Mr Green Casino Review: Play’n GO

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Introduction

Like many other software providers, Play’n GO are from Sweden – one of the first countries to realise the full potential of the online casino industry.

Where Play’n GO are a bit different to other well-known software providers is that they’re not set on becoming as big as possible.

The result is that even though they do provide other products and services beyond making slots, it’s slots that they really specialise in and the more they focus on those, the better they’ve become over the years.

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What you need to know about…Play’n GO

Play’n GO started life out in rather different circumstances to other casino software providers. Whereas many of their competitors opened their doors for business as a stand-alone company, making casino games from day one, Play’n GO took a somewhat alternative approach.

Blessed with a workforce of talented developers, designers and software engineers who loved games and gaming, these self-confessed ‘computer geeks’ began as consultants, or freelancers if you prefer, for other companies who made games.

So rather than providing the full package, they focused just on the technical and creative side of things, leaving other aspects of the process such as marketing, sales or branding to the company actually responsible for putting their name to the games. So, in reality they were subsidiaries of other companies, such as NetEnt.

Where they do have plenty in common with other similar companies is that they began in the mid-90s during the dotcom boom. But so successful were they at making games that by 2005 they decided to go it alone and take responsibility for all aspects of making the games. Not only was it a case of taking full ownership of the product and picking and choosing their own clients, it also meant that they could themselves sell their games and services rather than just being paid a consultancy fee.

They’ve come a long way since those days of operating out of just the one office in Sweden and these days have further offices in Hungary, Malta, the Philippines and the UK.

They are a holder of the Remote Gambling Software License from the UK Gambling Commission, meaning they’re allowed to offer their games in the UK.

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Play’n GO Products

Video Poker

Video Poker is a bit of a hybrid in that it combines aspects of the game of Poker, most notably the ranking of the hands, with more traditional casino games. And by traditional casino games, we mean those where players take on ‘the house’, rather than another human opponent.

There are different version of Video Poker, but the norm is that you receive five cards and you can change between 0-5 of them once. After you’ve done that, the hand you’re left with is your final hand for the round. Some versions require you to just get a pair of Jacks to be in the money, whereas others –those where either Jokers or Deuces are Wild– need you to get at least two pairs for a payout. That’s because the Wilds in the pack increase your chances of getting higher hands.

Casino Hold’em

If you like poker but Video Poker isn’t quite your thing, then why not check out Play’n GO‘s Casino Hold’em?

It uses the same hierarchy of hands as Texas Hold’em does but here you’re going to play against the Dealer, rather than other players. On seeing your first two cards, you then have to decide whether to play or fold based on the strength of what you’re holding. In normal play it’s about beating the Dealer, just like in Blackjack. But if you place an additional bet (known as an AA bonus bet), then the stronger your hand, the more you get paid out, as per the paytable.

Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat and Video Bingo

These are relatively small fry compared to their slots offering (more about that later) but they all have the Play’n GO seal of quality nonetheless. The first three are something of the ‘holy trinity’ of casino table games and work as you’d expect them to.

At the Blackjack table, it’s all about beating the Dealer. No need to take risks when the Dealer has a poor first card but doubling up and splitting at the right time can certainly pay dividends, so pick and choose when to be aggressive and when to be conservative.

If Baccarat is more you thing, then choose if you’re backing the Dealer hand or the Player hand and hope the cards fall your way in order to double up on your bet. This is one of the casino games with the lowest house edge, so offers good value to the serious Casino player.

Roulette of course, is a very different animal. Playing red or black, odd or even or 1-18/19-36 makes it almost a 50/50 game as well but those in search of bigger payouts can chance their arm by going with an individual number or a few numbers at a time, in order to grow their bank much quicker. Less chances of winning but far greater rewards.

Video Bingo works in a similar way to the traditional Bingo played at halls all around the world, but with three added advantages that make life easier for the player. You can play up to four cards at once, you can switch cards if you don’t like your numbers and you can reveal all 30 numbers at once, rather than seeing them come out one by one.

Slots

As we’ve hinted already, it’s for slots that Play’n GO are mostly known.

Their portfolio of games isn’t as big as some other providers partly because they’re not as big as other companies in terms of staff and resources. Another reason for this is that they prefer to produce fewer games of a sky-high standard, rather than lots that don’t really cut through the noise.

