You might think that sci-fi is quite a new phenomenon. After all, wasn’t it only after the space programmes of the 1950s and 60s that people seriously started to explore technology, science and space?
In actual fact, some people believe that the sci-fi genre dates as far back as the 2nd Century when Assyrian writer Lucien wrote a book containing many of today’s sci-fi themes including alien life forms, interplanetary travel and artificial intelligence.
If its history is complex, defining sci-fi is almost as difficult. Some have described it as “the literature of ideas”. Writer Robert A. Heinlein boiled it down to being “realistic speculation about possible future events”.
Whatever sci-fi may or may not be, it has captured the imagination of millions of people all over the world and generated books, movies, TV series and much more. And, while we may not have achieved the sci-fi ideas of the 1950s – with colonies on Mars and jet-powered cars – areas like virtual reality and AI are now very much reality.
As some science fiction becomes fact, fans are also looking for different ways to enjoy their favourite genre, with some very surprising results. One of these newfound ways to enjoy the genre is slots.
Sci-fi comes to slots
Several big names in the casino and online gambling industry have a large number of sci-fi-themed games. As we’ll see, these are wide ranging and use many different aspects of science fiction as their inspiration.
It’s thanks to the sort of tech that just didn’t exist even 30 years ago that these games are possible. Not only can they recreate the experience of playing an old-style slot machine online, but technology has also made them far more complex and involving, as well as providing players with many more ways to win.
It’s also meant that they can include animations, clips from sci-fi movies and play against a background of out-of-this-world sounds to make them even more fun. There are literally hundreds of different titles out there to choose from, but here are five that are among the very best.
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There’s more than a hint of the X-Files to this particular slot, whose opening background features a giant crop circle somewhere in the Mid-West.
Once you get into the game, you’ll find the reels are filled with characters ranging from a Roswell-style alien to cows that have been mysteriously lifted in the air by the interplanetary invaders. It’s when their classic flying saucer appears on the reels that the action really starts to get going.
Shooting Stars Supernova
A supernova may be the last stage of a star’s life before it disappears into oblivion, but this slot makes sure that it goes out with a bang. As one of the purest representations of space and the planets, this game features five reels with no less than 10 pay-lines, as well a couple of bonus features that can see the prize money really take off. And, when the planets on those reels do align, you can look forward to a pretty impressive pay-out.
Back in the 1980s, real arcade games started to appear and one of the biggest was Space Invaders. Up and down the country arcades were filled with bleeps and explosions as sheet after sheet of the advancing aliens were destroyed by laser cannons. The Space Arcader slot is inspired by the game but, instead of playing for simple glory, it has a four-figure pay-out waiting to be won.
It also features all of the sound effects of the old game, which can be quite nostalgic for anyone who was there at the time – for everyone else it just adds an extra dimension to the play.
When the Terminator announced that he’d be back, it’s unlikely he meant in this slot, which was originally released in 2014 but completely remastered in 2021. As it’s officially licensed by Universal Studios, it even includes clips from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Characters featured along with T-1000 are Sarah Connor and son John, who are trying to avoid termination by the remorseless cyborg.
The visuals are as stunning as you’d expect with metallic overlays on the reels – but the real selling point of this game is that it offers over 1,000 ways to win.
Our final example comes from another film, in this case one that has had fans puzzling and speculating about its true meaning ever since its release. If anything, it’s even more visually stunning that Terminator 2, with elements of computer code that cascade down the screen. Trinity, Agent Smith and Morpheus all feature on the reels – and Neo’s in on the action too. Film clips, a mesmerising score and the “Déjà vu” bonus feature make it a slot that’s well worth trying to solve
Is there more to come?
As already mentioned, these are just a few of the sci-fi slots out there. And now the Pentagon is set to release previously classified information about possible UFO encounters over the years, we can expect even more interest in the subject – and that could mean a whole new generation of books, movies and even slots for fans to enjoy.