“Rain Balls is the first real-money slot game that really ties up the excitement of pinball style mechanics with the triggering of features,” explained Uri Cohen, VP of operations and content for Skywind Group as the company provides a glimpse at its next slot.
Skywind recently launched its latest slot title with Jaguar Gold, yet have decided to move away from the norm and venture into new territory with its soon-to-be released slot title Rain Balls.
The game will merge the excitement of a pinball machine with the added value of random number generated slot titles, while also including bonus games and special game features.
Cohen took time to speak about its ‘first of a kind’ slot title, discussing how the company came up with the idea, the ways in which it differs from other slot titles and what players can expect from Skywind in the near future.
SlotBeats: How did you come up with the idea of Rain Balls?
Uri Cohen: The idea emerged as part of Skywind’s ongoing research into slot innovation. It is a combination of a few directions we are exploring. The first being the crossing over of successful entertainment games into the real-money slots arena.
In this case, with Rain-Balls, we combined the balls and pins type arcade games, which are very popular in Asia, with a hint of the classic pinball game with its worldwide appeal. We coupled that with our made-for-portrait approach (AKA dual screen engagement) where we split the screen into two areas that complement each other, creating extra engagement.
As for the name – even that is a result of playfulness. It’s a play on words. Rain balls sound like rainbows, which, coupled with the cauldron evokes the thoughts of leprechauns. It’s also raining balls, from the top screen to the bottom. Not to mention the old saying, it’s raining… balls.
SB: You mentioned on your website that it’s the ‘first of its kind’, can you explain how so?
UC: Rain Balls is the first real-money slot game that really ties up the excitement of pinball-style mechanics with the triggering of features. The pinball mechanics are very realistic. Watching the balls rattle through the pins towards the prize pots is highly suspenseful, hypnotic, you almost can’t look away.
Getting the Extra Balls feature makes this even “crazier” in that it really evokes the spirit of pinball games where you can win multiple balls leading to the triggering of multiple features. In Free Games, we introduced safety walls.
These prevent balls from falling out, increasing your chances to trigger features. There has never been a real money online slot game that created such a unique experience of this sort before.
SB: How does the game differ from other slot titles already out there?
UC: The differences are very apparent, as you can imagine by now. The dual screen design with the slots on top is very unique. Add to that the pinball mechanics, and to that the bonus wheel stops the reels, and you’ve got a game with a look, feel and play like no other.
The game has a cash bonus that’s decided by a wheel of fortune of sorts – the bonus wheel. As you trigger the bonus, the view will pan upwards and fill the screen so players can focus on it.
Rain Balls is neatly designed to mimic a 3-part physical machine. The pinball area is fixed to the bottom of the screen, the reels area sits above the pinball, and above these is the bonus wheel. It feels very real.
Moreover, the fact that in any given spin you can trigger extra balls allows for many occasions where you get multiple feature triggers in one spin. This can translate to multiple expanding wilds with multipliers, to frequent free game retriggers, and to winning multiple spins on the bonus wheel.
SB: What are Skywind’s expectations upon its release? Would this be something you look to include in more of your games?
UC: We expect the game to do very well, of course. We designed a medium volatility math for the game to suit a wide range of players. We believe this game has such a broad appeal that even casual players can enjoy it, expanding our reach into new markets. As you know by now, the mechanics are quite unique, so porting it to more games is no trivial thing.
However, the principles of innovation run strong at Skywind Group. This unique approach to UX, combined with the made-for-portrait approach play a big part in our vision for the future and we will continue to invest in these directions. As for including these elements in future games, as always, we will analyze Rain Balls’s performance down to every part and use our conclusions to inform our decisions and input for our next games.
SB: Leading on from this slot launch, is there anything in the next six to twelve months that players can look forward to?
UC: Definitely. There is always something special in Skywind’s pipeline. Every year we make sure to allocate space in our roadmap for innovation. We are constantly on the lookout for popular game mechanics from all over the world, from every genre, that we can cross-over and introduce to the online real money slots arena.
Similarly, we are researching cultural trends in various markets worldwide, and deriving our inspiration from these for provocative themes and stories that will resonate with players. This can work for specific audiences to create market-specific games, or widely spread trends and phenomenon and global hits.