Play’n GO also one of those providers that make games that you probably didn’t realise were theirs. Have a read of our review of their best slots and see if you recognise any of the titles.

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Play’n GO Slots

Devices and Security

Remember what we said about them keeping up with the times? One aspect of that is that Play’n GO have realised that making slots just with desktop users in mind isn’t going to get them very far in this day and age. So, they decided to sign partnership agreements with the biggest mobile operating system giants such as Android and iOS.

When playing their slots on mobile devices, players don’t need to download anything at all, which in turn means that an app isn’t required. Given that HTML5 technology is used, Flash support is redundant as well.

All of their slots have been tested in-house for hours on end to ensure that they don’t crash and that everything works as it should. The slots have then been further tested by independent agencies monitoring aspects such as the slot’s RTP and functionality.

Free-to-play games

With a chunky selection of slots to choose from, you can’t play them all for real money. Or you could but it might not be particularly wise. Therefore, at Mr Green you can try out any Play’n GO slot to your heart’s content in free-to-play mode.

Playing without using real cash means you can check out all the different themes and storylines from among their portfolio of games. Or see how the slots compare with each other in terms of bonus features and graphics. You could also make your own little short-list of the ones you do wish to play for real money in the future.

Either way, trying them out in free-to-play mode first is certainly the smart move.

Slot types and themes

Making slots isn’t just about big payouts, cutting edge graphics and great storylines. Though of course, all that stuff certainly helps! It’s also about having the imagination and creativity to come up with varied and unique themes so that there’s something for everyone in terms of what players want.

In Play’n GO’s portfolio there are seasonal-themed slots such as Merry Xmas, Chinese New Year, Easter Eggs and Xmas Joker and then there are action ones that are as much about the adventure as they are about the payouts, for example Rich Wilde and the Pearls of India, Sails of Gold and Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead.

If it’s more of a party mood you’re seeking then you might wish to turn your attention to the likes of Samba Carnival and Spin Party.

Or how about some Irish themed-games to bring out the Guinness-drinking, St Patrick’s Day celebrating Irish person in you? You got it. Try slots such as Irish Gold or the somewhat more obscure Leprechaun goes Egypt.

More in the mood to show off your sporting prowess? Dust those golf clubs off and get your swing in order before playing Gold Trophy 2 or find the back of the net in style in Golden Goal.

And speaking of gold, here are a couple more: Golden Ticket and Golden Legend. Though if it’s sparkling diamonds you favour over gleaming gold, maybe Lucky Diamonds or Mermaid’s Diamonds are more your thing. Like we say, there’s certainly something for everyone.

RTP

A reminder that RTP is short for Return to Player and tells you how generous a game is. Not in terms of maximum payouts (that you find out elsewhere by looking at the game’s paytable) but in terms of what the average payout is in proportion to the amount of money that’s played on a slot.

The RTP of a slot is generally between about 90% and 99% with slots coming under the latter category always making a significant fuss about how high their RTP is, as a way of marketing the game. The higher the RTP is, the more the slot pays out on average.

Players should be aware that if they invested a relatively small amount of money like 100 Euros on a slot with an RTP of 95%, they should not expect the slot to return exactly 95 Euros. Only in the long run that RTP will stay true, with the cash paid out to players being proportional to the game’s advertised RTP.

RTPs of slots are a way of comparing oranges with oranges. If Game A has an RTP of 98% and Game B an RTP of 95%, Game A is likely to give you a higher return.

To the casual player this isn’t a particularly big deal, with the excitement and entertainment value being more important factors. But for the more serious slots-player, it makes the world of difference.

With all that in mind, here are some of the Play’n GO slots with a higher RTP: Rage to Riches (97.12 %), Piggy Bank (97.03%) Ring the Bells (97.03%) and Gem Drop (97%) And these would be the ones equivalent of your mate who conveniently has to leave to go home every time it’s their round at the bar: Tropical Holiday (91.9%)and Jolly Roger (94.98%).

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Special features

If you’re expecting Play’n GO slots to have totally unique bonus features or in-game strategies that no-one else has, you’re going to be as disappointed as someone who wanted a Manchester United short for Christmas and got a Manchester City one, instead. If it’s innovative bonus features you want, try NetEnt slots, if it’s in-game strategies, then give for instance Elk Studios slots a go.

