Among primarily digital slot machine manufacturers, Playtech is practically elderly—the company launched in 1999. Not only do they create online slots, but they also provide software for other casino games, Internet poker, virtual bingo, and Web-based sports betting. They also provide software for online versions of scratch and win style lottery tickets. They even provide live dealer games and arcade games. Many of their products are also fully mobile compatible.
Playtech is a public company traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol PTEC. The company is headquartered in the Isle of Man and employs over 3500 people. After the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006, the company’s software barred United States players from making real money wagers.
The rest of this page takes a look at the various slots games available via Playtech’s platform. There are over 300 different slot machine games available via Playtech, so this is not a comprehensive listing. Instead, it focuses on my favorites and those games that are most notable
Playtech offers the following progressive jackpot games—not all of them are slots games. For example, MegaJacks is actually a video poker game with a slots jackpot.
Beach Life and Gladiator slots both have average jackpot wins of over $1 million. Beach Life has a winner, on average, every 6 months or so, while Gladiator sees a winner every 2 ½ months. The Marvel series of slots jackpots are also notable, as that brand has become one of the largest and most popular in the world because of the series of movies set in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”. The progressive jackpots in the Marvel series of games are much smaller and hit more often than the large jackpots in the Beach Life and Gladiator games. Marvel Extra Power hits on average every 3 hours or so, while the Marvel Super Power sees a winner every couple of days. The largest Marvel jackpot, Marvel Ultimate Power, sees a winner every 2 ½ months. The average jackpot amounts for these games are about $3800, $38,000, and $750,000, respectively.
Fantastic Four Slots – It’s fitting that I begin my looks at notable individual games with the Fantastic Four slots game. After all, the Fantastic Four comic book marks the beginning of the Marvel Comics publishing company. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the team in response to DC’s success with the Justice League of America. Lee and Kirby added a new wrinkle to the idea of a superhero team—they created a superhero team that was also a dysfunctional family.
In the comic books, the roster for the Fantastic Four has changed throughout the years, but the original 4 members always return eventually. These members include Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), the Invisible Woman (Sue Richards, nee Storm), the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), and the Thing (Ben Grimm). The team got their powers when they piloted an experimental spacecraft and were bombarded by cosmic rays.
These are the characters featured in the slots games from Playtech. The game features 5 reels and 20 paylines, and players can play for as little as a penny per line pe spin. The symbols in the game consist of the four titular characters and the seemingly ever-present J, Q, K, and A symbols. The earth, as seen from space, is also featured.
I’ve seen reviews that claimed that the graphics on this game are excellent. I wonder if those reviewers were playing the same game I played, because this game features some of the worst artist renderings of the Fantastic Four I’ve ever seen. The game does feature free spins, but the hit frequency is low and the monotonous symbols on the reels are so low that the game quickly becomes an exercise in boredom. The Fantastic Four slots game is also available in a 50 payline version.
Gladiator Slots – Gladiator is a well-thought-of 2000 movie starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott. The story is that of a general who is reduced to slavery but then rises through the ranks by winning gladiator style death matches. Eventually he gets revenge on those that betrayed him in the first place. It’s a great film with a great cast, and it won 5 Academy Awards.
The Gladiator slots game from Playtech features 5 reels and 25 paylines. The symbols include the ubiquitous 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A, but it also includes headshots from the various characters in the movie. These images are of the actual actors in costume, so it’s a little more visually appealing than the Fantastic Four slots game. This game requires at least $1 per spin per line, so it’s most suitable for high rollers. The maximum bet per line is $10, so the maximum bet for the game is $250 per spin. The game also has 2 bonus rounds, the Colosseum Bonus and the Gladiator Bonus.
It wouldn’t be realistic to list all 320+ slots available from Playtech, but I have put together a list of the games which have recognizable themes. Many of these are movie, television, and/or literature based games.
Playtech has been making slots for Internet gamblers for over 15 years. Some of their slots are from recognizable intellectual properties, but the quality of the graphics on these are a mixed bag—Fantastic Four features some pretty lackluster graphics, while the Gladiator game is pretty faithful to the movie upon which it’s based. Playtech also offers one of the most robust arrays of progressive jackpots available on the Web.