Aspire Casino Sites Featuring Elk Studios
In the fast moving world of casino software, Elk Studios are among the leaders in the production of innovative, cutting edge games. They may not be the biggest name, but the consistency of their output is astounding – they simply do not to average. Every title they produce is excellent, with superb graphics, great features and few of those clichéd tick box games which their rivals seem to churn out to fill some perceived genre gap.
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Who Are Elk Studios?
Elk Studios exude a kind of Scandinavian style and cool which seems to come naturally. I’d compare them to Ikea, which also has that Skandi-cool image, but on the other hand the last thing that Elk Studios’ games can be called is flat pack. Their games are the very opposite; individually hand-crafted rather than mass produced and self-assembled.
The company is based in Stockholm in the capital city of Sweden. It remains close to its original roots. Founded less than a decade ago in 2013, its hundred or so employees continue to live and work in the Stockholm region. Despite this homespun nature and relatively tiny organisation, the company has a truly international following. Its games are renowned across the world, enjoyed by players in just about every corner of the planet.
So what is it about Elk Studios’ output which makes them so truly outstanding in what is a very competitive industry? In truth, their game design flair was clear from their very first release, back in 2014. The Lab was a colourful, intriguing creation which was a revolutionary production at the time. The theme was original. This in itself was a bold move, when many start-up software companies may have been tempted to play it safe and stick to an established genre for their opening gambit.
No, there was to be no fiddle dee dee or pharaonic fables from Elk Studios, but something no-one had seen before. The game has stood the test of time too – it still looks sumptuous and fresh even after nearly a decade of additional software progress. Oh, and it’s a great game to play too.
The Lab was just the beginning. There were plenty more where that came from. As demonstrated by their very first game, Elk Studios don’t really do genre games. There are few if any pyramids, four leaf clovers or rainbows to be found.
Even when something a little more familiar does appear, the presumed genre formula is given an original twist. Their Chinese themed Chi for example, may at first seem a bit of a safe option – the Chinese Luck genre is well established and one of the most popular around. But Chi is not like any formulaic lucky cat / golden dragon theme you will have seen before. The reels run horizontally within an ornate temple, and its features are excellent too, with flaming fireballs and countless Sticky Spins to keep things fresh and interesting.
Over Elk Studios’ short years of existence, they have built up a series of slots of unparalleled quality. It’s difficult to pick out titles, as every one is a gem. Of the older games, Poltada is superb, and Taco Brothers is a recognised classic, featuring Mexican villagers attempting to fight off an evil English colonialist’s attempts to steal their tacos.
My favourites are the animated heroes of Bloopers and Platooners. Both the original and its sequel do a great job of spoofing the Hollywood film industry. They feature characters such as over the top actors and actresses, and the hapless attempts of all those people who appear in movie credits to achieve a watchable film. They are both chock full of bonus games, special features, fun and humour.
Of the more recent games, io is truly exceptional. Set on a casino space station orbiting Jupiter’s moon, this laser fuelled game is powered by gravity. This means that there are no conventional reels as such. Instead, different discs drop from some unseen reservoir above the screen and settle at the bottom of a transparent container. These can settle in a winning combination. When they do, the winning symbols disappear, and the remaining discs re-settle by gravity into a new equilibrium, before additional discs drop in a cascade from above.
It’s a bit like a giant game of Tetris, only you can win big prizes. The whole process continues until you have no more winning combinations. At this point your total prize is awarded. Since there are no spins, you can win free ‘drops’ instead, and there are plenty of Wilds to add further spice to proceedings. A throbbing four to the floor soundtrack keeps things jogging along nicely too. There simply isn’t another game like it.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for something a bit more conventional, perhaps the vampiric Blood Lust comes closest to the standard five reel, three row format as Elk Studios are likely to get. It looks sumptuous as ever, and the production values are well up to the expected standard.
At the time of writing, there are a total of around forty slots in the Elk Studios portfolio. That’s not an especially prolific rate of production – around half a dozen per year. But it’s not bad for what remains a relatively puny outfit by international gaming software industry standards. It’s the quality, not quantity of output which is truly remarkable though. There simply is not a poor game anywhere in their range. Look out for them at your chosen Aspire Global casino.