In online casino gaming, the biggest names are without a doubt the casinos themselves. Anyone who has ever spun a wheel or turned over a card on an online game can probably name five or six casino sites off the top of our heads. We’re grateful that these sites exist, of course, but focusing on the casinos themselves can mean that the real heroes of the story go unnoticed. So who are the true heroes? The software developers who work hard behind the scenes to produce the games we all know and love.
One such developer is Merkur – a German developer that has been in operation in one form or another for more than sixty years. As time has passed, they’ve expanded from creating the machines used in brick-and-mortar casinos (which still dot German high streets to this day) to developing games for the online casino player. As we shall see throughout this article, Merkur’s expansion into the online world has been a huge success, allowing players to enjoy some of the web’s most engaging gaming experiences.
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What makes Merkur the best software developer?
While newer and flashier companies have emerged over the years, few if any of them can call upon the level of game design experience Merkur can claim. This is a company that has been creating slots games since before the Internet ever existed; with the Germanic practicality that has been a hallmark of the company since their infancy, Merkur have simply fused their existing skills for innovation with the greater potential allowed by the web.
It’s undeniable that players who thirst for graphical brilliance and gimmicky add-ons will most likely find these needs satiated by games from other developers. However, those who want to have a reliably entertaining experience in a virtual casino, playing straightforward games that work as they should, will be more than happy with Merkur games. This much is obvious when you look at the varied range of casinos that carry multiple games from this developer – from newer, innovative casinos to more traditional providers, Merkur games have still found their place.
Merkur Games: What makes Merkur excel?
While our initial overview may create the impression of a technically good but graphically drab gaming experience, Merkur games are in fact anything but aesthetically dull. There may be fewer eye-catching animations than you’ll find with newer developers, but there is plenty of texture and colour to be enjoyed in Merkur games. However, great visuals can never mask a poorly-developed game, and it’s the gameplay that really stands out in any Merkur offering.
Any Merkur game will have a simple layout that is inherently understandable and easy to use, while still offering a great overall experience. Their slots tend to offer a cornucopia of winning lines, and plenty of bonus options that take the game beyond the basic “spin and win” pattern. If you can line up a win on the reels, you will then be offered the opportunity to maximise that win by gambling on a sequence of cards, potentially doubling your win each time.
Merkur particularly specialise in slots games, but there’s more to their offering than slots alone. They have also developed a highly enjoyable Poker game, and their Bahama Roulette offers a fun, tropical take on a casino classic.
What are the top 5 games by Merkur?
As you might expect from a company that specialises in casino slots, the best and most popular games from this developer are generally to be found on the spinning reels. Different players will find different games to be their favourites, but the five listed below will find an appreciative audience with any online gamer.
221B Baker Street is a 5×3 slot based – unsurprisingly – on the Sherlock Holmes mystery novels and its minimalist graphical approach gives it a suspenseful atmosphere. Along with the usual playing card values, the reels display pictures of Holmes himself, along with Dr Watson and the antagonist Moriarty. With 20 winning lines, there’s plenty of scope to track down a win.
Magic Mirror Deluxe provides a charming fantasy backdrop, complete with castle, and a mythical theme adorned with amulets and unicorns. It’s a challenging slot, and while not generous with wins early on, it certainly rewards patience.
Sticking with the fantasy aspect, Vampires is one of Merkur’s most atmospheric offerings to date, and its sleek visuals are augmented by chilling music. Those are the scariest things about it, though, as a 96% RTP makes it one of the more rewarding slots in the Merkur stable.
Fruitinator is, perhaps, Merkur’s most traditional slot – as the name suggests, the reels feature various fruits and, if you line up enough of them, you win. There’s nothing especially unique about this slot; it just delivers what players want, and does it with simple efficacy that has to be applauded.
Traditional gamers will also appreciate Multi Supreme 81, a classic slot dripping with old-fashioned casino touches. It’s been a popular option in Merkur’s many land-based casinos in Germany, and with 81 “win-ways” (hence the name!), it’s easy to see why this slot has enjoyed such longevity.
What to expect from Merkur casinos?
In short, Merkur is not a development house that is seeking to reinvent the reel – they were there at the beginning of casino gaming in Europe and they know better than most what will work and what won’t. Instead, they have aimed their focus at delivering a stable of games that function exactly as they should, with a little extra style here and there in order to keep things interesting. A short look around the gaming corners of the internet will show you that there is a lot of love out there for the old-fashioned casino game experience on offer from Merkur; after a while playing their games, you’ll certainly understand why.