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Silverback Gaming is a slot developer that got their first break in the online gambling world in a 2020 deal with Relax Gaming.
The company has offices and a studio in London and Sofia, Bulgaria, respectively. The team is small and supercharged with a passion for making amazing games.
One of the founders, Raph Di Guisto, also launched Cayetano Gaming (Paddy Power/Betfair) with partners back in 2009. Cayetano is based in Sofia as well.
Co-owner, Ivaylo Karmazov is the founder and business development head of Grind Web Studio.
The Senior graphic designer at Silverback also worked at Cayetano as well as Spintech Bulgaria, a Skywind company. The frontend developer previously worked with Karmazov at Grind.
The games are "mobile-first" and designed for deployment over any web browser so they play just as well on a desktop system as well as handheld devices.
Relax Gaming is populating its Silver Bullet platform with high quality and unique games from little know developers so it seemed like a perfect fit when Silverback launched its first game with Relax in the summer of 2020.
They find themselves in good company with the likes of 4ThePlayer, Northern Lights, DiceLab, Electric Elephant, Fantasma, Kalamba Games, Max Win Gaming, Sapphire, and STHLM Gaming taking advantage of the network.
Relax Gaming is licensed by the Gambling Commission in the UK, the Malta Gaming Authority, and ONJN in Romania as well as certified by eCOGRA, internet gambling's oldest standard-bearer of excellence and integrity. Founded in 2003, eCOGRA boasts the United Kingdom Accreditation Service’s (UKAS) ISO accreditations ISO/IEC 17020:2012, ISO/IEC 17025:2017, and ISO/IEC 17065:2012.
As one of many up and coming developers on the Silver Bullet platform, Silverback Gaming firm has released a single game as of the end of summer 2020. Stay tuned as more titles are added to the list on this page with full in-depth reviews.
The current offering(s) can be found at casinos listed on this page as well as at Videoslots.com. Games can be played in demo mode without the need to risk your own money before getting comfortable with the innovative inner workings of the new games.
Software and Games
As mobile-first offerings, all of the games are developed and deployed on the HTML5 framework. This makes front end coding makes the games available in any modern browser, as well as whatever native browser your operating system uses, mobile or desktop. No plugins, downloads, or permissions are required.
It also means the games are absolutely lean and lightweight. The first title comes in with a load of only 17 MB so it opens and is ready for play in seconds or a minute or two depending on your data or internet connection speed.
The games are optimized for play in any orientation if you prefer your tablet or phone games in profile mode, the interface rearranges to accommodate you - likewise in landscape mode.
Another positive aspect of the quick load time and all of the heavy lifting happens behind the scenes is that the games will never tax your phone's operating system or your laptop battery like the older Flash-based games did. Less work means cooler performance and that translates into a longer device life.
The coding allows layers of imagery for 3D effects and "jump off the page" animations as well as sophisticated soundscapes and multi-tier bonus features. Silverback makes good use of all these elements with their experienced and capable technical staff working hand in hand with the artists and designers.
The games so far...
Aztec Luck is a five-reel video slot with three visible positions on each reel and ten fixed pay lines.
The game screen is well-rendered with 3D elements, earthy colors, and gold accents.
The theoretical return to player percentage (RTP) is somewhat lacking at 95% but with a high volatility index of 4/5, you wouldn't notice a point or two higher or lower without spinning millions of times.
The game plays very smoothly, but the game sounds are reminiscent of social or casual games - that may be a plus in attracting younger players.
The slot reels can be respun right away even after a winning spin except for when a wild symbol must play out its role, which only takes a couple of seconds.
Coin symbols will flip to reveal wilds or free spins even when only one scattered wild appears. The chance of revealing free spins rather than being a wild symbol is as follows:
1 coin gives one percent chance, 2 coins a ten percent chance and all three will guarantee a 100% chance of triggering free spins.
A special expanding symbol will be chosen at random prior to the free spins game starts.
A batch of seven free spins is first awarded, but the feature can be retriggered during free games. While in the feature game, coin symbols also reveal extra expanding symbols.
Oddly enough, as we didn't notice the feature on the paytable, expanded symbols pay during free spins whether they are adjacent to each other or not.
The highest paying symbol is the "Spins of Plenty" coin. Five of them award 5,000x total stake. As is often the case with a very high volatility game, the next most valuable symbol is worth much less at 100x for five of a kind and it just decreases from there.
The multipurpose coins add a fun element of anticipation knowing that at the very least they will be wild - but when two fall, that 10% chance of free spins gnaws at you while waiting for the third coin to land. It's a clever mechanic and quite unique and powerful for how simple it is.
The Final Analysis
A smart and perhaps lucky move has put an up and coming developer with a single game deployed onto an important platform. This gives players and several jurisdictions and market regions access to fresh content and allow a sort of baptism by fire for the nascent firm.
I liked the first game. Even on desktop, it deploys in portrait mode as a mobile game would and takes up very little screen real estate. The addition of green leaves falling and nice 3D renders in the animated background and foreshadow area give depth and life - a very nice touch.
The anticipation set up for the mysterious multiple-powered coins is truly unique and subtly powerful.
We found it odd that we missed the values of expanding symbols in the literature and on the paytable and information pages, but that too was a nice surprise when the first two and last two reels filled with our symbol in the free spins sequence but the central reel didn't match. Disappointment turned to joy as the slot paid out 100x our total stake anyway.
It will be interesting to see what they come up with next. Unfortunately, we didn't find any games in progress or "coming soon" on the company website, nor was there a release roadmap to pencil into a calendar and check up on new titles as they are deployed.
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