A change in the style of slot gaming?
Normally we wait until the end of the year to review the biggest changes in slots, but this has been such a busy summer for slot releases that now may be the right time. We’ve seen so many new features in slots, plenty of which have appeared in various titles spanning several developers. There certainly appears to be a change in the wind, but just which features are becoming more popular and what are they replacing? In this article, we’ll take a look at four features which have really stood out this summer, and see why they may be commonplace over the next year or so.
Level up features
Level Up features are becoming more and more popular to find in slot machine games. Originally, these only cropped up in fantasy themed slots, as developers tried to find a way to duplicate the XP in RPG (role-playing games) which the slots were based on. However, the Level Up feature has proven so popular that it has now found its way into many new slots, particular those from IGT. If you aren’t in the know, Level Up features basically allow you to improve the quality of your features and bonus rounds, by bagging specific points, having a good run on the game, or by collecting articles whilst spinning the reels of the game.
Paying for special bonuses
Normally, if a slot has 30 paylines, we would expect to find a minimum wager of 0.30 per spin, not 0.50 per spin. As it is, many new slot machine games are actually charging us more than the number of lines per spin, and we’re not talking about the 243 ways to win games here. We’re talking about standard 20 – 50 line slots. What is happening? Well, as special features are becoming more complex, developers are charging us extra for access to them. This is not on at all. After all, you have no guarantee of triggering features, but you certainly are going to have to pay extra. We’re not fond of this change. Sadly, the number of 243 ways to win slots seems to be dropping, too, with developers such as Microgaming favouring 15-30 line slots of late.
Re-spins, not free spins
Another major shift in new slots this year was the re-spin feature. Many top new slots have scrapped free spin features, and replaced them with re-spins. Re-spins are far easier to trigger (such as by landing consecutive wins), though they are often not as prosperous as a free spins bonus. There are arguments for and against on both sides, so if this trend does indeed continue, whether it is a good thing or not really depends on preference.
Multi-functioning wild symbols
And finally, what about these new wilds we keep seeing. This year has been the year for multi-functioning wild symbols. In short, wild symbols which also trigger free spins and multipliers, and count as scatters. What is the point of these? Well, they negate the need for scatter and bonus icons. The fewer bonus symbols on the reels, the less chance they have of interfering with your standard winning combinations. By having wilds act as bonus symbols, too, you cut down on the chance that a bonus icon will pop up on a reel, and deny you a win by taking the place of a good paying symbol. This certainly appears to be a good thing, so the more multi-purpose wilds we see in slots, the better. Again, this one may be down to preference, but at least that is how we feel about this issue.