Are you, like us, fascinated by the fascination of the slots world with world history? We wondered if it would be possible to time-travel from the earliest recorded time to the present day via slot titles.
We’ve given it our best shot and tried to come up with quality games to fit our silly framing, but if you think you can do better then have a go!
1 – Prehistoric Story
We start with a love story of a sort in the age before writing – that’s what prehistoric means. For slot designers that means jungles, animal skin costumes, and lots of supposedly prehistoric monsters and tools on the paytable. The bonus game is a fun rhino pick game, and the illustrations are great fun.
2 – Ancient Egypt
We’re more in the world of Liz Taylor than the actual ancient dynasties of Egypt here, but there are so many Egyptian titles to choose from that you’ll be browsing for hours. This game came out in 2018 and is a decent example of the genre, featuring the usual suspects from the Egyptian pantheon of gods on the reels and a decent top prize too.
3 – Age of the Gods God of Storms
We have to use one of the most popular and innovative game series in recent history to take us into the age of Classical Antiquity, which the designers are Playtech Vikings have decided is the Age of the Gods. This game is in the mould of the series, with its mythic and military framings, and has a superb top prize to tempt you to time travel.
4 – Arena of Gold
Once the Greek civilization had had its moment in the sun then we find ourselves among the Romans who were… who were many things, including enormous fans of very bloodthirsty “entertainment”. Arena of Gold is a Hollywood take on the gladiator tale – sadly not Spartacus, the rebellious revolutionary on this occasion – with coloured fighters taking up the top paying slots in the paytable, with Caesar above it all.
5 – Wu Xing
It can be hard to place Chinese and East Asian-themed games into a timeline – not that we’re preparing a university-level project here – as they are so often themed around broader philosophical concepts or myths rather than specific historic events. Wu Xing though is a philosophical system of five elements that has its roots in the Han Dynasty, one of the first major dynasties of ancient China and around the time of the Roman Empire.
This game takes the symbols of the system (quite well known around the world through Chinese medicine and martial arts) and puts them into a lovely looking game themed around the elements, fire, water, wood, metal, and earth you may have heard in other contexts. There’s a slightly later, but more historically rooted experience to be found in several games based on the Battle of Red Cliffs.
6 – Vikings
The so-called Dark Ages that followed the Roman Empire in parts of Europe are now most celebrated in the novelty, sex, and violence-hungry world of our most beloved media in the form of the Vikings, a Nordic phenomenon that has enduring attraction (rather than the hundreds of years of peaceful farming the same communities would be more accurately remembered with). This game is based on the popular TV series and is a longship packed with bounty in the form of a huge set of bonus games and some cracking clips from the show.
7 – Rise of Maya
Just as representative of this period of history in other parts of the world, the Maya civilization has had a big aesthetic impact on western art, while the descendants of those people still suffer discrimination, dispossession, and poverty in the homelands that were stolen from them by colonists. Here, we’re in the world of the striking masks and supposed religious rituals of the Central American civilization. Enjoy the superb visuals in this NetEnt release from 2020.
8 – Throne of Kings
Why not have a bit of fun here and take a TV show based very heavily on the Wars of the Roses period of British history and returned to a sort of more genuine version in this carefully branded game from Slot Factory. This is actually a very nicely done game, and it’s picked up what is so beloved about the series it is (probably, allegedly) based on sex and violence, quite strongly in its graphical themes.
9 – Gonzo’s Quest
The end of the Medieval Period in Western Europe is usually signalled by the so-called Age of Exploration. This is the dawn of Imperialism, and no one is innocent, least of all the real-life Conquistador who is the model for Gonzo, one of the most popular slots characters in history. We won’t lecture you here, but do look up some of the real histories of this game if you want more to come from playing it than the big prizes it offers. A huge hit for nearly a decade, Gonzo is now wandering around the globe in a new Megaways version.
10 – Napoleon and Josephine
We’re struggling for titles in more recent history. The French Revolution ushered in a modern age of (a sort of) democracy in Europe until the invasion of the newly freed republic by just about every army in Europe made a military takeover inevitable. So we get Napoleon, probably on page 1 of the Big Book of the Great Man Theory of History, and his fabled romance with Josephine – a relationship that was real but probably of more importance in Allied propaganda than anything else. The graphics here are a high point but Relax Gaming has also ramped up the RTP to 97%.
11 – Steampunk Nation
No one seems particularly keen on telling the real story of the industrial revolution in a slot – we guess it would be dull and upsetting! However, we do get the steampunk version of history, a nice retrofuturist reframing of the age of exploitation and empire. Like most games in this genre, Steampunk Nation is one of the nicest looking games out there and delivers a very nice gaming experience too.
And, with the triumph of capitalism, history has apparently stopped for now. We’ll be back with a rush through the modern world soon.