Slot machines were invented over a century ago, gradually featuring more intricate mechanisms, flashy looks, and compelling play options, but it was the internet that took online slots to a completely new level. How have slot games changed as they entered cyberspace, why were those innovations required, and what other changes can players and casino owners expect?
Online slot games made their debut nearly a hundred years after the original Liberty Bell slot that started it all. At first those web slots were the clones of Las Vegas slots. The creators of the first web slots were so resolved to maintain the original format and feel that they practically copy-pasted the boxy look to our computer screen. The pragmatic design limitations derived from mechanical necessity of non-virtual casino slots surpassingly impinged on the artistic freedom and flair that web design tools could have provided for those pioneering slots online.
Granted, perhaps too ingenious designs might have alienated the traditional players, however it is bold creative approach that sets internet casinos far apart from land based casinos when it comes to slot machines. After a somewhat dull start it seemed that casino designers were ready to march the new market of players to the twenty first century. The one-arm bandit lost its famous limb for stylized buttons and the traditional box frame made way for interesting 3D settings with unconventional inventions. Examples of exciting slots that demonstrate what it means to think outside the box are CasinoLux.com’s funny Eureka! designed as a mad scientist’s lab or the picturesque Faerie Tale slot themed as a magical forest where the symbols burst out of petals in charming animation. More good examples can be found at Money-Casino.com such as the nostalgic Drive In Slots where the symbols are projected on movie screens, or the horror film inspired Haunted Slots set in a grim cemetery and rising specters from the grave instead of spinning the old fruit reels.
A designer with a more traditional approach may wonder what’s so great about slot games that at a first glance don’t look like slots at all? Well, the human eye is hungry for surprise and novelty. That’s how it was back in 1895 when the first slot was the last scream, and it’s the same now. So how can we expect the twenty first century player – so accustomed to fast computer games and constantly bombarded with fascinating visual stimulation- to settle for the old routine? The internet had injected new blood to the industry – it created the largest market ever by reaching people who never had access to land based casinos before. On the other hand, there are so many online casinos out there. Table games can’t be visually modified too much, and therefore look quite similar in different casino softwares. Imaginative slots will keep a casino remembered. Fresh look and approach are worth a thousand banner ads.
The visuals must accompany lucrative rewards. Twenty first century slot games, or video slots as they are sometimes called to distinguish them from classic slots, sport a remarkable range of bonus features that leave the monotony of their ancestors light years behind: in addition to wild symbols and scatter pay, computer technology enables to create games within games, double-your-win bets, bonus rounds, and more. Variation options are practically infinite, and the visual effect combined with play experience is astonishing.
Other than superior visuals and engaging play features the thing that make online slot games better than land based casino slot machines is that they offer the ability to play for practice at the comfort of the player’s home – free slots allow players to study the slot machine of their choice and see for themselves if it’s loose or tight. A large selection of slots, or fruit machines as the British call them, guarantees longer play time as players are often eager to try out the different games and designs, always looking for innovative ideas.
A reliable indicator to the growing popularity of online slots among old-timers and novice gamers alike is that the computerization of slots has also spurred the development of niche literature. The players preoccupation with slots is evident from numerous Google searches for slots rules and basic online slots guides as can be found at the increasing number of best-selling gambling strategy books along with online ebooks and ezines exclusively dedicated to slot games. Of course we must not forget the liveliest features of the Internet – forums, message boards, and communities – featuring vivid discussions of the latest and greatest slots online, updates on new slot machines, slot recommendations and warnings.
What does the future hold for this engaging game? My guess is that slots will keep on sub-dividing to genres. Casino’s game suites will have to cater to the customer’s thirst for diversity. Traditional classic slots (usually refers to single-reel slots, or 3-reel 1-line slots) will always be here, but we will see new takes on the 1-liners in forms of bonus features. Multiline slots will keep on breeding new lines – they even make 100-line slots now with a huge 5,000 max bet. As skill games becoming quite a riot I believe that casino software developers will offer a new type of slots that will feature more intricate inner games and gambling options that leave room for decision making, aesthetically inspired by quest games, or even combat games. Whichever new face this game may take it will undoubtedly remain one the most popular gambling games in the world.