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Slot experiments – Trying the unusual and unique

by Houston Johan

Online slots have come a long way since the classic fruit machines of old. Today’s slots offer a dazzling array of themes, bonuses, and special features that keep players entertained for hours on end. While many slots stick to tried and tested formulas, some game developers are not afraid to experiment with new and unique ideas.

Unconventional reel layouts

Slots feature a pretty standard 5×3 or 5×4 reel layouts. But some slot shake up this format in clever ways. For example, Big Time Gaming’s Bonanza Megaways slot pioneered the “Megaways” format which utilizes an ever-changing number of symbols per reel. This creates thousands of possible winning combinations on every spin. Other slots like IGT’s Diamond Queen feature a taller single reel stacked with symbols. Microgaming’s Playboy slot arranges its reels in a diamond formation instead of straight lines. By tinkering with the reel layout in ways, these slots create fresh new experiences for players.

Quirky themes 

Tired of the usual slot themes like fruits, gems, and leprechauns? Some game studios have crafted slots based on truly unconventional concepts. For instance, NetEnt’s Jimi Hendrix slot celebrates the psychedelic rock legend with 60s-inspired graphics and animations. The game also uses many of Hendrix’s most iconic riffs and solos. For horror fans, there’s the Plants vs Zombies slot by Blueprint Gaming which brings the quirky PopCap video game to the reels. And history buffs may get a kick out of Microgaming’s quaint Village People Macho Moves slot themed after the 70s disco icons. While odd, these imaginative themes help make the slots more engaging.

Innovative bonus rounds

Bonus rounds are a highlight of many slots. But some titles think outside the box when it comes to bonuses. Thunderkick’s Carnival Queen, for example, includes a shooting gallery bonus round using a first-person viewpoint rarely seen in slots. In the Willy Wonka-inspired Snooker Loopy slot by Mazooma, hitting the bonus triggers a fun game of snooker. The Rambo slot by iSoftBet incorporates movie clips and lets players fire weapons at enemies in its slick bonus stage. By utilizing interactive or even skill-based bonuses, these slots bring an arcade-like feel missing from more generic slots.

Unusual win conditions 

Slots just require landing matching symbols on a payline. But some feature unique win conditions that add complexity. Big Time Gaming’s Starquest Megaways, for instance, challenges players to collect space shards to pass each level. The innovative Twin Spin Megaways by NetEnt incorporates the nostalgic look of an old-school fruit machine while utilizing the Megaways engine for some serious winning potential. Even slots with familiar gameplay sometimes surprise you with random events like sudden bonus triggers, symbol transformations, or cascading wins that lead to big payouts. It pays to expect the unexpected with these games.

Quirky special features

The Chance Machine 100 slot by Relax Gaming offers players a gumball machine full of random prizes. Spin the reels in Push Gaming’s Jammin Jars and a giant jar of strawberry jam may squirt across the screen when you hit a big win. And in Yggdrasil’s Nitro Circus slot, daredevil Nik Wallenda may appear to walk across the reels on a tightrope. Its little touches like these that make a slot stand out.

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