Slots are the easiest game in the Philippine Pnxbet online casino. The only thing you need to know before you play is how to change your betting options and spin the reels. However, online slots are not always so simple. Some games have complex features that may confuse you.
I personally spent more than 15 minutes reading some of the online slots help screens just to figure out how the different bonuses worked. The bad news is that I have recently found more examples of such slots. How do online slots reach the point where they are harder to play than blackjack and other casino games? I will discuss this by reviewing the evolution of slot machine features and why some games are too confusing for the average player.
The biggest milestone in online slot machine features
For most of their history, slot machines have been really simple games. From the late 1800s through the 1980s, slot machines had only three reels and one pay line. People who had been playing single-line slots all their lives were initially confused by the multi-line machines. However, it didn’t take them long to finally master the games.
In 1996, WMS introduced the first second screen bonus through Reel ‘Em In. Gamblers had to get used to the idea of playing detailed bonus games. But again, they were able to adapt quickly after reading the help screens.
243 ways to introduce
The first truly sophisticated online slot machine concept appeared in 2009. That year, Microgaming introduced 243 online slots. 243 Ways was (and still is) a unique format that throws paylines out the window. Still popular today, these games win when matching symbols in adjacent reels.
The idea of forming 243 winning possibilities and payouts in a special way initially confused players. Only after online gamblers were more exposed to these slots did they finally figure them out.
In 2010, NetEnt introduced a revolutionary feature in Cascading Reels (aka Avalanche). Cascading reels remove winning symbols from the grid and allow other icons to fall into their place. The result is that players have more chances to win without having to spin the reels again. While not as difficult to figure out as 243 ways, the Avalanche slot confuses gamblers right from the start.
720 and 1,024 ways
By the mid-2010s, slot machine manufacturers began to introduce 720-way and 1,024-way slots. These formats were designed to expand the 243-way concept while offering more winning possibilities.While not as powerful as the 720-way slots, these games still add a layer on top of the 243-way slots.
- A 720-way slot has five reels, presented in a 3-4-5-4-3 setup. You can create wins from left to right (starting from reel 1) and from right to left (starting from reel 5). The strange 3-4-5-4-3 format of these games has confused many players. The idea of allowing by way wins adds to the confusion when most slots only allow left to right payouts.
- The 1,024-way game works in much the same way as the 243-way slot machine. However, it has a 5×4 grid instead of the traditional 5×4 grid. By allowing adjacent wins and having another row at the top, these games have more ways to win. By multiplying the spaces in each reel together, you get 1,024 ways: 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 1,024 ways.
Megaways slots add complexity
As if 720 and 1024 ways weren’t enough, Big Time Gaming (BTG) introduced Megaways slots in 2016 to blow these formats out of the water.What sets Megaways games apart from other slots is that their reels change as they spin.
These games have a lot going on each round. Each reel can produce a different number of symbols on each spin. These slots provide counters that show how many ways are active in each round. However, the player may remain in the dark as to how these winning possibilities are determined.
The format is the same as any other “way” slot. The spaces in each reel are multiplied to determine how many payout possibilities are available. However, those who already have difficulty grasping the concept of 243, 720 and 1,024 ways will have even more difficulty grasping Megaways.
Reel adventure takes baffling slots to another level
BTG’s Megaways model has been very successful. In fact, many other developers are licensing this engine from them. But BTG wasn’t satisfied with the status quo. Instead, they conceived of a “scrolling adventure” concept that combined Megaways with role-playing.
What sets it apart from other Megaways is that it also provides an adventure window below the reels. This window shows the knight picking up treasure chests and fighting demons. Treasure chests offer a random feature. As you collect gems in treasure chests, you will eventually upgrade and unlock up to 586,971 ways (level 3).
Sounds easy enough, right? Maybe, until you start reading the paytable and sorting out the treasure chest features, upgrades and options for each level. The basic point of this online slot game is that you need to keep playing and earning gems in order to upgrade. Once you enter a new level, you can play free spins or try to move on to the next level.
All in all, this game offers only three levels and should not be that complicated. However, the dozen pages and numerous features in the help screen are a bit much. I think Megaways slots are more than enough to make ends meet. Putting the Reel Adventure concept on top of a unique format only makes for a tough learning experience.
Have online slots gone too far?
I wouldn’t blame BTG or other online slot developers for pushing the envelope when it comes to online slot features and formats. After all, slot manufacturers need to stay fairly close to video game technology. Console gamers are used to complex gameplay, themes and features. For example, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for Xbox One can take up to 300 hours to get through.
But the only problem is that you’ll have a hard time sorting through the many different features and rules. You may have to go back to the help screen again and again to understand everything. This complexity is still unlike some of the more complex console games. However, Holy Diver contains far more complexity than the average slot player is willing to deal with.
Nonetheless, so far Holy Diver has become a popular game. That said, I doubt that more complex slots like this will be released in the future.
Slot machines have been a simple game for nearly a century. It wasn’t until the release of multi-line slots in the 1990s that they really started to get involved. Since then, more features and formats have been introduced to the gaming world. 2009 saw the release of the 243-way format, arguably the first truly complex slot machine concept.
Although a popular game, Holy Diver may push online slot players to their limits in terms of complexity. The slot has a detailed upgrade program which also includes many random features.
There is definitely a market for Holy Diver. Those who feel they have seen it all in Philippine Pnxbet online slots will enjoy having a completely new concept. But most of the slot crowd doesn’t like to make the effort to learn the game. They prefer to jump right into a slot and have a good understanding of the features and rules almost immediately. That said, I don’t know if the slot concept should or will become much more detailed than what you see in Holy Diver.