Accumulators: A Visual Progression on a Slot Machine

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Coin Combo Hurricane Horse three pots

We’ve talked about all the various pots, bags, fish, etc. that grow on machines. Most of the time they’re a perceived persistence element, although true persistence elements do exist too, like those on the pigs of Rich Little Piggies.

The slot machine industry has a term for this: Accumulators.

Accumulators show a visual progression on a slot. The item grows, fills up or otherwise shows a visual evolution over a period of time on the game. They always seem to be growing or approaching something, hence the name Accumulator.

As we’ve mentioned here in the past, perceived persistence elements don’t offer any sort of visual indicator if a bonus is about to arrive – the odds of a bonus happening are the same on any given spin. 

By comparison, true persistent elements, like those pigs, don’t just evolve, but do see things growing with equity that can be meaningful to players, such as elimination of smaller poker symbols or increasing wilds on the reels. 

So accumulators don’t necessarily have to be just a visual touch, but can actually have some connection to the game and what value it delivers.

They also don’t just have to be growing objects. They can be counters, like free game counters, or other elements that show progress. The new Buffalo Ultimate Stampede, for instance, has a bonus meter that fills (although this, too, is a perceived persistence element in this case), which slowly fills up as gameplay proceeds.

Accumulators help give a game more visual activity, by showing progress and movement, even if in the end it’s not a true indicator of anything. As games get tougher, these elements help slots feeling active, just like a “false win” does. If you’re not sure what a false win is, come back here next week to check out our article!

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