The Games Behind The Games

Whether you were the proud owner of an Atari, a Commodore 64, a ZX Spectrum, one of the first Sega Megadrives or Super Nintendos, or a Sony Playstation, you’re sure to recognise some of the most popular computer games that have inspired 21st-century video slots like Tomb Raider, Tetris, and Star Raiders.

For those of you who are old enough to remember the original computer games, these online slots give you the chance to take a stroll down memory lane while also potentially playing for exciting cash prizes. And, for those who were born later, there’s the opportunity to discover some exciting old-school classics.

Video games in slots

For today’s slots manufacturers, it’s incredibly important to keep up with the latest trends and newly emerging technologies. Sometimes, this is evident in exciting new features and functions, 3D graphics, cinematic sound effects, and level or skill-based gameplay.

However, some software developers believe that by combining tried-and-tested themes with special bonus features, players get to enjoy the best of both worlds. And, aside from TV shows and movies, one of the most successful genres that these developers have started using is video games.

Some slots are named directly after the games that inspired them while others pay homage in a subtler way.

Those that stay true to their namesakes often aim to look and play as similarly as the original games as possible. For example, a slot based on a 1980s video game looks far more authentic with 8-bit graphics than 3D graphics. The distinct styles and unique characters of each video game can also help slot manufacturers to market their games to a much wider audience.

Below, we’ve listed some of our favourite slot machines that are based on popular video games.

Street Fighter II

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, no self-respecting video gamer could be seen without a copy of Street Fighter.

The Street Fighter franchise was created by Capcom and was an instant success that lives on to this day.

Recently, NetEnt released its Street Fighter II: The World Warrior slot which bears the same name as one of the most popular Capcom video games. As well as allowing players to battle against their favourite characters such as Ken, Ryu, Chun-Li, and Guile, it also includes boss fights, free spins, and wild modifiers. The locations for the fights are even taken from the original video game so that players can block, kick, and punch their way around Thailand, Brazil, and China.

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft first appeared in 1994 when a UK game development studio called Core Design began work on its first Tomb Raider video game.

Its heroine is instantly recognisable and is often praised for pioneering female characters in video games.

As well as inspiring several Hollywood movies, Tomb Raider is the first video game-based slot that was released by Microgaming, and thanks to its instant success, it’s since been followed up by the sequel slots, Secret of the Sword and Temples and Tombs.

King Kong Cash

Back in the 1980s, there was one particular video game that we couldn’t get enough of.

Donkey Kong was released by Nintendo in 1981 and it uses the platform game genre.

Its star was a gorilla who lived with his family in a remarkably human environment deep in the jungle. He often sported clothes and hats, particularly in some of Nintendo’s later Donkey Kong releases. If you take a look at Blueprint Gaming’s King Kong Cash, you notice that the humorous characteristics of Blueprint’s gorilla are very similar to those of Donkey Kong.

Star Raiders

Star Raiders was one of Atari’s earlier video game release. It was a first-person space combat simulator that used 8-bit graphics, and it was launched in 1979.

It became one of the most sought-after video games of the 80s and is cited as being the inspiration behind the likes of Wing Commander, Elite, and Star Wars: X-Wing. Thanks to Pariplay, you can enjoy an out-of-this-world playing experience with the Atari Star Raiders slots. It uses 5 reels and 20 paylines and offers 243 ways to win in its Red Alert Battle Mode feature.

Even the famous blue grid from the original video game has been replicated in Pariplay’s slot.


Who’d have thought that simple building blocks could be so much fun? Of course, we’re talking about Tetris – the hit video game that was created by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984.

This fast-paced title rewarded players for creating lines of matching blocks, but now, with Red 7’s Tetris Extreme slot, there’s the potential to win cash rather than just points. The graphics are true-to-form and the gameplay is just as exhilarating, but with the slot game, you have Cluster Pays mechanics, Line Clear Multipliers, free spins, and a Mega Drop Jackpot.

Gangsta City

If you’ve ever played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, you’ll notice plenty of similarities when you take the Gangsta City slot by PlayPearls for a spin.

The slot features gun-wielding gangsters, pretty girls, and cops, and gives you the chance to earn South Side Spins, a trip to Free Spins Town, engage in West Side Turf Wars, and benefit from Helicopter Wilds.

Neon Rush: Splitz

Tron was originally a sci-fi film that was released in 1982 and grossed $50 million. The very same year it was adapted as an arcade video game by Bally Midway – a company which now makes video slots!

The plot revolves around a computer programmer who gets transported into his computer and must interact with various programs as he attempts to escape.
The graphics in Yggdrasil Gaming’s Neon Rush: Splitz can also be likened to those that are used in Tron. For example, there are bright white and neon blue background images of futuristic cities and racing bikes that make you feel as though you’ve also been transported to a strange new world.

Mars Attacks

Blueprint Gaming’s Mars Attacks online slot is based on the video game of the same name (as well as the cult 1996 movie), the latter of which first surfaced in 1996 and came complete with toys.

In Blueprint’s slot, you also need to try and dodge alien invaders while simultaneously unlocking five bonus features and five randomly triggered base game modifiers. There are also unique special features to enjoy such as Roaming Robot wild reels and Big Money Boost.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning more about the classic computer games that continue to inspire many of the world’s leading software developers. And, remember, you can check out many of the slots we’ve mentioned in this article right here at Foxy Games taking a look at our online slots !