Slots: Are They Still Evolving?
There are thousands of different slots online and, for those of you so inclined, even more to find in brick-and-mortar establishments out in the world. However, the best part of slots, and the reason they’re the Western world’s favourite casino game, can sometimes be the game’s biggest weakness. This is because slots can seem like unchangeable, rigid things, with artwork serving as the only major difference from one game to another.
That isn’t a bad thing. The simplicity of slots isn’t something that anybody wants to go away. There’s no denying that truly unique games aren’t always easy to find, though. Nevertheless, plenty of developers do experiment with the classic formula, whether that’s in the form of new bonus rounds and themes or rejigging the reels until they’re barely recognisable as a slots game.
We’ve all heard of skill-based slots, but their appeal seems to have been more gimmick-based than something with any staying power. Even branding them with the names of classic video games, like Arkanoid, a ‘slot’ that mixes block-breaking with random number generation, hasn’t helped this new form of entertainment gain any traction among online casinos.
Of course, that might be the point. Skill-oriented games are usually sold as arcade-style cabinets that take up casino real estate. Branded with franchises like Bust-a-Move, Missile Command, and Asteroids, it’s easy to see why. It’s hard to find any reason why these experiences wouldn’t work on mobiles and computers (other than removing their obvious novelty) but, to date, developers seem content to keep skill games off the web. It’s a shame, but not something that’s likely to change anytime soon.
So, where are unique slots to be found? While it’s not a common practice, plenty of operators have their own catalogue of exclusive games. Under its Original brand, Buzz Bingo has almost fifty titles that can’t be found anywhere else. These include bingo slots such as 90 Bingo Million and regular slots like Candy Burst, Wacky Waves, and Lumberjack Cash. Such an original offering allows the brand to stand out from the market and keeps the player’s experience interesting.
The main source of interesting slots is arguably the developers themselves, though. Visiting their respective web pages reveals that Blueprint Gaming is pushing its 6×4 to 6×6 Viking Fall game, which mixes several mechanics, including cascading reels and variable paylines. Nolimit City, on the other hand, seems to be sticking with a proven theme. Its True Grit Redemption slot is another Wild West title.
Many of the newest slots out there seem to be poking at the basics of the game without really changing much at all. For instance, Viking Fall’s maximum 6×6 gameboard is quite unusual, but it’s hardly breaking any moulds. Of course, the trend for adding bonus rounds on top of bonus rounds is still a popular one but it can sometimes detract from the pick-up-and-play nature of slots games.
Overall, slots are still a healthy entertainment medium, but it’s debatable whether these games benefit from the same kind of testing and tweaking that regular video games do.