Q&A: Principal Game Producer, Amit Samji speaks to Bigwinboard about Space Stacks
Having been offered the opportunity to speak to senior game producer Amit Samji at Push Gaming about the studio’s upcoming release Space Stacks, we accepted without hesitation. It’s not just that Space Stacks happens to be a highly intriguing and innovative casino game, it also drives Push Gaming into new territory whilst introducing a new in-house developed mechanic known as ReelBets. Let’s find out more about it…
The highly engaging and soon-to-launch Space Stacks title is home to the innovative ReelBets Feature. Can you tell us more about what inspired ReelBets and how it affects the game?
Push Gaming’s new Reelbets mechanic was initially inspired by wider betting trends in general, as we wanted to give players a choice and control over their volatility and flow of play. We also wanted to ensure the player is comfortable during their gameplay, by keeping all features easy to understand, simple and most importantly entertaining. The added benefit of this approach is that they will easily recognise and understand how all the features play. Reelbets provides players choice in how much they want to bet and what type of volatility they want to play at with the core design being made to make them feel in control of all aspects of play. This limits the feeling of randomness that is often attributed to slots with your decisions directly impacting the overall gameplay and allowing each person's experience with the game to be unique.
On top of the introduction of a new feature, there are three unique Bonus Games available within Space Stacks. Could you tell us about these?
Space Stacks has three exciting bonus features available, Astro, Flip and Apex - each of these is individually unique and enjoyable. All of these share the same core characteristics of being simple to understand, so there are no barriers to play.
The Astro bonus provides a classic wheel feature and something that most, if not all, casino players will have seen and enjoyed at some point. Spinning the wheel and landing on Instant Prize segments accumulates all wins gathered, and landing on the multiplier segments will multiply the total prizes collected so far providing a crescendo of excitement and some big win potential.
Flip is a pick-and-click feature. Here, players are given three picks. Each time a pick reveals an Instant Prize, it is collected immediately and a life is deducted. Revealing a Rocket Symbol will unlock the win multiplier, which starts at 2x when unlocked. For each Rocket Symbol revealed the win multiplier will increase from 2x, 5x, 10x and then a huge 100x. If a further Rocket Symbol is revealed, no lives will be deducted. The feature ends when no lives are available with wins totalled up.
The Apex feature is consistent with the base game. When it is triggered, the player will be shown six Instant prize reels with new values and an enhanced feature will take place, which will upgrade one or more Instant Prizes. After the first is collected, each subsequent prize won will be multiplied. Once two reels have been filled, the player is given three lives, and when a symbol lands, lives are reset back to three. Players lose a life when no symbols land ultimately, the feature ends when all lives are used up but there are plenty of potential prizes to be collected along the way.
Space Stacks is clearly a departure from what we’re used to seeing from Push Gaming. What inspired the team to create such a unique game compared to the current Push portfolio?
We are always looking for new ways to showcase our innovation in our gameplay and feature design. We endeavour to remain open-minded and strive for fresh ideas to drive engagement and this of course increases players’ enjoyment of our titles. With Space Stacks, we wanted to bring something new to the table and use the various types of other betting games that are available in our industry as inspiration. We leveraged these themes to create something that we feel is rather unique within slots. We are sure players will be equally as enthused with it as we are!
How do you feel players will respond to the choice and strategy-heavy gameplay in Space Stacks?
I’m confident that players will be drawn to this game as it's fun, exciting and enjoyable for all. With a minimum stake of just 1p, it opens up play for any budget, making it easily accessible for those players curious to try it out or just for a quick flutter. It also speaks to those who prefer the freedom to be able to set their own volatility and who want to have more of an impact on the gameplay offered by a slot title.
Many factors can contribute to the ethos of game design, such as a company’s existing portfolio, and player and operator feedback. How does Push continue to innovate and keep future releases feeling fresh and unique?
At Push Gaming, we like to think of ourselves as being one step ahead as often as possible. We have seen the popularity of classic slots but mechanics are evolving and getting more exciting and we endeavour to be part of that evolution. As designers and developers that are ourselves players at heart, we understand what people want to see in their games, what makes them appealing initially and ultimately, what drives them to play again and again. Keeping things fresh and as diverse as possible helps us achieve that and is responsible for the critical acclaim our titles are famed for.
Recent releases like Mad Cars and Deadly 5 introduced unique mechanics and broke away from what we would traditionally consider a “Push” game, but Space Stacks’ groundbreaking mechanics takes it one step further. Will we continue to see titles like Space Stacks that break the mould throughout the remainder of 2022?
As you may expect, we can’t say too much at this point about the rest of the games roadmap for 2022 but, rest assured, we’re working ahead to maintain the quality and differentiation that our titles are renowned for. We suspect players will be as happy with our new games as we are to create them and we look forward to showing you more of these developments and truly exciting games in the future.