From its humble origins as a 60s promotional gimmick, through years of being a fun cornershop staple, to its latest incarnation as a modern multimedia extravaganza, the simple scratchcard has always been evolving. Now maverick indie games studio Black Pudding Games have arrived on the scene and they’re aiming to push the instant win game on to its next evolutionary stage with smart innovations and their trademark radical approach to design.
Doing Things Differently – Who are Black Pudding Games?
Black Pudding Games are an independent games studio who like to do things differently. The company was founded in 2018 by three casino and entertainment industry experts who were tired of seeing the same old ideas packaged and repackaged time and again. They wanted to bring fresh ideas and innovations to a sometimes stagnant field. In short, they wanted to dare to be different.
It’s safe to say that, so far, they’ve lived up to their ideals. In 2020, Black Pudding Games exploded onto the online slots scene with their first game: Aeterna. This revolutionary (in more ways than one) debut title threw out the rulebook and drew praise for its radically different approach to online slots gameplay. Powered by Black Pudding Games’ Orbital Reactor game engine, Aeterna is a complete reimagining of the traditional slots game that creates a genuinely unique, rotational gameplay experience.
The Super Selector Engine Games
Black Pudding Games have just released a trio of new scratchcard titles and their approach to the instant win game is just as innovative as their approach to the slots game was, although in different ways. They haven’t completely reinvented the basic format here. You may even be surprised to see that all three of the new games are played on a traditional three by three grid, in stark contrast to the mind-bending orbital wonder that was Aeterna’s play area. Instead, the innovations here are in the gameplay and the system of rewards.
All of Black Pudding Games’ new scratchcards are built on their Super Selector Instant Win format. Super Selector takes the familiar, intuitive scratchcard gameplay that players know and love, and injects an extra dimension of excitement and tension by tying the rewards to the player’s interactions.
While the core gameplay is what you’d expect from a scratchcard – reveal three matching symbols to win a prize – the size of your prize is related to the number of picks you use to find a matching set. The faster you find those matches, the bigger the prize.
This innovation may seem like a simple idea, but it can actually dramatically change the gameplay experience. In most instant win games, the order of reveals doesn’t matter at all. In Super Selector games, each reveal is given extra weight and importance, because players know that they can hit the biggest wins if they match the symbols quickly.
Super Selector Games Come With Intelligent Features
Black Pudding Games should be commended for not just devising and implementing an innovative idea with their Super Selector feature, but also for thinking it through and providing tools to support it. No modern online scratchcard would be complete without an Autoplay feature. Some players prefer to save themselves some clicking and once you’ve gotten used to it, it’s hard to go back!
But what happens when the order of revealing symbols is important, as it is in Super Selector games? Having the Autoplay just go from the top left or pick in a random order wouldn’t feel satisfying and would undermine the feeling of player interactivity that’s the core strength of the Super Selector engine.
Black Pudding have elegantly solved this issue by providing players with a Custom Pattern Autoplay feature that allows them to choose for themselves the order of Autoplay reveals. What’s more, the interface is so simple and intuitive that most players will understand how to use it at first glance.
It’s also to their credit that Black Pudding Games have designed their Super Selector games to be mobile-friendly first and foremost. Most people in the business recognise that mobile is the future of online real money gaming, so it’s great to see a company designing games in the preferred portrait orientation, rather than cobbling together a mobile-friendly layout as an afterthought.
Unique Scratchcard Games With Creative Themes
To accompany the innovative gameplay of their three Super Selector games, Black Pudding have come up with some varied and interesting themes, which should appeal to a range of different gamers. In keeping with the company’s ‘do things differently’ philosophy, each game’s theme features some original ideas and largely avoids online gambling industry cliches.
First up is Bun in the Oven, which has arguably the most ‘traditional’ theme of the three – albeit with a twist! Players are placed in a bakery where they must try to bake the perfect sweet bun by wiping the steam away from the oven door and revealing three matching coloured cakes.
This isn’t just any bakery, though. This bakery is owned by Pat O’Cake, the bare-knuckle baking champion of Ireland. He’ll pay you handsomely if you can complete your task, but if you fail and those cakes burn up in the oven, he’s not going to be happy!
The next new game in the set is Squeaky Blinders, a fantastically titled offering that puts players in the role of Patty O’Cake, a.k.a. The Verminator. Patty is the formidable, shotgun-toting wife of Pat O’Cake from Bun in the Oven, and is on a one-woman mission to rid Pat’s bakery of the visually-impaired, time-travelling mice (yes, really) who’ve been running amok there.
To put a stop to their mischief, you need to find three matching mice by blowing away their hiding places with your shotgun before they escape through time in a burst of temporal energy.
Rounding out the trio is Slice & Dice, a genuinely unique, darkly humorous game in which you, the player, are cast as a surgeon in an operating theatre. The diagnosis is clear: this patient has Die-abetes. His body is filling up with dice and only your surgical skill can save him, so sharpen your scalpel and get slicing!
All three Super Selector games are out now, so you can experience for yourselves the scratchcard innovations that Black Pudding Games have cooked up. Aeterna was always going to be a tough act to follow, but the company have delivered admirably. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.