Arcade games were created in the 1970s and quickly became popular mostly among young people. They used electronic or computerized circuitry to accept certain inputs from the controller and translate them into the monitor or a television set.
The first successful commercial game within this category was Pong. With the development of technology, games became more and more perfect in terms of graphics, script, and audio effects. Now, you can enjoy complex and resource-consuming games literally without leaving your home from a mobile device and remotely share your experience with friends.
But all these modern games slowly become mainstream, and more people try to resurgence nostalgic feelings and experiences they got from the good old arcades. Among such longing players, many casino enthusiasts do not mind combining gambling and arcade experience. It is obvious that casinos do not miss such an opportunity and are actively introducing the arcade theme into their games, mostly in slots.
A Flashback to Fun: The Arcade Era
The golden era of arcade gaming was during the 1970s and early 1980s when rapidly developing technologies allowed the creation of more and more engaging games. Breakout, Space Invaders, and Donley Kong were examples of entertainment that people had never experienced before.
Given the young age of the audience, those games were aimed at, literally imprinted in people’s memory. Now, they are associated with those pleasant experiences, joys, and carefree times. So, it is not surprising that those people want to experience those pleasant emotions again, and online casinos are ready to help them with it using modern technologies.
The Digital Makeover: Adapting Icons for Online Slots
While playing at online casinos, you do not use special controllers like those used during the golden era of arcades. Currently, you can enjoy any game you want from your PC, laptop, or even mobile device. That is why integrating arcades into modern slots is quite a challenge. First of all, it relates to the interface and mechanics.
While most arcades use 2D graphics and a pixelated approach, most modern slots have high-quality visuals with 3D graphics and even AR/VR approaches. Combining arcade aesthetics and gaming environments with the high requirements of modern slots related to smooth animation and eye-catching transitions is difficult. The same is true for simple and repeating sound effects in arcades.
Modern slots offer themed soundtracks and specific audio effects created especially for the slightest actions, from tapping on the spin button to immersive background music. Finally, slot games’ mechanics are based on the operation of RNG. As for arcades, the outcome is fully dependent on players’ skills.
Retro Reels: Top Arcade-Themed Slots
There are many arcade-themed slot games available at modern online casinos Australia. However, the most popular are Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Street Fighter.
As for Pac-Man, it is a video slot powered by the Ainsworth and released in 2018. This arcade-themed slot features a 5×3 playing field with up to 25 betways. The RTP of the game is 94.2% (below average), while the variance is at a low level.
Instead of classic symbols used in traditional slots, you see Pac-Man itself together with Orson, Clyde, Blinky, Bashful, and other characters. Playing the main game, you may experience multiple extra features such as Wilds, Scatters, Multipliers, etc.
Space Invader by Slingo Originals is another good example of a revived classic. Arcade enthusiasts will definitely appreciate authentic pixel UFOs and cannons that appear during a bonus round and draw you back to 80s. Along with bonus rounds, this slot implements Wilds and Paid Respins to diversify your gameplay.
The RTP of the game is 94.02%, while the variety is medium. The game is played on the 5×5 grid with 25 betways possible. The slot is perfectly optimized for playing from different iOS and Android devices.
The last title on today’s list is Street Fighter. This game has a 96.06% RTP and a ranging variety (from medium to high). The game is played on the 5×5 layout and implements cascading mechanics.
After triggering a bonus round, you can meet all 8 well-known characters, including Guile, E. Honda, Blanka, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Ken, and Zangief. Also, there are 4 classic bosses, which can bring you additional multipliers:
- Balrog – 2x;
- Vega – 3x;
- Sagat – 5x;
- M. Bison – 10x.
Another distinguishing feature of this slot is the wide bet range (from $0.2 to $700).
The Gamer’s New Gamble: From Joystick to Jackpot
These games bring a perfect combination of nostalgic feelings and modern technology advantages. Now, you can launch any arcade-theme slot on the go and fully immerse into the gameplay using your smartphone or tablet. Players have the opportunity to look at well-known heroes from a new perspective.
Now, these are not just two-dimensional models but fully interactive gameplay elements. You can enjoy these slots using a demo version to play without spending a single penny. But if you make a deposit, you can also earn money that fuels the interest even more. Moreover, you may claim dedicated bonuses designed for slots and boost your gaming experience.
Challenges in Design and Gameplay
The arcade-themed slot development may also be challenging because of licensing obstacles. If you want ещ incorporate your game legally, you need to get a license from the relevant regulator. There may be the Curacao Gaming Control Board, MGA, etc. Additionally, you must get permission from the arcade game provider.
So as to avoid a fine, it is necessary to provide company representatives with a detailed license agreement. It spells out everything from legal requirements to the percentage of your income the provider will get. The next challenge is balancing the engaging features modern slots may give and the original game’s simplicity.
For example, unique sounds from Pac-Man may be more of a priority in terms of attracting new players than some modern soundtracks. At the same time, this can be balanced with additional bonuses applied or extra animation features.
Of course, traditional slots can not provide the same level of engagement because they are RNG-based and do not require any experience. That is why developers incorporate extra skill-requiring layouts where you must hit a specific target, follow certain patterns, solve the puzzle, etc.
Future Bonus Levels: Innovations on the Horizon
In the future, the market for arcade-themed slots will definitely keep growing. Providers will keep implementing advanced technologies, including Augmented and Virtual reality, to expand the audience. It helps delve deeper into the gameplay and becomes an integral part of the plot.
The same applies to blockchain technology, which is already used in thousands of slots. To target a specific audience, providers will more actively use AI tools. They can analyze game patterns and preferences to create individual bonus offers. Thus, players will get a more personalized gaming experience.
While the original arcade games revolutionized the gaming industry, their modern combination with slots is also changing the very idea of a quality pastime. Such games attract the attention of both seasoned players (who want to experience nostalgic feelings) and a young audience.
Thanks to the combination of authentic audio/graphics with modern technologies, players can diversify their experience and take advantage of both the RNG element and skills required. In the future, this market will keep growing and implementing advanced technologies such as blockchain, AG, and VR.