There have been plenty of innovations when it comes to online slots, particularly with greater inclusion of independent slot developers that bring fresh ideas to the development table. One such game is the Aeterna slot from new indie studio Black Pudding Games, released on the 1×2 Network. Its Orbital Paypath™ is a rich mix of revolutionary design and innovative gameplay, proving that once again small indie studios are at the forefront of pushing the online slot envelope. Slot developing giant Microgaming has a rich pedigree of working with smaller indies, releasing the likes of Deco Diamonds with Just For The Win and Ancient Warriors with Crazy Tooth Studios, to name but a few. But while those slots boast a zest and freshness, they lack the revolutionary payment structure and gameplay that Aeterna displays. This slot is set to take the slot world by storm and open the eyes of iGamers and developers across the world to further exploration.
Is Portrait Play The Future Of Mobile Slots?
Most slots are played on mobile or tablet devices these days, though of course they can also be played full screen on desktop or laptop for fully immersive iGaming experiences. Many modern mobile slots prompt the player to switch to landscape before the slot will even load to account for the orientation. But Aeterna Slot is designed to play with your phone in portrait mode, which means no need to use two hands to play. Smartphones are how most of us consume media, with the joke running that our thumbs will be the next piece of human beings to evolve.
At its core, Aeterna is a reconstructed three reel slot. Three reels of three symbols each spin inside each other, like a giant gyroscope in space, which is where Aeterna is set. It is a thematically excellent piece of development, echoing the rotating wheel space station concepts touted as the future of space stations throughout the first half of the 20th century. In Aeterna you score wins by landing symbols adjacently around the edge of the rotating wheels. Three adjacent symbols score wins according to the paytable, with the symbols composed of various ornately designed 3D shapes, each highlighted by a different coloured ethereal glow.
Aeterna Slot Puts New Spin On Symbol Cascades
Aeterna Slot uses an Orbital Reactor™ engine, which sees winning symbols disappear into deep space. New symbols cascade into their place, earning multipliers that increase with each winning cascade. The multipliers begin on x1 during the base game and x2 during the Free Spins bonus feature, which is similar to slots like Gonzo’s Quest that use an incrementally increasing multiplier that feature win multiplier boosts. This bonus multiplier mechanism, or those similar, has featured in plenty of slots before, but Aeterna’s innovation lasts not in the what but the how.
Aeterna’s other bonus feature, the Twin Win Booster™, makes use of the centre symbol position which is made redundant with the Orbital Pathway. When two sets of three matching symbols land opposite each other the Twin Win Booster feature activates. The centre symbol now transforms the outer symbols to form a six-symbol win combo, earning the max payout that a symbol can achieve during the game. The Orbital Reactor™ kicks in once more, earning further symbol cascades and multipliers. The win multiplier is capped at x20 during the base game and x40 during the Free Spins bonus feature.
Aeterna Slot Bucks The Trend For More Reels
They say that fashion is cyclical, and that trend is also true in online slot development. The Megaways™ game engine is undoubtedly the greatest innovation in recent online slots development, delivering up to 117,649 ways to win. These kinds of technical revolutions have occurred throughout the history of slot development. Slots progressed from mechanical three reel slots to five reel slots, and from video slots to online slots. Aeterna succeeds in its complete reimagining of the payment structure, a development that can be labeled as even more revolutionary than when Microgaming introduced the first ever Ways to Win slot in 2012 and NetEnt introduced its Cluster Pays™ pay system with Aloha! Cluster Pays in 2016.
The closest innovation to that of Aeterna Slot’s Orbital Reactor™ is Big Time Gaming’s reimagining of its own Megaways™ game engine. Just as every slot developer worth its salt began to rework classic games from their catalogues with the Megaways™ game engine under license from Big Time Gaming, BTG unveiled another innovation in its Star Clusters Megaclusters™ slot. That slot takes the Megaways™concept and revolutionised it, allowing for clusters of symbols to disappear and allowing series after series of clusters to form beneath as winning cluster combinations disappear. We are yet to see slot developers license their games with Megaclusters™ engines, but history indicates that we could yet see an Aloha! Megaclusters™ game.
Do Slot Innovation Awards Beckon For Aeterna?
The showpiece award ceremony for slot studios, developers and operators is undoubtedly the EGR Operator Awards, the Oscars of the eGaming sector. As with the Oscars the standout awards are the Operator of the Year and Game of the Year, the latter of which has often seen winners come from particularly innovative slots or casino games. Evolution’s Lightning Roulette (2018) and Monopoly Live (2019) scooped the Game of the Year awards thanks to their innovations within Live Casino games.
Innovations in online slots saw NetEnt’s Guns N Roses slot scoop the award in 2016 and ELK’s Wild Toro land the gong in 2017. Aeterna’s October release date has made it ineligible for the 2020 awards, which is published in mid September. But should the revolutionary Orbital Reactor™ see Aeterna become the year’s must play slot it could be in line for the 2021 Game of the Year award. Aeterna Slot’s portrait play style fits perfectly with the mobile first ethos that slot developers have been using to design slots since NetEnt’s pioneering Touch™ platform pushed mobile slot development ahead of the focus on online slots. The innovation is there. Black Pudding Games and 1×2 Games network have put themselves in line for the most prestigious award that any slot can achieve, and it is barely a month old.