When it comes to creating slots and other online casino games, there are companies big and small that fill various niches in the industry. Then there are those groups that are smaller than small. These boutique studios might just have a few titles, but the fact that they’ve survived despite this low output is usually a testament to the quality of their games – and limiting the quantity could very well have something to do with why the few titles they have released tend to come out so well.
That might just be the case with Foxium. This Estonian company was formed in 2015, and quickly gained some notoriety thanks to the first couple of machines they released onto the Internet. However, the developer has still only put forward a handful of slots since then; in fact, their website boasts only of games that are yet to be released. Still, even these few offerings have shown up at some rather notable sites, showing that that industry is taking this tiny provider out of Tallinn very seriously.
Few Games, Plenty of Fun
Right now, we only know of a handful of machines that have been created by Foxium, with some more that are apparently in store for the near future. These are exclusively slots, and they’re all inventive, artistically interesting games that are worth delving into one at a time.
The first game we tried is known as The Odd Forest. The game takes place deep in a lush forest setting at night, with lots of dark greens offset by colorful and bright mushrooms, woodland creatures, and an animated backdrop that includes falling leaves and hanging spiders. Even the musical cues are perfect for the theme: deep, melodic, and somewhat mysterious, they serve to draw players into the game world.
As for the gameplay, this is a five-reel, 50-payline machine with an expanded 5×4 display format. Players have to match symbols left to right across the screen, with the basic winnings coming from the ever familiar poker ranks, ranging from tens through aces. Even these symbols are made to be thematic by turning them into wood carvings, each of which are dyed in a different color. For bigger wins, various mystical denizens of the woods can be matched, while a wild symbol not only substitutes for any of these picks, but also has the ability to earn you some of the biggest prizes in the game if you can string them together on one line.
Even more of those wilds can appear randomly on any spin, thanks to an aptly named random wilds feature. Meanwhile, hitting a large tree symbol will allow you to pick between four orbs, each of which will earn you a different type of free spins game: one that gives you more free plays, and three others that come with various bonuses on the reels. Finally, hitting three fairy symbols will send you on a multi-round bonus adventure in which players must collect stones, choose orbs, and perhaps even defeat an evil spider to collect prizes.
Another early creation of Foxium is Big Time Journey, a game that explores the always popular time-traveling genre of fiction. The game features the exploits of Arthur, who has found a time machine just rusting away in the attic of his London home. From there, this gorgeous creation takes players to a variety of different time periods through a system that can send you to the age of the dinosaurs, World War 1, the Ice Age, or numerous other eras in history.
The basic gameplay of the machine features 25 paylines over five reels, with a familiar variety of symbols available for matching. Beyond the card ranks that we’re now all used to, there’s also a clock and a series of colored gems that can make players a lot of money in a hurry. Beyond that and the requisite wild symbol, there is a time travel bonus round that is triggered whenever you hit three Big Time Journey logos on the same spin. This is a pretty standard free spins round – with players earning up to 30 games – though it comes with the ability to move between the game’s various era-based settings, which is always a fun visual to enjoy. Throw in a bonus achievements system that keeps things interesting, and it is easy to see why this game has become a popular choice at casinos that host it.
Another interesting creation from this group is Stereo Miami, a futuristic disco-themed machine that has some very cool retro graphics on an unusual six-reel layout. The icons in the game are all pixelated, while the rest of the screen is still entirely rendered in 3D, making for a very distinct contrast that’s really eye-catching and visually provocative.
While the layout is interesting, it really breaks down into a 18-payline game that’s mostly being played on two sets of three-reel games (one each to the left and right of the DJ at the center of the screen). Players are matching cherries, hearts, bells, sevens, diamonds and more, with players looking to make combinations on either or both sets of reels.
There are also a series of bonuses that players can trigger while playing this machine. First, Party on the Beach is a free-spins game that can occur whenever you cover at least six positions with the flamingo symbol. In this round, you’ll be playing on a single set of five reels instead, with the potential to hit multipliers of up to 5x on your winning spins. There’s also a VIP Room game in which you’ll make random picks to earn instant prizes, as well as a Power Beats round that is triggered after you collect 10 lightning bolt symbols on the reels over the course of your session.
At the moment, these are the only games we’ve had the chance to try from this company, though there are others that are currently in the pipeline. A quick scan of the Foxium website shows several more titles that are due to be released soon, such as:
- The Lost Riches of Amazon
- Lucky Bakery
- Protected: Nice
Major Partnership Helps Fuel Early Success
If you look for some of the Foxium games across the Internet, you may occasionally see another name pop up: that of Odobo. This development group provided a platform from which to launch Foxium’s early games, as well as a connection to some of the bigger operators in the gaming industry, which helps explain how the company got their slots onto these sites so quickly. While Odobo unfortunately closed down in 2016 due to increasing costs, these games still appear on some of the top tier casinos in the industry.
Since then, this provider has strategically looked to find partnerships that would allow it to continue creating some of the top new games on the market. One particularly notable move was a deal with White Wolf Publishing, a brand best known for their role playing games like Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Vampire: The Masquerade. While it remains to be seen how these properties will be utilized by Foxium, it seems all but certain there will be some modern horror slots created out of this deal.
Given that they’re so small in scale, it may not be surprising to hear that this studio has yet to be nominated from any awards by their peers in the industry. However, they have made appearances at major trade shows like ICE – sometimes on their own, and in some cases as a part of a large Odobo presentation (though this will no longer be the case with Odobo now out of business).
A Little Collection with Big Ambitions
At the moment, there isn’t much to the Foxium portfolio. In fact, we’re hard pressed to come up with a developer that has launched with a smaller selection of slots than this one, as even most brand new companies offer up a dozen games or so to entice clients to purchase their software or games packages.
But don’t allow the tiny nature of this studio to give you the wrong impression. This is a company that has created some seriously high-quality products, and we are eagerly anticipating the creations they come up with in the months and years to come. If you get the chance to find one of their handful of games at a major casino site that you already play on, definitely take the time to give them a try: they will be among the most interesting titles you’ll find in any collection, and we only expect more great things from them in the future.