Few Games, But Inventive Ideas
At the moment, we are aware of only a handful of slot machines that have been created by Iron Dog. In fact, their website only boasts four offerings in total, a very small library that obviously isn’t nearly enough to power a casino on its own.
However, the good news is that a great deal of effort, care, and skillful design has been put into each of these games, making them among the more interesting machines that we’ve played online. Combining unique gameplay elements with colorful and distinctive graphics, each one of these games is a unique experience and a delight to play.
Let’s take a look at a few of these machines to get a better idea of what Iron Dog brings to the table. First, there’s Cherry Blast, a machine that was just released in early 2017. Bursting with color throughout its presentation, this is a game that combines one of the most classic of themes – fruit – with modern graphics and a bold, colorful display.
The game itself is a five-reel, 20-payline machine in which players are looking to match identical symbols across the reels from left to right. As we mentioned, this is largely a classically-themed game: players are matching a variety of fruits from cherries to strawberries, plums, watermelons, and more. Even the non-fruit symbols harken back to the old days of slot machines: you’ll see sevens and liberty bells dotting the screen as well.
Where this slot gets really fun is in the special features. First, there is a cherry bomb symbol that can explode outward in a number of patterns, revealing scatters, wilds, or free spin icons that will earn you nine free plays. During this feature, any two cherry symbols found on the same screen will explode, turning themselves and any positions between them into scatters and/or wilds. The cherry bomb can also reveal bonus symbols that will take you into the Bonus Dash round. This Pac Man style mini-game will give you the opportunity to win big instant rewards, with players having the ability to choose between five options that come with various levels of risks and rewards.
Another one of the distinctive games in this small portfolio is Paint. As the name would suggest, this is an extremely colorful title, one that mixes yellow, orange, pink, blue, and green on what would otherwise be a colorless canvas. It’s a very striking look, as the colors truly pop off the screen thanks to the contrast between the reels and the background.
Once again, your goal is to make matches from left-to-right across the five reels and 20 lines of this machine. While small wins are earned by matching the mundane card ranks from tens through aces, bigger prizes are earned for combining bottles of paint and palettes across your active paylines.
Just like in Cherry Blast, however, the real fun is found in the game’s special features. While the Balloon Bonus is entertaining and lucrative, our favorite is the free spins game, which is triggered by collecting appropriate symbols in order to fill up a side meter throughout the course of your session. Players can get up to ten free spins through a system that sees various drops of paint that appear on screen offering up multipliers, additional spins, and scatter prize rewards.
We also enjoyed playing around with another of the newest games released by Iron Dog, known as Gifts of Ostara. This game is Easter-themed, which isn’t something we’ve seen a lot of over the years – not only does the screen have a fresh, springtime look to it, but you’ll enjoy a variety of painted eggs and sweat treats on the reels, which should be enough to set the mood even without religious references or chocolate rabbits.
Once again, we’re talking about a slot with five reels and 20 paylines. Along with collecting regular symbols, you can hit special eggs that offer up a number of different bonuses, ranging from standard wilds to sticky wild symbols and respins. Meanwhile, a bar on the right side of the screen will collect a new egg each round; get a match of three identical eggs in a row, and you’ll earn yourself 10 free spins during which the egg in question will have a generous multiplier applied to them. Ostara herself also makes an appearance on the reels as an expanding wild, covering entire reels and helping you make multiple wins all by herself.
Last but not least, we should also give a little attention to the fourth and final game available through Iron Dog at the time of this writing, Cosmic Crystals. Featuring a galactic art scheme filled with pinks, purples, and a dark star field, this could be a fairly conventional space themed slot machine if it weren’t for one rather interesting feature. It is literally impossible for players to complete a spin without winning at least some of their money back, thanks to a respin feature that guarantees to retrigger until you complete at least one paying line. This will certainly appeal to a lot of players who get frustrated sitting through boring spins where nothing is happening, as you’re guaranteed to get something each and every time you play.
Right now, these are the only machines that we’ve been able to try, but even these four make for an exciting collection. Each game is unique and offers some innovative features; combine that with state of the art graphics, and you have a winning combination.
A Small Part of a Large Family
As we discussed at the top of this page, Iron Dog Studio is one of several brands that are a part of the 1x2Network. This collection of companies include not only those brands that are owned directly by 1×2, but also a number of partners that provide both content and distribution channels that allow these games to get wider releases.
That’s a great thing for players, because it means that there’s a good chance you’ll have access to some sites that now carry these titles. For instance, this content can typically be found on the NYX Open Gaming System (OGS), a popular distribution channel that brings these games both to regulated markets like Belgium and many grey market jurisdictions (though we’ve yet to see these titles appear in the USA, and wouldn’t expect to in the near future). You can play Oryx Gaming slots, Playtech titles, and Leap Gaming slots across this network.
A Growing Selection of Powerful Games
Iron Dog Studio may be a small player at the moment, but it’s easy to see this small developer getting a lot more attention in the UK online gambling market and beyond. The distribution network that they take part in guarantees that a fair number of players will see these machines, and when they do, we expect them to be impressed. It is rare to see such a well-crafted marriage between form and function, especially from a studio that has just started producing games.
With just four titles at the moment, there’s probably not enough here to make this a library that players must seek out – but we’d still recommend trying to find these games if possible. There are few titles more interesting than the ones Iron Dog has made so far, and we expect more great things from these developers in the future.