March the 31st is International Eiffel Tower Day, with this year marking 131 years since the iconic Parisian tower made its grand entrance onto the world’s stage.
For this reason I have decided to compile a list of the best French themed slots out there for you to play today. They won’t all contain an image of La Dame de Fer but they will be French; either set in France or with something else relating to the country.
A Brief History of the Eiffel Tower
Think Paris and it is very likely that it’s beautiful, iconic metal tower will be at the forefront of that thinking.
It is hard to imagine a Parisian skyline without the it, but prior to the end of the 19th century Paris was existed without what is now considered to be its most recognisable structure. Completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to build, just in time for the International Exhibition of Paris, which itself was designed to mark the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution. It was named after the principal engineer, Gustave Eiffel who can also add a disastrous attempt to a canal in Panama to his list of achievements, or in that case failures.
Eiffel’s botched Panama Canal would normally have ruined an engineer’s reputation, but such was the magnificence of his greatest achievement that his failures can be quietly resigned to the dustbin of engineering history.
At 324 meters tall it was the tallest building in the world until 1930 when the Chrysler Building was built in New York and remained the tallest building in France until 2004 when the Millau Viaduct was completed.
With 1665 steps needed to be climbed to reach the top, most visitors choose to take the lift, which travels a combined distance of 103,000 km a year, working out at roughly two and a half times the circumference of the Earth.
More than 250 million have visited the tower since its construction, with many of those making their way up to the impressive restaurant situated on the second floor that boasts one of the best views of the city; the only downside being you don’t get to see the tower.
Roughly 7 million people visit the tower every year, making it the most visited paid for monument in the world today.
To give you an idea of how big the tower is it gets repainted every 7 years and in order to finish the job more than 60 tonnes of paint is needed.
It is so loved that there are replicas of it dotted all around the world, the most famous of which is the version in Las Vegas, with another slightly less known one in Window of the World theme park in Shenzhen, China, to name but a few.
Originally, it was only meant to stand for 20 years, with the plan being to dismantle it after the 2 decades. However, its re-purposing as an essential wireless telegraph transmitter used during the First World War to interrupt German signals meant that, not only did the Eiffel tower look stunning, it also helped to save the nation from German invasion.
It is such an important part of the Parisian skyline, not just during the day but also at night, that it is illuminated with over 20,000 light bulbs every night so that there is no point in a 24 hour period (mist and fog excluded) when the tower cannot be seen in the city.
Despite being designed with outdoor elements in mind, the Eiffel tower is not entirely resistant to extremes in the weather. In high winds the tower can sway up to 3 inches. However, the biggest meteorological impact on the tower is heat. On hot days the metal can expand so much that it can reach up to 6 additional inches in height.
The Eiffel Tower in numbers
18,038 metallic parts
5,300 workshop designs
50 engineers and designers
150 workers in the Levallois-Perret factory
Between 150 and 300 workers on the construction site
7,300 tonnes of iron
60 tonnes of paint
2 years, 2 months and 5 days of construction
Despite its relatively quick construction it wasn’t all plain sailing for the famous tower in its infancy. Like most grand projects it was met with waves of criticism. The petition “Protest against the Tower of Monsieur Eiffel” was published in the newspaper Le Temps and was signed by luminaries, such as Charles Gounod, Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas junior, François Coppée, Leconte de Lisle, Sully Prudhomme, William Bouguereau, Ernest Meissonier, Victorien Sardou and Charles Garnier to name but a few.
Arguably the most outrageous criticism of the project came from French author, Guy de Maupassant, who wrote: “…this high and skinny pyramid of iron ladders, this giant ungainly skeleton upon a base that looks built to carry a colossal monument of Cyclops, but which just peters out into a ridiculous thin shape like a factory chimney.”
However, as we all know, Monsieur Eiffel would have the last laugh, as 131 years later the tower is now considered a symbol of Paris. The city would be poorer without it: literally, aesthetically and emotionally.
French Themed Slots
As much as there is plenty for me to wax lyrically about regarding the Eiffel Tower, the point of this article is to take a look at some of the best slots set in the country of its origin. France isn’t exactly a hotbed for slots designers but you can be sure that when Valentine’s Day comes around you will see plenty of lovestruck cartoon shaped couples sitting starry eyed with the Eiffel tower filling the sky in the background.
As such, this won’t be the most premium list of slots that we’ve every complied, but you never know there might just be something nestled in amongst it all that tickles your French fancy.
