What Is Yggdrasil Gaming?
Yggdrasil Gaming is an innovative, creative, exciting iGaming brand that launched in 2013 and has been behind a host of top-tier titles since. Owned by Cherry AB, a giant in the iGaming sector, Yggdrasil is one of the fastest-growing software development studios in the sector and it’s also a fan favorite, thanks in no small part to its unique game mechanics, graphics, and animations.
In this Yggdrasil Slots review, we’ll take a closer look at this studio, seeing what makes it tick, a list of the best online slots, and speculating at what the future might hold. There is a lot to cover here, from Yggdrasil slots to Yggdrasil Blackjack titles and more, so let’s get started.
Yggdrasil holds licenses with the biggest gaming authorities in the world, which allows it to supply games to players across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. These include licenses supplied by the authorities of Great Britain and Malta, two notoriously difficult licenses to acquire.
This may not seem like much on the surface as your money is going to a licensed casino and not to Yggdrasil, but it provides an added layer of protection and ensures that all bets are safe and fair, just as they should be.
The company is owned by the Cherry AB team, one of the biggest names in the sector and one that has been around since 1963. This has allowed them to invest more money into growth and development strategies, which is why they have grown so quickly and why they are now considered to be one of the biggest slot developers in the industry.
About Yggdrasil Slots and It's Unique Features
Yggdrasil is a slot-focused developer known for producing graphically-rich titles that always manage to draw a crowd. The Vikings series of games is perhaps the best example of the Yggdrasil style and these games are also what introduced many fans to this developer.
Vikings go Berzerk, Vikings go Wild, and Vikings go to Hell were built to capitalize on growing consumer demand for Viking themed slots, which stemmed from the popularity of the Vikings TV show. The games don’t use any material from that show and are instead a creation entirely unique to Yggdrasil, but the plundering and pillaging style of the Vikings is evident throughout.
Yggdrasil Slot Features
Yggdrasil has worked hard to create game-changing slots over the years, with the iSENSE platform playing a major role in this. This platform introduced elements that targeted Yggdrasil games more towards mobile players, ensuring they played better on touchscreen devices and looked better on retina displays.
In addition to mobile compatibility, which is offered on all Yggdrasil slots, the following features are also incorporated:
• Brilliant Graphics: Even the more basic Yggdrasil new slots look like they have been created with care. There is painstaking attention applied to create titles worthy of an AAA video slots and this is further emphasised by the addition of intros and other animated story-telling devices.
• Rooftop: The Rooftop feature was included on Hanzo’s Dojo and added many more elements and possibilities into that game. It is a secondary set of reels that sit above the 2nd, 3rd and 4th reels and supply big symbols and big wins to the reels below.
• Character Choice: Yggdrasil creates themes that make sense and have a purpose, as opposed to just looking pretty. One of the ways it does this is to allow players to pick a character and to make it so that their character choice actually impacts the game. This was best evidenced by the Champions of Rome slot, where two characters can be selected and the choice will impact the game’s main feature.
• Wild Features: Yggdrasil loves their Wild features, which is why you will find many of them on their slots, including Exploding Wilds, Expanding Wilds, and Walking Wilds, as well as Clones and Substitutions.
The Best Yggdrasil Slots
We’ve already discussed the Vikings series of games, noting how these are some of the best online slots that Yggdrasil has produced. But there are many more top titles in the Yggdrasil catalogue and we have listed a few of our favourites below:
• Super Heroes (RTP = 96.1%): The superhero trend was huge when this slot launched towards the end of 2016. It is a 5-reel, 20-payline slot that comes packed with features and takes players on a crime-fighting adventure through a futuristic world. There are 6 distinctive characters, a Free Spins mode, and something known as Hero mode, which triggers two features at once.
• Ozwin’s Jackpots (RTP = 96.7%): Arguably, the biggest jackpot game in the Yggdrasil catalog, at least in terms of popularity, this spell-caster super-slot is packed with features and a progressive jackpot system that has 5 tiers.
