Slots have come a long way in recent years, transforming into a mini-entertainment industry all of their own. Of all the different innovations, 3D slots have been the most eye-catching. The formerly flat and lifeless symbols on the reels of slots have come to life – and bonus feature rounds have become games-within-games which can often lead players to big windfalls. This article explores the new world of 3D slot machines online.
First of all below, some history is followed by the key characteristics of 3D slots. This includes a look at what makes a 3D slot different from the complex video slots around today. After that I have turned the spotlight on a single slots software maker – BetSoft – which specializes in 3D slots games. After that some of the innovations in slots technology which are currently coming through from the live casino scene is discussed – including a look at the possible future of slot games.
From 3 Flat Reels to 3D Machines – The History of Slot Games
The first electronic slots were simply reproductions of the original mechanical games. These had one win-line, 3 reels and the sole objective was to match up symbols – preferably the ones which led to a big jackpot. Not only was the game-play very simple, the graphics were entirely flat and lifeless on these games.
Video slots grew in popularity from the 1980’s onwards, and introduced a little more interest into the games. These were usually 5 reel games and the win lines were highlighted when you hit a winning combination. While there were the occasional animations, nothing too complex was attempted. Free spin rounds came with ‘pick-em’ features, though once again the 3D effects were absent, limited by the technology available at the time.
Even online games were flat and often uninspiring for many years. Graphics did get better as the technology and network speeds slowly improved. This led to animations within the reels, including symbols with different behavior on the reels. None of these could be said to be truly three dimensional until the breakthrough slots from BetSoft started gaining more popularity as we hit the middle of the 2000’s.
The Rise of BetSoft
BetSoft started back in 1999, though they have only recently gained the traction and recognition that they deserve for their unique three-dimensional slot games. These have been likened to the animations you could expect from a Pixar-type movie. This is certainly a step up from anything offered by the big established casino software houses in recent years.
The slots from BetSoft come with introduction video sequences, which give you a preview of both the theme and the characters on the reels. The slot frame itself is often hosted by a 3D character and the movements and effects give you an amazing sense of depth while you play. The symbols on the reels come to life, especially when they are involved in a winning combination. These have their own 3D effects and are often quirky and humorous – at the same time as bringing in the money.
Where the 3D graphics of BetSoft really do excel is in the bonus and feature rounds which are attached to their games. These vary according to the individual theme, and often take you right out of the main slot into what feels like an animated movie. You can interact with the characters in the slot, and can often accumulate some big prizes along the way too.
If you have not yet seen these innovative slot games from BetSoft, then make sure you check them out soon – they are unlike anything else available, and are licensed to US casinos as well as those available internationally.
Other software providers are also creating 3D titles, NetEnt have some excellent animated titles, which include innovative bonus rounds and features, whether their graphics are truly 3D could be a matter for debate. The long running IGT is also responsible for some amazing 3D feature rounds. The best of these have yet to make their way online and are currently found in their live casino games. Giant shared screens which have features that can be shared between players in amazing movie-quality graphics are just the start of the pipeline we can expect to see online in the not too distant future.
I should note that you do not need to wear special red / blue glasses to enjoy the 3D slots. The casinos seem to have decided that this is simply not going to happen for most people, and have instead focused their effort on developing games which have the 3D look and feel without the need for glasses.
With the pace of technology improvements increasing all the time, the future looks very bright for 3D slot games. The ability to enjoy animations, movie clips and amazing feature rounds will bring a whole new audience to the world of slots. BetSoft already has years of experience in this area and are in a great position to keep up their lead.