In a history that spans more than 100 years, slot games have evolved from being a novel distraction aimed at people who don’t know how to play card games to one of the most important, popular and lucrative categories of virtual gaming. Take a stroll through the gaming floors of Las Vegas or the virtual halls online, and your senses will be bombarded by literally hundreds of games.
New slots games are released every week, both online and in the traditional cabinets. However, there are some that are a familiar sight and seem to have been around forever. Let’s single out some of the most popular slots and try to work out why they have such enduring appeal.
If we were discussing the most popular internet search engines, there’s an obvious name we would have to talk about before anything else. Well, you could almost say that Starburst is the online slots equivalent of Google. The game has been around for seven years now and there are far more exciting, advanced and sophisticated offerings around. Yet it remains the most popular game of them all. Perhaps it is that very simplicity that is the key to the game’s success, though. Starburst has attractive graphics, simple rules, high rewards and a timeless feel. It’s proof that sometimes, just getting the basics right is enough to get you to the top of the world.
People play slots for different reasons, and that influences the choice of game. While great graphics and intriguing story arcs are increasingly important, there are some who are only interested in the end goal. If your one and only reason for playing the game is to try to win a life-changing jackpot, then Megabucks is probably for you. This game featured the first wide-area progressive jackpot in physical casinos and led to some famous big wins. Now, there are similar opportunities online, where gamers from all over the world contribute to a jackpot that will ultimately be won by a single lucky player.
According to apocryphal history, casinos first started to include slot games as something to “keep the ladies entertained” – presumably while their husbands were busy losing all their money at poker. Times change, but in a strange way, things can go full circle. Despite perceptions that it is a male hobby, market research suggests that these days, female gamers outnumber the guys. The popularity of Cleopatra, a game marketed firmly towards women, is a clue to this changing demographic. Like Starburst, it has been around for years and it was the game everyone wanted to play when New Jersey legalized online slot games back in November 2013.
Wheel of Fortune
Whatever anyone might say to the contrary, TV still has a major impact on our cultural lives. Wheel of Fortune is a show we all saw as kids, and there’s something familiar and comforting about the sight of the slot version that draws us towards it. Everyone knows how the game works, and that big bonus wheel has been borrowed by a dozen or more other games.
Innovative new slot games will continue to appear every week. But these classics have an enduring appeal that will keep them at the top of the popularity lists for years to come.