Last fall I wrote about the trends I saw at G2E, but now that we’re in the middle of 2022, what trends are we seeing on the casino floor? Here are five trends that are pretty persistent this year.
1. The Rise of the Triple Accumulator
We’re all familiar with games with the traditional accumulator – pots, fireworks, and so on that slowly fill up, and at some point explode into a bonus. But thanks to the success of Fu Dai Lian Lian, the triple accumulator format is becoming much more common. Some examples of games utilizing the format include:
- Bao Zhu Zhao Fu
- Coin Combo Series
- Goldfish Feeding Time
- Monopoly Lunar New Year
- Rich Little Piggies Meal Ticket and Hog Wild
Generally speaking the trend is for each accumulator to enhance a bonus, but there has been some diversity in how those enhancements are implemented. In some cases, different accumulators lead to different bonus, such as the picking bonus for the red pot on Coin Combo vs. the green and blue being combinable into larger reel sets in the bonus.
The popularity of these types of games indicate that this format will continue to proliferate since players seem to like to chase the rare triple accumulator trigger.
2. Variations on a Theme
The triple accumulator is not the only thing that’s popping up all over. Multiple companies have been rolling out variations on Wild Wild type games, where wilds appear on the first two reels, and cash on reels that follow and are collected in various forms.
Other times companies are releasing games that are minor variations on their previous successful games to accompany new cabinets. Examples recently from Light and Wonder alone (previously called Scientific Games) include:
- Double Money Link
- 5 Treasures Golden Door
- Dancing Drums Prosperity
- Ultimate Fire Link Explosion
- 88 Fortunes Emperor’s Coins
It’s not just Light and Wonder. Aristocrat has released about 100 Buffalo games in the last month (or at least it certainly feels that way), but they’ve also released Mighty Cash Ultra 88 and Wild Leprechauns Double Luck, both brand extensions, for instance. We recently walked through Everi’s brand extension to Smokin’ Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel on the site as well.
Variations on a theme can be helpful for game makers because it’s more likely to get placed on the floor as a proven entity. It also tends to help them launch new slot cabinets by giving casinos something proven to put on them.
3. Cash on Reels
This isn’t a new trend, but it’s one that won’t die, especially if you’re IGT and can’t help but try to make everything a Link game. The diversity of Cash on Reels games, however, is broadening, to more than just clones of Hold and Spin style games.
More games are doing things like unlocking more reels if you get a certain number of prizes, others like the previously mentioned Wild Wild type games or others like games with the Hit & Win feature have you collecting prizes as you go.
Players seem to like these types of games, so I expect them to continue in the future as well.
4. Breaking the Mold
On the other side of the spectrum are games that continue to tinker with the slot format in new and unique ways, even breaking out of the reel mindset.
Whether it be some of the various games Everi is trying like Lightning Zap and Crush, Konami’s Catch Four or Aristocrat’s more recent Big Fish Grand, there is a lot of tinkering with concepts to try to offer something different.
5. Frenzy Mode
Right now Everi has made this one of their marquee features, but I would be shocked if other companies aren’t following behind them given the success of games like Shark Week, The Vault and now Cashnado.
The timer as a way of counting down a special mode that features a bonus only available during that frenzy mode can really get people excited about wanting to chase those bonuses down, and they often come frequently enough to make it worth it, which makes them all the more exciting to play.