When casinos were first built, they earned their profits mostly from table games, and slot machines were merely extra offerings meant for casual players and one-time visitors. Since then, slots have grown exponentially in terms of popularity and are deemed to now rake in about 70% of any casino’s profits. Even when casino owners started venturing into the online world, slot games have continued to be among the most-played in their selections.
Because of their amazing growth in popularity, slot machines--both physical and online--have also grown in terms of design and gameplay. Casino owners and game developers were motivated to create better and better versions of their slot games because more and more people were now paying attention. Among the most obvious developments is the use of themes in almost all slots currently in operation.
Visit any physical or online casino and you will see that there is a wide variety of themes in their slot machines. These themes can be anything from the mundane to the weirdest things you can imagine. Some slots even carry themes you probably would never have associated with casinos. And in some cases, you’d be surprised at how a particular theme has become so popular among players.
5 Most Popular Slot Game Themes
Although there are now countless themes to be seen in both physical and online slot machines, only a few of these themes have gained tremendous popularity among gamers. Here are five of the most popular slot game themes today:
- Animals - Many slot machines feature marine life, forest animals, and mammals. In this type of slot game, pictures of animals usually serve as high-value and bonus symbols.
- Jewels and Gems - People are naturally attracted to vibrant visuals, so it comes as no surprise that colorful jewels and gems are a popular theme in slots gaming. In this type of slot, the value of the symbols typically correspond to the value of the real gems. The more precious a gem is, the higher the value of the gem symbol will be.
- Adventure - Adventure themes in slot games can feature anything from pirates to explorers to treasure hunters. And perhaps the biggest reason for its popularity is that it draws the player into the game and makes him as much a part of the adventure as the characters seen on the reels.
- Fairy Tales and Romance - Movies and books are not the only places where fairy tales and romance are popular. You are also likely to see a lot of people playing slot games centered on princes and princesses, ill-fated lovers, or budding romances.
- Seasons - This is another slot machine theme that has become popular primarily because of vibrant visuals. The beauty of nature never fails to win hearts, which is why slot games that carry the four seasons as their theme are among the most popular.
It’s not that difficult to understand why four of the themes listed above have become popular among gamers. As mentioned, jewels/gems and seasons offer eye-catching visuals that most people appreciate. For their part, fairy tales/romance and adventure appeal to our emotions and imagination.
But why animals? Who would have thought the this could be one of the most beloved slot game theme of all time? What makes animal-themed slots so popular? Let’s find out.
Why Animal Themes are Popular
Here are the most likely reasons why animal-themed slot games have proven to be among the most-played, both in physical casinos and online platforms:
- Animals are familiar. - Regardless of whether a slot features reptiles, birds, mammals, or marine animals, people are sure to recognize them. We see animals all around us. They are our pets, farm helpers, and sources of food. It is perhaps this sense of familiarity that is one of the main reasons why we are so drawn to animal-themed games.
- Animals are relatable. - It is said that man is the highest form of animal. It is therefore understandable that we would feel a certain connection to animals that we don’t feel with any other part of nature. And because of this connection, we probably couldn’t help but be attracted to anything that features all kinds of animals, slot games included.
- People love animals. - Sure, not everyone is an animal lover. But in general, people are fond of animals, whether they be cats, dogs, birds, pigs, or even snakes and tarantulas. Get 20 pet owners together in one room and the room will probably resemble a mini zoo because of the variety of animals present.
Videos that feature animals never fail to tug at our heartstrings, no matter how simple the video may be. Considering this, perhaps it isn’t so unusual for animals to be a popular slot game theme, after all.
When you ponder on the above reasons, you will come to understand that it was indeed a good move for casino owners and game developers to choose animals as one of the themes for their slot games. Apparently, they understood what kind of impact animals have on people in general even before gamers themselves realized how much they would enjoy betting on animal-themed slots.
Popular Animal-themed Slots
Now that you have come to understand why people are so drawn to animal-themed slots, perhaps you might want to play some of them yourself. But there is such a huge number of animal-themed slot machines that you might find it difficult to decide which ones to try. Perhaps the following list of popular animal-themed slots might help you make the decision.
OMG! Kittens - Dog lovers will probably dispute this, but cats just might be the most popular animal on the planet. Countless cat videos have gone viral on social media. Countless homes all over the world have cats as pets. And even in homes without pets, it isn’t unusual to see pictures of cats hung on the wall.
