Many of the world’s largest gambling companies are based in Europe, North America, and Asia, and it’s easy to get the idea that these are really the only places where online gaming is based – especially since, broadly speaking, these are also the main areas these same firms tend to target.
But this certainly isn’t a universal truth. Around the world, some companies have long worked to serve regional markets in every corner of the map, providing quality games for both land-based and Internet play even if they remain relatively unknown throughout much of the world.
RCT Gaming is one company that certainly fits into this category. In 1994, the company first began servicing the brick-and-mortar industry in their home market of Brazil. While the changing regulatory market there eventually led to the stoppage of those operations in 2001, the company would spend the next decade spreading out across the region: partnerships were formed in Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, and Mexico, making this one of the more prolific developers in Latin America. Since then, they’ve also started working their way into the lucrative USA market.
In 2010, RCT also started working on their online operations, making their mark on the iGaming world as well. Today, they offer a small selection of titles that are available at a handful of online casinos, most of which are at least available in many of the same countries that the company where the company’s land-based machines have been hits for more than two decades now.
Slots, Plus More Unique Options
RCT has not been the most productive firm in terms of the number of gaming machines they’ve put out over the years. However, they do have a bit of variety to their offerings, as they have become known not only for their slots, but also for some bingo-based games that provide a bit of a unique spin on the typical casino selection.
However, we’ll still start with the one-armed bandits, as RCT has developed a library of about a dozen such games. Many of these look to be based on the same basic framework, similar to how Realtime Gaming has their “Reel Series” that features many different titles skinned onto one template. In this case, you’ll be looking at a straightforward series of 3×5 formats with vibrant colors but fairly basic presentations; even though the games that have been ported online tend to be a bit better, they still feature pretty unremarkable graphics and gameplay features.
For instance, there’s Oro de Mexico, a slot that is filled with all kinds of Mexican-themed symbols. Players are set with matching a variety of fruits and vegetables – like peppers, avocados, corn and so on – as well as other symbols like donkeys, men wearing sombreros, and the pots of gold that give the game its name. The symbols are all drawn well enough to be attractive, but other than the occasional shimmy, there’s really no animation here, and the backdrop is a static map of Mexico itself.
Where this game does stand out a bit is in its formatting. This is a pretty normal looking five-reel machine, but the 25 lines you can win on aren’t all what you’d expect. While 20 of them travel across the screen in various patterns, five are comprised entirely of one reel each, meaning you can win vertically as well as horizontally. In addition, wins are tracked as long as symbols appear consecutively, whether that means left-to-right or right-to-left, with a variety of different prizes being available based on where exactly a combination is made. There are other bonus symbols that can earn players more instant prizes, while a wild coin also acts as the potential ticket to winning the game’s progressive jackpot.
While this format is inventive, it appears to be fairly common in games developed by RCT. For instance, there’s Bucaneiros, a pirate-themed game that uses the same 25-line, five-reel layout. Once again, you’ll be dealing with the same level of clear but unspectacular graphics, and you’ll be tasked with matching treasure chests, massive ships, pirates, parrots, flags and more. As we mentioned on the above game, there are no real animations (though the relevant symbols will bounce around a bit when you win), and there is again a potential jackpot that you can win (this time by matching five of the highest-paying pirate face icons).
A more universal theme is present in the slot called Halloween. Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but this is yet another game with five reels and 25 paylines, including those five vertical lines that are a hallmark of these games. There are monsters, witches, magicians and vampires strewn across the screen, along with plenty of other creepy creatures, ghosts, and ghouls for you to play with. A Halloween logo is the highest-paying option, which also gives players the chance to win the game’s jackpot.
Based on these games, you should have a pretty good idea of what’s going on here. While the RCT titles aren’t top of the line, they aren’t exactly bad: the relatively poor graphical quality is offset a bit by some interesting formatting that we haven’t seen before. On the other hand, we were disappointed to see what was essentially the same game over and over again. This, combined with a very small selection of titles being available online, makes this an unlikely source of excitement for most slots lovers.
What RCT may be best known for, however, are their video bingo games, some of which are exclusive to their online operations. These titles are not particularly spectacular, but they are excellent renditions of this genre of gaming. If you’ve played them before, these options offer up four bingo tickets of 15 numbers each, which you’ll hope to match to a set of random balls that are draw each time you start a new round.
For instance, Steel Bingo has you trying to complete lines on your cards to earn prizes from the 33 balls that will be drawn (from a possible 90) each time you play. Players have the opportunity to pay for up to 9 extra balls if they would like more chances to win, and a jackpot possibility adds additional excitement to each and every round. Other versions include Park Bingo, Hot Bingo, Flex Game, and Super Bola. Additionally, the company has been known to provide some poker and lotto services in some of their markets.
Strong Partnerships Bring Games to Internet Players
While RCT is an old hand at the gaming industry, they are still relatively young in terms of their work in the iGaming side of the business. Given their small portfolio of games, it was clear that they would have to partner with some bigger distributors and platforms that have more expertise in this arena.
Thankfully, the firm has found some great partners ever since they first joined this arena. From the beginning in 2010, they have worked with Betmotion, and since then, other major developers have signed on to help get RCT content out to more players. Well-known groups like Oryx, Patagonia, and Ezugi have reached agreements to combine their games and software, which has helped ensure that RCT games appear alongside the collections of other major developers like Microgaming and NetEnt at casinos around the world.
One place where RCT hasn’t really made a mark is in the major awards shows: we haven’t seen them picking up any nominations, let alone wins. We also haven’t seen much of them at the major gaming shows, though that may have more to do with their status as a largely regional firm rather than a global player.
Not Yet A Serious Online Competitor
There’s no doubt that RCT has been an important contributor to the land-based casino market in Latin America. While their games may not have the quality of an IGT or Aristocrat, they are reliable, easy to play, and often feature inventive formats, and that is more than enough to make them a solid addition to any resort or casino.
However, that hasn’t exactly translated into a strong Internet presence just yet. When compared to the games you’ll find at most online casinos from the major developers, these titles tend to fall just a bit short: the graphics are below average, and the gameplay isn’t quite interesting enough to make up for the other shortcomings.
None of that makes these games horrible, of course. It’s just that there are likely to be better options out there for nearly every player, no matter what exactly it is they are looking for. If you happen to run across this library at a casino you already play on, you might want to take at least one look at the weird paylines; on the other hand, unless you’ve become a fan of these titles in brick-and-mortar establishments, there’s no reason to seek them out online.