Players welcome new game providers with open arms for a reason. Even though there already are a ton of them out there and with a crazy amount of games on the market, fresh blood is always needed.
Feel the Pressure
As new providers enter the market trying to make a name for themselves, they also put pressure on the existing ones which is great for us. It’s easy to sit back and relax once you’ve established yourself in the business but these days you need to be on your toes, especially creatively.
Push the Boundaries
Adding unique new features is one way of buying yourself some time towards your competition and over the years, game providers have tried to find ways to push the boundaries and come up with something others don’t have.
Not only do special features make your gameplay more exciting, it also solidifies your return to that particular provider, should you enjoy it. After all, playing online is entertaining but at the end of the day you are there to win and win big! If there’s a provider out there that can boost your chances of winning, trust me, players will come out of the woodworks to play your games.
Creative solutions like Megaways, Cascading Reels and Hold & Win are highly popular features in the casino world and I will take a closer look at them today.
However, I will begin by diving into volatility and Wazdan’s ability to open it up for all of us to enjoy.
Volatility Levels – Wazdan
We all have our preferences when it comes to slot volatility. Some prefer a low volatility where wins will come more often but will be smaller. Then there’s medium volatility where the hit rate vs payout ratio is set to a medium level. Left is high volatility.
High Volatility means that wins may come along more seldom but the ones that do can be a lot bigger, even huge!
Larry the Leprechaun – Volatility Levels at mBit
Leave It to the Players
Wazdan decided to leave the decision up to the player and you can now find the trademarked feature “Volatility Levels,” in all Wazdan games.
This special feature allows the player to switch between volatility levels between each spin. The fact that you can pick and choose between volatility means the games will appeal to a much wider audience, which is a smart move. I definitely enjoy making my own decisions so you have my stamp of approval, Wazdan!
Cascading Reels – NetEnt
Who can forget Gonzo and his relentless quest for the shiny gold in Eldorado. But did you know that Gonzo’s Quest was the first game with the Cascading Reels feature? You’ll have to go all the way back to 2010 when NetEnt released the popular game.
Gonzo’s Quest – Cascading Reels at Cloudbet
Keep On Winning
The point of Cascading Reels is that you can continue winning on the same spin without having to place another bet and spin again. All symbols involved in a winning combination are removed and new symbols will take their place. As long as new wins are created with the new symbols, you can keep winning even more on the same spin.
Gonzo was the first but these days multiple providers are using it, just under different names like Tumbling Reels, Falling Reels, Avalanche Wins etc.
Examples of games with Cascading Reels are Gonzo’s Quest from NetEnt, Reactoonz from Play’n GO and Esqueleto Explosivo 2 by Thunderkick. I really like all these games and I’ve played them at 7bit Casino, Cloudbet and Wild Tornado.
Esqueleto Explosivo 2 at 7bit Casino
Megaways – Big Time Gaming
If you scroll through the games at any casino, it would surprise me if you didn’t see at least a few Megaways games. Big Time Gaming brought it to the world in 2015 when Dragon Born Megaways was released and the interest for Megaways has really taken off since.
Scrooge Megaways at BitStarz
A Unique Way of Playing Slots
The feature itself offers an entirely unique way of playing slots and is all about randomly expanding the number of paylines to the max.
A normal Megaways slot will have around 6 reels that are anywhere from 3 up to 7 rows deep. Every spin will give you a random number of symbols which leads to the number of paylines changing every single time.
Megaways will help you play with as many as 117,649 paylines, which is nuts. However, there are games with an even higher number. For example, Big Time Gaming’s White Rabbit has a bonus game with 248,832 ways to win. BTG also has Holy Diver where it maxes out at 576,981.
Hold & Win – Relax Gaming
The Hold & Win games happen to be one of my personal favorites. Hold & Win slots are some of the more popular games at the moment and new ones keep popping up all the time.
It was Relax Gaming’s Money Cart that first started with Hold & Win but it wasn’t until its sequel came out in 2019 that it really took off. Maybe this is the reason why I like Money Cart 2 so much because that game is all about the fun bonus round.
Money Cart 2 at BitStarz
The More the Merrier
Relax Gaming may have been first but today you will find similar styles from most major providers, including Booongo, Playson and Booming Games.
Hold & Win bonus games often include several jackpots. You’ve probably seen the ones with Mini, Major and Grand jackpots? For some reason, the sun seems to be a popular choice in terms of symbols.
Reset the Count to 3
When triggered, the bonus round allows you to have 3 re-spins and as soon as you land another symbol, the count will reset to 3. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought it was all over just to be saved by the last spin and I got to live another day (or spin rather) while continuing with my collection of prizes.
If you can land a jackpot or fill up the entire grid, you are looking at a nice payday!
Colossus at Wild Tornado
Right There in Front of You
The fact is that one of the reasons why players like these games so much is that you can clearly see what you are about to win. The more symbols you manage to collect, the more exciting it gets. Whether it is a cash value or multipliers attached to the symbols, it’s right there in front of you and players, including myself, do like it.
Examples of games are Thunder of Olympus Hold and Win, Aztec Sun Hold and Win, 15 Dragon Pearls Hold and Win. All these games come from Booongo.
15 Dragon Pearls Hold and Win at FortuneJack
That’s All, Folks
Clearly these are only a few of all the great stuff that’s out there. Maybe I’ll take a look at some of the others another day but for now I hope you manage to get some understanding as well as inspiration from the ones in this article.