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Incredible Technologies uses its Prism Element format to branch into new game styles

By Frank Legato


Slot supplier Incredible Technologies (IT) has always been known for giving players what they want. Ever since the Illinois-based company branched out from its traditional amusement-game business (it still produces the legendary tavern game Golden Tee Golf) 12 years ago, IT has tested and gauged player reaction to its games, and has turned its most popular games into continuing game families.

This year, IT is branching its new game families out to serve a wider swath of players. While the company has used its amusement background to create a wealth of fun in entertainment-based games, many of the newest offerings on the sleek Prism Element cabinet are designed to appeal to the avid gambler.

The Prism Element, the follow-up to IT’s groundbreaking Prism VXP (with the moving monitors), is designed for repeat play with a striking 55-inch portrait monitor and a comfortable 18.5-inch button deck.

“We’re really happy to see the performance of the Prism Element cabinet,” says Kelsey Reish, product marketing manager for Incredible Technologies. “It was launched with the intention of capturing a different player audience for us. IT had a lot of success with entertainment-style games, and with this cabinet launch, we were looking to capture more of an avid player with gambler-type games.”

The cabinet’s sleek design allows for the kind of focused play a highly volatile game can provide. “There are not a lot of lights, bells and whistles going on, so it really allows players to focus on the game,” Reish says. “And the games for Prism Element typically have a higher volatility, more gambler-style math, while still addressing the trending features in the market as well.”

The cabinet launched last year with inaugural titles Lotus Link and Treasure Lock. Both featured lock and spin bonuses with enhancements from three collection pots, and both used the oversized monitor to great effect, capturing both entertainment-seeking players and avid gamblers to become one of IT’s most popular games of the year.

Last fall, IT released the first Prism Element game to really capitalize on the format to attract the avid gambler. Called Stack Up Pays Island Riches, it employed a unique “Random Expands” feature that expands the reels to different heights with each free spin, enhancing the pays in the ways-to-win format.

It was quickly a hit. “It debuted and hit the top of some of the industry performance charts as the No. 1 performing new core video theme, so we’re bringing a second title to the game family,” says Reish. “It retains the same bonus feature and a lot of the bones of the original, but we’ve added enhancements and bonus trigger elements players are really going to like.”

Stack Up Pays Sakura Riches repeats the Random Expands feature—which, as the series title indicates, “stacks up” the reel heights during the free-spin round.

The base game is a five-reel, 243-ways-to-win game, with three rows of symbols per reel. A wild yin-yang symbol substitutes for all but bonus trigger symbols.

Free spins are triggered by three like-colored dragon scatter symbols. However, in the primary game, any dragon symbols that do not trigger the bonus add from one to five “Random Expands” to an accumulating meter corresponding to the color of the dragon.

The meters, marked “Mini,” “Minor,” “Major,” “Grand” and “Mega,” are positioned to the left of the big screen, which depicts a Japanese mountain surrounded by cherry blossoms (which replaces the tropical volcano from Island Riches). Each meter has a “must hit by” level, the Mega being the highest, reaching several hundred reel expansions. When the number of Random Expands approaches the must-hit level, it sparkles until another dragon on the reels causes it to burst and trigger the free-spin round.

Ten free spins follow, with the accumulated Random Expands applied to each spin, causing random reels to expand up to a maximum of 10 rows of symbols as the feature progresses. With enough Random Expands accumulated, all five reels can grow to 10 symbols, which raises the ways to win—originally 243—to a remarkable 100,000 ways to win on one or more free spins.

Because the ways to win are increasing varying amounts on each spin, the credit award from this feature can be huge. In fact, it is for this reason that there are no jackpots or progressives—the reel expansions replace them with potential big free-spin wins. In fact, the top possible award on the Stack Up Pays games is 729,000 credits at default max bet, and the game is installed with denominations all the way up to $1—a top $729,000 if you find that denom (probably in the high-end room).

There are two other ways to trigger the free-spin bonus. Any random dragon on the screen can trigger the bonus with that color’s number of reel expansions. Also, wild yin-yang scatters fly up to the mountain during base-game spins. Randomly, the mountain will glow and trigger a picking bonus to reveal one of the meters and trigger the free-spin round with those accumulated Random Expands.

