They first opened their doors in 2004 with a very clear objective: to use the 20+ years’ experience of their founders in terms of making Lightning Box slots to service land-based Casinos with high quality slots. To do that they’d rely on their vast knowledge of making slots and their much talked-about maths expertise in order to find a bit of an edge in the competitive market of slot-making.
13 years down the line they’ve certainly achieved that but their voyage has taken them to places other than the bricks-and-mortar Casinos they decided to service at the off. And so they’ve entered the world of social, mobile and online Casinos…or else we wouldn’t be talking about them right now!
Along the way they built strong partnerships with the likes of Amaya, Odobo, Scientific Games, Inspired and Quickfire. Their philosophy is that the best strategy is to rely on partnerships with mutual advantages and benefits rather than just making a slot, selling it and letting the Operator get on with it.
They’re not like NetEnt or Microgaming, who offer a full range of Gaming products including Live Casinos and miscellaneous other games; they only work with slots. But that involves doing other things beyond just making them. As an example, they provided the algorithms behind slots made by such supplier as Aristocrat and IGT.
They provide slots to markets in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Doing so has involved tackling the strictest regulatory requirements possible so they’re not just a maker of slots, they’re Legal Eagles as well.
Did you know?
Lightning Box are based in Sydney, home of the famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It’s also home to the deepest natural harbor in the world. Maybe that explains their expertise in deep-sea matters behind Dolphin’s Gold?
Lightning Box slot games
Style of slots and special features
We say this about a lot of the slots-makers we review but that doesn’t stop it from being true: there are so many different Lightning Box games that it’s very hard to say they belong to this genre, follow that theme or always have this unique characteristic. But let’s talk about what we do know.
But what Lightning Box slots like Pixie Gold, Lost Temple and Chilli Gold clearly demonstrate, is their love for adventure. Whether you’re caught up somewhere in the Mexican countryside surrounded by Mariachis, donkeys or guitars or lost in a forest in the company of cute Pixies with…Pixie haircuts, they’re intent on providing you with a bit of escapism and an even greater dose of fun.
Hard to say that there’s one thing or another that you find in all Lightning Box games or that there’s something or other in them that you don’t find anywhere else.
But one thing they’re not afraid to do is deviate from the traditional set of reels. In both Pixie’s Gold and Astro Cat for example, they have extra sets of reels either side of the main one so there’s just more going on and the appearance of you having extra ways to secure a winning combination.
Another thing they like to do is to have their company logo present somewhere on the reels, either displayed at the bottom or occasionally, acting as the Scatter symbol.
Lastly, you’ll see that in their Jackpots they’re in favour of a three-tiered approach to payouts with linked Major, Mini and Mini Jackpots up for grabs. It doesn’t make the Major Jackpot any easier to win, it just means you can look forward to winning attractive smaller prizes along the way as well which are easier to catch than the really big fish.
Let’s start with what we’re not likely to see from Lightning Box slots anytime soon: branded games. They haven’t made any to date and that’s unlikely to change. Branded games clearly aren’t their cup of tea for whatever reason and they’re not going to have any sleepless nights worrying that other slot providers can cash in on those.
Where they’re more likely to have a greater impact over the next few months is in the world of mobile games and Social games, especially on Facebook. It’s worth remembering that they started out life as a supplier of land-based slots so the move to online and in particular Mobile is a shift in what they were originally all about. There’s a big future in slots on Facebook for example and they’ve made some big early strides with Dragon Palace, Tiponi’s Wilds and Frogs N’ Flies, all of which have enjoyed considerable popularity.
From a commercial point of view, it would come as no surprise if they started forging more partnerships with other players in the industry. That could mean anything from providing the algorithms to games made by other companies to providing exclusive games to a particular Casino. Like LeoVegas for example.
RTP of Lightning Box slots
Most slot makers have quite a wide range of RTPs across their games but Lightning Box are pretty conservative and consistent in this regard. The RTP of their slots therefore ranges between 95.3% and 97%. Surprisingly, the slot with the lowest RTP is also their best-known one- Dolphin Gold (more on it below) so that’s proof that for many players a high RTP isn’t the be all and end all. And that a quality-made and entertaining game can be a favourite even if the payout rate is slightly below the norm.
At the other end of the scale are Serengetti Diamonds, Samurai Princess and Moon Temple, all around the 97% mark, which isn’t bad at all.
3 Best lightning Box Slots according to LeoVegas
We’ve mentioned it a few times already so it should come as no surprise that this one makes our list. There’s actually something very relaxing and therapeutical about this Lightning Box game as you take a plunge into the depths of the Ocean in a world inhabited by sea turtles, seahorses, deep water sea plants and other both beautiful and fascinating creatures.
But it’s the Dolphin Symbol that you really want to see show up in your path. It almost always comes stacked meaning that if you get one you might easily get two or three in the process. What’s more, it not only acts as the Wild, doubling all wins where it’s a part of a combination, but as the Scatter.
You’ll need six of them anywhere on the screen to activate the free games and that’s admittedly not so easy to do but if you happen to get 8, 9, 10 or 11 Wilds, you’ll get 9, 12, 15 and 18 free games with a full 21 Wilds bringing you a massive corresponding 21 free games. A blue Wild dolphin during the free games can re-trigger more and all the while you’ll be doing so with the help of Stacked Wilds on reels 2, 3,4 and 5 meaning you should return from your underwater free games with plenty to show for it.
A visually stunning, highly enjoyable, highly volatile Lightning Box slot that has understandably become a favourite amongst Casino players everywhere. And proof that a slightly low RTP isn’t a ‘Great Barrier’ (no pun intended) to a great slot.
