Online Pokie Trends for 2017
2017 is going to be a big year for online gaming trends. Last year, we saw plenty of new innovations that are sure to inspire developers in the coming months. Here are some of our picks for what we think will be the biggest pokie trends this year.
More Skill-Based Games
Over the course of the past year, we have seen plenty of progress with gaming legislators bringing skill-based slots into the land-based gambling market. New Jersey saw the introduction of slots with skill-based bonuses in October 2016, and the we’re likely to see similar games make their debut in the online casino market.
A group of students from University of Las Vegas created their own skill-based slots which debuted at the G2E conference last year. When players trigger the bonus round, they engage in a Candy Crush style game in which they must switch symbols to form groups of four or more in order to earn cash prizes.
This is one of the first instances we have seen of an online pokie with skill-based gaming capabilities. It wouldn’t surprise us if developers like Microgaming, Net Entertainment and Thunderkick to begin experimenting with these engaging bonus games.
Multi-level bonuses allow players to unlock new features after completing certain tasks or trigger each bonus round a certain number of times. In these games, each level features a different type of bonus round, encouraging players to play on and unlock every level.
One of the most popular recent multi-level pokies is Jason’s Quest from Genesis Gaming. This online pokie offers up a three-level bonus feature, and each level is based on a different tale about Jason and the Argonauts from Greek mythology. Players take on the Cyclops in a free spins round, the Hydra in a pick-a-prize round and the skeleton army in a free spins round with instant win prizes.
Narrative slots are games that have a distinctive story to hook the player in and engagement in the gameplay. In these games, there is a reason for everything that happens – which is usually introduced during a cinematic cut scene. From the get-go, players are hooked in and they get more invested than they would if they were only playing for cash.
Taco Brothers from ELK Studios is the perfect example of a narrative slot. The town of Santa Maria enjoys tacos for all – until Captain Diaz comes along and takes them from the villagers. It is up to the Taco Brothers to get the town’s precious tacos back. Every feature in the game is linked back to this story, for example Running Wilds cause all three of the Taco Brothers symbols to make their way across the reels away from Captain Diaz.
It is no longer optional for developers to create cross-platform pokies. More and more internet users browse the web primarily with their smartphones, so online pokie manufacturers will be losing out on valuable business if they cannot adapt to the needs to of online casino players.
Most developers today either create games in HTML5 or provide two different versions of each game for mobile and desktop devices. 2017 should be the year that this becomes the case for all developers.
What trends do you foresee taking hold in 2017? Which ones are you most excited about?