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Top 10 Fantasy Themed Slots

Posted by THEPOGG on Aug 02, 2019

There is a good chance you will have never heard of the man that this piece is dedicated to and that is because Gary Gygax is better known for his invention than his celebrity. Don’t get me wrong, you do not get handed a guest appearance on the Simpsons if no one has heard of you but I can guarantee that there’s more chance of you being familiar with the work than with the man himself.

International Gary Gygax Day lands on July the 27th, the same day that Gyrax was born. On this day you are asked to take the time to celebrate the worlds that Gary Gyrax helped to shape. Dungeons and Dragons hit the big time in the 1980s. If you were a child of that decade you either played the game or were derided those who did, and whilst no longer quite as polarising as it was all those years ago you would be hard pushed to find a school without a D&D club, both a bastion and a sanctuary for those who would rather play with intangible fireballs than leather footballs.

What you need to remember is that back in the late 70s and early 80s there wasn’t much fantasy to speak of. Science Fiction had made waves on the big and small screens but wizards, warriors and wraths had yet to make much of a mark on the public’s consciousness.

You had the Lord of the Rings novels and by the 70s you had the animations that sprang from them. You had films like Pete’s Dragon and a few other Disney movies that could, at a stretch, be classed as fantasy, and you also had the Greek Epics like “Jason and the Argonauts” that had been hugely popular but also hugely expensive in the 1960s. It would take until the beginning of the 80s with films like “Beastmaster” and “Conan the Barbarian”, along with the rise of D&D for the genre to gain any sort of public acceptance.

It was in 1974 that Gyrax, along with Dave Arneson set the first edition of the game loose on the public. Up to this point, the dweebs tended to forge an interest in wargaming, but even this tended to be more popular with older people, people with a disposable income. What set D&D apart (and still does) was that other than a couple of books, some dice and a piece of paper and pencil you didn’t really need anything else. D&D wasn’t a hobby that would continue to hit the wallet because once you were set up all you needed to keep the fires burning was some imagination and some like-minded geeks, dweebs or nerds to play with.

D&D helped to prove that there was a thirst for high fantasy and played a massive part in helping to expand the genre through the 80s and 90s. In the later decade fantasy novels flourished with authors like Erickson, Eddings, Gemmell, Jordan, Pratchett and Martin all becoming household (ish) names, as long as those households held a particular affinity with the genre.

Yet, the concept of fantasy as niche has to now to be resigned to a thing of the 70s, 80s and 90s. Peter Jackson put to rest the notion that only the socially inept were interested in wizards and orks, as the Lord of the Rings movies went on to become some of the most watched in cinema history.

And that was just the big screen. “Game of Thrones” has done something that no one thought would be possible by becoming HBOs most popular show, putting programmes like “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” well and truly in the shade. Such is now the thirst for the worlds that at one time only existed on either the pages of a very thick novel or in the shared imaginative experience of a game of D&D that we have a wealth of fantasy based movies and shows to keep us preoccupied for years to come.

All that goes without the mention of computer games that began with the likes of “Champions of Krynn” and “Heroes of Might and Magic” and led to the massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) of World of Warcraft and Rift. In fact, genre aside, you could argue that all MMORPGs owe Gary Gygax a debt as the concept of playing with others and using imagination to explore fantasy worlds began with his invention all the way back in 1974.

Whilst the popularity of D&D will ebb and flow over the years, it will also never go away. MMORPGs may well be all conquering but they will never replace the need for the genuine tactile human interaction that only happens when a group of people get together and sit down in person to roll D20s all night long.

The most recent rekindling within the public’s imagination was formed with the release of the Netflix hit, “Stranger Things”. A series that has as much in common with a film like “Stand by Me” as it does with “Lord of the Rings” or “Alien”. Like “Stand by Me” it is an exploration of youth and a lament to its inevitable loss. “Stand By Me” is about group of friends who journey on an adventure in the 1950s, nostalgic in its pursuit of childhood innocence and of a much loved decade, when things were perceived to be much simpler than the decade in which it was it was released.

Fast forward over 30 years and history is repeating itself as we now look back on the 80s in the same way that Rob Reiner did with the 50s. In the 80s there were no mobile phones and no social media, children went outside and experienced, not just boredom, but the imaginative qualities that were needed to survive it. Tucked away in a corner of all of this was Gary Gygax’s D&D, the perfect antidote to much of what we consider to be wrong with the world today.

To mark such a momentous occasion we want to make sure that Gyrax’s influence within our own corner of the internet is properly recognised. Some of the best slot games that you will ever play require the sort of imagination to develop that games like D&D help to nurture. The fantasy theme is a strong one for slots games. My original list comprised of nearly 20 slots in total, leaving me with a whittling problem that was as difficult as some lists are to compile in the first place.

This top 10 list of Fantasy themed slots is as good a list as we have ever put together. The ingredients in a fantasy themed game often mean that the content outshines the competition because, let’s face it, a fantasy themed slot has to look good, it has to have features befitting an epic story and it has to grab its audience and keep them there for a long, long time.

These 10 games set the bar pretty high, with every single one of them receiving either a 9 or a 10 when reviewed originally. That sets this bunch of slot games apart from every other themed list that we have complied, even vanquishing the might of the Vikings.

