NextGen Gaming is a designer of slot machine games for online and land-based casinos all over the world. They produce games under their own label and license them to casinos, but they also do a lot of work for other design houses. NextGen Gaming focuses exclusively on slot machines.
All told, NextGen has a library of 550 slots spread all over the Internet, in specialty markets and widespread casino gambling venues alike. Because NextGen works with so many big names that play a part in so many world markets, it's safe to say that NextGen slots are available worldwide.
That's not to say that every country in the world has access to them – many countries outlaw online gambling entirely. But between their Australian, European, Asian, and North American presence, they produce games that people from both hemispheres and every corner of the globe can play. Even if they have to take a vacation to the next country over for legal access.
About The Company
NextGen was founded in Australia in 1999, specifically to create what the company calls "platform-independent content." In layman's terms, that basically means games that can be played on a lot of different computers and gadgets. From the start, NextGen's designers seem to have been more concerned with the overall player experience than some other slot game designers – they're constantly creating new types of bonus games and other bonuses. Since a large part of what slot fans are hunting for is replay value, NextGen's focus on bonuses means they produce a lot of popular online slots.
It'd be nearly impossible to list every website and software provider that partners with NextGen to produce and host slot games. Some of their partnerships are kept a little bit secret. Online slot players have probably played tons of NextGen slots without knowing it – that's because NextGen supplies their games to a wide range of clients, some of whom host the games on their own websites, others adding the games to their own library of games. In other words, NextGen might be behind a slot that you love, and you might think that game was produced by Microgaming or Playtech.
We know a few of their partners, because NextGen maintains a page listing "select partners," and it's an impressive collection of big names in the industry. According to their website, NextGen partners with:
These are just the biggest names, and even then, only the big name groups that allow NextGen to talk openly about their association. We don't want to sound like conspiracy theorists, but based on the look of known NextGen creations, we suspect a large portion of some of the Internet's best-known game provider's slot libraries are actually products of NextGen's design labs.
Now that the company has partnered with PokerStars, the company's slot games are available in a new segment of the legal gambling landscape, specifically the regulated online casino and poker sites in New Jersey. This is a sign that the company plans to expand its presence in the legal US market.
NextGen is different from most of their competitors in the online casino game design business – they only produce slots. You won't find a NextGen table game, NextGen poker software, or any other form of NextGen game. An entire design firm dedicated to producing quality online slot games is good news if you love slots. If you prefer blackjack or video poker or any other type of game, you'll be looking somewhere else for your online entertainment.
If you're going to specialize in slots, why not have a massive collection of them? NextGen's 550 slot games represents the biggest single collection of slot games any of us have ever come across. The libraries of Microgaming and RTG come close, but NextGen's library far outpaces them in terms of sheer variety.
Unfortunately, you won't find a collection of NextGen games in any one place. Many of their creations exist as part of other software packages. A game you may think is the product of Realtime was actually developed by the designers at NextGen. Rather than try to review hundreds and hundreds of slots, we thought it best to offer a snapshot of the types of games NextGen is producing.
Below, we've gathered six brief reviews of NextGen's best-known and most-reviewed slot titles:An Evening with Holly Madison
One of NextGen's newest high-profile slots is also one of their first big licensing projects. Holly Madison, famous mainly for being Hugh Hefner's long-time girlfriend, may seem like a curious subject for a slot game, but she's a beautiful and talented woman with a recognizable face and an obvious connection to glamour.
Her slot includes expanding wilds, a second-change re-spin feature that rewards players on bad luck streaks, and a unique Photo Shoot Bonus game in which you act as the photographer and earn random rewards in exchange for taking shots of Ms. Madison herself.
Bets range from $0.01 to $2 per credit, and the game forces you to wager 30 credits per spin, for a total betting range of between $0.30 and $60 per spin. The game's largest payout is worth 5,000 times your triggering wager, for a payout of between $1,500 and $300,000.Andre the Giant
NextGen Gaming has been easing into the world of designing licensed slots over the past few years. Andre the Giant is a former pro wrestler and actor who was extremely popular for a few years in the 1980s. It is a strange concept for a licensed slot, but then again, it was probably an inexpensive purchase, and they've done a decent job creating a fun slot built around the theme of Andre the Giant, the wrestling character.
This is a fun five reel slot featuring NextGen's famous expanding wilds, as well as a cool Battle Bout Bonus in which you can watch Andre the Giant doing his trademark ring moves. The Free Spins round has a unique feature – if you spin enough special Andre the Giant symbols, you will re-trigger all free spin wins, so that you basically get double the free spins for the rest of the game.
