Grid Online Pokies in Australia
Grid pokies come in many different forms and the definition of what makes a grid slot isn’t quite as well defined as we like.
Loosely, these slots take the form of anything that isn’t a traditional reel-based game and favours tumbling symbols, much in the same way as the mobile game phenomenon, The Candy Crush Saga.
Grid pokies are typically much larger than the traditional 5×3 video slot with some of the largest grid options reaching a play area of 9×9. When the spin button is pressed in one of these games, instead of a number of reels spinning and a new series of symbols appearing, symbols will instead fall into a grid, creating cluster combinations to generate “paylines”.
These cluster paylines can come in several different forms, from vertical and horizontal lines of matching symbols to shapes and combinations of all different sizes. Once a combination is created, much like in the much-loved classic “Tetris”, the symbols disappear with the void left is filled with the above symbols as additional symbols fall to take their place and fill the grid.
This can occur an infinite number of times, depending on the pokie of choice, with cascading reels as one of the favourite features of the grid slot.
Best Grid Pokies
The grid pokie is a relatively new concept and not every software provider has managed to get the hang of creating an alternative to the tried-and-tested reel-based online pokies.
There’s a great selection of grid pokies out there, each with unique features that make them a joy to play. From the Quantum Leap charge meters of Reactooz to the one-of-a-kind grid system found in Magnetz, there are countless incredible offerings available – you just need to know where to look.
Below we’ve listed the best of the bunch with everything from the most popular games and well-known games in Reactoonz and Jammin Jars to lesser-known examples in Magnetz and Moon Princess.
Reactoonz (Play’N Go)
Released in 2017 by Play’NGo, Reactoonz proved one of the most successful pokies released by the software company, ultimately leading to the sequel, Reactoonz 2 (more on that later).
The slot comes with an outer space theme, focusing around friendly looking aliens across the enormous playing area. The graphics are great and the animations top-notch for a pokie, the game looks closer to a fun mobile game than it does a gambling tool.
The 7×7 grid slot gives a huge play area totalling 49 different symbols available to create a maximum win of 4,750x the original wager. Players work to build the Quantum Leap charge meters with each win adding an additional point to the meter. Once full, a randomly selected feature will be trigged for players to use.
With an average RTP of 96.51% and high volatility, Reactoonz is widely regarded as one of the best video slots ever to grace the web. Great for high rollers and those that enjoy a little bit of risk, there’s no wonder they released another!
Jammin Jars (Push Gaming)
Released in 2018 by Push Gaming, Jammin Jars is one of the current favourites in the Grid pokie library thanks to unrivalled enjoyment when spinning the slot.
The theme is fruit-based with symbols including apples, oranges, strawberries etc. and the game looks and plays fantastically. Some may say that the game is a little derivative with the infamous Candy Crush Saga influencing many of these new video slots but looking past that, the theme is great.
But it’s not all about how the game looks, it’s about how the game plays and Jammin Jars is hard to beat. There’s the chance to wager on a huge 8×8 grid with players battling with the game for maximum wins of 20,000x the original wager.
There’s a slightly above average RTP sitting at the 96.83% mark but with incredibly high volatility, it’s the players willing to sit for the longest with a dwindling bankroll that will ultimately get the most out of the slot.
Mahjong 88 (Play’NGo)
Released in 2019 by Play’NGo, Mahjong 88 is the reimagining of the 19th-century Chinese tile game of the same name.
Unsurprisingly, the theme follows that of its ancestor with players building paylines across a large 8×8 grid of traditional-looking Mahjong tiles. The pokie aims to combine the classic pastime with the modern entertainment of slot gaming and with plenty of features crammed into the game, we would say that they’ve succeeded.
There’s the chance for players to win up to 5,000x their original stake on each spin, or should we say shuffle, offering up some big wins in the game. It does take some getting used to, but the unique pokie is the favourite of many in the community.
There’s an RTP value of 96%, about the average for what we would expect from this type of pokie, and high volatility adding the opportunity for those big wins. Beware, this pokie isn’t one fo the faint-hearted and a good-sized bankroll is a good idea.
Reactoonz 2 (Play’NGo)
Thanks to the immense success of the original, Reactoonz 2, released in 2020 by Play’NGo picks up exactly where the last pokie left off.
The theme stays the same and players spend time in a slightly jazzier looking slot where they build combinations with aliens. The grid remains sized 7×7 with a total of 49 different symbol locations and although the newer version looks very similar, once looking for the differences it’s clear that a little more is on offer.
First up, the maximum win is increased from 4,750x the original wager to 5,083x, a noteworthy increase when volatility is the name of the game. RTP remains average with a slight decrease from 96.51% to 96.2% and volatility remains high, offering an incredibly fun and equally risky slot.
Electric wilds are required by players to charge the four-level Quantumeter but don’t worry – reading this for the first time didn’t make much sense to us either. Give it a go on demo mode to get to grips with it quickly, it’s one that you won’t regret!
