With so many companies entering the online casino software market over the last twenty years, timing has had as much of an impact on a company’s success as the product itself. In the case of Rival Gaming, the company could not have launched at a worse time but has rebounded to not only be a profitable organization but one that has built a series of slot machines that have become very desirable.
A Brief History of Rival Gaming
Rival Gaming is a software company that is from Canada, which has also been the home of many of the early casino software providers (Cryptologic being the best-known). Rival came after the first wave of online casino success, building their platform in time for a launch in 2006. Those of you who know the history of the online casino business know that 2006 is a horrible year for the business. With the passing of the UIGEA in the United States in October of that year, the industry was set backward, leaving many companies like Rival Gaming unsure of what the future would bring.
When it launched, Rival attracted a couple of big names to their client list, and it would appear that having discussed all the possibilities with these licensees, staying open and more importantly staying open to U.S.-facing operations in the face of the uncertainty was the path for the company. However, this also meant taking on significant risk regarding who they had as clients. This was compounded when it was revealed that many of their licensees were not paying players, causing an uproar in the community. Before these allegations damaged its legacy, Rival decided to shut down many of these rogue operations, which had an immediate impact on its bottom line.
During all of this turmoil, one thing that didn’t change was Rival’s desire to innovate in the industry. Casino games have for the most part been the same for decades, and while the introduction of video slots changed the way those games could be played (think advanced pay lines), the games themselves lacked any real stickiness.
Along came the iSlots from Rival Gaming. These games featured a storyline that complemented the gameplay, and for the first time what you did on the screen had an impact on the overall story. By adding bonus levels and pages to the story that could only be revealed by gathering specific symbols, there was now a reason for players to want to play these games longer. Also, the story was paused when you stopped playing, so it didn’t start all over again the next time you entered the game.
iSlots quickly became the company’s most popular product, although it does offer a full suite of traditional slot machines to go along with Table Games and video poker. The vendor remains one of the few in the industry who will accept licensees planning to bring on American players.
Top Three Rival Slots Games
As The Reels Turn
This iSlots game is so popular among players that it has spawned two sequel games already! This game is a soap opera-themed game, featuring the same heroes and villains that you would find on daytime television. You can really see the iSlots style in playing this 5 reel machine, as you are often switching between spinning the reels and watching the story unfold. There are several Scatter symbols, and bonus games are revealed as you go, which also help advance the storyline.
Reel Crime: Bank Heist
We have noticed that there seem to be a lot of robbery-themed games in slot catalogs. While we aren’t sure if that is feeding or fueling our inner desires, what we do know about this 5-reel iSlot game is that it puts you in the shoes of a bank robber, navigating through a map all while playing the game itself. With 4 different stages of the game map, it is a title that will keep you coming back as “you” attempt to break into the bank and rob the safe. As for gameplay, we love all the bonus coins you can win, and the sped and sounds of the game are excellent.
Catsino is one of the more recent slots released by Rival Gaming, and the reason we want to highlight it is that it is a slot machine that features a chat window. This is a relatively new feature in the slots world, as the game is played on an individual level so never before have providers thought that it required a social outlet. The rise of Facebook games proved that people wanted not only a great product but a reason to be social while gambling. This 5 reel, 50 pay line game offers that to players, and he…there’s a bunch of cats on the screen as well.
The games from Rival are available in instant play format, making them available to players without having to download the full casino (which is still an option for this casino as well). Instant play games also make the Rival suite of games accessible via the browsers of most mobile devices. On the devices we have, we tested some of the games and found them to be robust in nature. While perhaps the speed of the game slips a little when playing on a cell connection, it isn’t so noticeable that you will want to stop playing the games.