NetEnt’s Q1 2018 Online Slots Releases

NetEnt were busy in the last quarter of 2017, releasing their movie-branded online slot hit ‘Planet of the Apes’. Moreover, NetEnt introduced some stunning industry innovations in December 2017 including their new mobile first Blackjack and the world’s first ever ‘Avalanche’ spin mechanism slot in ‘Finn and the Swirly Spin’. The popular Swedish games developer has several games planned for the first three months of 2018. With that in mind, in this article we will take a look at the online slots that NetEnt have lined up for release in the first quarter of 2018.

Netent Logo

Each of the slots offers something a little different and we’re confident that NetEnt will continue to set the trend for the other game developers to follow over the course of 2018. Here below are all the nitty-gritty details of the new NetEnt online slots to expect in the first quarter of 2018 at William Hill, Bet 365, Betway, Karamba Casino and 888 Casino.

Twin Spin Deluxe – released on 10th January 2018

Twin Spin Deluxe

The first game to be released in 2018 from the Swedish online slot developer is ‘Twin Spin Deluxe’, a sequel to Twin Spin. Some online players have already been lucky enough to experience this slot already when it was given a limited release at the start of September 2017 to some selected NetEnt casinos. Many online players have dubbed the online slot ‘Twin Spin Cluster Pays’, a reference to the unique and innovative new payout feature.

NetEnt have held true to their promises that this new incarnation incorporates all the benefits of the original with a few twists thrown in. Whilst this new Twin Spin Deluxe version incorporates many of excellent features and characteristics than made the previous version so popular, Twin Spin Deluxe uses NetEnt’s innovative new payout mechanic, ‘Cluster Pays’ format.

NetEnt haven’t got to where they are in the industry by resting on their laurels. Changing up the way an online slot’s payout mechanic works is one of the most adventurous innovations that an online games provider can possibly make. ‘Cluster Pays’ essentially eliminates a slot of paylines from either side to be replaced by groupings of symbols. To accommodate the 9-symbol minimum requirement of Cluster Plays, the number of reels is expanded to 6 whilst the number of rows is usually increased to 5. We can’t wait to see the long-anticipated Twin Spin sequel!

Universal Monsters: The Phantom’s Curse – release date 24th January 2018

The Phantoms Curse

Could this be a Halloween-themed slot that wasn’t quite perfected in time for a release at the end of October horror holiday? Universal Monsters: The Phantom’s Curse is set to arrive to every NetEnt casino towards the end of January 2018. It is a direct sequel to NetEnt’s Phantom of the Opera slot (which was superb and not to be confused with the Microgaming version of Phantom of the Opera). Few details are known at this moment and we are looking forward to seeing what the NetEnt development team have come up with. Will the game mechanics will be similar? It’s exciting to imagine the scary possibilities considering the spooky tale of the ill-fated opera house and its in-house Phantom.

Fruit Spin – release date – 8th February 2018

Fruit Spin

In February 2018, we can expect the completely technologically new and original slot (but old school style) called Fruit Spin to be launched towards the beginning of the month. Similar to the Twin Spin Deluxe, Fruit Spin has already had a limited release and is already becoming a favourite of players who like the retro style in a nod to classic slots, with fruit symbols and simple gameplay. However, there are technological advancements such as Wilds and Lucky Wheels to make it more exciting for the modern player. There’s also something of the Candy Crush style in the game’s graphics which should also appeal to the modern player.

We love seeing the revamp of cool classic fruit machine aesthetics and we’re looking forward to playing Fruit Spin in February 2018 at William Hill, Betway, Karamba Casino and 888 Casino.

Asgardian Stones – release date – 22nd February 2018

Asgardian Stones

We are returning to Nordic Mythology in February with the release of NetEnt’s Asgardian Stones. As a Sweden-based casino games developer, NetEnt love paying homage through its use of Norse mythology in their online slots. The progressive online slot, Hall of Gods, is another classic example of a NetEnt slots with the Nordic/Norse mythology theme. What we should certainly expect from NetEnt is another epic version of recreation of that mythology in a fully-rendered slot. Whilst no details have been released yet, given the characters recent popularisation through the Marvel movies, we are definitely expecting to see Thor, Loki and Odin as potential characters featured in Asgardian Stones.

Canadian players are lucky that the game will become available from February 22 2018, as players in Spain, Bulgaria and Italy will have to wait until March 12, 2018 to play Asgardian Stones.

Hotline – release date – 22nd March 2018

We round out the list of new NetEnt slots for the first quarter 2018 with ‘Hotline’. Very little is known about the Hotline online slot itself. In fact, the NetEnt development team initially announced the slot would be released under the ‘Miami Pursuit’ title. However, NetEnt advertised a new name change to ‘Hotline’. Given the theme, we’re expecting to see great beaches, luxury cars, bikinis, muscle-bound bodies, palm trees and some Cuban salsa in a life of luxury in this online slot. However, that is all pure speculation.

