Any publicity is supposedly good publicity, so it makes sense developers use a bit of hype to crank up player interest. Boarding the hype train is as exciting for designers as it is for fans riding the wave of anticipation before the release date. Some marketing boffin is no doubt working on a formula to calculate the required payoff to hype ratio. Score positively, and games are destined for greatness. Cock it up, and slots wash up on the shores of spiteful obscurity for their short doomed shelf life.
So it was with the 6 slots on this list, which were greeted by enthusiastic players who really wanted them to be as good as they were hyped to be. The problem with bigging something up is, if it doesn’t deliver, diehard fans will turn on it faster than the most ardent critic. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at a selection of games, that could of, should have, been better, but were met by the stony wall of disdain.
Reactoonz 2 (Play’n GO)
Built on the back of Energoonz, the original Reactoonz appeared on the scene in 2017, instantly bewitching players with its mix of grid slot gaming and super charming characters. When Play’n GO announced a sequel, players of all descriptions delighted at the thought of what wizardry the studio could have possibly conjured up. It turns out for many the magic was more smoke and mirrors than real substance.
While an extremely busy slot with a lot going on, many players are of the opinion that it rarely ever results in anything of substance. Or as one player put it; “One spin might take over a minute with all that’s happening, but at the end you win 2x because Garga doesn’t come out. I got Garga out once and won 300x so there is that, but still not a fan.”
Sadly, interest in Reactoonz 2 went ice cold moments after release, falling into the shadow of its older, more beloved, sibling.
Released amongst all the fanfare only a big studio can muster up at an event like the 2019 London Ice Conference, deadmau5 was to be a stylishly hip amalgamation of slots and one of the most popular EDM artists on the planet. Fans had images of mixing their own exclusive club parties while potentially winning a few coins along the way, whenever the mood struck.
Unfortunately, deadmau5 turned out to be more Fyre Festival than Tomorrowland. Fans did get to jam along to a couple of deadmau5 tracks, but the selection was minimal, as were the payouts, not helped by bland, generic gameplay. Sex sells, yet not even an abundance of ‘dreamy babes’ could stop this party acquiring lame status.
Chocolates (Big Time Gaming)
One of the tough decisions when making a follow-up is how closely it should resemble the one which came before it. Deviating too much risks driving a wedge between the game and its fan base, yet stick too close, and you end up with something like Big Time Gaming‘s slot Chocolates. Chocolates was the follow up to the hugely popular slot Donuts, a game sweet on the outside, but containing a wicked math model and devious features. Being such a huge success, expectations for the sequel were high, to say the least.
The problem with Chocolates is not that it actually had any major faults; it just didn’t have enough to set it apart from Donuts either. While there are no major complaints about the game, reality outstripped hype, and Chocolates was left to drift off into the world, many players unsure why they’d choose this when Donuts was already available. Interestingly, a third installment in BTG’s 4×4 series of slots is on the way titled Pop.
Valley of the Gods 2 (Yggdrasil Gaming)
Making an Egyptian themed slot stand out from the crowd is no mean feat, yet it is exactly what Yggdrasil Gaming achieved with one of their early breakouts Valley of the Gods. Hosting the singular gameplay was a board that allowed players to smash blocker tiles to open up pay ways in thrilling win sequences.
The sequel, Valley of the Gods 2, was played on a differently laid out grid, which could produce equally extended win chains. Despite having plenty of positive factors, Valley of the Gods 2 didn’t make anywhere near the same impression as the original. For whatever reason, the sequel failed to ignite the community, preventing it from becoming the repeat hit many had expected.
Mystery Museum (Push Gaming)
Push Gaming famously takes time to release games without scrimping on details or cutting corners. This meticulous approach usually pays healthy dividends since most of their games turn out to be unique experiences. As such, whether fairly or not, players expect to be taken somewhere they didn’t know they wanted to go each time.
It was obvious a lot of resources were poured into Mystery Museum, resulting in a very attractive slot offering interesting features like the Power Gamble. Mystery Museum’s main issue is that it could essentially be boiled down to a ‘book of’ slot with a twist, limiting much major excitement. Although having tried to inject a dose of ingenuity and innovation, Mystery Museum simply didn’t stand out quite as much as expected, thus falling a bit flat.
Montezuma Megaways (WMS)
Combining one of the most iconic slots ever with the magic of Megaways should have been a slam dunk for developer WMS. In a cruel twist, the exact opposite was to be the fate of Montezuma Megaways. Disappointingly, it was designed possessing an awkward clunk that couldn’t be wholly blamed on its classic heritage.
Perhaps another reason could be players who loved the original had no desire to see their classic games violated by new-fangled upstarts like Megaways. Whatever the explanation, Montezuma Megaways was a slot packing huge expectations which was quickly and quietly dragged into the slots recycle bin.
Lists like these are bound to ruffle a few feathers, and who knows, perhaps in a generation these fated few will find retro status after garnering a cult following. If there are games you feel are missing, or have a burning desire to defend any noted here, be sure to have your say in the comments!