After the Oscars and the Golden Globes, there's only one big award ceremony worth talking about this winter: our big casino slot winners and losers of 2018.
If there’s one thing we are really, really, good at here at LuckyMobileSlots.com, it’s passing judgment.
It’s kinda what we do; we write hundreds of slot reviews a year, helping you pick the games you should be playing at your local Android and iPhone casinos.
As such, it’s only natural we look back at the last year and see where we got it right, where we got it wrong, and where you should be playing.
A special thank-you to Vera & John casino who provided us with a lot of the data needed to get an idea of the most popular slots of the year, worldwide.
This category was going to be simple: what was the absolutely worst slot games of the last year?
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Once we removed all the software providers no one has heard of, and couldn’t be expected to provide good games, we were left with two obvious choices.
Our problem is that they were both so bad, it was hard to pick between them, so we decided to compromise and blamed nostalgia, and possibly some bad late night decisions by top executives, for these poor choices.
These two game just goes to show that just because you get a hold of a good brand name, doesn’t mean you’ll have the pull to get people to play.
Meanwhile, Playtech all but crushed the soul of a million little girls (and some boys?) who grew up dreaming of dancing to 1950s beats by giving you a generic and poor win Dirty Dancing game.
This was by far the hardest category to pick, namely because we had some fantastic choices to pick from; and even then we couldn’t clearly define one single winner.
So we took a look at the 2017 slot games we kept playing again and again, as well as asked our mobile casino contacts for a little help, and got these 3 final choices:
Honestly, this would not have been our top choice, but you know what, after seeing just how often it kept coming in the top 10 most played games of 2017, we had to tip our hats to NetEnt.
Wild Wild West, Book of Dead, Viking Runecraft, Joker Pro, and Aloha! Cluster Pays.
Not like we didn’t like this Wild Wild West phone slot; we gave it 4-star review because it was a fantastic comic style train heist.
It’s not massively revolutionary, but its simplicity is part of its charm: 10 paylines, up to 30 free spin round, multiple wild bonus features… it’s pure, clean, fun.
Our choice for best medium variance slot game doesn’t go to the most obvious of choices. To be honest, it was between two Quickspin machines; this and Sakura Fortune.
But, for us, this Wins of Fortune slot on mobile won easily and is, by far, one of the best Monkey King slot themes around.
Add that every time you get a win, the reels shift to the left, giving you extra ways to win (from 79 to 259), and you just know this is full of quick action fun.
This was an easy choice. If we had to pick just one mobile slot machine as the best of the year it would have to be Viking Runecraft by Play’n GO.
It’s one we’ve come back to again and again, and most of you agree with us, as it kept showing up in the top 10 list of most played games worldwide, including UK, New Zealand and Denmark.
It takes a little getting use to: with a 7×7 grid, 10,000 levels and 10 bonus game features this is not your usual slot machine.
But the huge win you can get as you play certainly remind you that this is, in fact, a wonderful gambling casino game and a worthy winner of our best slots for 2018.
3 reel classic slots have had a little bit of a revival in the last year, and we have to say, 99% of it is down to the work of two software providers: Elk Gaming and Play’n GO.
Both gave us some fantastic choices, but ultimately, Sea Hunter by Play’n GO won just for being a little bonkers thanks to it’s Cannon power-ups giving you re-spins and brilliant feature.
Trust us: if you want to rekindle your love of classic 3 reel slot machines, try this unusual 5 payline game by our top provider of the year (*cough*spoiler alert).
Honourable mention: We had to have an honourable mention for Route 777 online by Elk Gaming, which has a retro look, free spins, respins and 17 paylines.
You could almost forget this is a classic slot.
There weren’t very many good jackpot slots for mobile casinos out in 2018, so the competition wasn’t particularly high.
However, once we started looking at the numbers, it was clear that there was one clear winner, and that would be the jackpot studio NetEntertainment.
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For one they released the Divine Fortune Android slot, which has a local jackpot tied to the casino. It might not go as high as some others out there, but it hit more often, and players noticed.
With a beautiful theme and a low variance model that keeps you spinning to try for that jackpot mini-game, this hits all the right notes.
Honourable mention: The best jackpot slots award wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention Mega Fortune Dreams which paid out €30.4 Million in the last year; the most of any jackpot fruity in total.
Meanwhile, Hall of Gods continues to prove popular, showing up in the most played slots of 2017 time and time again.
