Casino & Poker

From joysticks to touchscreens: how video games influence slots

Mega Boy - Retro Slot Game

When you look through NetBets wide range of over 1,600 slots, you will see a lot of different sources of inspiration. Film, literature, even sports are all influencing the design and gameplay of all of our best slots. So much so, that we even give them their own categories like As Seen on TV and Tales and Legends.

One of the biggest influences for our slots are taken from video games: past and present.

Remaking the classics

Have a look in our Classic Casino range and you’ll definitely see some names that’ll get your nostalgia going. Anyone who visited an arcade in the 80s would have played an Atari game. Here at NetBet, two of their most popular titles have been given the casino makeover: Star Raiders and Asteroids.

Things have come a long way since Star Raiders first appeared in 1979. When you see the slot’s symbols you will recognise all the different Zylon vessels you had to blow up, but now they are in fully rendered 3D rather than 8-bit. The tricky UFO is now a wild symbol like no other. Each will lock onto the reel for a random number of spins. You’ll also get to enjoy Red Alert – Battle Mode which will give you three or more Free Spins.

Asteroids came out the same year as Star Raiders but with a vector monitor. It also wasn’t first-person like Star Raiders and operated a little like Space Invaders. You shot at asteroids, which broke up into smaller pieces and moved faster, all while trying to avoid being hit yourself. In the NetBet slot, the ships, asteroids, and UFOs make up the background decoration looking just as they did nearly forty years ago.

If you want to read more about how Atari influences the retrogaming landscape check out more on the NetBet Casino blog here.


Old school style, all new games

Even when our providers are coming up with whole new games, the lure of the nostalgic aesthetic is still very strong. Often, you will find slots only a few years old done up in an 8-bit style. None of our providers embody this more than Thunderkick. They remember the days when you could see every pixel in your games and recall a certain charm that gave to the design.

Flamebusters is like booting up an old Gameboy cartridge, right down to the “©1986 Thunderkick” logo at the bottom of the screen (in reality, the provider was founded in 2012.) Then you get to spin a grid that looks like an apartment block about to go up in flames, firefighters at the ready. Some of the residents at the windows (these are our symbols) might leave you scratching your head. Like, that goat with a cigarette is probably breaking several building codes. And who is leasing a flat to a goat in the first place? This is just one of the puzzling visuals that keeps you watching and playing everything Flamebusters has to offer.

Another 8-bit nostalgia fest is the NetBet exclusive, MegaBoy. Our partners, iSoftBet have created a game that is so unique, yet so familiar at the same time. All the fun characters are new original creations, but their world will definitely remind you of all the best side-scrolling games of the 80s. These two characters are waiting to bestow their own power ups in a round of Free Spins.


Finding inspiration in today’s new games

When we took our gaming from consoles onto our phones, games went through a change. They had to adapt to touch screens and appeal to people who were short on time. Slots always had that draw as one spin lasts only a few seconds. When games like Candy Crush debuted, their format looked very similar to a slot. Lots of different symbols and a grid system that was reminiscent of reels.

Of course, things always come full circle. Using the cluster pays rather than pay line feature, slot makers came up with titles that app gamers will love. NetBet has titles such as Sweet Alchemy which has many elements of a great app beyond making clusters of the same coloured candy. It features a point meter that rewards you with better combos and you can even progress through levels along a winding trail, getting prizes along the way.

Ever played Fruit Ninja? Well there’s a slot that will tick all your boxes if you’re a fan. Fruit Warp throws pieces of fruit at the screen, hoping to get three or more of the same fruit for big winnings and special features. And it’s not just your usual fare of casino fruit like lemons and cherries. You’ll be playing with the likes of dragonfruit, kiwano melon, and starfruit.


Among NetBet slots, some of us are looking forward, some of us are looking back. Video games and slots are always inspiring each other, as each new development comes along. VR is already making waves in the casino gaming market, making the experience immersive. But we never can fully predict where gaming technology will take us next.