Unless you are familiar with Norse mythology, chances are that Yggdrasil isn’t a name that rolls off your tongue or sticks in your head. It is the name of a mythical plant that served as a connection between the nine worlds of the Norse cosmology, an immense ash tree that was seen as a holy symbol by the gods themselves.
Of course, you don’t need to know any of that to enjoy the games created by Yggdrasil Gaming. Created in 2013 by former NetEnt executive Fredrik Elmqvist, this Maltese firm is devoted to making state-of-the-art games that delight their players and are valuable to operators as well for their ability to retain customers. And while this developer may not yet be a household name (and might never be, considering how few people can pronounce it), they have started to grow into a mid-sized player in the industry, with their games now being offered as a part of dozens of different online casinos.
Gorgeous Graphics Paired with Outstanding Gameplay
Yggdrasil is a company that is best known for their slot machines. In fact, there’s little else in their collection, and only about 20 games in total, which helps explain why they are typically used as part of a casino collection rather than the sole basis for an entire site.
Thankfully, this decision to focus on the one-armed bandits has paid off, as it has allowed the firm to really fine tune their titles and develop a unique style, one that has giving the company a reputation as one of the most advanced developers in the industry today.
No matter which of their machines you play first, you’ll quickly notice that the graphics and presentation are extremely sharp – sometimes on par with what you’d expect from a video game. All of these games are based in HTML 5, as well as a platform that they’ve named iSense. This platform is available via an instant play format that makes it playable on virtually any modern device.
None of this would matter if the games weren’t fun to play, but thankfully, the studio has done an excellent job of melding form and function. Interesting design and gameplay features ensure that play never gets old, allowing players to choose from a variety of themes and styles without sacrificing fun or visual style.
The games here are quite varied, though most are built on a fairly standard five-reel layout. You’ll find some rather basic themes like Vikings Go Wild (appropriate given the Norse company name) and Holmes & the Stolen Stones, which is based on the most famous detective in literary history.
On the other hand, other themes are a bit unusual, and we suspect many players will find them downright bizarre. For instance, there’s Cyrus the Virus, a game in which players are tasked with matching…well, some cute virus icons. But as weird as it is, once again the gameplay carries the action: players can match symbols in either direction, making almost every spin exciting.
Still other options are simply creative and fun. In Draglings, players can hatch a number of dragons from their eggs in order to create spreading and expanding wilds, multiplying their chances to win. There’s also more traditional fare, including jackpot games like Empire Fortune that offer progressive prizes across the entire network of sites that host these slots.
A few of our other favorites from this collection include:
- Double Dragons
- Legend of the White Snake Lady
- Magic Mushrooms
Devoted to Player Experience
One of the reasons we’re so high on Yggdrasil is the fact that they seem to have put a lot of work into maximizing the player experience. This comes across in a number of different ways, all of which are designed to keep users happy and coming back for more.
For one, the games in this collection are designed to be playable from any device, including mobile phones and tablets. This is mainly due to the use of an instant play platform powered by HTML 5. However, the innovation here goes beyond that, as all games from this company are delivered by a platform known as iSense. This system delivers fast loading times and intensive graphics on all operating systems, meaning you’ll never have to sacrifice presentation to get games to work.
Another feature that we liked is the fact that these games tend to have a high return to player (or RTP). This may not be ideal for some operators who like to think in the short-term, but many smart sites have realized that players will spend a lot more time in a casino where they feel they have a fair shot at winning. And while casinos will still make money in the long run on these slots, the return to player is often 96% or higher, meaning there’s every chance of you coming out ahead after a night of play, or making a small deposit last for a very long time.
And as we mentioned before, these games offer a wide range of styles, themes, and gameplay features, ensuring that no two games feel like carbon copies of each other. Different types of special features, bonus rounds, and even symbol layouts help make each game worth trying at least once.
If this sounds like a winning combination, we’re inclined to agree – and so are at least some industry insiders. Yggdrasil has won several awards since entering the business, including Slot Provider of the Year at the 2016 EGaming Review B2B Awards, and iGaming Software Supplier of the Year at the 2016 International Gaming Awards.
Small, But Prestigious
Yggdrasil Gaming is certainly not the big kid on the block, and you aren’t going to see them driving the competition out of business anytime soon: no company with a portfolio of games as small as theirs can threaten the bigger firms when it comes to providing an all-in-one casino experience. But the industry has already taken note about just how good their slots are, and that has led to a rapid spread of these titles across the Internet – something we expect to continue in the months and years to come.
Given their limited selection, chances are that you’re not going to pick a casino just to play this company’s games and nothing else. But we think it is well worth seeking them out as part of an overall package that you enjoy. Many reputable casino sites now include Yggdrasil as a part of their package, and we think you’ll find that these slot machines are among the best you can play anywhere on the Internet – even if you can’t quite wrap your head around the company name yet.