When you think about all the places where people make online casino games, does Serbia immediately come to mind? Probably not. But it’s true that there are a number of different Central and Eastern European locations that are becoming increasingly important to the iGaming industry. Offering expertise in programming and game design at a lower cost than some more traditional hotbeds for development, many newer studios are located in these nations, and have been responsible for creating some extremely entertaining games in recent years.
One of the many companies that have emerged out of this region is AlteaGaming. Based out of Belgrade, they’ve been creating games and back room software for a decade, making their mark in a variety of jurisdictions around the world. Today, their mix of games – mostly made up of slots and scratch of cards – can be found in most markets, often alongside products from much more prominent suppliers.
A Collection Designed for Maximum Fun
AlteaGaming has created a library of games that truly seems to be designed to attract casual and fun-loving players. That’s not a comment on the gameplay available in their various machines, which actually varies a great deal. But graphically, these games all feature bright colors, expressive fonts, and welcoming characters, all signs that they’re trying to be player-friendly rather than promote a “serious,” hardcore atmosphere.
While the portfolio from this developer isn’t the largest, the majority of their games are slots, with about 18 machines currently available at the time of this writing. These are mostly five-reel games, though there are some interesting exceptions out there that play around with standard machine formats.
For instance, there’s Super Hot 7, a 25-line, four-reel game that is about as basic a machine that you’ll find in the AlteaGaming collection. The graphics here are minimal: not only is the background of the reels a plain white, but the symbols used are also as plain as possible, with very little detail on any of the icons. This is a purposeful stylistic choice, however, and really gives the game a retro feel while still keeping player interest thinks to the mix of familiar symbols and unusual formatting.
In this game, you’ll be asked to match a variety of very popular and classic icons of the industry: bars, lemons, oranges, cherries and more, all the way up to the flaming sevens that offer the game’s highest prizes. Only three or more in a row will earn a prize, so you’ll see a big gap between the modest payouts for three in a row and much bigger earnings if you hit four on a payline.
While there are no special symbols in this game, that doesn’t mean that this title doesn’t have a few surprises in store. First, filling up the entire screen (all 12 positions) with the same fruit symbol not only pays the four-of-a-kind prize on all 25 lines, but does so at double the regular price, giving you even more value for your big win. There’s also the Fairy Bonus, a progressive jackpot that is shared over a number of the Altea machines and can be hit at random at any time. Finally, an optional gamble feature gives you the opportunity to double your money after any winning spin.
A more traditional game style is at play in The Rich Pirate, an old-fashioned three-reel game with five paylines. Along with a deck and plenty of pirate-themed paraphernalia in the background, you’ll be matching lots of thematic symbols: barrels of rum, parrots, treasure maps, bombs and cannons, for instance. The biggest winner is the pirate himself: while every other icon requires a full three in a row in order to win any prizes, the pirate offers a consolation reward even if you just hit two.
Once again, the Fairy Bonus is in play, but there’s also a free spins game that can be triggered if you find three treasure chests anywhere on the screen. Choose a chest to reveal how many free plays you’ll earn, and then just sit back and enjoy watching the winning roll in.
While these are more traditional titles, there are plenty of modern five-reel games as well. One interesting example is Black Swan, a 10-line game that has a bit of a luxury gambling theme. The setting appears to be a back room with fine cigars and alcohol, and while the basic symbols are the boring tens through aces, you’ll also be matching watches, masks, and diamonds. This game actually has about as many regular prize-winning icons as we’ve seen in any game – there are 11 in total.
Once again, the main feature here is a free spins game. Hit three or more scattered safes, and you’ll find your way into the bonus round, where you’ll see all of your winnings doubled. The black swan naturally plays a big role in this machine as well, acting as a wild that also doubles any wins it takes part in. Finally, as you’d expect, the Fairy Bonus is once again in play, promising a potential win on any spin.
These are just a few of the titles you’ll find from AlteaGaming, but they should give you a pretty good idea of the variety that can be found here. The graphics aren’t out of this world, but they’re solid enough, and while the gameplay features aren’t extremely varied, there’s enough going on – both in terms of the various layouts and some surprises here and there – to keep most players busy for quite a long time. Here are a few more the titles we really enjoyed:
- Fruit Stand
- Crazy Shark
- Twin Reels
- Golden Cookie
- 3 Amigos
- Magic Ball II
- Gold Sack
This developer has also taken plenty of time to develop a suite of scratch card games, with a total of nine titles available so far. While most of these are the typical scratch, match, and win tickets we’re all accustomed to at this point, there is at least some variety in how they are presented. For instance, if you play Warehouse, you’ll be exploding boxes to reveal numbers, hoping to find matches that will score prizes. It’s not all that different, but at least ideas like this mix up the way in which your reveal your results a little bit.
Altea hasn’t really expanded much beyond these areas. However, they do have a French Roulette game that is a solid representation of a live roulette table, using all of the typical European rules (but with the addition of the “French bets”).
Management Software Helps Broaden Appeal
AlteaGaming isn’t the power behind a whole lot of casinos at this point, but they do offer tools for operators who want to apply a back-end solution rather than building a new site from scratch. Working with the Paladix Casino Management System, this version of a back office isn’t actually a complete platform, but instead an added software that works with these management tools to make it easier to integrate more games and generate a variety of reports for site owners.
One of the nice things about the games in this package is that they really have found their way into a number of grey market casinos that are available throughout much of the world. That means that a lot of players have the opportunity to play with this software, but they aren’t forced to play only these titles: Altea is often seen beside companies like Microgaming, NetEnt, and Yggdrasil, helping to add diversity to these libraries rather than carrying the load all on its own.
Good Games with a Friendly Feel
AlteaGaming isn’t going to blow anyone away with their games portfolio. The software doesn’t stand out in terms of gameplay features, graphics, or the number of games it offers up, and it isn’t in enough casinos at this time for players to become intimately familiar with the company and ask for it by name at other sites.
That said, this would only be a problem if there were websites trying to use this as a basis for their entire operation. As far as we’ve seen, this is not the case: instead, this developer just wants to put their games alongside those of other providers. In that role, this collection does a great job. Some of their slots really are unique, especially the four-reel machines that are rarely seen in other collections. If you’re looking for something a little different, Altea produces solid products that are slightly outside the box, and they’re worth checking out if you’re getting bored of playing the same old games again and again.