Slot Machines – If you walk into any land-based casino, you’re likely to see several machines, and in some of the bigger venues you’ll find hundreds or thousands of them. But among all those one arm bandits, there have always favorites. Those that have been popular include Double Diamond, Red White & Blue, Blazing 7’s, Wheel of Fortune, Megabucks, and Cleopatra.
There is a new most popular slot machine, and you can hear it across the casino floor, wild buffalo herds have become an iconic symbol in casinos around the world thanks to Aristocrat Technologies’ wildly successful Buffalo-themed slot machines.
“It’s insane how popular it is,” said Paul Riley, a London-based blogger for Gamingslots. “It seems to be everywhere now. At one time, you might see one here or there; now, it’s like casinos have their own Buffalo areas.”
Consider all the variations after the original – Buffalo Deluxe, Buffalo Grand, Buffalo Stampede, Buffalo Gold and the inclusion of these games on the Wonder 4, & Wonder Tower multiple game entries. Enter any casino and you’ll find them. Buffalo has been named the top-performing game for four consecutive years in the annual Goldman Sachs Slot Survey. But, why has it taken the top slot spot?
Ric Anderson of the Las Vegas Sun hints that it is a perfect balance between high and low volatility, saying, “Players say Buffalo strikes an almost perfect balance between the two. The game appeals to a broad range of players, from those who seek fat payoffs to those who are content simply to receive lots of spins. Buffalo’s formula tends to keep players at the game for lengthy periods, thanks to a bonus design that provides free spins.”
The game-play features that contribute to Buffalo’s popularity include:
• A bonus within a bonus. Receive three coins on the first three reels of the game and bonus spins are unlocked. Get more coins on those free spins and more free spins are awarded.
“One of the things players say they really love is the bonus retrigger,” said Matt Wilson, director of marketing and sales at Aristocrat. “They like the ability to accumulate more free games along the way.”
• Reel power. On many slot machines, symbols had to line up for players to win. Not so on Buffalo. As long as the correct symbols appear anywhere on consecutive reels, starting from the farthest left, there’s a payoff.
• Multipliers that multiply each other. When a 2x symbol appears as part of a winning spin, the win doubles. When a 3x symbol comes up, it triples. But when two or more 2x or 3x symbols pop up, they multiply each other to crank up the win by a multiple of six. It’s possible to receive three 3x symbols to multiply the win 27 times.
Paul Riley explains, “The wins are done in a way that they generally come in the bonus feature of the game,” Riley said. “When you hit the bonus feature, there’s almost like a punch-the-fist-in-the-air moment because there’s a good chance you’ll have a big win…….the game’s graphics and audio — such as a loud stampeding noise when buffaloes appear on the reels, and wild animal sounds like the eagle sound, are on par with the classic ringing noise of a slot machine.”
So, are we going to see soon from Aristocrat?
“We are thrilled to bring RELM XL to our customers,” said Jon Hanlin, Aristocrat’s vice-president of commercial strategy-gaming operations. “We introduced the new cabinet at Global Gaming Expo 2017, and the response was universally positive, both in terms of the cabinet design and in the games we are launching on RELM XL.”
The cabinet stands nine and one-half feet tall. It features an attractive mechanical wheel “topper” and unique 43-inch J-curved monitor with full touchscreen capabilities, classic reel symbols, stereo sound, and LED edge lighting. The cabinet also houses a physical bell that rings in celebration of a big win.
That’s where its Buffalo franchise comes in. Aristocrat’s first release of the new cabinet and technology includes Buffalo Thundering 7’s and Buffalo Inferno. Buffalo Thundering 7’s features traditional 7’s, bars, multipliers, large symbols including the Buffalo, and a wheel that gives players a spectacular big-screen stepper (three reel) experience.
Buffalo Inferno, designed for the higher denomination stepper player, features a mechanical wheel that delivers dollar values and a multi-level progressive.
The next slot in the Slot Machine Hall of Fame.