Elk Studios is a relatively young online casino software provider founded in 2012 by Filip Säfbeck in Engelbrektsgatan, Sweden. After two years of handing out free spins and hiring more workers; developers, game artists, 2D animators, DevOp Engineers—the studio released a collection of games. Chronologically, the games were The Lab, Electric Sam, and Champions Goal. The studio has a motto of combining art, a sense of humor, and advanced math modeling to make games.
It's a combo seen in every one of its games, including its first releases, which were critically acclaimed. In 2015, the company had made its mark in the iGaming and officially moved to Stockholm, Sweden.
As Elk Studios progressed, its rate of producing video slots slowed down, till it settled at a consistent rate. Nowadays particularly, they've settled into their "Quality Triumphs Quantity" approach. So, they take all the time they require to design and implement, and only releases thematic slot experiences.
By 2016, the company's efforts started paying off, with nominations rolling in at a constant rate. The studio's strategy included touring a variety of expos, conferences, and industry-niche organizations to give a demonstration of their games. On February 17, Elk employees traveled to London to visit the ICE Totally Gaming.
This was furthered by their "Get-to-know the industry" Malta tour on September 17.
On October 17, Elk Studios' Wild Toro title was awarded the studio's first award; the Game of the Year at the EGR Operators Award 2017. On February 18, 2018, the company was hosted by ICE for the first time to exhibit their software solutions. A month later, the Wild Seas slot released, which later went ahead to collect a nomination for another game of the year award.
On November 14, 2018, Elk Studios came fourth in the Deloitte Fast50 review, and a year later on November 26, 2019, the company came 19th in the Deloitte Fast50 review. February 4, 2020, the studio exhibits its latest software iterations at ICE London.
Elk Studios' approach to designing game mixes antiquity and modern themes. Games are developed using mathematical modeling involving several parts. They are statistical modeling, cloud-based computing, and big databases to develop, refine and verify game models.
The games are developed for HTML 5 to be played on both iOS and Android devices. They come with customization features such as betting strategies, bonus modes, and other in-house add-ons.
Elk Studios' in-house overlay software is the Elk Compete. It's a customization overlay serviced to slot operators to create tournaments and individual challenges for players. Characteristics include visual gratifications and rewards for achieving top positions, beating milestones, and pulling off big wins.
Ever since Elk Studios was established some ways back in 2012, the studio has gone on to make up to 50 video slots with different themes and features. Yes, the library isn't the biggest, but it's a solid catalog given the studio's commitment to producing only the best slots.
Hence, the reason why I've hand-picked the 6 Elk Studios titles considered the best you can. From distinctive storylines to their thematic graphics and rewarding paylines, they're testaments of the studio's slot-making prowess.
Hong Kong Tower is set in a world of skyscrapers as the highest of them all. It's a 5x3 reel video slot with features such as bonus symbols and mystery symbols. Starting with the first, the bonus symbol is a scatter represented by the yin-yang symbol. Get three of those, and a bonus level will be triggered. But luckily, there are even better rewards for higher combos. If you hit 4 scatters, you get the bonus mode and an extra life. Hit 5 instead and there are two extra lives.
On the other hand, the mystery symbol is an unknown that reveals it to be any symbol when the reels stop spinning. If it reveals itself to be a bonus symbol, which qualifies as 5 bonus symbols, canceling out all other previous bonus symbols.
Released in 2014, Sam on the Beach is a soft-tone slot set on the exotic shores of the Caribbean. It follows Sam and his family's vacation, and so, comes with groovy characters. Sam is the sticky Wild, Ted, his brother is the sticky multiplier, Sandra, Sam's wife is the bonus multiplier, and Maggie, their small daughter represent the imploding symbols.
The game has five reels and three rows, and with up to 243 different ways to win, it covers a broad range of slot lovers (casual to experienced players). Perks in the game include Sticky Wilds, multipliers, imploding symbols, and Sticky multipliers for consistent combos.