Every year we eagerly browse through the top played games list provided to us by our casino friends, and every year we hope something new pops to the top.
However, proving that some games will last a lifetime, the Starburst game continues to dominate; from the United Kingdom, to Japan and New Zealand.
Maybe it is its easy-going nature, the fact you get lots of re-spins and expanded wilds, or all those bright colours that dazzle on a win; or, maybe, all of the above.
Either way, it’s clear to see that this Starburst casino game is here to stay.
We mentioned Viking Runecraft already as our top volatile slot, and it kept popping on the top of the most played slots list.
But, not as often as it’s sister slot the Book of Dead mobile game, which came out in 2016, and is easily one of the best Play’n GO games.
The biggest surprise of the pack, in our opinion, is the Aloha Cluster Pays slot, which we quite like, but wouldn’t pick out of a line up. Just goes to show, you can’t be right 100% of the time.
This was a hard one to pick as if you guys are any judges on the matter; you prefer your video slot machines traditional: with 5 reels, free spins, and maybe some wilds.
Play on the most popular slot of the year and try a new casino at the same time.
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So we had to go with our gut instinct. And whilst Finn and the Swirly Spin impressed with how the reel symbols landed, that was fun more than innovative.
Instead, the award goes to Castle Builder 2 by Rabcat gaming, which truly tries to breach the gap between social gaming and real money slots, and (in our opinion) succeeds.
You get 3 playable avatars with different skills, 15 kingdoms, 75 castles and 4 game difficulties, all providing you the chance to spin on traditional reels and win real cash.
It’s one of a kind, and certainly meant to be played over multiple sessions, but it’s worth your while in the long run.
Honourable mention: Yggdrasil Gaming has to have an honourable mention for their Jungle Books and the Orient Express games, both of which give you the opportunity to change the kind of slot you play, by providing multiple bonus features.
Pop quizz: what has 6 reels, 117,649 Ways to Win and a max win of 10,000 times your total bet?
It’s the one, the only, Bonanza Megaways mobile slot by Big Time Gaming.
As voted by Casinomeister forum members, and as reflected by our most played casino games of the year, there really was only one possible winner for this People Choice Award.
The graphics are not the most interesting, so if you read our Bonanza slot review and wonder why it won, let us refer you back to the first sentence above.
Definitely one for those of you who have been around the casino block for a while and are looking for some new, but with lots of opportunity for wins.
Because what other mobile slots online will actually give you unlimited free spins with unlimited multipliers? None, only Bonanza.
If you’ve been reading this word for word, you may have caught our clue higher up as to whom would win this prestigious award.
The best Casino Slot Software award goes to the game studio that consistently served us some fantastic Android and iOS games over the last year.
The fact that they’ve managed to get mentions in almost all the slot categories, from the best volatile slot with Viking Runecraft to the best classic 3 reeler, helped.
But it’s more than that; we looked back at the new slot release list and Play’n GO slot games kept getting 4-star slot reviews and above time and time again.
They don’t have a perfect streak, but the worst that we can say is that games like Prissy Princess are just ‘ok’. Most are damn brilliant, and they are never afraid to try something new.
This award is for the game studio that has caught our eye, even if they haven’t managed to quite compete with the big names in gambling.
In a world busy full of new software providers bringing new games, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd, but we like to keep an eye out for any ones we think will break free and shine.
For us, that has to be Pragmatic Play, which with over 80+ mobile casino games already in the bag, aren’t so much “newcomers” as only just managing to make a name for themselves.
This is down to the fact that mainstream online casinos are starting to take notice and putting their games front and centre.
Trust us, you’ll be hearing a lot more of Pragmatic Play in 2018.
This particular category isn’t really an award and is incredibly bias.
We haven’t played at every online casino out there; we famously keep our list of casino reviews small, sticking to the ones we know, trust, and have tested.
We wouldn’t want to recommend anywhere we haven’t had a good experience ourselves.
The fact that Vera & John were kind enough to be very open with us about which of their games players loved best, gives them the win.
That, and the fact that they have fast cashouts, one of the widest selection of games out there, slot tournaments every day, and guaranteed big winners each day (it’s a thing), keeps them on our list.
But you don’t have to believe us: you can try them by signing up for free and playing on Thunderkick Zoom slot for 20 rounds, without having to make a single deposit.
You’ll soon see why it might just end up being one of your favourite mobile gambling sites of 2018.Start Playing at Vera & John »