Their main bonus features tend to be the free spins rounds, such as that found in (Rick Wilde) Book of Dead, re-spins (like those found in Spin Party) or pick’em rounds, which you can come across in the likes of Leprechaun goes to Egypt. If it’s cascading reels that get you out of bed in the morning, then Golden Ticket has those.

Most of their slots have five reels and use the Wild symbol to substitute for other ones to help you win, so again, they’re hardly re-inventing the wheel.

They were, however, true innovators in that they were the first provider to make games specifically to be played on mobile.

Mr Green offers a huge variety of Play'n GO slots

Play’n GO’s best slots

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The entertaining slot: Prissy Princess

A good example of slot meets fairytale. A blonde Princess in search of love while four suitors (three humans and a dragon) are after her heart. Cue a Tournament Mode where you have to choose one of the suitors (including the Dragon) to go as far in the jousting competition as possible. The more rounds in which your ‘chosen one’ doesn’t finish last, the more rounds you play and the more you win.

Or maybe you’re fortunate enough to trigger the Dragon’s Pride round. Here if all three of the human suitors appear on the reels at once, the reel becomes an Expanding Wild.

Finally, no love-filled fairytale would be complete without a Tower so you may be able to come across the Crumbling Tower round; symbols on winning lines rumble to give you a re-spin.

Lots to look forward to.

Most famous Slot: (Rich Wilde and the) Book of Dead

Available at just about every online casino under the sun, including of course Mr Green, this one stars an Indiana Jones-like character who loves the thrill of the chase as much as finding the treasures he’s in search of.

Most of the symbols (other than our hero himself) are Egyptian-inspired and this is a slot that’s all about the free spins.

Before you start them, the slot will randomly select one symbol to be your special symbol for the duration of the round; the more valuable a symbol you get, the better for you. Meaning the best symbol you can get is Rich Wilde himself.

That’s because if you get two or three of them on a spin, they’ll expand across all 10 reels. And that’s when Rich can become very rich indeed.

Mr Green’s favourite slot: 7 Sins

The concept of the seven deadly sins was immortalised in the Brad Pitt film ’Seven’ but it’s been around for a whole lot longer than that. And a few years ago, Play’n GO made this great slot as a tribute to the concept.

Each of the seven sins are represented by a seductive lady but they’re not the most important symbol. That’s the golden urn and that’s your key to unlocking the free spins round. You’ll need three of those and unsurprisingly, what follows are seven free spins, each one with one of the ‘sinners’ taking turns acting as an Expanded Wild on the middle reel.

Not only that but before the spins get under way, you’ll be told what your multiplier is, between 1x and 7x.

There’s a decent second prize if you only get two golden urns, rather than three. It’s called a Second Chance and it allows you to pick one of the seven sinners. Once you do, a multiplier will appear and that’s what you multiply your stake by to see what you won. Beware though because one of the sinners isn’t carrying a multiplier at all. What a killjoy.

It’s a great game with an unusual theme and typical of the high-quality stuff that Play’n GO produce with such regularity.

Play’n GO: Did you know?

  • Play’n GO are one of the software providers whose slots do not allow you to select how many active paylines you want to have. The number is always fixed and generally fixed at 20, though players can of course select their stake ahead of each spin.
  • A sign of Play’n GO growth is that 2019 was the year to date where they released the most slots (40) into the market. The year ended with the release of the highly-anticipated new slot Wild Frames, inspired by the glitzy Las Vegas.
  • Following in the footsteps of other successful Egyptian-themed slots made by Play’n GO, 2019 release Legacy of Egypt was voted ‘slot of the year’ by popular casino review site AskGamblers. In the words of reviewer Stewex555L “Fascinating processing, awesome theme, superbly crafted graphics, music, features, and free spins play where you have the chance to get a lot of other FS and high multipliers”.

Our conclusion on Play’n GO

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Not everyone can end up being a market leader and good on Play’n GO for realising that size isn’t everything. Rather than trying to compete with the likes of Microgaming and NetEnt to be involved in all aspects of online gaming, they’ve decided to focus mostly on what they do really well: making slots.

So we’ll leave them to go about their business of making slots across endless themes packed with intriguing storylines, sharp and colourful graphics and bonus features that are rarely new and unique but are always fun and rewarding.

Maybe the one thing missing in their portfolio is a big, all-guns-blazing Progressive Jackpot slot that can compete with what some of the other software providers are doing. We’ll have to wait and see whether they go down that route.