Everyone loves a summer holiday, and slots developers are no exception. There are plenty of great vacation-themed slots to play, some with complex and innovative gameplay mechanics, others with a more straightforward approach. Here are our top 7 of the best that can either be played in a free mode or come with free spins/respins.
Sam on the Beach is a colourful 5 reel vacation-themed slot by ELK Studios that has a certain idiosyncratic style, setting it apart from many similar slots available at new Canadian online casinos. There are 243 ways to win, which mean there's every opportunity to achieve a payout when spinning the reels on this 5x3 slot. Fans of ELK Studios may well be familiar with the royal troll family from Electric Sam, who in this slot are visiting a relative on an island. A particularly unusual feature of gameplay is the use of betting strategies. There are four from which to choose, each one altering the game in different ways (you can choose whichever you like, or to have none active). The yellow Jumper will increase your stake after every win, for example.
Free spins are a more common extra that you can find with Sam on the Beach, and three bell symbols will get you five free spins, with more if you get four or five bell symbols. Should you land all four of the troll family on the same row the Beach Memories Respin feature will be activated, with sticky wilds replacing the trolls (this can stack up to three times). The trolls are also good when you get multiples of the same, such as multiple Maggies increasing the odds on getting a payout.
Other family member bonuses that trigger when they appear during free spins include Electric Sam himself acting as a sticky wild, and Ted and Sandra both adding to the multiplier value for the chance of big wins. Overall, Sam on the Beach has enough interesting and innovative ideas behind it to make it a cut above your run of the mill game. Multipliers can reach 10x, and the variance is middling to high, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your own personal preference.
Created by industry big beast NetEnt, celebrate the onset of summer in style with the tropical vacation slot Aloha! Cluster. This vacation-themed slot takes an intriguingly unorthodox approach to payouts, shunning the paylines that are the industry norm and instead paying out based on symbol clusters. In essence, every grouping of nine or more symbols means a win. In addition, the reels arrangement is larger than standard, being 5x6 reels and rows rather than the typical 5x3.
Free spins can be won courtesy of the free spins scatter, a stamp symbol that provides nine free spins for three symbols, and 12 free spins for six. One of the top icons to watch out for is the question mark substitution symbol, which can stand in for almost any other symbol (excepting the free spins scatter). The three colours of tiki symbols are the most lucrative to show up on the reels, with a 30x or 50x payout for red (depending whether nine or 10 appear) and 20x or 30x for green and blue. The stake range is from 1p to £200, making Aloha! Cluster suitable for those who prefer dinky wagers and players with deep pockets alike. Sticky wild respins have good potential for winning real money and the sound effects enhance the summery atmosphere - resulting in the best possible gaming experience. The RTP (return to player) is an above average 96.42%, making this a vibrant and fun game that gives players the best chance of coming out with some profits.
Spinions Beach Party is another vacation-themed slot, this time by software developer Quickspin. There are 5 reels and 25 paylines, which is fairly standard, but the game deviates from the norm with the art style and theme, which features the goofy spinions of the title. They might just ring a bell when considering certain super popular film characters (although some parents might be less enthralled with the inspiration behind the spinions). The tropical beach backdrop comes with both standard symbols (10 to A) and some more on-theme icons (various cocktails, champagne, and the spinion).
One way of another, spinions will drive you wild, whether that's because you find them irksome or because you benefit from their function as the wild symbol. Whenever one shows up it can fill in for another symbol, increasing the chances of a winning combination. Better yet, if a pair make an appearance then they act as sticky wilds during a free respin. This respinning will continue so long as more spinions appear, stopping only when this ends, and can mean you rack up a very tasty win indeed.
Not every icon can be substituted by the spinion, however. The Bonus Club scatter icon is exempt. If you get a trio of this symbol then a generous 10 free spins will be gifted to you and wilds that show up during this feature are automatically sticky. Spinions Beach party is silly and fun, best for those who like bonus features to sit alongside an air of daft distraction.
Sunny Shores, by Yggdrasil Gaming, features a tropical background of a waterfall and palm tree on the beach, but has an altogether more innovative feature to spice up the slot's gameplay mechanics and unique theme to keep players interested. This vacation-themed slot features a square setup of reels, which form a 5x5 arrangement, and 27 fixed bet paylines. Stake sizes can vary from $0.10 at the bottom end through to $125 per spin for big spenders, and there's a return to player of 96.2%, which is pretty good.
The Sunny Wild is the game's special symbol, and unlocks a number of unorthodox potential features. The Sunny Wild can replace any other symbol, so if it shows up there's a great chance of forming a winning combination. Not only that, there's a chance of any given Sunny Wild expanding in all four directions. Plus, should this happen, players can take advantage of a free respin (the Sunny Wilds becoming sticky) and providing a great opportunity for a big win.
