find a single living human that could go for long without sinning in one way or another. He turned to his only son and in making him the “Son of Man” he sent Jesus Christ out into the world, a man bound by the same sinful desires as the rest of humanity but with the light of the Holy Spirit to guide him.
Jesus did what no one else could and lived a life without sin. This meant that when he died he replaced the innocent animal that had previously been used as a sacrifice, cleansed us all of our sins, walked the earth a bit after his death and then went back to Heaven.
That last bit is a rough and potentially blasphemous summary of what Easter is. Christians believe in Jesus Christ and try to live as he did, even though we have no chance of ever managing to do so, the point is to try.
Christians celebrate Easter because they see it as a new beginning. In much the same way that Pagans would celebrate the earth’s rebirth from winter into spring, Christians celebrate what they see as humanity’s re-birth. One where we still have our list of rules, acting as a sort of success criteria on how to be a good person and one where we have that good person behaviour modelled for us. Like the daft kids in class, us getting it right is an unreasonable expectation but that’s OK as long as we’ve struggled and persevered our way towards trying to get things right and then feel genuine self-loathing when we do that thing we shouldn’t have.
Christians who hold their religion dear should spare a thought for the Devil because without him nothing they believe in would be possible. The opposing argument, a compelling one if you buy into all this in the first place, would be that there would be no need for any religion without the Devil because we would be living in a fuzz of perpetual, eternal bliss in the Garden of Eden, following God’s will because we were programmed to do so.
And because of all of this we can now expect to find egg shaped chocolate appearing in our homes, left there by a giant rabbit who is conveniently called the Easter Bunny.
To be honest I don’t see how a religious festival soaked in sin and suffering was ever going to be marketable to children. Those wily chocolatiers were always going to have to find inspiration elsewhere and, let’s face it, Pagan beliefs might seem less sophisticated and grown-up than Christian ones, but they have always made better movies and appealed more to children.
It is most likely that our good friend the Easter Bunny is based on Eostre, a Pagan goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny. The eggs themselves are a symbol of new life, mirroring the regeneration of winter into spring. The eggs would have originally just been a normal hard-boiled hen’s egg, decorated by children in bright colours.
The first chocolate Easter egg was made by British company Fry’s (famous for their chocolate creams) in 1873. Leading us to the present day where roughly 80 million Easter Eggs will be sold in the UK alone, with the average child predicted to consume 8 of them each.
Traditions also include making and wearing Easter bonnets, making Easter baskets and going on Easter Egg hunts.
For Christians, the festival begins 6 weeks prior to Easter Sunday. Those 6 weeks, known as Lent, are set aside as a period of abstinence, wherein people choose to make particular sacrifices in an attempt to mirror the sacrifices that Jesus made whilst he was alone in the desert for 40 days and nights without food or water. His only company during that time was Satan who tried and failed to tempt him into breaking his fast.
The Thursday prior to Easter Sunday sees close ties being drawn between Christianity and Judaism, as Passover and the Last Supper intertwine. Passover is the celebration of Jewish liberation from Egypt, led by Moses, as told in the Book of Exodus. Jesus, a Jew himself, celebrated the occasion with his disciples. His first meal since his self-imposed exile in the desert and his last before his crucifixion the following day. The scene is most famously depicted in Leonard Davinci’s famous painting, “Il Cenacolo or L’Ultima Cena”.
The Christian story of Easter is an exceptionally complex story that can be tricky to get your head round if you are new to it. Marry with that Jewish and Pagan festivals and it is no wonder that many of us end up not knowing what Easter is all about.
For some it will be a day spent eating copious amounts of chocolate. For others it will a day of religious devotion. Whatever way you intend to spend Easter, the best we can offer is our list of the 5 best Easter themed slots games.
Easter themed Slots
The same rules will apply for the soon-to-be mentioned 5 Easter themed games as I apply to all these lists. The game will have received more that 7 out of 10 on initial review and will tie in with the theme as best we can manage. In this instance I can say with confidence that there are four excellent Easter themed games out there and one loosely themed game that we are throwing in to make up the numbers.
Red Tiger are relatively new to the industry but have managed to create more than just a few excellent games during their brief time making slots games. Their most recent efforts have impressed the most, with Lucky Easter up there with some of the best games they have made. What I love the most about this game is the bonus. I’m always a bit disappointed when a game comes without a bonus and then I’m just as disappointed when the bonus sucks. Red Tiger are good at getting the bonus right. With Lucky Easter they do just that. A game worth playing for the bonus alone.
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Easter Eggs is a simple but effective offering from Play n’ Go. The game has everything you would expect to see from an Easter themed game. There are chicks, rabbits, daffodils and the obligatory Easter Eggs. By far the best inclusion in Easter Eggs is the low house edge. Play ‘n Go never have a house edge lower than 4%. Well, actually they do and Easter Eggs is all proof you need. Add to this free spins and a bonus and you have an excellent Easter slots game.
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Easter Egg Hunt
I don’t think we’ve ever had a Multi Slots game on any of our lists before but here they are, better late than never. This game scored well for us on its initial release and like the game that precedes it on this list it owes an awful lot of that to it’s lower than average house edge. At just over 3% Easter Egg Hunt is offering better value for money than any other game on this list. It also happens to look great and have a few interesting features to top the everything off nicely.
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EggOmatic might not be an Easter themed game but it is about eggs and it is amazing. From the opening sequence you know that this is offering something a little bit more ambitious than your standard slots game. It looks incredible and has some of the best bonus features around. This is Net Entertainment doing what they do best.
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Last on our list and the oldest game up here is a little offering from Playtech. A number of years down the line and this little gem still looks great, with bright vibrant colours and our second lowest house edge. It might not be the most sophisticated of our 5 games but it still holds up against most games out there today.
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And there we have it, our list of the 5 best Easter themed game out there, with some absolute beauties for you to check out at this particular time of year.
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