Slot Machine Themes
The theme of a slot is fairly important. There are those gamers who make their decisions about whether to play specific slots or not, based entirely on the theme.
Others will take a more thought out approach, by seeing what features the slot has to offer, before deciding on the theme. Either way, the slots theme is a vital part of its marketing program, as you’ll find out in this article.
Why bother with a theme?
The theme is an online slot’s primary marketing weapon, the way that it can grab players who otherwise wouldn’t be interesting in playing it. The primary objective of the theme is lure in players, with something that they find appealing.
Its secondary objective is to provide a nice background for gameplay, to give the slot a sense of uniformity, and of course, to make it stand out from other similar slots that are available in the market.
Top Online Slot Machines
The theme impacts the icons
In most cases, a slot machine’s theme directly influences the types of icons that will be present on the reels. Many top online slots, design icons and symbols that directly fit with the theme of the game.
For instance, in a movie slot, you may have characters from that movie featured as icons. In a comic book slot, the hero and villain and their array of weapons may make an appearance as symbols. These too, are designed as a marketing tool to lure in players.
The high-playing card icons
Some online slots have a complete collection of unique thematic symbols. Other slots prefer to keep the lowest paying symbols as the standard and traditional, high-playing card icons. In this case, it is actually quite difficult to make them fit in with the theme of the slot machine.
Adding a small image to the 9, 10, J, Q, K or Ace is one way of the going about. Another way is to shape the letter or number (or font) in a style which is fitting the background (for example King written in tree branches in a jungle themed slot) or theme.
Another example of this would be to use sweets to create the icons in a candy themed slot. Not all slot machines do this though.
Gaming menu bars and backgrounds
Many top casino software developers try to incorporate the game menu bars and the backgrounds into the theme too. In fact, any slot that doesn’t have a background matching its theme seldom does really well.
Slots that have thematic menus and buttons can sometimes even go overboard with their design, making it difficult to see the buttons as they blend in too well. Some developers though, stubbornly keep their standard menus, and as a result the slot loses some visual appeal.
Successful slots almost always have bonus rounds that are themed, or that at least tie-in with the overall theme of the slot. For example, a gangster themed slot might have a shoot-out as a bonus round.
A racing themed slot may have a mini-race, and a pirate themed slot might have a swash-buckling sword fight. This is when slot designers are at their most creative, and when online slots are most unique from other titles.
There are four main genres of themed slots. Those genres are those with common themes, those with seasonal themes, those with licensed themes, and those with none at all. The latter tend to do very poorly.
Common themes are virtually everything and anything that does not require a license. Some of the most common themes in online slots are Irish luck, candy, fantasy tales, underwater adventures, nights out, gangsters and crime, the rich and lavish millionaire’s high life, police, monsters, sports, magic, animals and nature, pirates and of course, money and jackpots!
Seasonal slots are those titles that are themed after a particular holiday or event in the year. These slots can be available all year around, although they only really come out in time for said event or holiday.
Seasonal themed slots include romance slots (for St. Valentine’s Day), Easter themed slots, Halloween slots and of course, everybody’s favourite, Christmas themed slots.
The licensed themes
Slot machines with licensed themes are the ultimate money makers, and most of the really popular slots are those with licensed themes. The developers have paid a premium to be associated with a particular brand, so these slots have to be good to lure in the players.
Licensed themed slots could include games that are themed after Hollywood movies, video games, television shows, comic books, people, or other famous subjects.
In the case of movie or comic book themed slots, the slots will almost certainly contain a thematic bonus round, as well as possibly, some official music and audio or video clips from that franchise or brand. This is all done of course, to lure in the players in their droves!
Examples of very famous licensed themed slots include, The Dark Knight (movie), Tomb Raider: The Secret of the Sword (video game), The Incredible Hulk (comic book), Elvis: A Little More Action, and the Kiss slot (music themed titles) and the X-Factor slot, which is of course, a television themed licensed slot.