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Why the Appearance of Slot Games Has Changed

Slot games have been extremely popular and widely played for many years, but you may wonder why we’re now seeing more examples of these games with different appearances from those in the past. The following reasons help to explain these changes and show how the industry is changing.

To Include the Use of the Megaways Format

The original slot machines had three reels with just one payline where wins could be formed by getting matching symbols like fruits and bells. This format was eventually expanded to include more reels and paylines, but the technology on land-based mechanical slots meant that this was still a fixed format that remained the same on every spin. With the arrival of online slots, these restrictions were removed, and developers could add new features and ways of playing.

This has led to Megaways™ slots, which use a mechanism that means the number of ways to win varies randomly on each spin. With titles such as Mammoth Gold Megaways, Dynamite Riches Megaways, and Power Fishing Megaways, many different themes, this type of gameplay is now included in many different themes.

To Add New Ways of Winning

The idea of getting winning combinations of identical images across the reels hasn’t changed much since the days of the Liberty Bell machine. Still, the new technology has evolved how those combinations can be formed.


Some slots now operate on a cluster basis where matching symbols must touch each other to trigger a win. This is typically done on slots where the reels are replaced by a larger grid, which gives the chance for wins involving numerous symbols.

Another approach sees some of the reel positions locked at the start. Players then unlock these positions as they play, with winning lines or special symbols needed to do this. In this way, the game changes as players progress and the chance to claim bigger wins emerges, and maybe even a progressive jackpot.

To Introduce New Themes and Features  

The changes in this market are only sometimes related to new features that dramatically alter the gameplay. In other cases, the different looks are directly related to introducing new themes and features that give slots a fresh new twist. Titles such as Royal Potato 2, Cygnus 4, and Pirates Party reveal varied themes, with developers looking for original ways to incorporate the images and characters into their games.


New features can also affect the look of these games by changing their classic setup. For example, meters, where symbols are added to build up points and characters that swoop onto the reels to provide random bonuses, are among the ideas that have helped to add fresh gameplay and a new look.

All of these changes have given new slots a new appearance without losing any of the classic gameplay aspects that made them so popular in the first place. The future of slot design is sure to continue to evolve alongside shifting design trends, like those covered by Medium for 2024.

Graphic Designer with over 15 years experience. Cath writes about all your design and web illustration must-haves and favorites!