ICE London slot product review
Top slot suppliers showcased their latest games and cabinets at last month’s ICE London event
As expected, last month’s ICE London tradeshow floor was truly something to behold.
Indeed, according to show organizer Clarion Gaming, the exhibition portion of this year’s ICE London was the largest ever, comprised of 633 exhibitor brands for 67 nations, which occupied 40 of the 44 halls at the ExCel London complex where the event was held.
As is usually the case, some of these exhibitors stood out more than others on the crowded ICE London show floor, thanks largely to their array of intriguing gaming offerings. What follows are some product recaps from slot supplier companies whose ICE London booths caught the attention of Casino Journal editors.
Konami Gaming showcased a significant lineup of compelling new cabinets and popular progressive series at the 2020 ICE London.
Game series displayed at the company’s booth included Dragon’s Law SeleXion, Ba Fang Jin Bao and Treasure Ball, which have demonstrated success across Konami’s specialty 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) machines—KX 43and Concerto Opus, according to press materials. As part of its continuing support for core dual-screen cabinets, the company had over two dozen original themes on Concerto upright and Slant—from jackpot progressives to SeleXion multi-game compatible content.
Gaming executives and professionals also encountered the official ICE premiere of Konami’s new 49J machine, offering high-end 4K entertainment across a 49-inch, “J-curve” display.
“This year’s ICE lineup was a demonstration of Konami’s commitment to delivering today’s top games, while driving new innovation for the future of the casino floor,” said Eduardo Aching, vice president, international gaming operations for Konami. “From the proven performance of Konami’s latest linked progressives, to creative advancements across the 49J cabinet, ICE attendees experienced a range of leading entertainment.”
Konami’s ICE 2020 stand also included two specialty Konami cabinets, each with relaxed slant top, dual spin buttons, dual cup holders and an exceptional 4K game library. Konami’s 43-inch screen KX 43 and 65-inch screen Concerto Opus cabinets showcased several of the industry’s highest-performing slot series such as Treasure Ball, a new linked progressive with the ability to offer a mix of base game options to players through SeleXion multi-game.
Konami also offered the special release of Dragon’s Law SeleXion, which combines the popularity of Dragon’s Law Rapid Fever and Dragon’s Law Boosted in one machine. Inspired by the success of Konami’s classic Cai Lai Si Ji, an entirely new 4K linked progressive called Ba Fang Jin Bao has demonstrated success with flexible betting options and original base games.
Meanwhile, the new 49J cabinet, which featured spectacular overhead signage and lighted LED chairbacks, two unique All Aboard base games—Dynamite Dash and Piggy Pennies.
Konami’s ICE 2020 presentation also contained fresh dual-screen content for upright and slant. SeleXion-compatible base games, integrated progressives and linked progressives, to support continued core product investment across international markets.
Ahead of ICE 2020, Merkur Gaming had promised to bring a “Big Show” to London and that promise was fully delivered.
Front and center at the company’s ICE booth was larger and more high-end version of Merkur’s popular Avantgarde cabinet line, the Avantgarde Max, which comes with two full HD monitors of 32-inches each. The cabinet’s twin monitors set new technical standards, allowing players to immerse themselves deeper than ever before into the game, according to press materials. The game’s speakers, which are mounted at console height, add to an even more intensive gaming experience thanks to their improved transmission angle. The Avantgarde Max was also displayed in a three monitor format called e Avantgarde Max Trio.
Also showcased at the booth was the Allegro Trio, designed for gaming operations where space is at a premium. The 9-millimeter deep screens are practically frameless, thus creating almost seamless transitions between the cabinet’s triple 27-inch full HD resolution monitors.
The Merkur booth also featured 140 game titles on display. The emphasis of the latest games was adding extra value, for both operators and players, through increased gaming entertainment via jackpot and bonus features. The all new linked progressive jackpot Treasure Link was just one example on display. With Mini Bonus, Midi Bonus, Maxi Stand-Alone Progressive and Mega Linked Progressive Jackpots and five exciting new game titles: African Glory, Dragon Marbles, Golden Silk, Joker Buffalo and Temple of the Nile, players can win jackpots or bonus credits in the Cash Games bonus that offers high-hit rates.
A range of static non-progressive jackpot feature games also proved highly interesting to ICE visitors. Rapid Thunder features six attractive games (Taco Tuesday, Land of Charms, Amulet of the Pharaoh, Immortal Emperor, Immortal Princess and Boazang), all of which lead to the Rapid Thunder jackpot phase and its Major, Grand and Max Grand prizes. Additionally Jewels of the Nile, Striking Fortunes and Big Deal Wheel all have high-value jackpot awards and, with even more new titles soon to be revealed, all combine to create a new gaming entertainment landscape for Merkur Gaming.
“This year’s ICE has really been a big success for all of Merkur Gaming,” said Athanasios “Sakis” Isaakidis, chief executive international for Merkur. “It has been a lot of fun, and a lot very hard work from the entire team. I think, for everyone, it could be designated a ‘3E’ show—engaging, entertaining and exhausting.”
