Lightning Box Games might not be from New Zealand, but it’s the next best thing, which is to say Australian. Though truth be told, today this gaming giant works under Light & Wonder, formerly known as Scientific Games. Being part of a multinational gaming giant obviously has its advantages and disadvantages. The latter doesn’t seem to apply to Lightning Box Games so far, as it has retained its independence as a unique game developer, both online and offline.
The company is pretty much solely an online slot producer, so don’t expect table games, bingo, poker or any other form of casino gaming to emerge from their capable hands any time soon. The slots themselves have a very regional feeling, often concentrating on nature as the central theme. Lightning Box Games has been around quite a while, so they have a long tradition of producing classic slots. Luckily, they are not stuck in the past and take care to incorporate modern features and innovations in their new line of games.
Lightning Box Casinos
The company is based in Sydney, Australia, which makes this a perfect acquaintance for New Zealand casino players. Even before they were acquired their games were widely present across the world, and ever more casinos continue to add their numerous pokies to their casino game selection.
Land-based gaming isn’t probably high on the list for our New Zealand readers, but you should know that the company has a lot of experience in this area as well. The influence on the design is obvious. At the same time, and rather surprisingly, Lightning Box is also active in the area of social gaming. This is a rather interesting area, though it would seem most of the games are simple slots with the possibility of real money gaming removed. Whatever the case, all of this builds up into quite a strong portfolio of pokies.
Lightning Box History
The story of Lightning Box Games begins in 2004, when the company opened up its studio in Sydney, where they have remained since. The early years were rather quiet times for the company, as they always are for relatively small gaming companies. Steady work was done to design and publish new online slots, originally starting in the North American land-based casino markets.
These early years also moulded the core strengths of the company: mathematics, innovation, collaboration, excellence in all areas, easy integration, adherence to regulations, and support for different platforms.
Interestingly enough, the company was early on pretty much tied to IGT, for whom they produced slot terminals for the traditional casinos in the USA. By 2009 the company noticed that online slots were growing ever-popular online, and they changed their production style to suit mobile, tablet and desktop players. This opened up doors for other markets, mainly in Europe, which in turn led to access for players across the world.
The original land-based catalogue has been converted into online slots almost completely, whilst at the same time, the number of online slots has increased too. The company didn’t opt for porting the games directly, so the online pokies are a bit different from what you’ll find in the normal terminals. The differences aren’t massive, though usually the RTPs and wins are more favourable in the online slots.
The first online game was released in 2010, and proved to be quite popular. At the same time, it allowed Lightning Box to take a few risks itself, by opting for higher volatility gameplay together with new special features. Though the size of the company isn’t that big, they have maintained a release schedule of around ten games per year ever since.
The years that followed were used to increase the size of the catalogue, and the number of partners. This included national bodies like Loto Quebec, industry giants like Microgaming, and social gaming studios like Ruby Seven, or casinos like LeoVegas. In 2018 the company partnered with Scientific Games, today known as Light & Wonder, which led to access in US markets. In 2021 this relationship was taken to the next with Lightning Box was acquired by SG Digital.
Since then, the company seems to have continued as normal. It’s a bit early to say how things will continue, and whether or not Lightning Box Games will simply disappear into history. Or perhaps they will continue producing their unique games, remaining as a small but dedicated team, an Australian oddity in a field ruled by gigantic gaming companies. Time will tell, but for now we’re happy to be able to play their slots.
Lightning Box Casino Games
The company has always opted for quality, mercilessly culling games that do not perform as expected, or do not adhere to their strict standards at the end of the development process. This has resulted in a relatively small but high-quality selection of games. The selection of games has remained under one hundred titles. Fortunately, that is a number that is quite sufficient to serve all sorts of customers.
As said, Lightning Box only produces online slots. This isn’t something that is likely to change in the near future. The team is rather small, and concentrating on other casino games would divide resources that are simply not there. At the same time, it would make no sense to abandon their excellent line of products and the release schedule they have built for themselves. Though new releases are rare, they are always a welcome surprise. Especially when accompanied by new features or other payout structures and models.
Lightning Box Online Slots
We can’t say that Lightning Box online slots would be popular enough to float any online casino by themselves. Then again the same can be said about pretty much all of today’s software providers. Even giants like NetEnt or Microgaming aren’t found alone anymore. What the company does offer with its games is a very strong catalogue, built around different core features and types of online slots. They offer different things for different sorts of players and do it very well.
But what are those core features? Some of them are simple themes that share common roots. Others are specials and bonuses that share similar payouts and flows across several different games. Or perhaps it’s just the consistent quality, which is kept steady across all the different online slots available. Whatever the case, the easiest way to find out just what makes these games so enticing is to simply try them out.
Common Special Features
Take some of the top games like Raven’s Reveal, 100X Ra, Enchanted, Wild Hot Wasabi, or Kalahari Safari and some common special features emerge. Not so much that these are the same in all games, rather it shows that Lightning Box has their own favourite bonus features that they like to incorporate in their online slots.
One of these is multipliers, and we’re not talking about the simple kinds either. It’s not uncommon at all to spot win multipliers that will result in a hundred-fold win in a single spin. Other times the multipliers are tied into progressive features, resulting from avalanche wins or collectable symbols.
Free spins, also known as bonus spins or bonus rounds, are another rather common special amongst these online slots. Respins aren’t rare either, and both can come in the unlimited variety. Special symbols like wilds and scatters are commonplace, but you will also run into mystery symbols which add modifiers to the reels. And of course, expanding symbols is also a thing.
