Well, it’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) time again and, despite the fact I have been to 20 or so combined World Gaming Congresses and G2Es, I still find myself genuinely excited about the event. Here’s hoping it will be the smart, brassy and hectic happening it always seems to be… I would have it no other way.

One thing is for certain: having just completed the annual World of Slots piece for this magazine (see article starting on page 18), I think everyone will be more than happy with the quantity and quality of new slot games and related-devices being proffered by vendors on the G2E tradeshow floor. Some of the items that caught my eye and merit a booth visit include: 

TRUE 4D and Virtual Zone from IGT (booth 3659): One of the neatest games on the floor at G2E 2016 was IGT’s SPHINX 4D slot, which used haptic technology to bring high-definition 3D game play to a whole new level. This year, the company is expanding the concept, introducing new TRUE 4D titles for its CrystalCurve cabinets, headlined by Ghostbusters 4D which, for fans of the movie and the long-running slot game, seems a natural theme to “supersize” with 4D magic.

Another item at the IGT booth that will also be of interest to me is the “Virtual Zone,” a dedicated area that highlights the company’s new virtual reality, tournament and eSports betting applications, according to company press materials. This area will also showcase IGT games such as Arcade Saga and Tournament Archery.

Castlevania video slots from Konami Gaming (booth 1154): Another fun machine that debuted at last year’s G2E was Konami’s Castlevania, a re-imagining of the popular 1980s video game as a slot machine that features arcade-like play in the bonus rounds. The response to Castlevania has been such that Konami is adding to its line with Castlevania: Labyrinth of Love and Castlevania: Ring of the Heavens, both of which will be housed on the company’s Concerto Crescent curved screen cabinet. It will be interesting to see how the new concepts carry on the original’s mix of slot machine and arcade game play mechanics.

James Bond-themed slots from Scientific Games (booth 1126): As a movie-addicted child of the 1970s, I can’t begin to describe how big of a deal the James Bond film franchise was (definitely among the top three with me and my friends, along with the Planet of the Apes and Star Wars cycles). I’m happy to see Scientific Games, which has a deft touch bringing movie-themed slots to life, has decided to tackle Bond in three inaugural game titles based on the movies Casino Royale, Goldfinger, and Diamonds Are Forever.

The Walking Dead slots from Aristocrat Technologies (booth 1141): A trip to the Aristocrat Technologies booth on the G2E show floor rarely disappoints. This year, I will drop by to see, among other things, The Walking Dead 3 slot game—the company’s latest iteration of its very entertaining and highly successful game line based on The Walking Dead television series. Aristocrat will also be showcasing its new RELM XL reel spinner cabinet, which features a dynamic topper wheel available in player favorite themes such as Buffalo and Britney.

Also on my list of things to see and sample are the PAC-MAN DYNAMIC EDITION slot from Ainsworth Game Technology (booth 1259A), NOVOMATIC AMERICAS’ From Dusk Till Dawn branded-games for online and land-based casinos (booth 1259), the Hot Stuff Diamond Blaze sign package from Everi (booth 1116) and the Xtreme Jackpots multi-linked progressive ecosystem from AGS (booth 1253).

This is quite a list and it’s bound to expand as G2E rolls closer. I would have it no other way.