Therefore, it is no surprise that one of the most popular animal-themed slot games is one that features our cute feline friends. Offered by WMS gaming, this game is made even more special by the fact that it features not just any cat, but adorable kittens. With 46 paylines, realistic photos, a Free Spins bonus, and a 5-kitten bonus that rewards you with 100x your wager, what’s not to like?
Pawz - More people may arguably prefer cats, but dogs are surely the more admired between the two. Dogs have long been hailed as man’s best friend because of their loyalty and gentle nature. And this arcade-style game from Bede Gaming is sure to remind you of your beloved loyal companion.
This slot features 25 paylines, 5 reels, and 3 rows. One of the most exciting features of gameplay is that you get a free spin whenever you land a winning combination. Casual gamers will appreciate the laid-back and relaxing nature of this slot.
100 Pandas - Talk about adorable. Pandas are among the clumsiest animals on the planet, but it is this clumsiness that actually endear them to us. This Asian-themed slot really takes advantage of the panda’s adorable nature to catch the attention of gamers. This game may not have much to offer in terms of bonuses, as the Free Spins game is its only bonus feature, but it sure doesn’t lack in cuteness.
Wolf Rising - The wolf is among the most majestic animals on the planet, and when it is combined with Native American culture, you’ll be sure to have one amazing gaming theme. This is true in Wolf Rising, which is a 5-reel 4-row slot game featuring playing card and wolf iteration symbols, as well as a background of mountains where you can imagine the wolf howling at the moon.
Among the things that make this game unique are the stacked Wild feature and the Free Spins bonus that can possibly reward you with 255 free spins in one round.
White Rabbit - The white rabbit has long been a symbol of good luck, which makes it a perfect theme and title for a game that is based largely on luck. The white rabbit in this case is based on the mad rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, which is the overarching theme of the game. This is a fast-paced slot that contains some excellent winning potential.
Among the things that make this slot unique are the 6 reels and 16087 paylines. It also has an unusual configuration of feature symbols and a high RTP at over 97%. No wonder it has become so popular.
Oink Country Love - Pigs are also hailed for their cuteness and are loved for being both a food source and a pet. In this game, you’ll see a cartoon-like rendering of the animal. And just like in many cartoons, the pigs in this slot are all dressed in human clothing.
The fact that it is cartoonish does not necessarily mean it is something to laugh at. This game offers returns of almost 20x your wager and has a 97% RTP. it even features free spins and multipliers.
Birdz - Instead of the usual grid structure of a slot machine--with a certain number of reels and rows--this game features birds perched on wires. Every time you spin the “reels” the birds move and a new set of birds land on the wires to help you land a winning combination. Other than the cascading symbols, this slot also offers 36 paylines and a number of bonus rounds.
Siberian Storm - Siberia is often pictured as a bleak and forbidding place, but you can never say for sure unless you’ve been there. But one thing the place has that people find fascinating is the Siberian Tiger, which is the main animal feature of this slot game. Just as the Siberian Tiger carries itself with a distinct presence, this game also offers the distinct feature of 720 winning ways to take the place of standard paylines.
The usual Wild and Scatter symbols are present, of course, as well as the Free Spins bonus. You might also enjoy the progressive jackpot and the fact that you can create winning combinations that begin from the left, right, or center reel.
Respin Rhino - The title of this game may only mention Rhinos, but you’ll actually see several kinds of animals on the reels, since the game is set in the wilderness of Africa. Elephants, chimpanzees, and birds are right up there with the rhino. Of course, being the main animal featured, it is the Rhino symbol that triggers the bonus rounds.
The game has 5 reels and 40 paylines, and has the potential to reward you with 105x your wager. The meat of the game is in the Respin feature. This slot is designed for those who like fast-paced games with the potential to win big.
Mega Moolah - There is no specific animal featured in this slot. Rather, it features a safari-like look and feel. This means you get to see various animals like the giraffe, the elephant, and the lion on the reels.
This classic slot is seen as the grandfather of animal-themed slots. It has made history by paying out the largest progressive jackpot win--over £13 million from just one 25p spin. It may be a very simple game structured in the classic style, but it is far from boring, especially since there’s a huge potential for big wins.
Themed slots have become so popular in recent years, both in physical casinos and online platforms, and animals have become one of the most beloved themes. This really shouldn’t be much of a surprise, considering how closely associated animals are with humans. And just one try at any of the animal-themed slots currently in operation will convince you that this theme is indeed highly engaging.
The good news is that game developers are now introducing some fresh ideas for animal-themed slot games for both physical and online casinos. Not only are they coming up with new animals or animal combinations to feature, but they are also creating new bonus features and coming up with more interesting rewards.