A much-lauded product presentation, a sophisticated stand design, a birthday party that drew in a big crowd and the great honor to receive no less than three prestigious awards made NOVOMATIC’s ICE 2020 indeed a fantastic kick-off for the company’s jubilee.
“ICE 2020 is a very special exhibition for NOVOMATIC, not least because we are celebrating our 40th anniversary,” said Harald Neumann, CEO of NOVOMATIC AG. “We not only presented our product portfolio here, but we also showcased for our customers and partners how we have developed over the past 40 years.”
Indeed, the NOVOMATIC stand encompassed dedicated segments for land-based casino and AWP products and systems, biometric technologies for modern access solutions, online gaming, sports betting and cash handling solutions—as well as a little “Hall of Game” museum with vintage machines and a time-line of company milestones from the past 40 years.
Right, left and center in stand were progressive jackpot offerings, with a broad range of linked and standalone products. Two brand new Asian-themed links premiered in London: the JI DENG GAO ZHAO link with the title Lucky Trail and the LUCKY TWIST link with the twin titles Dynamite Dragon and Money Ki Neko—the first with a thrilling matrix feature and the other with a hot wheel for the jackpot feature.
At the center of the casino presentation was the eye-catching Samurai Beauty in a bank of V.I.P. Lounge Curve 1.43 cabinets against the backdrop of its impressive video wall signage featuring dedicated content.
Additional linked progressives displayed on the PANTHERA 2.27 included the MONEY PARTY link with titles Fruity Fruity and Juicy Juicy. The new CASH CONNECTION Collection 1 linked multi-game package features four titles in one package. The BRILLIANT Link Collection 1 and SIZZLING link multi-game offerings come with a variety of colorful and thrilling titles presented in the V.I.P. Eagle III 3.32 and V.I.P. Lounge 2.32 cabinets.
In the standalone progressives section, titles like Dancing Tiger, Dancing Lantern and Dragon Hits as well as the PAYDAY Progressives made their mark. NOVO LINE Interactive Concurve Edition 5 premiered with a highly-attractive selection of games—also including some standalone progressive titles—as did the NOVO LINE Interactive Edition X2 comprising a sophisticated mix of must-have games for every casino.
The Multi-Gaminator deluxe 1T featured at the show in both available cabinet versions, GAMINATOR Scorpion 2.24 and FUNMASTER 2.27, presented a very interesting vintage package—10 of the most popular NOVOMATIC classics in their original five- and nine-line layouts.
Also showcased in the NOVOMATIC booth were Ainsworth Game Technology games and systems. Featured was the global launch of Ainsworth’s A-STAR cabinet. Described as a new era for Ainsworth, the A-STAR comes in two versions—A-STAR Dual Screen with two 27-inch monitors and A-STAR Curve with a 43-inch curve monitor.
Other highlights at the NOVOMATIC booth included a birthday party celebration with special guest David Hasselhoff, who did not miss the opportunity to personally congratulate NOVOMATIC executives Harald Neumann and Ryszard Presch. There were also the presentations of three awards the company received during ICE 2020—the Global Gaming Award as the Casino Supplier of the Year, The British Casino Award for the Best UK Slot Machine” and the “CE Totally Gaming 2020 Landmark Award” to mark the company’s 40th anniversary.
The Scientific Games booth at ICE 2020 offered an unrivaled experience at ICE London by bringing together player-favorite games and the industry’s leading i-gaming and sports betting platforms. All of the company’s great games, products and platforms are powered by the cutting-edge technology and innovations that are reimagining the player experience and improving partner operations, according to press materials.
When it comes to land-based gaming, Scientific Games creates dynamic player experiences supported by advanced systems and seamless technology. At ICE London, Scientific Games introduced games that take proven, player-favorite game mechanics to the next level of excitement. This includes the introduction of exciting links such as Hot Hot Jackpots, Penny Pier and Ultra Hot Mega Link. Each of these games was complemented by cutting-edge hardware, which is designed to immerse players in the game, creating a richer experience. The company also displayed the full range of Equinox UK hardware showcasing great new titles including Heidi’s Bier Haus, 7s To Burn Free Spins Community and 5 Treasures.
At ICE London, Scientific Games also displayed the classic 5 Reel Mechanic (5RM) on the innovative TwinStar platform with the TwinStar 5RM. The company launched its first new 5RM games in seven years with top performing titles like Dancing Drums and Lock it Link, bringing innovation to a beloved category of games.
Scientific Games continued to bring some of the most beloved branded themes to players across the globe. At ICE London, the company showcased new versions of popular licensed themes across the entertainment ecosystem including:
- The latest titles from the JAMES BOND series of games including GOLDFINGER, TOMORROW NEVER DIES and LIVE AND LET DIE;
- New MONOPOLY game themes including MONOPOLY Hotel Tycoon and MONOPOLY Hot Shot.; and
- A new game based 1980’s classic film BEETLEJUICE across slots and iGaming experiences. This game delighted players who were nostalgic for the hit film in a £500 Jackpot game for arcade, bingo, LBO and casino sectors.