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Video Games Slots – Why We (the players) and the Casino Industry Need More

Would You Like Casinos to have More Video Game Slots - MGJ
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I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

I like online slots, I really do. Still, part of me wishes there were more video game slots out there.

What do I mean by “video game slots”?

I mean two specific things:

  • Online slots based on actual video games.
  • Online slots with bonus games that have interactive video game-like elements.

If you’re both a slots player and someone who likes to play video games, like me, you might feel the same way. This is why I’ve decided to make a post on video game slots and why I think we (and the industry) need more of them.

Online slots based on actual video games

Video game slots are nothing revolutionary, of course. Over the years, there have been several slots based on popular video games including (but not limited to):

  • Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare (Cryptologic)
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Microgaming)
  • Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs (Microgaming)
  • Zuma 3D (IGT)
  • Mario’s Gold (Proprietary Games)
  • Resident Evil (Skywind Group)
  • Street Fighter II: The World Warrior Slot (NetEnt)

I’ve personally never played any of these games. One of the reasons is that some are so old that they no longer exist (or the license expired). The other reason is that the games that do still exist are not available in my jurisdiction.

Screenshots of video game slots - MGJ

Of all the games that I listed above, the only ones that appear to have any sort of interactive mini games or skill-based aspects are the Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare slot and the Street Fighter II: The World of Warriors slot.

The rest of them aren’t anything special beyond cascading reels, triggering free spins, additional sets of reels with higher payouts, or matching symbols. Although, there’s nothing wrong with these features, they’re just not highly exciting (IMO) on an interactive scale.

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare Slot

This 5-reel and 25-payline slot from the now defunct Cryptologic, came out well over a decade ago. Though the graphics and sound effects are certainly nothing award-winning by today’s standards, it had a neat bonus feature that was triggered when 3+ logo symbols landed on the reels.

video game slots - Screenshot of Cryptologic Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare Slot from CasinotestEU YouTube - Image 2 - MGJ
Screenshot of Cryptologic Call of Duty 4 – Modern Warfare Slot from CasinotestEU YouTube

This bonus feature was a mini game that opened in a new screen where the goal was to aim and shoot enemies as they appear on the screen. You could score rewards like so:

  • For every hit you could win 2 or 4 free spins and a bonus was awarded for headshots.
  • Tagging 5 enemies in a row awarded an “Air Strike”. This would drop a 3x, 4x or 5x multiplier on all free spins earned.
  • Additional bonuses can be won if you destroyed cars and barrels.
  • The bonus feature ended when you were overtaken by the enemy, at which point the free spins round would begin.

video game slots - Screenshot of Cryptologic Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare Slot from CasinotestEU YouTube - MGJ
Screenshot of Cryptologic Call of Duty 4 – Modern Warfare Slot from CasinotestEU YouTube

There is no demo that can be played, because I’m fairly certain the Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare slot no longer exists. However, so you can see what it was like, I’ve included a YouTube video below.

I think it would be awesome if more online slots had a skill-based mini game component like the Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare slot.

Street Fighter II: The World of Warriors Slot

Released in 2020, the Street Fighter II slot is pretty impressive in design and gameplay. NetEnt has done an excellent job capturing the essence of this arcade fighting game, right down to the graphics, animations, and sounds.

Video game slots - Screenshot of NetEnt's Street Fighter II The World of Warriors - Image 2 - MGJ
Screenshot of NetEnt’s Street Fighter II The World of Warriors

It is a 5-reel and 5-row cluster pays slot, and before the game starts you get to choose which character you want to be. There are 8 difference characters (Ryu, Ken, E. Honda, Chun Li, Blanka, Guile, and Dhalsim). Each character has their own Wild Combo features, their own theoretical RTP, and their own set of high value symbols.  There is an Insert Coin gamble feature, Beat the Boss Free Spins (boss characters include Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and Mr. Bison), and the Car Smash Bonus Game.  

Video game slots - Screenshot of NetEnt's Street Fighter II The World of Warriors - MGJ
Screenshot of NetEnt’s Street Fighter II The World of Warriors

Although the game does not have a bonus mini game like the Call of Duty slot (all of Street Fighter’s special features play out on the reels), the fact that you can choose your character (and each character has unique features) and how you fight an opponent with each spin of the reels, still makes for a truly unique experience. It’s clear NetEnt put a lot of thought into making this game.  

My only complaint about the Street Fighter II slot is that I wish I could play it 🤣. Currently, it’s not available in Ontario.  

Online slots with interactive video game-like mechanics

To create an online slot based on an actual video game, a slots developer would need to have the rights to do this from the game’s owner. That said, although licensed slots are great and all, they aren’t necessary to provide the interactive video game-like experience I’m talking about.

For instance, you don’t need to have a licensed Call of Duty slot for a slot game to feature a shooter-style mini-game.

There are plenty of neat interactive elements that could be added to an online slot, licensed or not, like:

  • 🔫Shooting – Shooting enemies, hunting, skeet shooting, etc.
  • 🏎️Racing – Racing a car, bikes, running, swimming, etc.
  • 🥊Fighting – You need to beat up an opponent.
  • 🧩Puzzles – Memory-style games (e.g. needing to correctly match up symbols by remembering where they are hidden), using a slingshot to knock down bricks (think Angry Birds), finding hidden objects within a set time limit, etc.

These are just some of the examples I can think of off the top of my head.  That said, wouldn’t it be fun if once you’ve triggered these bonus games, how well you preform determines the value of your reward, such as the size of a multiplier, the number of free spins, if you win an instant cash prize, etc.

Plus, the more you spin the reels of the slot and trigger these bonus rounds, the more you can level up for the chance of even more rewards. The more engaging the game, the more players will want to keep playing it.

The benefit of offering more video game slots.

I genuinely believe that if today’s land-based and online casinos and software providers want to continue drawing in players (especially younger players) to enjoy slots, they’re going to need to offer a new gamified category of slots (let’s be unoriginal and call it “Video Game Slots”, shall we? 😎) which include a skilled-based/challenge component.

I do understand that skill-based elements can only go so far in a slot game, because gambling is all about chance. However, part of the reason why games like Poker, Blackjack and Baccarat are so popular is that some skill is involved. Yes, it all boils down to luck, but there is more than one way to play a hand, which is a huge part of the thrill of playing.

Video game slots - Playing cards - MGJ

The same cannot be said for slots. You might be able to increase your bet size and choose the number of lines you want to play but, ultimately, there is only one way to spin the reels. This is why I think having bonus interactive mini games with an outcome based on speed, memory, accuracy, and the choices you make, etc. could make games more interesting.

Video game slots I’d like to see become a reality.

Here are my top picks for video games I’d like to see converted into licensed interactive online video game slots:

  • Overwatch
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Mario Kart
  • Tetris

What about you? Is there a video game you would like to see made into an online slot? What would be your top pick and what special feature would it include?

Until next time, good luck and have fun!

Mia 👩‍💻

*All links and images in this post are for information purposes only.

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