NetEnt launched some excellent games in 2017 and by the looks of these coming releases it appears they’re all set to continue in the same vein in 2018. We’re excited by all the new slots that the NetEnt team has planned for year 2018. For sure, all the innovations will not cease.

Happy 2018 and Good Gaming!

NetEnt Releases Finn & the Swirly Spin

NetEnt’s final online slot release of 2017, ‘Finn and the Swirly Spin’ sounds like just another Irish luck-themed slot. Look closer…..

Finn and the Swirly Spin is perhaps THE MOST original online slots release to appear in recent years. The innovative style of game play is totally unique and will captivate online slot players as well as fans of games based on social media like Candy Crush. Low rollers will love the game for its entertainment value. The clue to the new technology sits firmly in the game’s title.

Netent Releases Finn and the Swirly Spin

Unique Features of Finn and the Swirly Spin

There is very little chance that this review will do Finn and the Swirly Spin the justice it deserves for its innovative design and unique features. As the game opens, a total surprise is apparent in the game window.

Finn and the Swirly Spin does not feature the usual reels, rows or paylines with symbols landing on the reels. Alternatively, as the game name suggests, the symbols follow a spiral pattern starting at the outside corner and ending in the centre position. This new spin mechanic (i.e. NetEnt’s new spin mechanic technology, ‘Avalanche’) is an innovative and exciting change and is a welcome exit from run-of-the-mill online slots. New players will probably find it easier to adjust to than veterans of online slots. The game play is swift, smooth and intuitive. Fans of social media games like Candy Crush will immediately feel at home with this stunning new design feature. It is another prime example from NetEnt (just like this month’s Mobile First Blackjack release) that they are positioning themselves to take advantage of a generation of millennial players who have grown up with mobile technology and are comfortable with, and adapting to new technologies.

How does it work? All symbols flow in a swirl, hence the name of the slot, ‘Swirly Spin’. It is something new for players and is an exciting and welcome move away from the standard play of online slot machines.

The NetEnt development team is continuing to revolutionise the way players access online slots games and the way they are beginning to play across their multiple handheld devices.

Finn and the Swirly Spin – The Essentials

The game theme is Irish luck, a tried and tested theme in the online casino environment. ‘Finn’ (from the title of this online slot) is a red-headed leprechaun who dances and plays the flute in the bottom left of screen.

Finn and the Swirly Spin is a 5-reel, 5-row video slot that features a Wild Symbol, a Free Spins Key, 4 different types of Free Spins and a Random Feature with 4 variations.

The RTP of this medium variance game is set at 96.62%, featuring a maximum win of 500 coins in game play mode. The maximum win on a single spin with consecutive avalanches can be significantly more – a maximum win of 50,000 coins or 1000x stake. Bet sizes start at CAD $0.10 and go up to CAD $100 and are easily adjustable with the familiar NetEnt buttons for coin denomination and bet levels. The game is in HTML5 format, making it available on desktop and all mobile devices in both iOS and Android formats.

There are only six pay symbols on the Finn and the Swirly Spin slot, excluding the Wild symbol. In ascending order, those symbols are spades, hearts, clovers, horseshoes, hazelnuts and red gems. The wild symbol is a cheeky and cute smiling yellow star that is initiated when winning combinations explode during a spin. There are no scatters on the reels as the bonus features are triggered when the key symbol reaches the centre of the swirl in one single spin.

Finn and the Swirly Spin Random Features

The game is complete with four random features, all of which are initiated once symbols have come to rest after a spin:

  • Starfall Wilds: Minimum 2 Wilds are randomly placed on any position, other than on top of the locked key symbol. If no win occurs, more Wilds are added until a win is hit.
  • Dragon Destroy: A random number of symbols are destroyed, thereby activating another avalanche.
  • Irish Luck: One single vertical or horizontal line is transformed into one symbol, guaranteeing a win.
  • Magic Transform: All spades and hearts symbols automatically change into a higher value symbol.

Finn and the Swirly Spin – Free Spins Features

In addition to the random features, this game offers a surprising four different Free Spins features. The bonus feature is activated when the locked key symbol arrives at the centre of the game swirl on one single spin. Each of the Free Spins features requires a specific number of collected keys;

  • The Star Bar – 1 key: 7 Free Spins in the Starfall Wilds feature.
  • Lava Lair – 4 keys: 3 Free Spins in the Dragon Destroy feature.
  • Lucky Mug – 9 keys: 4 Free Spins in the Irish Luck feature.
  • Golden Pot – 16 keys: 2 Free Spins in the Magic Transform feature.

Our Verdict

Finn and the Swirly Spin is a great game, containing a revolutionary design and gameplay that other online slots and game developers will definitely copy in the very near future. Hats off to the NetEnt development team who have had the imagination and technical expertise to pull off this great slot and bring it to fruition.

I particularly like the way the NetEnt developers encourage you to take your time with this game through its design.

Finn and the Swirly Spin slot is not a big hit, big win game. What we have here is a lot of fun in an Irish-themed slot with outrageously ground-breaking technology. Moreover, your budget will last longer than you anticipate as you get 30x to 50x your bet wins in the frequent occurring free spins bonus game. The same multipliers hit randomly in the base game too, meaning that your budget can last a long while during gameplay.

