Video slots are popular all over the world, and we scarcely wonder why: their graphics and sound, generous betting options, abundance of winning combinations and a variety of bonuses make them an ultimate gambling experience. The industry, though, is unstoppable, and developers are constantly trying to update their products to meet the demands of new players. The result of their endeavours is manifest in i-slots (‘i’ standing for ‘interactive’). They are a new generation of video slots with more options and larger portions of entertainment for gamblers. Well, saying that such slots are completely novel would mean taking the whole thing too far, but, in spite of that, they will hopefully appeal to slot lovers. I-slots usually come with cute flash-animated splash screens that precede the game rounds, which, too, adds to the pleasure.
At present, there are two types of i-slots that are seen in Internet casinos. They are based on conventional video slots with standard functionality, including wild symbols, scatters, and bonus games. The first type differs from i-slots by a bonus game. While good’n’old machines offer bonuses based on pure guesswork (with a number of containers which you pick and score points before stumbling upon the empty container), i-slots presuppose that gamblers have certain skills. For instance, in ‘Hole in Won’, a golf slot, you can set the direction of your ball and the power of hitting it; besides, you need to make the smallest number of hits and avoid obstacles: the less hits, the more money. Another game asks you to fly in space and crash asteroids, and every target you miss will be worth money. We can’t say the games are really hard or bring you a fortune, but they are still more engaging then dull guessing at containers.
The second type of i-slots have a plot about them. Let’s take ‘Ben Heist’ to illustrate. The first round is called the ‘Plan’; just as you would in a conventional video slot, you need to find three scatter symbols to complete it. As soon as you succeed, the bonus game follows. It has two possible endings. Firstly, you can find a key and enter a bank. Second, the alarm goes off and you need to make yourself scarce at once. After that, depending on the outcome of the bonus game, you enter either ‘In the bank’ or ‘Escape’ round. During either of thse3, you still play a conventional video slot, though it has other symbols, a dissimilar payout chart and other distinct features of action quest games. Two kinds of scatters are available. If Policeman icons appear, then a Policeman will approach you, perched on a special bar. If Safe symbols occur (or Car symbols, depending on the version), you move forward. Have you escaped the chase and broken a safe? If yes, then another bonus game with more winnings follows. The third round, called the ‘Dynamite’, suggests another video slot activity. When you reach the final, having got away with the money or having been captured, the whole game begins anew, with some free spins at your disposal.
Now we’d like to talk of our own impressions of these slots. No doubt, the concept is very appealing. One game can give you the pleasure of a dozen, it seems. The game gets more captivating with each ensuing round. Moreover, in the course of our test we found out that the payout rate of some i-slots is surprisingly high. We would choose the above-mentioned ‘Bank Heist’ as one of the finest specimen of this genre. It is indeed possible to win bonus games here, stay in the game for quite a while and even end in the black as a result. Hitting a fortune is out of the question, but the game keeps you interested, the winnings and bonus rounds are not infrequent; on top of all that, you are free from the drudgery of continually spinning the reels in vain.
At present, interactive slots are only offered by those casinos that operate on Rival software. Our guess, however, is that they will soon become ordinary with other developers, too.