Gamification is starting to creep into the world of online slots, which is always seeking a new way to attract new customers and keep others coming back to play more often.
Online casino players and gamers were thought to be two separate groups until relatively recently, but the increase in gamification of online slots is starting to blur the boundaries.
Most gamers would likely argue there is no point playing a slot where skill has no outcome on whether or not they win or lose, while online casino fans can point out their hobby gives them a chance to win real money, which is not offered by video games – apart from in top esports.
However, it has always been clear behind the scenes that there are a lot of similarities between online slots and video games, with more and more overlap likely to be seen between them.
For example, loot boxes in a lot of video games are considered to be a form of gambling, with players of titles such as FIFA buying packs with real cash in the hope of boosting their teams.
Gamification can help to bring online slots to a whole new audience too, as well as encouraging people to play them more often, which is good news for online casino sites.
Which online slots include some form of gamification?
The list of online slots including gamification is growing all the time, with the Viking Runecraft slot from Play N Go without a doubt one of the best of them.
In this game, which sees the reels laid out on a 7×7 grid, Play N Go is keen to stress that players have the chance to “use their skill” in order to succeed in the game.
Cascades give players the chance to enjoy multiple wins from the same spin of the reels, while each win on the Viking Runecraft slot from Play N Go also charges a meter that leads to unlocking bonus features during a session.
Each level includes one of the four gods that are featured in the game, while there is an End of the World bonus meter on the Ragnarok feature, which will be the highlight for most players.
The animations are state of the art and the gameplay takes slots to a whole new level too, though the fact Viking Runecraft has high volatility might put some off from giving it a go.
Of course, Viking Runecraft slot from Play N Go is not the only slot game out there to include gamification, but it is without a doubt one of the best of its kind right now.
Gamification tricks of the trade in online slots
Slot game developers are increasingly learning lessons from video game history when they come to create new titles to be released at online casinos.
For example, a lot of features in online slots can be directly traced back to power-ups from games. Most slots these days have scatter and wild symbols as standard, but these work in basically the same way as a power-up in a game such as Super Mario. Slots also increasingly allow people to choose their wins in some way, which is another form of gamification.
Gamification is also being baked into the design of an online slot game more than ever before. Animations take their inspiration from leaps in the video games world in recent years, while a lot of the ways players are rewarded come from games too.
The lights and sounds used to display a win on an online slot game are very similar to those in a game when a player is winning, with all this happening in order to deliver dopamine to the brain. This chemical reaction boosts the happiness of a player and makes them want to play more.
Many online slots now also have levels, which is also borrowed from video games of the past. By making it appear like players are making their way through the slot, it encourages them to keep spinning the reels and spending more of their cash in the hope of landing a big win.
White Rabbit and Cleopatra are some of the most famous online slot games where playing for longer unlocks more features and this is a trend likely to continue growing in the industry.
Online casinos themselves use gamification as a way to reward loyalty through the use of VIP reward schemes, so it is fair to say this is not going to be going anywhere soon.