Game developers around the globe are always looking for fresh sources of inspiration. That's why the fantasy worlds of online pokies may take place in fairy tale valleys, zany outer space craft, mad laboratories or even just in good ol' farmyards. Another theme that's growing in popularity is closer to home for many players: the grit and grime of the inner city. This setting can provide a rough, tough atmosphere in which the goal of securing a reward can be a challenge we all relate to. Here are some of the most vivid and entertaining inner-city pokies being enjoyed at Wheelz.
City at night
The first rule of city pokies is that they're dark. Not just night time darkness, but perpetual shadow. This is the perfect setting for graphic novel-style scenes that tilt between shadow and light: chiaroscuro. One of the most masterful pokies developers in this genre is Nolimit City. Their games are populated by hoodlums, gangsters, sultry seductresses, mangy cats, drooling guard dogs and endless rats. Check out games like Rock Bottom or Walk of Shame and you immediately feel like you're in the underbelly of the city. Another of theirs is Punk Rocker, where graffiti and loud music form the backdrop and soundtrack to a fantastic game where Free Spins, respins, multipliers and xWays Mystery Symbols can shake up the entire game.
Coming to an alleyway near you
The other game provider that seems to revel in this energy is Hacksaw Gaming. If you look at titles like Chaos Crew or the zombie fairground of Rotten you immediately get the mood... Their Victorian-era game The Bowery Boys is another title loaded with city streets menace. You could also try the more whimsical game Outlaws Inc in which strange helmeted animals rule the roost. A special mention should be made of their game Warrior Ways, set in a strange neon city, possibly in Japan, where colourful clans do battle across the reels. For a completely mad game that combines a cartoon feel with a cityscape in which arch rivals do a cat-and-mouse battle, R.I.P. City is a fantastic game.
Lit up in neon
If you slip out of the shadows and into the neon lights of the city streets, it feels a little less menacing. You get plenty of urban energy but you get to escape with your life! Try a simple dayglo fruits slot like Neon City, for example: it's all about the fun. Steampunk Big City from BF Games adds plenty of class (and glittering jewels), along with a chance to win a decent hoard for yourself, while The Rave takes you to a secret spot where shiny, happy people live to party and you get your own invitation to join in! After all that fun, you may be hungry, but watch out, if you go to Penguin City there's a slightly deranged penguin chef on the loose. A safer bet might be Microgaming's Bushi Sushi or the wacky title Pizza! Pizza? Pizza! from Pragmatic Play that invites you to see if you can win a share of the dough. Still hungry? Then the dubious burgers in the game Royale With Cheese might be more your style, even though they claim to be made with "40% meat". Everyone loves a good burger!
Hustle, hustle, hustle
Every city needs a financial district, and you may need somewhere to bank your huge wins, if you're lucky enough to secure them. Take a look at some of these city institutions to see if they suit your style: Wilds of Wall Street is a good place to start, even though the stock market can be volatile, but if you lack the patience to wait for the bank to open, you may be tempted to Break Da Bank Again. Just make sure you don't get bust, because you could find yourself in the slightly-terrifying Folsom Prison.
Had enough of the big, bad city? Maybe try out Wazdan's Beach Party for a change of scenery and enjoy the waves gently lapping against the sand while you sip on a drink with an umbrella in it.