A Short History of NetEnt
NetEnt is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and works with many of the biggest online casinos in the world, ensuring its games spread far and wide. The first big move for this company came in 2002 when it launched its CasinoTM software and began making itself known. In 2005 it received a license from the Malta Gaming Authority, and in 2010 it launched Gonzo’s Quest. The authorities of Alderney licensed it.
This brand has been growing ever since. It signed many significant contracts in 2014, taking its market capitalization above €1 billion, and in 2019 it announced that it would acquire Red Tiger Gaming in a deal worth over £200 million.
NetEnt is best known for its online slots, which feature 3D graphics, advanced features, and several unique themes. Creatives are where the company truly excels, where it has built its reputation, and where you’ll find hundreds of top games.
Take a look below to see our pick of the bunch and discover features that make NetEnt casino games so unique. You have the opportunity to Play Free NetEnt Slots from our list before spinning reels with real money! It’s good to try free slots before making a deposit, especially if you want to test luck on some of the new NetEnt slot games.
NetEnt Features and Characteristics
The aesthetics of NetEnt slots help to set them apart from their competitors. The NetEnt development team creates some of the best-looking games in the business, and this ensures they always draw a crowd to NetEnt partner casinos. Take games like Halloween Jack and Jungle Spirit, for example. They were meticulously designed, with swooping animations that add life to the most stationery of images, as well as graphics that seem to jump out of the screen!
But that’s not all that NetEnt slots have to offer. As the aforementioned games also show, this developer works hard to fill their titles with unique game mechanics and features, including:
The Avalanche feature is unique to NetEnt, but it’s one that has been used elsewhere and goes by other names, including Rolling Reels, Chain Reaction, and Cascading Reels. It’s a feature used in games such as Gonzo’s Quest, and the purpose is to eradicate all winning symbols and drop more into their place. In many cases, a multiplier increases every time one of these wins occurs.
Sticky Wins are used to lock wins in place while the rest of the symbols spin around them. Every time you win, all winning symbols lock, other symbols spin, and if new wins are created or previous wins are boosted, then the process will repeat. There can also be multipliers added to this feature and it’s something best seen in games like Jack Hammer and Jack Hammer 2.
Colossal Slot Symbols
NetEnt is not the only developer to use colossal symbols, but it has used them better than others. Spinata Pinata is perhaps the best example of how these slot symbols can and should be used.
A colossal symbol is one that fills several spaces. In Spinata Pinata, some symbols fill a 3x3 space, as well as ones that stack the entire 2nd, 3rd, and 4th reels.
Games like Finn and the Swirly Spin prove that NetEnt knows how to add life to tired old game reels. Their innovative team is not afraid to mix things up. But even when they’re not completely revolutionizing game reels, they are still doing things to make them more interesting and their multi-reel games are a prime example of these.
These features typically add two reels to one game, either in the form of a secondary mini-reel, which uses just a 2x2 or 3x3 setup, or a full set of reels that duplicates the original. Twin Spin is one such game that makes use of these multi-reels.
The Best NetEnt Slots
- Gonzo’s Quest (RTP = 95.97%): Arguably one of NetEnt’s most iconic slots, Gonzo’s Quest follows the plight of a real-life Conquistador as he searches for gold. It utilizes its famous Avalanche feature, with a built-in multiplier and Free Spins round.
- Butterfly Staxx (RTP = 96.80%): The first Butterfly Staxx slot was unique, and it led to the creation of another. For the most part, this online slot works like any other, and the difference is that there are butterfly wild symbols that can trigger Sticky Win respins. If a stacked reel of these symbols lands anywhere on the game screen, then a Sticky Win respin will be triggered, and this reel will move to the left-most side. All additional butterfly symbols will then join it.
- Finn and the Swirly Spin (RTP = 96.62%):: NetEnt excels when it comes to originality, and Finn and the Swirly Spin is a prime example. The reels are set into a spiral, with a key at the far end. Every win destroys the winning symbol and leaves at least one wild in their place. The goal is to get enough wins so that the key moves from the end to the centre, at which point it unlocks the Free Spin features.