Andre the Giant offers up to twenty-five pay lines, and each line can be set to be worth between $0.01 and $2 per spin. That gives the game a total wagering range of between $0.01 and $50 per spin. The game's top prize is worth 5,000 credits, for a total value of between $50 and $250,000.
Read Full Game ReviewBlood Lore
Blood Lore is based on the "vampires vs. werewolves" motif that's become popular since the release of the Twilight novels and films. Blood Lore sets the Vampire Clan against the Werewolf Clan, though without much in the way of plot or story, mostly as a backdrop for a tradition 3x5 video slot. Blood Lore allows you to bet on up to twenty pay lines per spin, at a cost of between $0.02 and $40 each. That's a total betting range of between $0.02 and $80 per spin.
It's pretty typical of NextGen to produce a game with such a wide variety of available bets. The 5,000 credit top prize is also a trademark of NextGen slots, and it means a top prize of between $100 and $400,000. But since the luckiest players of Blood Lore will trigger that top prize during the game's Free Spins round (during which all prizes are tripled), the true top prize range is from $100 to $1.2 million.
That's an amazing fixed prize, the kind of money you usually only see with progressive online slot games.Casinomeister
Casinomeister is a slot that's near and dear to our hearts, since it takes as its theme the website Casinomeister and its creator, Bryan Bailey. We use Casinomeister a lot in our reviews and discussions of the online gambling business, so any time we get to play this Casinomeister-themed game and earn money for reviewing it, we're happy.
This is a five reel thirty payline slot with a 10,000 credit top prize, a wild symbol that doubles all wins it completes, a free spins round in which all wins are tripled, and a bonus game in which you get to metaphorically "lock up" rogue casino operators, shown as greedy pigs in the world of the game. Credits can be set to a value of between $0.01 and $2 each, and a max bet requires a wager on twenty pay lines, meaning a max bet ranges from $0.20 to $40 per spin.Doctor Love
A typical arrangement (five reels and twenty pay lines) doesn't mean this game is typical. It's anything but. One of just a handful of NextGen slots to get a sequel (and a third game is now in the works), Doctor Love includes all the bells and whistles available to NextGen's designers. It uses a scatter symbol, expanding wilds, a gamble feature allowing you the chance to double every single win, a free spins round in which all wins are tripled, the ability to re-trigger every free spin win, a bonus round with a skill element, a huge betting range (with credits available between $0.02 and $5 each), and a 5,000 credit prize that's eligible for tripling during bonus or free spins rounds.
Basically, Doctor Love is stuffed with extras, and while the plot is lacking, it feels like you win more bonuses, free spins, and extra games on Doctor Love than on other NextGen titles. In fact, we've found that we're usually happiest with the NextGen titles that allow bets as low as $0.02, rather than $0.01. Spending that extra penny gets you access to games with much more replay value and more addictive in-game features, not to mention the ability to double or triple your winnings.James Dean
Another strange concept for a licensed slot – James Dean, the actor who embodied and invented the "live fast and die young" philosophy. James Dean, the inventor of casual cool, the gorgeous Hollywood star who lived so fast and died so young he never even got to see his final film.
Once again, we think we know what NextGen is doing by creating these oddball licensed games – it must have been both inexpensive and easy to license James Dean's image and a couple of audio clips by a Dean sound-alike actor.
Unfortunately, the game isn't that much fun. No video clips are available, and it feels like a typical NextGen slot with some James Dean and classic film graphics thrown in. James Dean is a five reel and twenty-five pay line slot with a cool 1950s rock and roll theme and a top prize of 5,000 credits. The image of James Dean himself is a powerful symbol in the game – just one James Dean photo triples the value of the win and rewards three free spins, each of which can be re-triggered as part of the game's built-in gamble feature.
Bettors can set the credit value anywhere between $0.01 and $5 each, which means a max bet on twenty-five pay lines ranges from $0.25 to $25 per spin.
NextGen Gaming has been creating and licensing online slot games for nearly twenty years. The company has quietly released some of the best-reviewed online slots, often licensing them to other designers with very little fanfare. All the while, NextGen has been forming partnerships with the world's biggest brands and online casinos, and are now setting foot in new regulated markets, such as regulated land-based and online casinos in the state of New Jersey. The end-result is a huge company with massive sway in the industry but without a household name.
The ten games reviewed above are just a fraction of the total slot library produced by this innovative Australian slot designer. NextGen slots are known for having a large number of interesting bonuses and rewards that add replay value. While NextGen is light on licensed games and they don't produce a large number of progressive jackpot slots, they are releasing some of the best-reviewed video slots with the most interesting bonus rounds, side bets, and side games.