It’s inevitable over the course of any industry that businesses will rise and fall over time. When it comes to online casino software providers, there are dozens that have gone by the wayside in the past two decades, with their games either being sold off to other companies that are still in the business, or disappearing from the Internet entirely.
But we’ll sometimes see firms that end up in a sort of limbo that doesn’t fit into either of those categories, even though they clearly aren’t entirely in business anymore, either. Such is the case with Yoyougaming, a Chinese software developer that was first launched in 2009. For a few years, it seemed as though they were among a number of studios in China that were taking advantage of the growing markets for online gambling in Asia, producing games that were often targeted at players throughout the continent.
That seems to have changed sometime in 2014. There has been no social media activity for the company since that time, and there is no longer an active website for the developer. Still, it seems as though many of their games remain available around the Internet, even as their founders seem to have move on to other projects in the iGaming world.
Slots Still Available for Online Play
Once upon a time, Yoyougaming had a full range of casino options that they could license out to casinos. Today, we’re only able to find their slots anywhere we’ve looked, but that still gives us plenty to look at. The company created dozens of machines in their time, covering a wide range of themes and styles over the course of several years.
The quality and originality of these games can also vary tremendously. Some themes are rather inventive, while others are cookie-cutter, and some of the games have interesting gameplay elements, while others are rather bland by comparison. It’s a true mixed bag, for better and for worse.
Let’s look at a few titles to get a better idea of the variety at play. One of the things that truly makes this an Asia-focused software provider is the fact that some of their themes truly only make sense in certain parts of the world. A great example is a sports title, Badminton Champion. A hobby game at best in many parts of the world, several Asian nations take badminton extremely seriously, and competitive games can get quite intense – something most of the world only finds out every four years during the Summer Olympics.
This game uses fairly bland green graphics, with the backdrop made up to look like a badminton court. The symbols are well-drawn however, and other than a very odd musical choice (which seems like it would be more at home in a children’s cartoon), the game actually has a fairly nice look to it. It’s a five-reel, 30-payline game that sees players matching the card game ranks of tens and higher, as well as shoes, shuttlecocks, and scoreboards.
A few special symbols also populate the reels. A court acts as a wild, while three or more bonus symbols will grant you an instant bonus prize. Meanwhile, the scatter trophy is your ticket into a free spins game that can earn you up to 15 plays, and the jackpot rackets can earn you any one of four predetermined or progressive jackpot amounts.
A more Westernized theme is utilized in Age of Discovery, a game that’s all about the age when sailors traversed the world in ships, helping to discover just how much was out there to explore. Unlike the weird theme in the last game, this one has an appropriately rousing score, with a backdrop that shows tall ships on the open ocean.
The game itself is a pretty standard one: five reels, 20 paylines, and once again the poker ranks are used as the base symbols that provide smaller wins. Bigger wins come from images that seek to represent good sailers might find, like silks and foods. Once again, the same additions to the reels are also available: a wild, a scatter that can award bonus spins, a bonus round icon, and the jackpot symbol, that can again grant you one of four possible prizes. The biggest bit of weirdness in this game is the sound you get when you hit a win: it’s not an exaggeration to say that it sounds like the opening to the theme song of a 1980s sitcom, which is just a touch out of place here.
On the simpler side of things is Lucky Cheery, a three-reel, eight-line slot in which players can win in any direction. If you didn’t know that this was a slot machine, you might easily be forgiven for thinking it was a children’s game instead: there’s music that would seem appropriate in a children’s nursery, bright colors all over the screen, and a very friendly font. Sure, there are some weirdly threatening animals, but it’s obvious that weird is just part of the Yoyougaming package at this point.
In most cases, you’ll need to hit three of a kind in order to score prizes here, with fruit like lemons, grapes and oranges making up most of the prizes available. Coins, bars, and sevens offer bigger prizes, as do cherries (which, as tradition dictates, also pay out even if you hit just one or two). There are bonus prizes available if you should happen to fill the entire grid with a single symbol as well.
Hitting four or more coins will earn you free games. More interesting is the bomb feature, in which getting certain patterns of a particular symbol on the reels will earn you an instant prize worth thousands of credits. For a bit of customization, players can actually choose between a few different bomb activators. All these features make Lucky Cheery a surprisingly deep game for such a simple layout.
As you can see, there’s a reasonable variety of ideas at play in this collection, which is nice to see from any developer. Some of the other titles we enjoyed playing include the following:
- Gold Dice
- Lion Dance
- Penguin Adventure
- Animals’ War
- Fire Dragon
- Dragon Ball
- Angry Pigs
- Robot World
No Presence to Speak Of
As we mentioned at the top of this page, there isn’t much that can be found out there about Yoyougaming these days. Beyond the fact that they clearly haven’t done anything to maintain a public presence, there’s also the issue that one of their most notable partners has also folded up shop. They had a handful of games present on the Odobo platform, which unfortunately shut down in 2016. That leaves only a handful of casinos, such as Casino440, that offer up these slots to their players.
Other than that, you’ll be hard pressed to find much about this company anywhere on the web. As you might expect, they haven’t won any major awards, and don’t open big booths at trade shows, either. Other than perhaps supporting their games – and we’re not even sure they do that, as operators may just be running titles they purchased some years ago – it doesn’t seem like this company is actively doing anything at all these days.
An iGaming Ghost Ship
It’s weird to write a review for a company that – for all intents and purposes – no longer exists. They obviously aren’t going to grow into anything new, and we can’t tell players to seek these games out, as there are clearly newer and better options out there, not to mention few casinos carry them even if you do want to play them.
So instead, we’ll just focus on what we think of the games just in case you happen to come across them. And, surprisingly, we have mostly good things to say about these slots. They were legitimately fun, fairly inventive, and we had a good time trying them out. Yes, each one has at least one very odd aspect to it, but you might also say that these quirks helped make them memorable. There’s no reason that you really need to find these games, but if your favorite site includes some of them, check them out – and know you are playing games that could just as easily not exist anymore, just like the studio that made them.