Napoleon: Rise of an Empire
It doesn’t get much more French than Napoleon, so what better way than this to kick off our list? Perhaps not the most visually stunning slot on our list, the Napoleon: Rise of an Empire slot is fairly standard for BluePrint Gaming, in both design and in terms of the features that are available. You get Free Spins, Wilds and 2 additional features that elevate this one above your average slot. Nowhere near the best slot on this list, but arguably the most French, this one might be worth a look if you have an interest in slots and history.
Miles Bellhouse and His Curious Machine
The link to this slot can only be understood when you see the thumbnail for it on the BetSoft website, which picture to have a view of the outside of Miles’ home. The Miles Bellhouse and His Curious Machine slot is about a young inventor and his robot creation who both live inside the Eiffel Tower. They travel through time on Miles’ time machine, pursued by General Traytor, who wants to steal it for himself. The slot, despite being nearly 10 years old now looks fantastic and you get a good selection of features too. The house edge could be better, but all things considered there is little not to like about this one.
The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers slot is an early Quickspin release that helped to set the tone for the good things to come from the software developer. Its inclusion should be pretty obvious, not just because it is a famous French novel but also because this is such a good slot. It looks fantastic and it has plenty of features to keep you occupied. I particularly like the All for One pays which highlights the developer’s invention when trying to link features to the source material.
The Cash Vandal slot has its very own Paris City Feature, along with a London and a Berlin feature that sees us take a graffiti tour of Europe. The slot is bright and colourful with a few decent features up its sleeve. Also, this is a theme that I haven’t seen any developers use before, so as ideas go this is sitting in pretty unique territory.
The Phantom of the Opera
Released in 2017 and based on the most recent film adaptation of the famous French story, The Phantom of the Opera slot is one of Microgaming’s best branded slots. The symbols are made up of the characters from the film and the background is the famous Parisian theatre where the story takes place. The features that come with this one are pretty impressive. You get Wilds, Free Spins, a Bonus and two random features. Add to this various multipliers within the Free Spins and you have one of the best slots of 2017.
A Night in Paris
A Night in Paris is a BetSoft slot that does everything you would expect to see from the software providers. This slot comes with a story that is about a heist taking place on the streets of Paris late a night. There are a few characters: A cop, a robber and a dog, all of whom are introduced in an animated sequence that kicks off as you start up the slot. You get Free Spins, Wilds, a Bonus and an instant win and the Eiffel tower sits at both sides of the reels the entire time you play.
Red Tiger’s take on the Aleksandar Dima novel sees them embrace each of the 3 central characters and apply a random feature and a bonus feature to each of them. The Three Musketeers slot takes a cartoon approach to the famous story, assigning Aramis, Athos and Porthos their own colours, their own random feature and their own bonus feature.
Beauty and the Beast
The Beauty and the Beast slot is up there with some of Yggdrasil’s very best releases over the last 3 years. It is exceptionally well designed, with a stunning opening sequence that sets up the slot and famous story perfectly. You get Free Spins that come with 3 separate features built into them and can retrigger. You get a Golden Bet feature which can award additional Free Spins or can unlock additional features within the spins. If you are familiar with the story then you will be familiar with the characters that help to bring many of those features to life.
The Phantom’s Curse
The Phantom’s Curse slot is the second slot on our list to be based on the Phantom of the Opera. Like the Microgaming slot, this Net Entertainment version has some stunning visuals, with the Grand Opera Theatre filling the background in impressive style. The opulence of the setting is mirrored with the impressive number of features that are available. You get all sort here, from Wilds and stacked symbols, to Free Spins, respins and a Bonus feature. If you love the story and you love a slot with a lot of different features then this might just be the perfect slot for you.
The final slot on our list ticks every single box. The Eiffel tower sits in the background, there is suitably French accordion music playing in the background and The Orient Express slot, not only looks incredible but it comes with the sort of features that we insist on when finding a spot on one of our best of lists. You get 4 different game modes, each one set in a different location, one of which happens to be Paris. Add to this a Free Spins feature and various sets of Wilds and you have a slot that you will struggle to get bored of any time soon.
This list of 10 would be very difficult to expand on as there few French themed slots outside of the list that we would recommend, but as a list of 10 slots goes you’ll be hard pushed to find a better one. Yggdrasil edge ahead as the provider with the most to offer here, with two of the best entries on the list. Vive la France!
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