The Dark KnightThe Dark KnightIn a rare move, Microgaming will be removing the Lord of the Rings slot and replacing it with The Dark Knight on June 28th, 2012. This is the first time that Microgaming has ever removed a slot, and I’m guessing it is due to licensing costs and/or possible disagreements with the licensee.

The Lord of the Rings slot was also changed last year to add progressive jackpots, which is the first time a Microgaming slot has ever been changed.

They normally release another version of a slot with progressives added, and they have done so with several different slots, adding the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot which is linked to all Microgaming casinos. I’m sure it had something to do with the license agreement as well.

I enjoyed the LOTR slot when it first came out, but when they added the jackpots, they also changed the free spins bonus feature and made it harder to hit a big win. I still played it once in a while, but mainly because I’m a big fan of the books and movies.

Microgaming was also planning on releasing slots based on the other Lord of the Rings movies (this slot was based on Fellowship of the Ring), but I’m assuming that is no longer going to happen. With “The Dark Night Rises” coming out soon, we may see another slot from Microgaming based on that movie.

The Dark Knight is quite similar to LOTR, and at first glance I thought they simply replaced the symbols and other images with Batman themed images. The paytable in The Dark Knight looks better, which is one thing I didn’t like about the LOTR slot from the beginning, I always thought it was quite cheap. It also doesn’t seem to have the “Cinematic Spins” which had clips from the Lord of the Rings movie playing in the background when the reels were spinning.

The Mega Moolah progressive jackpots are available on The Dark Knight which has a minimum top prize of a million dollars. Other similarities include stacked wilds, a free spins feature with 15 free spins starting at a x2 multiplier, and the Batman or Joker feature which is similar to the Gollum feature on LOTR. Batman or the Joker can appear at any time during regular and free spins to award you with a random prize, including increasing the multiplier of your free spins, holding a reel that’s stacked with wilds and giving you a free spin, or giving you cash prizes.

Other than the improved paytable and lack of movie clips in the background, it is basically the same slot. Since the Lord of the Rings slot was so unique, there really was no point throwing those features out and starting from scratch, so I don’t blame them keeping most of it the same.

I am quite glad they improved the paytable, and I am looking forward to trying this slot when it is released.

You will be able to play The Dark Knight on June 28th, 2012 at any of these Microgaming casinos.

Update: I guess I was mistaken, it is pretty much the exact same game as the LOTR slot. The only difference I noticed was with the Batman or Joker feature – Batman adds wilds to the reels, either full reels or single wilds in different spots. Gollum never added wilds to the reels. Other than that, it does have the Cinematic Spins, and the paytable is basically the same as far as I can tell.

That being said, I gave it a shot and enjoyed it. I seemed to get more playtime out of it than I did with the LOTR slot, and I’ve spun the reels over 1000 times on The Dark Knight so far.

Screenshots (click to enlarge)
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