Regardless of how the bonus is triggered, it’s really fun to watch as the reel heights go up and down to trigger a variety of wins during the free-spin round. Reish notes that the anticipation feature as a meter approaches its “must hit” level can cue players to adjust their wagers accordingly—another gambler-friendly feature.

“Players love it,” she says. “Players are checking out those meters with the number of expansions displayed. Anything that’s close to hitting will be on fire and sparkle, so players may choose their bet level based on what’s close to hitting.

“The free spins are where a lot of the return to player is in this game. There are no progressives or jackpots, so players who don’t want to chase a progressive still have the opportunity to have some really big wins with this feature. And we’re really excited to offer more high volatility. Avid gamblers are finding this game and really enjoying it, which is very different for Incredible Technologies.”

Sakura Riches will be rolling out this summer. Expect to see it paired with the Island Riches version of the game.


More Volatility

Stack Up Pays Sakura Riches is a great example of how high volatility can appeal to the avid gambler. Volatility refers to the manner in which a game distributes its pays. The entertainment-style games typically have low volatility, which translates into a steady stream of low-level hits, keeping the player in the game and enjoying fun, entertaining bonus features.

High-volatility games may not dish out wins that return or double your bet every other spin, but when they do hit, they hit big. Gamblers seek to ride out the house advantage for a better shot at the big money.

One other high-volatility game released last fall around the time the original Stack Up Pays game was launched is the 3 Doves game family. This is another game that uses a ways-to-win format and expanding reels to award huge credit wins.

Above base-game reels—a five-by-three reel window with 243 ways to win—are three flying doves, each carrying a different-colored bucket of gold coins. Red, blue and green wild scatter symbols each send coins up to the corresponding bucket, any of which can burst to award 10 free spins.

Each scatter symbol adds an enhancement to the free spins.

The red bonus awards 10 free spins with reels containing only the top-paying symbols. The blue bonus offers players a choice of bonus event—free spins varying from 15 spins with 243 ways to win up to an expanded reel array with 7,776 ways to win. (They can also leave it up to fate with a random pick for a chance of any combination of spins and ways.) The green bonus features randomly expanding reels for 10 spins.

The goal, of course, is to empty all three buckets at once for a maximum enhancement of the free-spin round. As with Stack Up Pays, all those ways to wins return awards big enough that no progressive chase is needed. In denominations of pennies through 10 cents, the top possible award at max bet is 2,187,000 credits—$21,870 in pennies and $218,700 in dimes.

     In another cool feature, the casino can add IT’s “Big Win Leaderboard” display to either Stack Up Pays or 3 Doves. This lists and ranks the top wins in the game’s history, much like the high score on the old arcade games.

“We don’t have major progressives advertised on the screen, but we do have the capability to advertise those big wins, and all the potential these games have,” Reish says. “So, as you see these games out in the field, you can actually see the all-time, hall-of-fame winners. There also are recent winners and monthly winners lists. Each ranking shows 10 wins with the amount won, and at what denomination and bet level, and the date of the hit. So players of any bet range can see what the potential is on a theme.”

The volatility mix in IT’s games stands to continue to add variety to the supplier’s game styles. “We’ve found success with higher-volatility themes like Stack Up Pays and 3 Doves, and even Treasure Lock, and Power Push, which is on the Prism VXP,” says Reish.

“We’ve taken what we’ve learned from those themes and we’re building it into future development across all of our cabinets. So, players can expect to see us iterate on features that have been released recently, because it’s what’s working. We’re still going to have entertainment-style and lower-volatility themes, because we know those players are still an important portion of the market.

“The avid players have the wallet at casinos, so we want to try to capture that market.”

Avid games for avid players. And more variety for everyone.





Slot Type: Five-reel, 243-ways-to-win video slot; free spins with expanding reels; .01, .02, .05, .10, .25, .50 and 1.00 denominations

Payback % Range: 86.07%-94.08%

Average Hit Frequency: Approximately 30%

Top Jackpot: 729,000 credits times denomination



Slot Type: Five-reel, 243-ways-to-win video slot; free spins with pot-collection enhancements, including expanding reels; 01, .02, .05 and .10 denominations

Payback % Range: 86.07%-94.08%

Average Hit Frequency: Approximately 30%

Top Jackpot: 2,187,000 credits times denomination


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