Parallax scrolling is when the foreground of a game moves at a faster rate than the background. The technology was first incorporated in side-scrolling games of the early 1980s such as Moon Patrol and Jungle Hunt but it was classics like Sonic the Hedgehog released in 1991 that really started using the software to full effect. The simple idea is now making a comeback in the world of mobile gaming, and modern-day graphics have made it look even better than ever.
Slot machines have evolved at an incredible rate over the years. They were invented in 1895 and at the time had three reels and a handle at the side used to spin them. Times have certainly changed. Because slots have always been so popular, as soon as there is some technological progress leading developers look at ways of incorporating it in the game. Innovations happen quickly as others jump on the bandwagon and seek to emulate and improve on the game which is at the forefront. Now developers are gearing their products towards the mobile market, as arcade games are the most popular games to download according to Survey Monkey.
At the moment one of the leading games is the Jurassic Park slot from Microgaming. As shown in the video above, the slot has a sleek design and instead of just being a fixed spinning reel system in the center of the screen, the background moves using the parallax scrolling technology.
While spinning the reels players can see different sections of the famous park from the hit movie series, as well as watch dinosaurs occasionally run onto the screen. The developers took the slot experience to the next level with this game, which won Digital Product of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards in 2015.
With the advanced graphics of smartphones and tablets, slots like this look even better when you spin the reels. Needless to say, the game is in high demand with online casinos that offer their services across multiple platforms including mobile. 32Red mobile casino is one such operator, and in an effort to attract users to play the game at their site they are currently offering a “32 Days of Christmas” bonus that involves a different prize each day. Other sites are keeping with the Christmas theme as well. Roxy Palace has “Rudolph’s Rewards” while Jackpot City has a “Ho, Ho, Ho” bonus.
The Jurassic Park slots at 32Red have shown just how good parallax scrolling can look when used to full effect. The game mechanics are totally original as the symbols actually sit on invisible reels, revealing the scenery in the background. This is an impressive graphic achievement, and it works so well with the high-resolution screens of the recent smartphones like the iPhone 7 Plus with its 1080×1920 pixels. These effects are ideal for the pick-up-and-play mobile apps that are now so popular.
Angry Birds is perhaps the most famous example of an app that has used parallax scrolling to create one of the most addictive and highest selling games of all time. The game in which players have to fling various different birds in an effort to topple complex structures helped Rovio Entertainment get to a stage where they are raking in an estimated $11,681 per day from the app.
The parallax scrolling in games like Angry Birds is a lot more advanced than what was used in the Sega and Nintendo games of the 80s and 90s. As seen in the video above the camera appears to go back and forth to wherever the action is rather than only going in one direction. In fact, in the early Sonic the Hedgehog games if the camera caught up with the character you would lose a life, suggesting that the graphics were on a continuous loop that couldn’t be stopped. It took a while for the developers of Angry Birds to get the mechanics spot on, though, and programmer Tuomo Lehtinen confessed to spending hours upon hours tweaking the game so that the birds always flew in the way one would expect them to.
Angry Birds has become a multimillion dollar franchise with multiple spinoffs including an Angry Birds movie which was released earlier this year. The amazingly successful app and the highly innovative Jurassic Park slot game are two prime examples of how parallax scrolling technology has come back to the forefront of mobile gaming. The visually pleasing and exciting effects should be around for many years to come.