Some slots from Lightning Box add in rarer features, whilst others combine several of the specials mentioned above into a single bonus feature. Something that stands out, clearly as a design feature, is the fact that each game only tends to have one core feature. There might be an additional special here and there, but mostly the big wins and the gameplay itself is built around a single bonus feature, such as the free spins. Whether this is good or bad is up to the player to decide.
Unique Lightning Box Special Features
Waysfecta is a rather strange name, and truthfully we aren’t immediately aware of the thinking behind the name. Other than holding the “ways”, which we suppose is connected to the ways the wins are calculated. In any case, this is one special setup from Lightning Box games, present in a handful of their games. If you’re familiar with ways to win systems or Megaways slots, then you probably know what this is about. It’s essentially a similar mechanism to do away with paylines and introduce tens of thousands of individual ways to win.
Lightning is another such special, featuring in a handful of different games like Lightning Horseman and Lightning Gorilla. This is basically a special respin feature, which can trigger other additional bonuses. Skillstar in turn is a true rarity, as it adds a skill-based mini-game that affects the results of other bonuses. It’s well worth a try, though you can usually also just skip it and trust your luck.
Though Lightning Box games don’t have any progressive jackpot games, they do have their own line of Stellar Jackpots. The roots of these are clearly in land-based casinos, and whilst the popularity of such setups has waned over the years, probably due to popularity of high-paying slots and progressive jackpots, they’re still a nice surprise when added to the right pokie.
There are four different pots, and usually this is a feature that is triggered at random. A bonus game will follow, with a bit of interactive action. Obviously, the results are entirely random as well, and skill plays no role. Still, it’s a bit of added fun. The pots themselves are fixed, and simply a multiple of your total bet. The smallest one offers a nice boost, whilst the bigger ones make you call it a day.
Lightning Box Themes
We’ve mentioned the themes a handful of times now, so perhaps it’s time we take a detailed look at what exactly features regularly across these games. Something that is sure to strike your eye is all the animals. Gorillas, ravens, bulls, eagles, chickens, foxes, lions, dinosaurs and many more wild or tamed beasts fill the reels. Take a look at the following slots:
- Astro Pug
- Dolphin Gold
- Frogs ’n Flies
- Silver Pride
- Fortune 8 Cat
- Jungle Reels
- Chicken Fox 5x Skillstar
History, mythology and adventure is another rather common setup, often mixing a bit of fantasy into the stories too. Lightning Box might be an Australian company, but they aren’t afraid to draw inspiration from Asian, European or American sources. This is perhaps not all that surprising, given that these themes tend to be favourites for players and game producers alike. Following online slots are a good choice for checking the quality:
- Five Pirates
- Lost Temple
- Pyramid Bonanza
- Viking Fire
- Aztec Sun
- Pioneers Gold
- Moon Temple
- Spartan Fire
- Phoenix Coins
And that covers most of the games, but not nearly all. From time to time the company likes to throw in something completely unconnected and seemingly random. Rest assured though, that all of these games do have their audiences. Whether it’s Croc Chase with a rather familiar-looking face, beach action of Bondi Break, spicy reels of Chilli Gold, or moneyball of Baseball Bucks, you’re sure to find a unique and interesting theme. Just take a look and spin a few rounds.
Lightning Box Bonuses
Bonuses, promotions, and special network events are an area where the company is dragging its feet. We’re quite certain this is simply due to their size, as they can hardly compete with bigger companies that employ thousands, especially as Lightning Box is basically a reinforced team, and not even an independent one at that anymore.
That’s not to say you can’t use free spins, cash bonuses or even no deposit bonuses in Lightning Box games. The technology is there, just don’t expect these games to feature quite often in casinos’ internal promotions. We do believe you can find the occasional promotional pack whenever new games go live, so it is important to check our list of best NZ online casinos and sign up for the ones that sport games from Lightning Box.
Other Things About Lightning Box
Did you know that the roots of the company lead to another Australian gaming company, Aristocrat? The founder of the company, and much of the rest of the team, used to work in the igaming business before striking out with their own casino gaming company. This means they have plenty of experience in the industry, which also explains why such a small team has grown into such an influential slot producer.
The company is famous for going with the maths model first approach. This is in contrast to many of the other gaming studios, which tend to develop graphics, themes and even features, and only then figure out how the game itself runs. The approach by Lightning Box guarantees that the games aren’t simply copies of each other with different symbols, but instead each can stand on its own.
Lightning Box Casinos FAQ
- Is Lightning Box licensed and certified?
The company doesn’t actually seem to hold any official gaming licences. You have to remember that they are simply producing games, not running them or offering any other casino products. At the same time, they are present in many land-based casinos, so their games are certainly certified for all markets.
- What kind of RTP figures do these games offer?
Lightning Box entered the online market relatively early, and they have kept up with the ever-changing landscape of online casinos. The early games might have offered RTPs that can be considered low today, but the more modern games all seem to stick to figures above 96%, which is what we consider a pretty good figure.
- Can I play Lightning Box slots for free?
The games are usually available in demo mode, though at times you might need to open up a casino account to access them. No deposit bonuses are another option, one that can actually lead to real money wins.
- Are Lightning Box games mobile compatible?
The games can be played on all devices. The company ensured early on that they are using the latest technology, which gives native level support to all modern web browsers no matter which device you’re actually using. That said, the design itself is usually aimed at a bit larger screens, like desktops or tablets.
- What are the most popular slots for Lightning Box casinos?
All the games are popular with different groups of gamers. The company often designs niche games with that fact in mind. However, there are a handful of games that are aimed at larger audiences, and which could be considered more popular overall. Check these out: Angel’s Touch, Astro Cat, Serengeti Lions Stellar Jackpots, Panda Pow, Silver Lioness 4x, Golden Yak, Stacks of Pearls, and Astro Pug.