As is Elk Studios' nature, the features help with the story's progression. For instance, the Beach Memories Respin can be initiated during the base game mode. It rewards players with a respin that has expanding sticky Wilds for better combos, and probably, the best thing is that it can be stacked up to three times.
Including the free spins bonus (win up to 15 free spins), the game has high volatility (7 out of 10) which evens out with a solid RTP of 96.3%. Finally, the game has a jackpot capped at 227,520 coins.
DJ Wild makes you a DJ for one night only. Your spins (no pun intended) are set on 5 reels along 3 rows, and incentives are features like free spins, Sticky Wilds, Expanding Wilds, and a Jackpot Wild symbol. The player's goal throughout is to hit a DJ symbol on reel 1, 2, 4, and 5—after which, the DJ mix picks up, and the symbol makes more combos. Rewards to expect include a respin, the expanding Wilds turning sticky, and jackpot win if a wild appears on the third reel.
The RTP for this one is 96.3% and it has volatility of ⅘. Players have a flexible bet range available too, which goes from a min of 0.20 to a max of 100 coins. Across 20 paylines, that translates to exposure of 1,700x your bet (or 170,000 coins).
Taco Brother is a Mexican-themed slot set in the village of Santa Maria. Naturally, there's a villain in the form of Captain Diaz, who takes all the tacos and pesos from the villagers. And that's where the Taco Brothers come in. Paso, Pepe, and Pico are jailed and must escape. Thankfully, the Captain's beautiful daughter helps them in that regard. That said, the brothers, along with the Bell are the bonus symbols whose jobs are to form combos across 5x3 reels. And with up to 243 paylines, both casual and pro punters have a shot here.
The different features include free spins, re-spins, multipliers, and running wilds in the wild escape bonus level which is triggered three safe symbols appear. Likewise, there are some customization options available, with the best-being access to up to 26 languages.
The medium-level volatility (6/10) means wins albeit small, will be constantly made to keep players interested for extended periods. The RTP is 96.3%, and it has a max win of 75,000 coins.
Ivanhoe is inspired by the classic drama from sir Walter Scott, and it has retro-themed gameplay. The strategy is simple enough; just combine high line winnings and a slew of bonuses to create a slot with high replayability. In terms of the story, King Richard is kidnapped by Austria after the holy war, and his brother Prince John ascends the throne. So, the instrumental Ivanhoe decides to stay loyal to the King and return him to his rightful place, thus removing the backstabbing usurper.
In-game experience has players spinning across 3 reels, with up to 17 paylines. There's a non-progressive jackpot in place, with a max of 3,000 times your bet (300,000 coins). Heck, you can even win up to 510 your bet in a single spin if the conditions are right. Still, the best combinations are the ones that get you into the bonus level.
All you need is three Ivanhoe symbols, and you'll be given access to five levels. The higher you climb, the better the multiplier gets. In addition, each level brings additional depth in storytelling and gameplay. Even the progression system is detailed, requiring players to win a particular number of coins before they can move up levels. RTP is 96.3%, which is nicely balanced out by the high volatility (9/10).
You can't deny Wild Toro a place on the list as it's the people's choice. It's a 5x4 reel game with cascading symbols across up to 178 connecting paylines (win up to 225,000 coins!). The theme follows the adventure of the heroic bull El Toro in his intense rivalry with the sneaky matador Diaz Jr. As you might have expected, everything is set in an old and colorful Spanish town, with immersive audio backing the experience up.
Moving on to the features, Elk blends an exciting mix of wilds, walking wilds, and free spins to create a refreshing, as well as rewarding game. Gameplay-wise, Diaz Jr is in charge of generating free spins whenever you hit three of his types in the middle reels. Toro, on the other hand, lands on any reel, and as soon as there's Diaz Jr as well, it starts attacking the matador, hence triggering the bonus mode and leaving behind Wilds.
Couple in the volatility of 8 over 10, an accommodating bet range of between 0.20 to 100 coins, and considerable RTP of 96.4%, and it's an experience built to be competitive as well as gratifying.