Top 10 Fantasy Themed Slots

Avalon II Quest for the Grail

This slot was released by MicroGaming all the way back in January 2014 and yet, despite is relative old age is still a firm favourite with slots players and still puts most modern games in the shade. This slot is over 5 years old and still looks incredible. I will admit that there are a few better looking games out there today but there is no doubt that Avalon II Quest for the Grail still holds its own with slots. As for the features, there are plenty to keep you busy. You don’t go on a quest without having options to choose from and you don’t play D&D without having a quest to go on. The title of this slot alone is enough for it to meet the brief, but it is helped along the features that display the imagination that we hope for in all these slots.

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Warlords: Crystals of Power

Warlords: Crystal of Powers is as fantasy as anything you will see on this list. 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 everyone with a taste for a fantasy theme.

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Rich Wilde and the Tome of Madness

Play ‘N Go struck gold when they brought us Riche Wilde and the Book of the Dead, easily one of the most popular slot games of all time. This month they released the newest Rich Wilde instalment and the results are truly mind blowing. I suspect Rich Wilde and the Tome of Madness won’t hold the same level of universal appeal as its predecessor and a lot of that has to do with just how crazy and confusing this game is. There is so much going on, with so many permutations, that for some Rich Wilde and the Tome of Madness will be too much madness for them to cope with. But for those you like there D&D with a touch of anarchy, this game is ideal.

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Hall of the Mountain King

This is another slot with the most perfect title for a D&D quest. Quickspin’s Hall of the Mountain King is one their best releases so far this year, not only looking the part but also playing the part as well. Central to this game is its one key feature, a set of Free Spins that is about as entertaining as any bonus feature that I have seen before. You meters, levels and additional features within them, making this a game that truly makes the most of out of what appears to be not that much.

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Holy Diver

Big Time Gaming are a relatively new slot developer but have shown with a few of their most recent releases that they have their ambitions set very high. Holy Diver is track by former Rainbow and Black Sabbath singer, Ronnie James Dio and this slot is based on the lyrics from it. The song itself has plenty of allusions to the fantasy genre, something you will get to experience for yourself if you can trigger the Free Spins, which are accompanied by the sound of the Dio’s dulcet tones. There is a knight sitting at the bottom of the screen, you might want to think of him as a paladin, who adds something exciting to each one of your spins. Dragons, Knights and Ronnie James Dio? Count is in.

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Dragon’s Myth

Do we really need to write anything about Microgaming’s Dragon’s Myth other than mentioning it is yet another slot on this list that received the full 10 out 10. When Dragon’s Myth was released all the way back in 2015 it became an instant slots classic for us at ThePogg and even now, 4 years on it passes the test of time. Your central character is a young girl who is capable of capturing the most terrifying of mythical creatures using nothing but her cunning and incredible bow and arrow skills. Taking inspiration from films like “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Brave” the game is set in a rugged, cold landscape that only dragons and their hunters can survive in. The game is jam-packed full of special features and looks absolutely fantastic.

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Ozwin’s Jackpot

Ozwin’s Jackpot is one of Yggrasil’s earliest releases and was a sign back then of just how impressive the company’s output would become. Ozwin is some sort of all powerful wizard and you are his trusty apprentice, trying to outfox slot reels on your way to a potential progressive jackpot. All Yggdrasil slots look fantastic, so it should be no surprise to anyone familiar with their work that this game is as brilliant looking as it is. You get Free Spins and features along side a genuine narrative that would be perfect inspiration for any budding DMs.

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Magic Portals

Magic Portals is another old game. We’re talking 2013 here and yet again, it has stood the test of time and looks as good as anything being released today. You get everything you would expect from Net Entertainment when they hit all the right notes. Free Spins, Wilds and other bonus features are all here in a slot where, as the designers themselves write, “wizards and warlocks make magic happen.”

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Dragon Shard

Dragon Shard is the second MicroGaming slot on this list, which could have been more if the competition hadn’t been so strong. Yes it looks incredible and yes, there are some amazing bonus features to mention here too. But forget about all of that. Forget about the dragons and the magic too. This slot is all about the giant red button. Like all giant red buttons, the “Win Booster” needs to be approached with caution as it balances risk and reward very delicately. However, if you’re not going to press that button then Dragon Shard isn’t the best dragon game for you.

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Dragon Maiden

Dragon Maiden is a fantasy themed slots game with reels that can expand in size during the bonus features. The game looks good, with well-drawn symbols and a dark fantasy background, reminiscent of Mordor in The Lord of the Rings. The game offers Free Spins and Golden Spins, along with a few respins to help keep things interesting. There are wilds too with all sorts going on with them. Most importantly of all, like a golden dragon’s egg found at the end of a quest, this is a Play & Go game with a house edge that is lower than 4%, something that does not happen very often.

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Golden Grimoire

We are going to finish our list with one of Net Entertainment’s first and most impressive releases of the year. The slot looks great, it even sounds great and there are enough features to keep the gameplay interesting. For those who don’t know, this slot hits our brief because a grimoire is a book of magical spells. At its heart this is a simple game but one that has proved popular since its release back in February.

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And there you have it. A list of epic proportions. One requiring a stamina of 20 and roll of 20 just to get through it all. Remember every game on that list is about as good as it gets. Other than our best games of the year lists you won’t find a collection of 10 slot games to all rate as highly as these ones have.

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