When we reviewed this slot as part of our Under the Radar project, we described it as making you feel like you’re in a Chinese souvenir shop surrounded by random ornaments like bonsai trees, porcelain fish, ugly dragon statues and fireworks. And we certainly haven’t changed our opinion about this Lightning Box game now that we revisited it.
It’s one of their video slots that has additional reels to the main reels and though those are always in progress during the base game, it’s during the Mega Spins that they really gain in importance. That’s because all 16 squares in the Central Reels are turned into Wilds during the Mega Spins so what you get there will obviously have a huge bearing on whether you end up with a massive win.
The fireworks, which you can only get in the central box of reels and not the parameters, are the Scatters. Five of those gets you three re-spins, which is actually five. Five because on your first two re-spins you’ll get a Wild somewhere on the reels and any Wild during a re-spin leads to another re-spin. And it’s during the re-spin that you can get the Mega Spin because 12 cats (the Wilds) anywhere on the reels will trigger it.
One possible criticism of the slot is that it’s maybe just a tad too busy with so much going on that you sometimes need to take a second to realise what just happened. But that’s splitting cat hairs because this is loads of fun.
While clearly not the first Mexican themed-slot we’ve seen at LeoVegas given that Taco Brothers, Luchadora and Esqueleto Explosivo also follow the same idea, that doesn’t stop it from being original in its own right. For the sake of complete accuracy, Chili Gold is ‘powered by Lightning Box’ rather than owned by Lightning Box because it’s made by NYX Gaming Group. So is one of those cases where they’ve partnered up with someone else to make a Casino slot rather just going away and doing it all in-house behind Lightning Box closed doors. But with its mark all over the game, it counts nonetheless.
As Mexican as a Mariachi band playing at a two-day wedding on a diet of Tequilla and spicy Burritos, its symbols include a donkey, a guitar, a blue parrot and a Mariachi singer. But it’s all about the Chilli here, as the name suggests. It works a bit like Dolphin Gold in that there’s one symbol (the red-hot Chilli) that acts as both Wild and Scatter and that six of them are what trigger the profitable free games.
Much like the two other Lightning Box slots we’ve mentioned, it’s very much about those free games because you can get Stacked Wilds during the free games and we all know what that means: wins as mouth-watering as a beautiful freshly-prepared bowl of chilli con carne seasoned with those spicy chillies.
Lightning Box Progressive Jackpots
Whereas we’ve seen a sequel to a Jackpot game that’s also a Jackpot slot when NetEnt followed up Mega Fortune with Mega Fortune Dreams, this is the first time we remember seeing non- Jackpot slots having sequels that are Jackpot slots the second time round. Albeit not Progressive Jackpots.
But they’ve done just that with a three-part series of games containing the word ‘Stellar Jackpots’ in it with that prefix ahead of Dolphin Gold, Chilli Gold 2 and More Monkeys.
Stellar Jackpot with Chilli Gold is very similar to the original but take a look just above the reels and you’ll see that there are three Jackpots available: Mini, Minor and Major. They’re a million miles away from the numbers you’d see on something like either Mega Fortune but we like slots with different Jackpots so that’s a positive.
All three of them work so that as you increase the size of your bet, the value of the three Jackpots increases proportionally.
Playing two similar versions of the same slot- one with Jackpot and one without- won’t appeal to everyone but from a business point of view it’s a smart move and there will be those who will fancy playing a richer version of a Lightning Box game they already like.
Lightning Box slots will appeal to those who like:
- Extra sets of reels, Wilds that act as Scatters, animals walking around the reels in between and during spins and other slightly unconventional features that stray away from the norm.
- Regular and Jackpot versions of the same slot.
- Slots that portray a real sense of adventure, often also with a magical feel to it. Pixie’s Gold is a good example of just that.
Lightning Box slots won’t appeal to players who like:
- Branded games. They haven’t made any.
- Slots with lots of bonus features, especially unique and varied ones, like pick’em features, random features and special Multipliers. Lightning Box games generally just use free spins as their main bonus round and in truth, they all work in a somewhat similar and slightly predictable way.
The LeoVegas conclusion about Lightning Box
In the past when we reviewed a slots-maker like NetEnt, Playtech or Microgaming we had lots and lots of slots that we stock at the LeoVegas Casino to play ahead of writing the review that helped us form a strong opinion on them one way or another. With Lightning Box games it’s a little harder to do so because there are less slots of theirs in our Casino for us to play and pass judgment on. But here’s what we can say.
Lightning Box slots strike us as being half-way between the more olds-school slots that hardly have any bonus features at all and the cutting edge ones that cost a fortune to make, require a huge team to make them happen and have endless bonus rounds. Slots like Ted, Hansel and Gretel or Sam on the Beach. So I guess they’re quite middle-of-the-road and will appeal to a certain type of player who likes ‘in-between’ sorts of slots.
We’ve seen them provide slots with good free spins rounds like in Astro Cat and Dophin Gold where Wilds and re-triggered free spins can really make your day though they should come with a bit of a warning because they’re quite volatile games that require patience and lots of spins that don’t really lead to anything before you get the chance to really boost your bank. And perhaps that’s where the slight problem lies with Lightning Box. Their games may have lots of different and varied themes and their use of extra reels in addition to the main ones are cool but if we were to be uber-critical, they all sort of do the same thing. Very often the Wild doubles up as a Scatter, the free spins are triggered in a very similar way and a good run when you get to them will make or break your day.
It would be interesting to see them move away a bit from their comfort zone. Exploring different types of bonus rounds beyond free spins, keeping Wilds and Scatters separate, just doing something we’ve never seen them do before.
But that’s not to take anything away from the fact they make nicely-designed slots that are busy in terms of having lots going on and that will keep high-rollers in particular, interested in what they’re doing. We’ll monitor their next few slots carefully.