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A Broad Theme
Perhaps an important part of the appeal of the Native American theme is that is can encompass so many different things. There’s the cowboys and Indians option, the historical angle, the shamanic and spiritual angle, such as that explored in games like Shamans Dream and Double Buffalo Spirit, as well as the standard theme that features tee-pees, totems and wild animals.
With so many different potential angles it is easy to see why both land-based and online slot developers choose the Native American theme when creating their games.
Gorgeous Imagery and Vibrant Colours
When you think of the Native Americans you’ll immediately picture brightly coloured feathered headdresses, rich red clothes, dark sands and white tee-pees and shiny brown horses. Add to this the vibrant face paint and the incredible landscapes that form the backdrop to most Native American stories and it is easy to see why this theme is such a good one.
Even in the simplest of slots there is the opportunity to fill the reels with colour, and this theme lends itself to some incredible backdrops too. Brilliant contrasts can be created, and there is the potential for developers to create some stunning scenes. These can be seen in the graphics of games like Microgaming’s Age of Discovery, and the attention to detail in this title is simply astounding.
The Native Americans have a very rich culture and their rituals and lifestyle lends itself to storytelling. The stories can be simple or complex and they can play out across the reels as they spin.
From simple actions such as catching fish in icy weather or building fires, to the more complex story-lines that go in to detail about spirit animals and the spirit worlds, the opportunity to tell a story in a Native American-themed game is immense. As the spirit world is important in this culture, there is also the chance to introduce a more fantasy-like element, and many games have gone on to do this very successfully.
The theme also works well for creating bonus rounds that tie in with the genre, whether it is capturing prizes with a lasso or toppling a totem, there are plenty of tie-ins that can lead to big rewards.
A Musical Feast
Another wonderful element that is brought in to many Native American themed slots is the music. There are plenty of traditional themed songs that can enhance the atmosphere, and these are often used to great effect. Many games have done away with the more traditional casino sounds and instead feature soundtracks that whisk the player away to a land that’s filled with Indians racing down dusty plains on horseback, cooking over open fires or playing the drums to the rhythms that their ancestors created.
The Animal Angle
Native Americas also have very close spiritual ties to certain animals, and wolves and birds both feature heavily in their customs and culture. This can be seen well in Thunderbird, and the beautifully depicted creatures that swoop across the reels add a little something special.
The mythology that surrounds these creatures also makes for the ideal theme, as many mythical themed slots have become hugely popular in recent years. Animals that are deemed lucky also feature heavily, and for those with an interest in Native American culture, there is quite a lot that can be learnt simply by playing a game that features some of the animals in the spiritual realm.
From the Casino Floor to the Online World
The Native American theme has been around for many years, and it was a huge hit on casino floors, long before the online world came along. It wasn’t just a smash hit in America, but also across the globe, as the imagery is instantly recognisable, as this is on of the most famous cultures, and one that fascinates so many.
The simple electronic land-based slot machines put the theme to good use, and by the time slots went digital in the mid 1990s, there were several games that featured Native Americans. It was only natural then that the theme went online, and today there are a few dozen games that feature Native Americans in one way or another.
Each and every one of these games is a treat for the eyes and over the years the graphics have improved, making the theme come to life in an even bolder and brighter way. In the future we are sure to see more Native American-themed games that celebrate the culture and they are sure to keep on attracting player, as they have done for many years now.