Elk Studios
Elk studios are a very new slot software house, having been formed in 2012. Their objective is to take the mobile casino experience to the next level. This has been demonstrated in their first 3 slot releases, which are mobile-first designs and very innovative in terms of both graphics and game-play.

With only 3 titles released so far, it is difficult to make big generalizations about how things will develop for Elk Studios. The graphics and general setup of the slots is excellent. What stands out is that the ‘old rules’ are not constraining the development ideas from this software house. A great example is the football themed ‘Champions Goal’, which has different ‘teams’ of symbols playing from different directions on the reels.

Company History
There is not too much to say about the company at the moment. They are based in Sweden, got started in 2012 and are actively recruiting software, design and project talent. I’ll look forward to seeing announcements of licensing deals and tie-ins with major casino brands in the near future.
Innovations from Elk Studios
Older slot designs are based on the cabinets that live titles are housed in. People are used to seeing a frame around the reels, with buttons below and a logo / graphic above – and so this is how the first online slots looked too. Of course, there is no particular reason to keep this design, and Elk Studios have already done things differently. The old frame has largely been dispensed with, with a more tiled / floating design instead. The betting buttons are hidden behind mobile friendly menus too – and no longer take up space on your device.

There are also innovations in the game-play. One example is that you can employ different betting strategies (flat / increase after win and so on) at the click of a button. There are also sequences in which unusual things happen on the reels. Examples include the movement of entire reels in the bonus round of ‘The Lab’ and the free kick in Champions Goal.

Even though there are only 3 titles at the moment, it is apparent that Elk Studios are looking to stand out from the crowd, in terms of mobile-first development and not being constrained by the old rules.

Best Slots from Elk Studios
It does not get any easier than this for picking the best 3 slots for a software house – Elk currently only have 3 titles to choose from. Fortunately, all of them are excellent.

#1 – Electric Sam: You would not guess it from the title, though this slot is themed on a family of trolls which run an electric casino in a forest. The design is amazing, with neon fruit symbols and friendly green trolls. The three trolls come into their own during the free spins round, adding wilds, multipliers or exploding the symbols.

#2 – Champions Goal: There are several innovations in one here. First the 2-way play, with the blue team playing from left to right, and red team from right to left. There are ‘free kicks’ on the reels too, where a ball wipes out a row of symbols, leading to more falling into place with a 5x win multiplier.

#3 – The Lab: Completing the current line-up is an innovative slot based on chemical elements. The design of this game is amazing, with plenty of neon shading and space backdrop.  The first 2 reels slide across to occupy reels 3 to 5 when the free spins game triggers. This generates plenty of additional wins, and new symbols can extend the bonus for a long time too.

Conclusion
This type of software house is exactly what the slots industry needs to push things forward at the moment. Focusing on mobile devices, their games are innovative – and largely unconstrained by the old rules. While there are only 3 titles at the time of writing, each of these is visually impressive and includes game-play innovations which make them worth checking out.

I expect to see some good things coming from Elk, and look forward to trying out their next releases.