Slots providers never stop churning out new developments. Case in point: a brand new “infinity reels” engine hit the gaming world in late 2019.
ReelPlay first introduced players to this concept with El Dorado Infinity Reels in November 2019. Before El Dorado, players had never seen a game that continually added reels to the right to no theoretical end.
In May 2020, NetEnt dropped a similar game in Gods of Gold Infinireels. The latter essentially offers the same concept as infinity reels—with only slight nuances.
What are the differences between these games? I’ll discuss them below along with whether or not NetEnt copied ReelPlay.
How Do Infinity Reels Work?
As mentioned before, ReelPlay dropped El Dorado Infinity Reels first. They followed this release up with Giza Infinity Reels in April 2020.
Both games feature the exact same mechanism. They add a reel to the right for every qualifying win.
This process continues as long as you keep landing wins or extending the current combination. What exactly counts as a qualifying win, though?
Here are the stipulations for adding new reels:
- Option #1: Form a new winning cluster with 5 or more matching symbols.
- Option #2: Extend a current winning cluster of 5+ symbols.
- In both cases, one or more matching symbols must appear in the rightmost reel.
Not just any winning combination will extend the reels. You need at least one of the matching icons to appear in the furthest reel to the right. Therefore, you could theoretically win in this game without extending the grid.
Assuming you keep racking up qualifying payouts, you’ll continue pushing the reels sideways. The default 3×4 (three reels, four rows) grid continues increasing with no theoretical end in sight.
Infinity reels slots feature win multipliers. The multiplier increases by 1x every time that you add another reel. Win multipliers and reels both reset to their default sizes whenever the current win stops extending.
How Do Infinireels Work?
NetEnt’s Gods of Gold Infinireels may appear just like El Dorado or Giza Infinity Reels at first. However, it offers minor differences that set it apart.
Gods of Gold begins with a 3×3 grid (instead of 3×4). It initially adds one reel to the right for any winning combination.
You score wins by getting three matching symbols going across the reels. You add an extra reel to the grid by landing another matching symbol in the rightmost reel (just like with infinity reels).
This process continues until no more matching symbols land in the right reel. Assuming a win ends, the grid resets to its 3×3 for the start of the next round.
What Are the Main Differences Between These Mechanics?
You can see that infinity reels and infinireels feature minor differences. I’m going to recap these nuances below.
Infinity Reels Pay in Clusters
An infinity reels slot pays for matching clusters of 5+ symbols. These clusters can form horizontally and/or vertically.
You merely need the matching icons to touch in some way. Provided this is the case, then you’ll collect a prize.
Again, you can win with infinity reels slots and still not extend the reels. At least one matching symbol has to be in the rightmost reel for the grid to extend.
Infinireels Pay Going Across Reels
An Infinireels game offers payouts for three matching symbols going across three reels. It pays much more like a traditional slot than infinity reels.
Therefore, you can’t just land matching symbols that touch each other. All matching icons must appear in individual reels.
Just like with infinity reels, you need at least one matching symbol in the rightmost reel. However, this occurs naturally when considering the payout structure.
Different Starting Grids
Infinity reels games feature three reels and four rows (3×4) by default. This grid grows to 3×5 and so forth as you extend a payout.
Infinireels slots start with three reels and three rows (3×3). The grid increases to 3×4 and so forth as your winning combination extends. The 3×3 default grid ensures that you always add an extra reel for any qualifying win.
Each Type of Game Offers Different Bonuses
Infini and infinity reels slots both deliver free spins through their bonus rounds. However, they also differ on other features.
Infinity reels slots offer a win multiplier. This multiplier increases by 1x every time you net a qualifying win.
Infinireels games can randomly deliver a free respin at the conclusion of any losing round. This respin gives you one more chance at getting a win and extending the reels.
These slots also offer Win Spins Free Spins. The latter guarantee a payout on every spin until the bonus ends.
Infinireels Offer Higher Maximum Wins
Both infinity and infinireels games offer large maximum payouts. However, the latter features the biggest potential wins.
You can score up to 25,000x the stake through Gods of Gold. Assuming you wager $10, for example, you’d stand to win as much as $250,000.
Giza and El Dorado Infinity Reels offer maximum prizes worth 10,000x and 6,250x the stake, respectively. A $10 bet would give you the chance at winning either $100,000 or $62,250 in these cases.
Will You Notice the Differences?
You probably won’t feel much different when it comes to playing infini and infinity reels slots. They essentially feature the same mechanic.
However, you may be perplexed if you’re used to one format before trying the other. After all, both types of games offer minor discrepancies.
The bonuses with each type of game also present nuances. Infinity reels deliver a 1x boost to your win multiplier whenever a new reel is added.
Infinireels slots don’t offer a multiplier. But they do guarantee wins during the bonus round and offer random respins following losses.
You won’t need much time to adjust from infinireels to infinity reels, or versa. However, you still want to understand the minor differences just in case.
Did NetEnt Copy ReelPlay?
As mentioned before, NetEnt released Gods of Gold several months after ReelPlay launched El Dorado. Some within the industry speculated that NetEnt simply copied ReelPlay with this concept.
Therefore, I thought it would be worthwhile to discuss the reality behind the situation. First off, NetEnt didn’t just rip off ReelPlay’s invention.
Both developers came up with the same concept independently. They also happened to launch two very similar engines within months of each other.
Such incidents can still lead to lawsuits in some cases. However, both sides actually agreed to work together on protecting this mechanism for both sides.
“In light of both companies independently following similar ideas,” said Bryan Upton, Director of NetEnt Games. “It made sense for us to come together to reinforce our unique propositions in a highly competitive market.”
That said, nobody stole anything from the other side in this situation. Furthermore, both developers amicably agree to treat infinity/infinireels as shared property.
Are Infinity Reels & Infinireels Going to Be Huge?
Infini and infinity reels draw inevitable comparisons to Megaways. The latter engine causes reels to hold different amounts of symbols on every spin. For example, a six-reel slot could see each reel hold between two and seven symbols.
Megaways slots have become extremely popular over the past several years. Players love that they can unlock up to 117,649 ways or more (depending upon the format).
Infini/infinity reels share a lot of similarities with Megaways. The main difference is that these engines extend the grid sideways rather than up.
Unlike Megaways, though, infinity and infinireels offer limitless potential. Nothing stops you from adding 30+ reels on any given spin.
Of course, the odds are against you doing so on a consistent basis. But the limitless possibilities are what make these games exciting.
For the most part, infinireels and infinity reels are the same thing. They both let you add additional reels to the grid through qualifying wins.
Therefore, you largely get the same effect when playing either style of game. However, you will notice a few small differences when switching from one game to the other.
These discrepancies can actually make your gaming sessions all the more exciting. You should consider trying both types of games if you’re fascinated with the prospect of unlimited reels.