- StarBurst (RTP = 96.09%): This slot is one of NetEnt’s most straightforward, but it’s also one of their most popular. It features a cosmic setting, with glistening gems and super-slick animations. There are fewer reels, but the same level of fun found on all their games.
- Jack Hammer (RTP = 96.96%): The game that was so good it spawned a sequel, Jack Hammer, follows the plight of a 1930s detective on his crime-fighting missions. Both the Jack Hammer games are worthy of inclusion on this list, and they both utilize the Sticky Win feature and the Free Spins feature, in addition to the slick game-play and graphics.
NetEnt Branded Slot Games
NetEnt has jumped on the trend for licensed slots, one that is based on famous films and TV shows. These include classic tales such as The Invisible Man, as well as modern classics such as the TV show Vikings. They also created a trend of their own, building slots around famous rock bands. These include Guns’ n’ Roses, who recorded the iconic Appetite for Destruction album; Jimi Hendrix, one of the best guitarists in history; and Motorhead, best known for the song Ace of Spades. But surprises never end. NetEnt cooked new slot title at the beginning of 2020 with famous TV Personality and one of the world’s best chefs, Gordon Ramsey. Hell’s Kitchen slot will soon be available at your favorite online slot lobby!
Other NetEnt Games and Software
Slots may be where NetEnt specializes, but it’s not all that this brand has to offer. It also creates several table games. These are few and far between and are certainly not the stars of the show. Still, they are interesting nonetheless and offer the same premium graphics and features found on their slots. Some of the best NetEnt table games include:
- Blackjack: With an RTP of 99.59%, this is one of the lowest house edge games in the NetEnt catalogue. It’s also one of the simplest and most basic.
- French Roulette: This is a homage to classic games of French/European Roulette, with a high RTP (97.30%) to match.
- American Roulette: As with all American/Vegas style Roulette games, the RTP is a little lower (94.74%), but it will appeal more to players familiar with wheel-based games on the Vegas Strip.
- TXS Hold ’em Pro: A variant of Texas Hold ’em that is played against an automated dealer in a heads-up format. It has an RTP of 99.47%.
NetEnt also has its very own Live Casino, with card games, wheel-based games, and more. Live games, in addition to all the slots and table games mentioned above, can be found on all NetEnt partner casinos.
The Future of NetEnt
As this NetEnt review shows, this is a brand with a busy and lucrative past, but it’s also one that is clearly going places. We are substantial NetEnt fans, as many gamblers are, and we’re just as eager as everyone else to see what this brand has in store for the future.
It’s hard to know what sort of features NetEnt has up its sleeve, but we can be confident that it will continue to innovate. We may even see it enter into the world of virtual reality and interactive slots, or work on growing its Live Casino collection. Whatever happens on the creation side of things, we can be sure that NetEnt will focus on spreading its wings and growing into an even bigger brand and even more of a household name.
It is seemingly looking to acquire many smaller iGaming developers, as evidenced by its deal with Red Tiger Gaming. It is also looking to move into new markets, with deals in 2019 and 2020 seeing it expand into Latin America and the United States.
If you thought NetEnt was a significant and vital brand today, wait until you see what it has in store for the future!
Verdict: NetEnt Review
There aren’t many negative things that can be said about NetEnt. It has worked very hard over the years to produce the best games and to sign contracts with the most prominent companies. It is responsible for countless classics, including Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst, and Finn and the Swirly Spin. It has also been at the forefront of iGaming innovation, creating many new features and continuously seeking to advance this industry.
This is why the biggest online casinos in the world are seeking to work with NetEnt and why their games can be found everywhere, from major sportsbooks, bingo sites, and Live Casinos to slot-centric sites, and more. It might not be as big as competitors like Playtech and Microgaming, but if you asked gamblers to list their favourite slot developers, many would place NetEnt right at the top.
It’s a brand that everyone knows, and most people love; if you are relatively new to their games, then make sure you get out there and start playing on some NetEnt online casinos today.