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The Importance of Themes in Online Slots

September 9, 2009

Most online casino games fall in the following categories: slots, blackjack, roulette, casino poker and video poker. Using these categories online gaming software providers have created hundreds of games by introducing variations. In all other categories except for slots, variations are introduced by toggling the rules. The appearance of the screen remains largely the same. However in the case of online slots, each online slot game appears in different because each online slot game has a different theme. It is because of this maneuverability that about 70% of the online casino games are slot games.

The importance of the theme in online slot games goes beyond mere appearance. Some moviegoers like action movies, others like romantic movies. Some readers prefer pulp fiction, others prefer serious nonfiction. In a similar vein different online casino players have different inherent tastes and therefore gravitate towards slot games that exhibit themes matching with their temperament. This enables online gaming software providers to create niche markets for their slot games with a dedicated customer following.

This would be apparent when some of the more popular themes in online slot games are considered. Online slot players always dream of taking that elusive progressive jackpot and winning a life-changing payout. There are slot games that fuel this dream by creating a theme of the lifestyle of the wealthy. Millionaires Club from Cryptologic and the recently released Scoop the Cash from Microgaming are examples. Adventure is another popular theme that would interest players with adventurous inclinations. There are many online slot games with the theme of pirates’ treasures and outer space adventures. Another popular theme is that of the wealth of ancient civilizations such as ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Aztecs.

There are several ways by which online gaming software providers create a holistic theme for the online slot game. The most important constituent is obviously the choice of symbols on the reels. These symbols reflect different aspects of the theme. The most important aspects are reflected in the wild symbols and scatter symbols. For example a pirate themed online slot game will have symbols like pirates, ship, Jolly Roger, cutlasses and canons. It is common for many online slot games to have a bonus game on the second screen. In this game the reels disappear and a new screen is created for the bonus game. This screen and the bonus game are ideal vehicles for reinforcing the theme of the slot game. The Tomb Raider is a very popular slot game from Microgaming. The second screen takes the players to a cavern that contains many idols. The players have to select a number of idols and score bonus points.

There are certain features in online slot games that are not directly involved in the playing of the game but can be used with great effect to enhance the theme. The most important of these is the background to the reels. This is one of the most visible parts of the slot game and therefore plays an important role in creating the theme. In the recently released slot game called Lumber Cats the background to the reels is a forest where the lumberjacking is done. Another feature that enhances the thematic value of the online slot game is the animation. A few months ago Cryptologic launched a slot game called Call of Duty. It is a war themed slot game in which the animations are actual movie clips showing war scenes.

Different slot games featuring the same theme have different parameters as far as payouts and betting options are concerned and therefore cater to a wide range of players who have empathy with that theme.

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