The news that Microgaming had recently signed an agreement with RABCAT to bring some of the providers games to its casinos has already borne fruit. Earlier this month, the exciting Castle Builder slot hit Microgaming casinos for the first time and with it, brought a whole new look to slot games.
The reason for that is that the new Castle Builder slot is a different type of slot that most Microgaming fans are used to playing at the casino.
Castle Builder is a 'level-based slot' but what does that term mean and how does that transfer into the game-play of the slot?
Well, let's take a closer look and find out.
What is a level-based slot?
Whereas a traditional slot's game-play is based around trying to win money either in the base game, or in a subsequent bonus game that can be randomly accessed, or accessed via a combination of symbols across the reels, a level-based slot is different.
In a traditional slot, the sole aim is to win money and that is usually achieved by entering the free spins round, or hitting a winning combination across the reels.
A level-based slot is different in that all play in the slot is linked to a player progressing through one level and then moving onto a new one. In very much the same way that an old-style arcade player would complete one level of a game and then move onto the next level.
Therefore, a level-based slot fuses the two elements of gaming together. The player plays a slot game that looks and plays the same as a traditional slot, however instead of scatter symbols unlocking free spins, instead they contribute towards the players progress within that level.
Once a player achieves the required amount of progress within a level, they then complete that level and move on to the next. The new level then begins, but is usually slightly more difficult for the player to achieve.
The player then feels that they have made real progress and has a great sense of achievement as they work their way through the slot.
How does this manifest itself in the Castle Builder slot?
In the Castle Builder slot, you level up in the game by collecting building materials. These are the scatter symbols on the reels and as you land these symbols across the reels, you add more materials to your castle, building it from the ground up.
The more scatter symbols you hit on a paying line, then the higher the value the materials are worth that you use. This in turn increases the value of the castle and as such, increases the level of the bonus award you will receive when you complete the level.
What is a nice feature in the Castle Builder slot is that you can clearly see how your castle is progressing on screen next to the reels. As it is built, the castle will grow upwards until it is completed. You can also see a map on the screen which outlines all the levels you have previously completed and gives you a map of your kingdom.
Once you have hit enough scatter symbols in Castle Builder, the castle is complete and now is the time you receive your bonus. There is an element of jeopardy here though as the way the bonus is worked is that as king, you now have to pick a suitor for your princess daughter to marry. There are three available, one rich, one of middle income and one of poor.
The wealthier the husband you pick for your daughter, the bigger the bonus you receive will be. Furthermore, the greater the value of the castle you have built then the greater the bonus offered by each of the three potential suitors will be.
Once you have selected a suitable partner for the princess and received your bonus, you then move onto the next level.
On the next level you play the slots again but this time you are building a new, slightly bigger and more complex castle in a different part of the kingdom.
The game then progresses until you have built all the castles you can in the kingdom and realised all bonuses available.
Will other level-based slots be the same as Castle Builder?
While medieval type games are very popular at the moment (you only have to look at the popularity of the TV series Game of Thrones and its slot games based on the show to realise this) the next level based slot could be based on almost any topic you care to think of.
The game can be adopted to almost any genre, for example, in a sporting context you could be a football manager having to build increasingly more expensive football teams using players of increasing value as you progress through the levels.
Just as there is no limit to what you could potentially make a slot about, there is equally no limit as to how that slot could be adopted and developed into a level-based slot.
Who do level-based slots appeal to?
Certainly typical slot players will find that level-based slots are to their taste as the actual mechanics of the game differ very little compared to playing a traditional slots. The game still features, wilds, scatters and assorted bonuses that you would attribute to a typical slot game.
However, the fact that there is a now a leveling up aspect to the game means that the slot could well appeal to an increasing number of gamers. Particularly those who enjoy levelling up on simple social media games. These types of games have proven especially popular in recent times and it is fair to assume that these gamers are also part of the target demographic for users.
Finally, there is also a high number of casino games, poker players and sports betting enthusiasts who are willing to try out a new slot every now and then and the novelty of having an in-built leveling up mechanism within the game will certainly attract this type of player too.
The Castle Builder slot is likely to be the first of several level-based slots to be made available in the near future by Microgaming and it will be interesting to see how popular they become with the slot-playing cognoscenti.
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