- Scientific Games launches slot machine with skills-based bonus
- More to be rolled out at later dates
It’s a case of back to future for game developer Scientific Games, which has created an ultra-modern skill-based slot, but based on the 1978 arcade classic Space Invaders.
Skill-based slot games, which add an element of video game-like challenge to the classic slot machine, are seen as a possible new market for casinos, and could tap into the tricky millennial generation, whose tastes are proving hard to pin down.
Putting skills to the test
The way this works is as follows: the player controls a laser cannon and has to move it along the bottom of the screen and shoot down row after row of aliens, just like you would do in the original arcade game. The more aliens you shoot, the more credits you’ll collect and the more levels you’ll progress through – you could end up competing for a multi-level jackpot pool if you’re good enough.
Those who don’t want to play the regular slot game but want to play this bonus game can pay to do so – those who do this will play with higher credit win levels than they would play with in the regular game.
An arcade classic
Space Invaders the arcade game was launched back in 1978 and ushered in a new golden age of video gaming.
The Group Chief Executive of Gaming for Scientific Games, Derik Mooberry, has said that the team worked hard to ensure the new Space Invaders slot is authentic and as loyal to the original arcade game as possible.
It’s currently available on the Blade s32 cabinet, which offers two 32-inch HD screens, and has so far only been launched in Atlantic City, New Jersey. There are plans to rollout the slot machine throughout numerous jurisdictions in North America – it’s expected to arrive in Las Vegas at some point this summer, according to Susan Cartwright, a spokesperson for Scientific Games.
A new trend?
Space Invaders is the first skills-based slot machine by Scientific Games. The company is the fourth to launch this new type of slot machine in U.S. casinos over the past seven months.
It seems the industry is testing the waters to see whether these games could be the next big thing in casino gaming.
When is a slot game a video game? How far can slots push towards video games before they lose their identity as relaxing games which offer a random chance of winning?
What we know is that these so-called skill-based games have the industry abuzz with excitement about the possibilities, but also a few fears about whether the concept will work at all.
Space Invaders is perhaps the most recognised video game of all, and with its simplistic gameplay, is perfect fodder for incorporating into a slot. But getting that balance right will be crucial – many slot players don’t want to have to be a whizz at video games to stand a chance of making a profit.
No joy for online casino players yet – this game is so far only available in Atlantic City – but if it is popular, there is no reason why the concept won’t be brought online.