Japanese iGaming supplier, Ganapati, always aims to go big at ICE, and 2019 is no different. With a combination of well-loved favourites and brand-new content, the Ganapati ICE 2019 portfolio contains more than a few highlights, from the following featured titles.
The first game to be presented at ICE is one of the most popular Ganapati games of 2018, CrypBattle. To begin, players select three out of five possible characters in this uniquely interactive game, in the same way as the original Cryptract – the well-known Japanese video game upon which CrypBattle is based. The game is set in the mythical land of Centrea, where the ruling wizards are trying to preserve their sovereignty by conquering armies of menacing beasts. The anime-style graphics, multi-layer feel and Selectable Volatility element, in particular, are what makes this game stand out.
Next up is the relatively new, yet incredibly popular, Great Beauties of China. This slot differs from the rest of the Ganapati portfolio in that it is Chinese, not Japanese themed. However, the story of the Four Beauties is not just legendary in China – it has also historically inspired Japanese Noh and Kabuki plays. The ancient tale tells of four exceptionally beautiful women, each from different dynasties, whose mesmerising beauty held great power and eventually brought about devastating consequences. This enticing game is set against a beautiful backdrop of the Great Wall of China and offers exciting features such as an Expanding Mystery Wild and the Heart Collection feature, in which a Free Spins Retrigger is activated if any of the Beauties collect all five hearts.
Also in the running for most played Ganapati game of 2018 is the interactive, progressive slot, Wild Sumo. Returning to Ganapati’s unmistakable Japanese flavour with full-force, Wild Sumo boasts high quality graphics and immersive features, which culminate in a Grand Sumo Tournament in the form of a suspenseful card game between player and sumo. In reflection of the game’s truly progressive nature, every winning pay-line with a Wild symbol is accumulated in the collection bar which, when filled, triggers the Grand Tournament finale. The collection bar represents the player’s rising position in the ranking hierarchy, known as the Banzuke – a tradition still prevalent in Japan’s iconic national sport.
Based on the distinctive Japanese artform Ukiyo-e, the high-volatility slot of the same name centres around the most celebrated works of art of the genre, including the infamous wood-block print, The Great Wave by Hokusai. A tasteful and aesthetically pleasing game, Ukiyo-E is about as authentically Japanese as they come. The game’s features include a fun target shooting bonus in the form of ancient Japanese mounted archery, Yabusame. The bonus game begins with a gamble feature in which players win or lose spins depending on whether they hit or miss the targets. While Ukiyo-E is clearly going for a traditional look, feel and sound, it also features some hidden elements of Japanese comedy to keep an eye out for.
As for new titles, Neo Tokyo is the big one for 2019. Ganapati’s soon-to-be-launched flagship game is the inspiration behind this year’s ICE booth and really embodies what the company is all about. Featuring a futuristic Cyberpunk theme throughout, the game’s striking visuals are sure to draw players in. The backstory is just as absorbing – Jin and Hana are in love and fighting to be together against a sci-fi, Neo Tokyo setting. Their main obstacle to overcome is that of evil mobster, Deadspin, who tries to abduct Hana in an intense three-level bonus game. The Random Wild feature and the Flower Blossom feature are similarly unique yet rewarding, offering multiple pay-outs to players who get the right combination of Scatters on the reels. Neo Tokyo is a captivating Cyberpunk love story which is hard not to want to play.
The next new release, Samurai Girl, is just as original and distinctly Japanese. The game follows Chiaki, a beautiful female warrior, on her mission to rid Japan of a zombie samurai army led by an evil Shogun. The player’s task is to assist Chiaki in her quest to stop the virus from spreading. Samurai Girl is also set in Tokyo, this time Shibuya – the fashionable district popular with youngsters. Against this setting, zombies appear at random which are slashed by Chiaki’s sword – adding to the Multiplier each time. Features include the Pandemic Free Spins round, in which the green virus must be touched three times to kill it and reveal the number of Free Spins awarded. Along with this, the Wild Reel feature and the Boss Battle feature – where the Samurai Girl takes on the Shogun for Free Spins and possible extra cash, the eye-catching animation and detailed design are particularly noteworthy.
Last but definitely not least is another new title called Onmyoji, which offers equally engaging gameplay. Named after the spiritual guides and practitioners of the art of Onmyodo (a mixture of astrology, divination and exorcism based on the Chinese philosophies of Yin and Yang), this cascading slot game tells the story of Seimei and the Fox Spirit, who come together to protect the Imperial City from malevolent demons. In addition to the colourful, anime-style graphics and true Ganapati-style backstory, highlights of Onmyoji include the Fox Mask bonus game, whereby three Fox Mask Scatter symbols trigger an additional 10 Free Spins in the subsequent Free Spins round.
With all this and more in store from the Ganapati Group, not to mention some surprises planned for the exhibition itself, the Japanese game providers are once again going to be getting noticed at this year’s ICE.