• Lucha Maniacs (RTP = 96.2%): A fun romp through a world of Mexican wrestling, with bright colors, crazy wrestlers, and a Golden Bet option that gives players a chance to get a ringside seat for the headline act. There is also a Free Spins feature and stacks of combos.
• The One-Armed Bandit (RTP = 96.2%): This slot is based around a single duel between the titular character and a bounty hunter. As soon as the reels are set in motion, the hunt begins and everything builds towards a final showdown, during which the shootout takes place. A great example of Yggdrasil storytelling and commitment to the narrative, and one that includes several big Wild features and multipliers.
• Hanzo’s Dojo (RTP = 96.1%): When it was released in 2018, this slot became the pinnacle of Yggdrasil’s hard work, incorporating many of the features that had made the brand so popular, including a Rooftop feature, 3x3 symbols, Free Spins, and fantastic graphics.
Branded Yggdrasil Slots
Yggdrasil hasn’t devoted a great deal of its budget to acquiring licenses. Branded slots are a huge hit in the iGaming sector and companies like Playtech and Microgaming have practically fallen over themselves in their desperation to become the first ones to acquire brands such as Marvel, DC, and more.
However, games based on popular movies are popular, attracting players of all demographics and always drawing a crowd, and Yggdrasil has paid lip service to them in the past.
For instance, it created a game loosely based on The Jungle Book named Jungle Books, but when we say “loosely”, we really mean it, so we’re not sure if they needed to acquire the license for this.
They also created games based on famous inventor Nikola Tesla, as well as the iconic train The Orient Express. Again, though, these were likely created using public domain licenses as opposed to expensive and troublesome trademarks.
Yggdrasil, like other top developers, has also created a wealth of games that are very similar to popular licenses, but with enough changes to avoid any copyright/trademark issues. Sahara Nights is a great example of this. It features an Arabian prince and a genie in a lamp and is very Aladdin-esque, without encroaching on any copyrights. There is also Jackpot Raiders, which has an Indiana Jones feel.
Other Yggdrasil Games
The early years were all about slots for Yggdrasil, but it has since moved into the table games market as well, using its unique approach and eye-catching graphics to create games of Blackjack, which seems to be its card game of choice, at least for the time being.
These games include Sonya Blackjack Side Bets, which adds side bets such as Perfect Pairs and 21+3 to a traditional (and highly stylized) game of Blackjack. The developers used 3D motion capture to make the titular dealer look as real as the genuine article, and it shows.
There is also Lucky Blackjack, which is a little more basic but just as fun, and if you fancy combining both Blackjack and slots, then try your hand at Dr. Fortuno.
The Future of Yggdrasil
As mentioned already, Yggdrasil is committed to procuring new content and to pioneering new developers and technology. It has really put its money where its mouth is here because in 2018 it launched the YGS Masters program which was created solely to provide a platform for niche developers.
This program incorporates many smaller development studios into one place, with the idea being that they can put their heads together to create original, exciting slots that use advanced gamification tools. YGS Masters will then provide these slots to licensed casinos, placing them directly on the screens of millions of players around the world.
This program will no doubt demand a lot of Yggdrasil’s time, but the way it is structured means that its developers will still have plenty of time to produce original slots and table games. These games will grow in complexity and improve in style as Yggdrasil gets bigger and better and the technology becomes more advanced.
If the industry moves forward into technologies such as virtual reality, then we’ll likely see Yggdrasil following close behind. There has also been a move towards more interactive slots, and thanks to titles like One-Armed Bandit and Champions of Rome, Yggdrasil is actually one of the main pioneers of this movement.
Summary: Our Yggdrasil Review Verdict
Yggdrasil has grown a lot in a very short space of time. Between 2013 and 2018 it went from an obscure developer struggling to make its way in a saturated industry to one of the 10 biggest studios in the business.
Its games are getting better and better all the time and its reach is growing; this is a company with lofty goals, and when you consider how far it has come in such a short space of time, it would be crazy to doubt those goals. Simply put, Yggdrasil is a fantastic development studio and one we definitely recommend you keep an eye out for.