Tiki Fruits (Red Tiger)
Released in 2018 by Red Tiger, Tiki Fruits was an instant hit, offering a fantastic playing experience in the grid-style of pokie.
There are no points for guessing the theme of this particular pokie as, just as the name suggests, players will find a selection of tiki fruits plastered over the reels. There are plenty of features found in the game and with a fun, colourful design, it’s bound to spark excitement in the eye of the player.
The size of the playing area is mega with a total of 8 reels and a whopping 10 rows in which players are able to build winning combinations. A maximum payout of 2,000x the original wager is up for grabs for the luckiest of players in the cluster pay game.
The RTP sits around the average value of 96.05% but the high volatility of the game adds a huge amount of excitement to the Tiki pokie. It’s a video slot that players need to have a healthy bankroll to commit to the reels, but the payouts are often huge when the wins finally come.
Released in 2021, Elemento is the 13th (unlucky for some) game from the lesser-known Fantasma brand (creators of Super Sumo, Flower Fortunes Megaways and more).
Elemento covers the theme of the four elements: earth, wind, water and fire and has clearly been inspired by Play’NGo’s Reactoonz series. The games look and feel similar with many players referring to Elemento as Reactoonz on steroids.
The pokie sure does have a lot to live up to, but with a large 7×7 play area, increased to 9×9 when including the bonus Element Area, the game is played on a huge scale. Additionally, there’s the chance for players to claim a mind-bending maximum win of 16,000x the original wager, Elemento has the numbers to back up the hype.
RTP sits at an average value of 96.33% with high volatility and hit rate of 44.25%, hinting that this, like many other grid slots, is one for those with the larger bankrolls. It’s one of the most exciting grid pokies that we’ve seen released in recent years.
Magnetz (Relax Gaming)
Released in 2020 by Relax Gaming, Magnetz offers one of the more interesting approaches taken when designing a grid pokie.
The theme is somewhat disjointed with an industrial/futuristic portrayal of a typical symbol-based game. It’s simple, but it works – we do think it’s going to be one of those games that players either love or hate.
The mechanics of the video slot are somewhat unique with players finding a total of four 3×4 reels to play the game on. Ultimately, this leads to a maximum win of up to 1,000x the original stake, not exactly mind-boggling, but definitely not something worth complaining about.
An RTP rated slightly above average at 96.66% in the high volatility pokie is sure to prick some ears and what the game may lack in large payouts is made up for in the payback to the players.
However, as you may have guessed, the high volatility means that those players with the smaller bankroll sizes may want to look for an alternative game – it’s the large bankroll long-haulers that will suit Magnetz the most.
Moon Princess (Play’NGo)
Released in 2017 by Play’N’Go, Moon Princess is one of the software providers first attempts at the grid-based pokie.
The theme is sure to be one to divide players with a Japanese Manga pokie, loosely inspired by the TV series Sailor Moon. The symbols are all in keeping with the theme with princesses, hearts and moons all featured across the reels.
Interestingly, the pokie is one of the smaller options available in the list with a play area of just 5×5 offering a maximum payout of 5,000x the original wager. It’s a large maximum payout and one that players will be hoping for thanks to the volatility of the slot.
The game is one that is notoriously tough with players noticing ultra-high volatility with the RTP of 96.2%, about the average for this type of video pokie. Again, it’s those with the larger bankrolls that will get the most enjoyment from the Manga-themed slot.
How Do Grid Online Pokies Compare With Others?
Online grid pokies are seen by many as the future of the online slot and with so many players looking to the typical grid when logging in to their online casino of choice, it’s a future we won’t be surprised to see.
The main difference between grid pokies and the traditional reel-based slot is the levels of excitement that come with them. Instead of a simple 3 or 5 reel video slot that has remained relatively untouched from that very first concept in 1894, the new “Candy Crush Saga” era of online slot gives a fresh approach with modern technology that players tend to really enjoy.
Volatility is a common sticking point for some players looking to enjoy grid pokies due to their high nature. This tends to limit the players of the grid slots to those with large bankrolls due to the associated risk. Despite this, the high volatility and excitement offered is also a large part of what drives the players to these grid-style slots.
On a much broader scale, it could be argued that these grid pokies feel much less like a typical video slot and much more like an enjoyable video game. The levels of interactivity offered by some of these games add a skill level to the slots and offer exciting alternatives to reel-based games. Mix that with the thrill of playing online pokies for real money and you got a winning concept!
The grid pokies are the future of the online slot world with new and interesting ways to win. That doesn’t mean that the traditional slot will be destined for the scrap pile, but it does allow for much more choice in the iGaming world.
Ryan, with an IT background and over 15 years in gaming, is AusCasinos' expert on pokies, providing insights into the latest slot technology and trends, guiding readers through the world of online slots.Read more about the author