Microgaming Software Review
Microgaming was there at the birth of online casinos, in 1994, and its lengthy fight for supremacy with fellow pathfinder Cryptologic would see the laying down of most of the building blocks of today's thriving online gaming world. However, while Cryptologic has slightly lost its place at the head of the table, Microgaming has continued to hold the aces, unleashing innovation after innovation to keep its games fresh and up to the minute.
The company was quick to harness the excitement of big jackpot slot machines, and it released Cash Splash, the first progressive online jackpot, in 1998. Since then, Microgaming has added numerous fast-paced slots to its roster. However, the company's software collection, as a whole, is huge in every sense of the word. The release of its 'Viper' suite, in 2002, became a landmark in online gaming, and quickly saw its countless reinventions of traditional games being rolled out across the world. Its roulette games are an excellent demonstration of this variety.
Microgaming offer two different versions of many of their games. The standard edition tends to take less time to load up, and has simpler gameplay and slightly cut-down graphics and sound. For those who want extensive options (such as the ability to select complex multi-number bets with one touch), and slicker graphics and sound, the 'gold' version is often the one to go for. We have to say, though, even the standard versions are very appealing to look at and play. The variety of visual styles is very significant, and each table has its own distinctive feel and atmosphere.
Many of the tables play around the three central themes - American, European and French. The American version comes with the largest house edge due to having an extra green zero. The European and French variations only have one zero each, although the French version slices that house edge further still with the option of En Partage. Classic roulette players will adore the elegance of the Microgaming titles, and the Gold versions are particularly customisable. You can even let the computer play for you. For truly advanced play, though, there's an even more sophisticated Premier Roulette version, which even lets you fix the game speed.
Besides the more conventional roulette games, you can play a number of novelty variations. The eight-table Multi Wheel version offers a good deal of excitement, and watching the results of each of the eight tables pop up, one after the other, adds extra tension to an already enthralling game. Roulette Royale brings in the progressive jackpot, letting players build up a prize until the same number is hit five times in a row - smaller bonuses for two, three or four times in a row provide additional fun.
Extending Consumer Rights
Microgaming isn't just about the games itself though. The company has done much to protect the consumer, and it broke new ground with its foray into self-regulation in 2002 - co-founding the influential eCOGRA (e-Commerce Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance) organisation with 888.com. Even now, the company offers extensive helplines, trying to assist players in getting the very best experience from their online gaming.
Mixing some of the best versions of each game (with a number of interesting twists available in every case) with almost non-stop innovation, Microgaming remains a true powerhouse in online gambling.