Pennsylvania slots lovers finally have access to games from one of the industry’s most prolific developers, High 5 Games.
High 5 received its license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board this summer. Contrary to our expectations here at Bonus, however, it has taken several months for its content to come to market.
High 5 has plenty of existing partnerships in other states. In New Jersey, for instance, you’ll find its slots titles at BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, and Golden Nugget, as well as some smaller sites.
In fact, it’s the most common brand you’ll see there. Bonus has identified roughly 200 titles by High 5 available in the Garden State.
Pennsylvania has some catching up to do in that regard. BetRivers Pennsylvania and its alternate brand, PlaySugarHouse, are currently the only sites in the state where you’ll find High 5 slots for real money play. So far, there only appear to be two such games available:
- Da Vinci Extreme
- Dangerous Beauty
The deal between High 5 and BetRivers’ parent Rush Street Interactive spans multiple states and the Canadian province of Ontario.
High 5’s CEO Anthony Singer said in a statement:
We’re thrilled to solidify our partnership by directly integrating our games into their platform. The direct integration gives us the power to expand into new markets faster and be wherever Rush Street Interactive is currently and in the future. We’re now fully migrated to their platform in Michigan and New Jersey, recently launched in Pennsylvania and Ontario, with more markets to come.
High 5’s Narrative Approach to Slots Design
Some slots studios focus on a few popular titles or series of titles with similar characters and themes. Not so with High 5.
The in-house philosophy at High 5 seems to be variety and originality. Although only two games have appeared in Pennsylvania so far, its catalog contains hundreds of titles.
Da Vinci Extreme is one of several slots titles on the market – some by High 5, some by IGT – focusing on the art of Leonardo Da Vinci. Dangerous Beauty has an Asian martial arts theme featuring pet jaguars.
Some of the company’s other titles stray further from standard slots themes. For instance, you won’t find anything else quite like Cat to the Future, which parodies the Back to the Future movie franchise, but with anthropomorphic cat protagonists. Many of its games are accompanied by more story-telling than you’d find in a typical slot.
As creative as it is with its themes, High 5 takes a more disciplined approach to game mechanics. You won’t find many High 5 titles with complicated bonus games or numerous special symbols on the reels. Many of its games are straightforward 5×3 video slots with just one or two little twists.
One common twist favored by High 5 is cascading reels. You’ll find those in many of its games, including Da Vinci Extreme.
High 5 Featured Slot: Da Vinci Extreme
Da Vinci Extreme is, as you might guess, geared toward those interested in the Renaissance. It features a variety of gems as its low-pay symbols and the portraits painted by Da Vinci as the high-pay symbols. Naturally, these include the Mona Lisa, second only in value to the Da Vinci Diamond symbol.
It is among the many High 5 slots to feature cascading reels. Matching combinations are removed, which leads to new symbols dropping into place. That means you can win multiple times in a single spin.
The only other special mechanic is a free spins feature, triggered by the usual three Scatter symbols. These free spins use upgraded reels and treat portraits as if they were scatter symbols for purposes of awarding a prize. That is, three Mona Lisa symbols will always pay out during free spins, even if they don’t fall along one of the game’s paylines.
What makes it “extreme”? The volatility! This is a game where you really want to spin five-of-a-kind because that’s where all the money is.
In Da Vinci Extreme, scoring a full, five-symbol payline is worth between 10 and 20 times as much as getting just four symbols. For instance, the green gems, which are the lowest-paying symbol, have the following payouts:
- Three gems: 0.5x stake
- Four gems: 1.25x stake
- Five gems: 15x stake
That is, spinning four green gems wins only slightly more than your bet, but getting that fifth one results in a pretty decent 15x payout. Meanwhile, getting four Da Vinci Diamonds would earn you 50x your bet, but all five would be worth 500x.
By contrast, in Dangerous Beauty, the money is more spread out, and five matching symbols are usually only worth about twice as much as four.