The art style is bright and quite cartoony, with fruit aplenty on the reels (excepting the Sunny Wild). The maximum win is 40,500 times your stake. While there aren't a huge number of features, the one special gameplay mechanic is very generous and offers a significant chance of winning a substantial sum. It is best for those who like games that are simple, bright, and fun, with a little twist on top, Sunny Shores by Yggdrasil is well worth a look this summer, and is a slot that can often be played with no deposit necessary.
Visit a tropical island for a spin with Spina Colada, a tropically vacation-themed slot game from Yggdrasil Gaming. Fruit cocktails are the order of the day on the reels, and the arrangement of them is a standard 5x3 setup, with 25 paylines. There's an especially broad range of accepted stakes with this slot, from 10c for those who prefer wagering smaller sums all the way up to $125 per spin if you've got plenty of cash to splash. The RTP (return to player) is a pretty good 96.3%.
There's a nice little extra to any winning combination of three or more symbols. In addition to making some money on that, the winning icons are then frozen in place and a re-spin is triggered. If another of the same symbol makes an appearance then you get another re-spin, up until the point at which this stops. Better yet, if you can fill a column you'll get a multiplier to your win (from 2x to 5x). Yggdrasil have also included quite a few other little bonuses for players with this game. One that's randomly triggered is the 2nd Chance feature, guaranteeing a three symbol win by placing one or two winning symbols on the reels. The Extra Wilds bonus puts one extra wild on the second and third reels, again guaranteeing a win. Meanwhile, the Full Line Feature adds a quintet of the same symbol to a payline, ensuring a five symbol win.
Even better is the Guaranteed Win gameplay mechanic, which sees players have endless spins until a win is achieved, and when that happens the winnings are at least tripled (if this coincides with the frozen special feature mentioned earlier that can jack the multiplier all the way to 15x). And four free spins will be awarded to the player the fourth time any of the special features appear (these can be easily tracked on the boards at either side of the reels). All in all, Spina Colada has a plethora of special features that can make it one of the best vacation free slots to play.
Microgaming is one of the best software developers in the online betting industry and, like Cliff Richard, they're a big fan of a Summer Holiday, as proven by their slot of the same name. This vacation-themed slot is set upon the picturesque location of a pleasant lake, complete with mountainous background and a blue sky undisturbed by a single cloud, it's a serene theme for spinning reels. There are five reels and four rows, and an impressive 100 different paylines to maximize the chance of any given spin turning into a win.
The stake range is smaller than many other summer holiday slots on this list, from 1.00 at the lowest threshold up to a maximum bet of 10. Those who prefer to wager wodges of cash might, therefore, prefer alternative games. Free spins come with at least three of the scattered duck symbols, which award players 15 free spins (get more ducks quacking your way and you can win 20 or even 25 free spins). The free spins are accompanied by a change to the backdrop, and a musical shift to guitar and drums. Better yet, wins achieved during free spins are tripled, maximizing your chances of a big win. Symbols other than the duck have a similar summery theme such as a pedalo, dogs having frisbee fun, and so on.
The Summer Holiday logo is the top symbol for payouts, with 750x your bet should five of them show up on a payline. It's a wild, substituting for every other symbol except the ducks. Other high paying icons involve family symbols such as a couple in a pedalo, and families fishing or cycling. One interesting feature occurs when free spins end and the player gets to pick a prize. The best part? You can take your winnings, play the free spins once more in the hope of a better payout, or take a risk and gamble it on a mystery prize, which might be significantly more than your initial winnings. It's a bright and breezy slot with some nice little extra gameplay mechanics.
Easter Island 2 is the sequel to a popular vacation-themed slot release by Yggdrasil Gaming, with a pair of giant Moai statue heads flanking the reels which are set up in an unusual 6x4 format. The paylines are also a little bit different, starting off at 25 but rising up to 55 if the game area expands and everything goes perfectly. The maximum payout is 2,500x and the stake range is enormous, from 25c to $300. And there's an array of special features too.
If players are lucky enough to get a six symbol winning combination then the game area increases and a respin is awarded for the new 6x8 reel setup (with the aforementioned 55 active paylines). Every winning spin will activate a single free respin, and if your winning symbol is low value then all low value icons change to the winning symbol. The Colossal Blocks feature is another innovative extra, and occurs when winning combinations of four to six symbols happen. Get a four symbol win and the blocks are 2x2, with 3x3 and 4x4 blocks for more symbols. As with some other games on this list, the extra bonus features help to keep things unpredictable and can pave the way to some tasty wins. And the Colossal Blocks can even gift you 4x4 wilds, which isn't too shabby. Like most modern day slots, Easter Island 2 is fully functional with mobile devices best suited for those who like to play on the go.
That brings us to the end of our top 7 best vacation-themed free slots you need to play. Best of luck if you decide to give them a spin for yourself.