Slot machines have come a long way from the days when our ancestors had to go to a saloon and load up coins into a rickety old machine that was operated by a lever at the side. The evolution of this much-loved game which later became prevalent in every casino in the land is one of the most astonishing in gaming history. The slot machine has gone through a number of different iterations, from the one-armed bandits of yesteryear, to the flashing fruit machines with numerous features, to the online video slots we play today. And the journey is far from finished; the developers of these games are set to innovate even further.
Although video slots don’t yet provide the same detailed and immersive experiences as some open-world console games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild for instance, there are a number of advantages to playing the games which dominate the online casino world. One factor is that there tends to be a slot theme to suit everyone’s tastes. Looking at sites like Guts.com, the right place for online casino games, there seems to be no limit to what the games can be based on, from movies like Jurassic World, to fairy tales like Goldilocks, to sports such as football and basketball.
Fans of shows like Game of Thrones often complain about the lack of games available for them to play so that they can enjoy their favourite characters in a different way, but those fans can go to online casinos like 32Red and see that there is a GoT-themed slot ready and waiting for them. It seems to be much easier for famous franchises to get their names out in slot game format than it is for them to be translated into console games. An example of this is the fact that there are precious few games for the PS4 based on the Marvel cinematic universe, but in the past there were numerous slots developed by Playtech.
Another way in which slot game developers are seeking to improve is in the side games and features offered. On the machines of old the aim of the game was purely to spin the reels and hope to land matching symbols in order to win money. Now, players still have to spin the reels and match symbols, but they are also hoping to land icons that trigger special features. One fairly recent aspect is the progressive jackpot, which builds up over time from all the players playing that particular game. Getting lucky and landing one of these jackpots can provide life-changing riches. Just ask the Jobcentre worker who once bagged a whopping £5.9 million jackpot from a 30p stake.
Some of the side features available are becoming more intricate as well. On certain games, landing a set of symbols will activate a separate mini-game which takes place on a different screen away from the main reels. An example of this is in the Incredible Hulk slot, which features a side game in which players have to smash cars and helicopters in an effort to win cash prizes.
With virtual reality aspects slowly trickling into mainstream games, it seems logical to expect that the next development for video slots would be to incorporate some VR elements. There is certainly scope to create some interesting and immersive side games using this technology. Perhaps if more skill were involved, such as shooting targets rather than having them selected by chance, fans of other game genres would be more tempted to play the gambling games.