If you’ve played a few modern online slot games, you’ll know that they are undergoing some serious quality upgrades. I mean, I admit that I prefer more skill based casino games like poker, however there are some amazing slots that really appeal to me. In fact Pollen Party and Thunderstruck are two of my not-so secret favourites… You’d also have to be a seriously cynical person to not at least appreciate the obvious amounts of effort that go into making modern slot games.
Turn the clock back just a few years and you’ll see bland, by the numbers slot games, based entirely around static images and incredibly similar designs. There was little to no creativity involved in the days of old, and it is fairly obvious that each was the creation of a group of people fulfilling a contract. I’m not saying that a few old slot games didn’t have good artwork, but they were all generally rather uninspired as far as design goes. Now, let me tell you about an online slot game I played recently that really blew me away.
The Scrooge Story
Scrooge is the well-known Christmas story about a wise old man named, aptly, Scrooge. Scrooge did well for himself, working hard, saving his money for retirement, and making sure he never wasted a penny in his life. We can all agree that Scrooge sounds like the kind of person who had his head screwed on straight.
Unfortunately for Scrooge, he lived in a town full of layabouts, wastrels, and generally unmotivated deadbeats, who couldn’t sort out their own lives. And so, as is normally the case, the deadbeats constantly pestered Scrooge; grubby mitts open in hopes of handouts. Scrooge shunned these blights upon humanity, naturally, and kept to himself.
But, in a horrific turn of events, Scrooge is harassed by wailing ghouls from beyond, who harass him into loosening his purse strings, and so sharing his hard earned wealth among the less productive. A truly horrifying tale, and a warning to all that the poverty stricken will go to any lengths to take what is rightfully yours.
What? That’s not how the story goes? Sure sounds like it to me.
The Scrooge Slot Game
The story of Scrooge is well known, and so making a slot game based around it might at first seem like a tall order. Slot games are, after all, not very well geared towards telling narratives that have a beginning, middle and end. And that is exactly what impressed me about Microgaming’s Scrooge slot game; it tells a story fairly well. At least, as well as it can, given the obvious restrictions.
Now, I’m not saying that the Scrooge slot game is a story telling masterpiece, but it clearly goes out of its way to communicate what occurs in the actual narrative. Games just a few years ago wouldn’t even make the most basic attempt at telling a story, and so there is clear signs that slot games are evolving to a new level. That, I have to say, is very interesting.
Scrooge Slot Game Artwork
The artwork in the game is also very unique and striking, clearly favouring characterisation over everything else. Don’t for a second think it’s easy to communicate characters in images alone, because it certainly isn’t. This, again, is a sign that slot games are evolving to a new level.
I particularly like that the three ghosts were so easily identifiable, especially given that they are not labelled in any way. The character design of Scrooge is also very well done, although perhaps leaning pretty heavily on cliché. The little crippled orphan boy design, however, leaves you feeling almost annoyed; even imaging a scene where you drive past him and through a puddle at the same time, resulting in the little critter getting drenched. I’m joking, obviously. These are my attempts at channelling the spirit of Scrooge.
Future Of Slot Games
Slot games such as Scrooge make me genuinely curious to see how the online casino industry will evolve. It was obvious that such games were going to advance, given that technology never stands still, but the way Scrooge seems to be taking things is genuinely fascinating. I can’t help but envision slot games of the future that tell full stories, using properly animated characters speaking lines of dialogue.
I looked around at a few other slot games, to see if the trend was catching on, and was astonished to see some of the extraordinary quality on display. The level of creator talent involved in some games is mind blowing, to such an extent that I had to remind myself it was just a slot game I was playing, and not a fully fledged online video game. It may be a bit cynical to say, but I very much hope that these artists are not restricted to just slot games, and are doing video game creation on the side.
Either way, I have a feeling this will not be the last time I write on evolving slot game quality, and hold my breath in anticipation of the first slot game with scripted dialogue events.