Not many superhero characters are licensed to have their own poker machines. Most superhero themed pokies come from DC Comics and Marvel Comics, featuring world famous characters like Batman, Spider-Man, Iron-Man, and The Hulk. Microgaming has produced a few of its own licensed hero poker machines, often based on the silver screen version of a comic book character.
For every licensed game, several pokie themes are inspired by the superhero genre, whether the type of personalities they depict come from action tales, science fiction, pulp, or fantasy genres. We want to discuss in detail the hero themed pokies from Microgaming. We’ll also touch on a few titles inspired by comic book action.
The Dark Knight Online Poker Machine is based on the second of three Batman movies starring Christian Bale. This is the film where Batman faced his number one arch-nemesis, The Joker. The Joker was portrayed by the late Australian actor, Heath Ledger. The Dark Knight pokies features clips and sound bites from the movie, including the famous line from the Joker, “Why so serious?” Many people consider this the best movie in the franchise, due to the one of a kind performance by Heath Ledger.
The 5-reel video slots game based on the movie features a bonus round, wild symbol, expanding wild, and scatter symbol. The most exciting feature for many players is the progressive jackpot, which gives punters a chance to win a jackpot numbering in the hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of dollars. The game also has an autoplay feature, so you can set the game for 100 spins and it will continue playing, as long as your money stash remains.
Most people are familiar with wild symbols, but you might not be familiar with the expanding wilds. When these appears, they expand out to fill the same spot on multiple reels. (Stacked wilds expand vertically, filling up an entire single reel.) This increases the chances your best symbols hit a payline. Like a standard wild symbols, the expanding wild substitutes for all other icons on the machines, except the scatters.
Hellboy Pokies is based on a pair of live action movies starring Ron Perlman as a good-natured demon who hunts evil monsters. The movies, which long running comic book from Dark Horse Comics, were directed by Guillermo del Toro. Hellboy has spawned a series of animated movies, video games, merchandise, and now poker machine. The story begins when a unit of American soldiers find a fiendish baby in the ruins of a church. Raised in a nurturing environment, Hellboy comes to identify with mankind and joins a non-governmental bureau of similar paranormals who fight threats to civilization. These include occult monsters, Lovecraftian horrors, and the products of mad science. The character has been around 20 years and is a prime example of a post-modern comic book hero.
The 5 reel, 20 payline gaming machine features all the most popular features on video pokies today scatter symbol, bonus round, free spins, and wild symbol. Also included is a gamble feature, which lets you gamble double-or-nothing anytime you win a pot. This increases the possibility for big winnings without changing the house edge of the game. Hellboy Pokies does not have a progressive jackpot. Progressive jackpots are a favourite with punters, but you should keep in mind they have a higher house edge than a game like Hellboy.
Microgaming also has a number of poker machines which aren’t based on “real” superheroes from the comic books or movies, but trademarked characters in the tradition of superhero comics. These include space adventures, action heroes, funny animals, and magical champions, which are all a rich part of comic book lore. I want to give a brief overview of these games, too.
Fearless Frederick is a 5 reel, 30 payline game with wilds, scatters, free spins, a gamble feature, and a bonus game. This 2009 release from Microgaming includes a flying saucers, a meteorite, and a red-and-white costumed superhero named Fearless Frederick. It would appear Frederick may have gotten his powers from exposure to a meteor, which is a classic trope in comics.
Elementals Pokies are described as a cartoon poker machine with characters based on the four elements: a strong earth elemental, a long haired aquatic beauty, a fiery superhero, and an elemental woman who controls air and electricity. Also featured are fruit symbols. The nature-based super team is a standard device in hero stories, often with a group of throwaway villains themed on the four classic elements of Greek philosophy.
This game is not based on the 1980’s Elementals comic book published by Comico and written by Bill Willingham of Fables fame (DC Comics). The idea is similar, though. This poker machine has 5 reels, 20 lines, a scatter, a wild, free spins, a gamble feature, and an instant play or download option.
Johnny Spector Pokies combines the wacky ghost hunting of Ghostbusters with the crazy inventions of 1960’s adventure stories like Johnny Quest. Johnny Spector reminds us of Doc Savage or a Alan Moore’s Tom Strong character, but with more of a rocket ranger feel to the design.
Other reel icons include a frightened black cat, a ghost which looks like it would chase Pac-Man, a haunted house, and Johnny’s hip-looking sidekick or love interest, whatever it may be. The game offers a bonus round, wild symbols, free spins, and a wandering wild feature.
If you want to stretch things a little, Microgaming pokies like The Adventures of Galactic Gopher and Heavy Metal have superhero themes. The Adventures of Galactic Gopher is a space adventure game with funny animals.
The Galactic Gopher Poker Machine has wilds, scatters, and free spins to go along with its anthropomorphic animals in the role of rocket rangers. Heavy Metal Pokies is more of an action game than a comics game, though the main character bears a resemblance to the Black Widow, the femme fatale made famous (to mainstream movie watchers) by Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers movie of 2012.