While we’re mostly focused on the world of online casino software here, you’re probably aware that there are lots of other types of gambling that can be found on the Internet. There are poker rooms, sportsbooks, bingo rooms, and more, all of which have devoted followers. Many top developers have gotten their start in one of these areas, only to later transition into slots or other casino games.
One such firm is Parlay Games, a company that was founded in Canada back in 1998. Primarily, the studio has primarily been concerned with developing online bingo software for the worldwide market, becoming one of the leaders in both the 75-ball and 90-ball variants on the game. However, that’s not the full extent of what they offer. They have also developed a number of games for online casinos, which have shown up not only at such sites but also as companion pieces for many of their bingo clients. The result is a rather prolific company, even if it isn’t one that was originally meant to be known for their slots.
Bingo Company Branches Out
Since they’ve started building games for gambling sites beyond the bingo world, Parlay Games has done a pretty good job of putting together a diverse collection, especially when you consider that this is more of their side project then their main focus. They have developed some standard table games and video poker machines, giving them enough range to offer up a full casino to operators.
But the focus is undoubtedly on slots. There are dozens of games to choose from, with both classic three-reel and more complex five-reel machines on offer. For the most part, these games are relatively simple, with graphics that don’t try to be more than they are. In other words, the presentation here isn’t overly impressive by any stretch, but it also isn’t glaringly bad: the art and sound design is usually simple, but effective enough at getting the themes across and allowing for intuitive and easy gameplay. At worst, we’d have to say that many of the games look dated when compared to the counterparts being developed by other studios these days.
Let’s dig in to a few of these titles in order to get an idea of what these machines offer. First, there’s High Noon Saloon, a title that is all about life in the Old West. This 20-line, five-reel machine uses a very simple metallic backdrop with a set of reels that features a few thematic touches, like sheriff’s badges and wooden sign posts. The art is a tad on the cartoonish side, and lacks in detail, but still manages to be attractive enough to make the game feel eye-catching and fun. We have to admit that we really enjoyed the cheesy, over-the-top sound effects, too: from the “Yee-Haw!” when we won, to the cowboy music during every spin, it definitely fits the theme.
During play, you’ll be matching guns, cactuses, wanted posters, badges and more across the reels. A nice touch is the fact that this is one of the rare machines these days that doesn’t have a “generic” symbol set like poker ranks or suits for your low value wins; instead, every symbol is thematic. A horse can offer up 13 free plays if you hit three or more on the same spin, while a bandit acts as the wild substitute. In addition, there’s a bonus game that offers multiple picks at instant prizes.
Given Parlay’s background, we also thought we would take a look at their machine called Bingo Slot. Unsurprisingly, this game will probably be of most interest to bingo fans, as your goal is to match symbols made up of the letters B, I, N, G, and O across the reels. There are also some symbols related to major bingo websites that big out bigger prizes, along with an Easter egg.
When playing this game, we were slightly disappointed to find that the special features on this machine were the same as in High Noon Saloon. There’s once again a free spins feature, a wild symbol, and a bonus that adds instant credits to your balance. The game also looks very bland: other than a mix of pastel colors in the background, there really isn’t much happening on screen, so this one is really for bingo lovers only.
A more creative theme was used in creating Transylmania, a creepy game of ghouls, zombies, and monsters. The art and sound design in this game are a bit more inspired, with a creepy graveyard that’s occasionally illuminated by lightning combined with all of the creepiest sounds – wolves howling, crows cawing, and church bells ringing in the distance, not to mention dramatic music when you spin the reels – to push the scariest atmosphere possible. The only disappointment is the quality of the scary symbols themselves: while they obviously represent some of the most famous horror subjects throughout history, they lack detail at higher resolutions.
Over the game’s 20 lines, you’ll be matching zombies, killers, skulls, and Frankenstein’s monster across the screen, hoping to win some money to offset the terror that comes when playing this game. Unfortunately, we have to report that once again, the special features are identical to the above titles: Dracula is a wild, there’s a free spins scatter that can earn you 13 additional plays, and the bonus symbol – a terrifying image of someone being tortured – offers up instant picks to reveal prizes.
While there are many more machines that have been created by the company, those three should give you a pretty idea of what’s going on with these slots. While their standard format includes plenty of gameplay options to keep most players happy, the only problem is that these features are a little too standard, appearing in almost all of their games. If you like slots that offer a pretty standard mix of features, however, that might be fine for you, and the games themselves are of good quality. Here are a few more of Parlay’s top slot machines:
- Cash Detective
- Eastern Promises
- Gold Vault
- Hollywood Reels
- Kung Fu Cash
- Reels of Rome
- Treasure of the Nile
When it comes to their other casino creations, the library is pretty limited. If you’re into table games, you can enjoy blackjack, craps, both American and European roulette, and a few other typical selections. Meanwhile, video poker machines are also available, including such classics as Jacks or Better, Deuces or Joker, and All American Poker.
A Trusted Partner for Major Brands
Over the years, we’ve seen Parlay work with some of the biggest names in the iGaming industry. In some cases, this has been due to their bingo products that have been added to casino groups who wanted to expand their operations; in others, they’ve provided just about everything they have in order to help a site grow. In either case, these partnerships have certainly bolstered their reputation. Well-known names like Paddy Power, Virgin Games, IGT, Unibet, Publishers Clearing House, and paf have trusted Parlay to provide software and expertise.
This isn’t always about their games, though just about everything they create can be added to an existing casino through a plug and play content system. This company also creates standalone platforms that can host gaming sites from the ground up, making it easy for a new operator to build up a new site from scratch.
While all of their software is trusted and popular, however, there’s no denying that Parlay Games is still at heart a bingo company. Most of the awards that they’ve won in their long history relate to their bingo operators, with their solid but rather unspectacular casino products not rising to the level that would earn themselves accolades from their peers in the industry.
A Safe Choice with Plenty of Options
If you are strictly interested in playing slots and other casino classics, then you’ll probably be satisfied with the games from this company, though perhaps not thrilled. Everything here is pretty average for the modern industry: certainly good enough to make it worth playing, but sometimes overshadowed by the kinds of games being produced by the competition these days.
Thankfully, you’ll rarely have to choose whether or not to play Parlay’s games on their own. Regardless of how sites are set up, they usually include these products alongside those from many other developers, giving players plenty of choice when it comes to their gambling options. Most casinos that include this software can be trusted, and the games are a fine addition to any site, making this a name that you can have confidence in at any gaming website you’re interested in joining.