Finn and the Swirly Spin is a fun and guilty pleasure available at William Hill, Betway, Karamba Casino and 888 Casino.

A Short History of Gaming in Canada

Do you believe gaming is a new phenomenon in Canada? Time to re-think that myth. Are you aware that gaming in Canada goes back as far as least as the First Nations? Some social historians believe that the origins of gaming in North America goes back as far 6000 BC. Let’s take a brief historical tour through the evolution and key dates that have shaped gaming in Canada and the effects of those events on the industry and your online casino play in the present day;

Short History of Gaming in Canada

2300 BC

The first dice game was played in China. It is believed that these dice games were used as peaceful ways for Chinese warlords to settle territorial disputes between competing dynasties.

100 AD

King Olaf of Norway and King Olaf of Sweden expanded on the Chinese idea of resolving territorial disputes. The two King’s Olaf used dice to resolve a disagreement over which of the two royals was more suited to rule over the District of Hising. The Swedish King prevailed.

Middle Ages (800-1400 AD)

Throughout the Middle Ages, the European Bourgeoisie, Royalty and the elite members of society were playing Roulette.

Simultaneously, in the feudal villages, gambling games like Roulette and other games were a rowdy affair played in taverns and considered big community events.


England King Richard III prohibited dice games, a law that was later transported to Canada. His decision had more to do with military matters rather than any puritanical Christian beliefs. The decision was made due to Richard III’s concerns that his archers were spending too much time playing dice. He feared the men’s addiction to the dice games could result in a decline in his personal safety and cause security breaches in his Royal Court.


On his expeditions exploring the vast Canadian territory, John Cabot found several First Nations communities playing different games of chance. These games were important to the First Nations people as forms of spiritual, emotional, physical and mental development rather than games of entertainment or gambling.

Cabot studied the phenomenon further and uncovered proof that First Nations people were playing these games as far back as 6000 B.C. Of course, gaming tools of choice were not dice and cards in those times. The gaming scene in Canada back then involved sticks and pebbles, however, the basic gaming theories were the same.

1892 Prohibition of Gaming

– In 1892, Canada banned all forms of gaming. This was a time in which fundamentalist Christian religion and stiff morals were weighing heavily on the consciences of early Canadian legislators. As a result, every type of gambling was banned.

Just like the Prohibition of alcohol in the US in the 1920s, the move backfired. Instead of ‘cleansing’ Canada of gambling, it merely opened the doors to underground networks of criminal and mob-like activity to start and run illegal gambling dens.


By 1900, both bingo and raffles were permitted for charity fund-raising purposes.


Horseracing is added by Canadian legislators as an accepted form of gaming.


County fairs and exhibitions were also granted the right to hold gambling events. A few years later gaming activities were to be opened in much larger casino buildings.


In 1969, a further amendment was made by legislators to the Criminal Code to allow provincial governments to conduct their own lotteries, and authorise charitable organisations to do the same.

However, provincial governments did not have complete autonomy in the decision making or revenue collection and were all still under the control of the Federal Government, which also run its own lottery.  This amendment allowed for the provinces to raise funds for their own projects and events. The first lottery was created to raise funding for the vast construction projects required for the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics.


Another amendment was made by Canadian legislators in 1985 that saw control over gaming given to the provincial governments and territories. Permission was granted by the Federal Government for the provinces to administer the use of computer-based slot machines and video gaming devices.


The first land-based casino in Canada was opened in Winnipeg.


The first land-based casino in Montreal was opened and the very first online casinos began to be released in 1994.


By 2001, Canada had quickly evolved to become a gaming mecca with some of he best gaming infrastructure in the Western world including;

  • More than 31000 slot machines and 1800 bingo hall permits
  • 70 race tracks (20 are “racinos” or race tracks with slot machines).
  • 107 betting tele-theatres.
  • 59 permanent land-based casinos
  • 32000 lottery ticket centres nationwide.

2017 Online Casinos Have Changed Everything

Today, online casino gaming in Canada is all about choice, just as it is in most parts of the Western world. Many online casinos have now opened to provide players with something that land-based casino never could – access to casino games from the comfort of their homes on their desktop computers or playing ‘on-the-go’ on their phone or tablet.

Additionally, online gaming sites are fuelling interest in large-scale gambling events such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP). For example, in 2001 (long before the online poker boom) there were just over 600 WSOP entrants. By 2012 that number of WSOP entrants had grown to over 6000.

As with many online industries, we are now spoilt for choice. There is such a plethora of online casinos to choose from, it can be confusing.

How do you know which online casinos are the best, which are the safest and most secure, or which online casinos host the type of games that you prefer?

We’ve identified the best online casinos for Canadians in Bet365, Karamba, Betway, Jackpot City, William Hill, Spin Palace, Royal Vegas, Ruby Fortune, 888 Casino and All Slots Casino.

Take a look at our unbiased and independent online casino reviews guide to find the online casino that is best suited and customised to your personal gaming needs.