Mechanics or Themes: What’s More Important in Online Casino Games?

In the world of gaming, standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly problematic. However, the iGaming industry has been able to sustain its sense of individuality through the use of forward-thinking mechanics and consumer-friendly themes. That said, it does pose an interesting question concerning which component is more pivotal to the online casino market. So, let’s see if we can answer that question by analysing both of their respective impacts.

Is it True that Themes Make a Good Game Great?

There’s a widespread belief surrounding all forms of gaming that an effective and well-thought-out theme can enhance the appeal of any given title. Dating back to the 3500 BC, Senet – the oldest known board game to have existed – was designed with an ancient Egyptian theme that was fitting of the era. It’s a testament to the game’s appeal and longevity that it’s still played in 2020, with manufacturers retaining the Egyptian theme by commonly integrating hieroglyphic symbols into modern-day designs.


Hieroglyphics” (CC BY 2.0) by krunstrom

Regarding online casino games, jackpot bingo at Paddy Power indicates the pivotal nature of themes within the industry. Among the operator’s vast array of different titles, prospective gamers can immerse themselves in numerous games, including Lucho Rumble Jackpot and Temple of Ausar, which adopt Mexican wrestling and Ancient Egypt themes, respectively. With big prizes on offer through various forms of jackpots, such as fixed and progressive options, the attention to detail regarding on-theme aesthetics undoubtedly adds more depth to digital slots, thus enhancing user enjoyment and immersion. Moreover, the platform’s variation is indicative of the fact that subject matters have enabled them to steer clear of creative repetition.

Mechanics Provide the Foundations for a Successful Title

Perhaps one of the biggest debates in the industry concerns the importance of in-game mechanics compared to visuals. Irrespective of the platform, each and every game features mechanics, albeit many of them will differ depending on the sought-after complexity. As per an article at Game Skinny, similarly to themes, the systems that facilitate user actions add more depth to a game, highlighting LIM as an example of how stripped-back games can flourish.

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In many ways, parallels can be drawn to online casino developments. Fundamentally, the mechanics of slots are centred around creating a fast-paced experience with consistent replayability. If a lesser focus on themes became common in the industry, the core mechanics would still ensure enjoyment, albeit in the less aesthetically-pleasing fashion.

As touched on above, this debate has long been rife within the gaming community. Interestingly, a report at League of Gamemakers states that themes should take a back seat if their focus detracts from a game having solid mechanics. That said, the iGaming industry has perhaps found the perfect balance between functions and visuals. The use of fewer mechanics than mainstream console titles ensures that the likes of bingo, slots, and traditional casino games don’t dilute the value of in-game features and themes.

Why Choose Between the Two?

Ultimately, game designers don’t need to and shouldn’t have to pick between mechanics and themes. In their own right, both are paramount to the overall success of any given game, particularly at online casinos. The market’s accessibility requires the flowing gameplay that comes with minimalistic functions, while themes aid in creating a storyline that brings to life a title’s interactivity.

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