Today branded online pokies are amongst the most popular casino games. They usually have complex features, include video content from the brand and have high profile build up prior to release. The branded online saga began over ten years ago with two releases from Microgaming, the leading software provider to Australian online casinos. The online pokies were comparatively simpler in content but time has not eroded their popularity.
Tomb Raider was launched in 2005. It was based on the video game product of Eidos Interactive featuring the sexy adventuress Lara Croft made popular by Angelina Jolie. It was one of the first pokies to be launched simultaneously on download, instant play and mobile platforms. The Tomb Raider logo is the wild symbol and also awards the highest line payouts. The idol is the bonus symbol and triggers the pick an object type bonus game on the second screen. The Lara Croft close-up is the scatter symbol. It awards scatter payouts and activates 10 free spins with tripled payouts. The other thematic symbols are maze, Lara Croft in action and Tiger. Lara Croft in both symbols bears a likeness to the image from the Eidos video games. The eerie background track goes with the Tomb Raider theme.
The second branded pokie game Hitman was released in 2007 by Microgaming, which was also based on an Eidos video game. It was definitely better from the point of projecting the brand. The high paying symbols are close-ups of Hitman. This online pokie does not use playing card icons for the low paying symbols. The weapons used by Hitman, such as rifle, injection, knife and garrotte are deployed instead and this enhances the brand. Hitman with two pistols is an expanding wild symbol. The Hitman pokie offers three exciting bonus games. In the Insignia bonus game played on the reels you have to select one of the insignia symbols to win a bonus. Another bonus feature awards 18 free spins with doubled payouts. The Contract bonus game on the second screen is based on contract killing and is intimately connected to the theme of the brand. Five possible victims are displayed on the second screen. You contract the Hitman to knock off one of them and earn a bonus amount. You then have to select a weapon for the Hitman and will be awarded a multiplier. Your total payout is the product of the bonus and the multiplier.