The term “online gaming” can mean anything from a connected mobile experience, to participation in an MMORPG on PC, to multiplayer console games. But if there’s an unsung hero in the category, it’s the digital slot machine. Online slots help casino platforms to generate tens of billions in annual revenue around the world, and by some estimations there are over 7,000 individual games in the category — produced by dozens of different development companies.
As big as this category is though, and as many games as there are for players to enjoy, online slots are — like all aspects of the gaming world — subject to trends. Different types of games come and go. And for anyone starting to explore online slots in 2022, there is one prevailing trend that’s easy to notice: Irish-themed games have begun to top the slot selections at many of the biggest casino sites.
To help newcomers to online casinos navigate this major trend, we thought we’d go over some of the best games among the dozens of Ireland-inspired titles.
Finn and the Swirly Spin
This is a delightfully animated slot game in which a 3D leprechaun oversees the spins, and various symbols of luck and wealth (from clovers to gemstones) populate the reels. Where the game really sets itself apart though is in the extra activity that occurs during certain winning spins. We tend to think of leprechauns as little tricksters — symbols of luck and guardians of gold all at once. But in actual Irish folklore, they are fairies; they are not “Disneyland pixies,” as an overview at LiveScience explains, but rather mythical beings bestowed with magic. This characterization — somewhat more complex than that of the typical impish trickster — comes out in Finn and the Swirly Spin, wherein those aforementioned winning spins can cause the leprechaun to take flight and lead you down a sort of cloud tunnel toward fresh riches. It’s a unique depiction in Irish-themed slots, and makes for an adventurous slot experience.
Wild Wild Riches
This Pragmatic Play slot game lacks the cartoon leprechaun game orchestrator of Finn and the Swirly Spin. Somehow though, it feels every bit as active and exciting. It’s a fast-paced slot in which green top hats, retro tobacco pipes, golden harps, emerald spades, and more whizz by on the reels. Coupled with jaunty music and a lush green background reminiscent of Irish countryside (complete with rainbow), this gameplay manages to establish a fun and inviting atmosphere.
Lock o’ the Irish
Lock o’ the Irish is an emerging game that’s been made exclusively available at Coral, but which is likely to become another widespread Irish-themed slot. As a newer game, it features arguably the best artwork to be found in this category. The background is a fairy tale unto itself, complete with rolling green hills, a dancing leprechaun, and massive trees with wizened faces carved into them. The slot reels, meanwhile — featuring pipes, clovers, and a dancing leprechaun when you’re lucky — run incredibly smoothly. It’s a fun, upbeat game, but also one you can simply lose yourself in for a bit of relaxation.
Rainbow Gold is a little simpler in its design and execution. Nevertheless, it’s a game with similar elements to those listed above — such as top hats and mugs of beer on the reels, and the occasional rainbow display. It also offers a slight twist on the traditionally bright green backgrounds in Irish-themed slots, instead depicting a sort of fantasy town at night. (Some may find it reminiscent of The Shire from the Lord of the Rings books, though there’s no affiliation.) This slot has actually been around for some time, and has become a popular go-to across well-known gaming sites.
Emerald’s Infinity Reels
Last but not least is Emerald’s Infinity Reels, a slot arcade by Relax Games that is designed to soothe — and does so largely through music. Many would agree that traditional Irish folk tunes can lift the mood; Irish News has even posited (citing university studies) that listening to the flute can lower blood pressure! We don’t know if Emerald’s Infinity Reels can quite go that far, but its wonderfully cheerful original flute melody defines it. The music plays over waterfall and strumming harp sound effects as the slots spin over another beautiful Irish background. It’s hard to play this one and not end up with a little smile on your face.
We hope this has been a fun look at some of the trendiest slots around this year, and please feel free to check out more of our gaming content any time.