Rival software review (unnecessarily long)

sal monella

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Location
Where the deers and the antelopes play
I decided to try out one of the casinos running Rival software. The casinos are Cocoa, Da Vinci's Gold, Paradise8, and This Is Vegas.

*** SLOT GAMES ***

The big claim to fame here is the "I-slot" interactive slots, supposedly the most revolutionary, cutting-edge slot games ever. When I played a few days ago there were two options: "As the Reels Turn" and "Reel Crime: Bank Heist." A third I-slot game, "Reel Crime: Art Heist" has just been added.

Possibly I overlooked or failed to understand some elements, but I was baffled. "As the Reels Turn" is a soap opera themed game. It's a typical video slot with a couple of different second-screen bonuses. A particular combination on the reels will trigger an advance to a new game level. Between levels, a video depicting the soap opera storyline is shown, and between some levels, a second-screen bonus is awarded.

I didn't bother watching the videos. The bonus games were entirely unremarkable, typically involving a choice of symbols to reveal a hidden bonus amount. Bonus amounts tended to be quite low.

After reaching and continuing past the final level, I was returned to level 1, but apparently they plan to release additional levels in the future. However game play is the same at each level. The only differences are the between-level videos and bonuses.

The Bank Heist game is a little different, and a bit more complicated. The game includes a chase level featuring different symbols on the reels. For no apparent reason, the player is required to lock in a particular bet amount before playing the chase level. The bet amount is a mandatory 5 coins per line, so although my original bet amount was 15 cents, I was required to play at least 75 cents per spin if I wished to continue.

As best I could determine, my only alternative was to never play the Bank Heist game again. There's a button to reset back to the beginning of the level, but no way I could see to back out to the main level.

During the chase level, car symbols on the reels cause either the pursuing or getaway vehicle to move forward. The level ends when the getaway vehicle either is caught or reaches the finish line. The car symbols act as blockers for most payouts, so this level seemed to suck money.

A bonus round is awarded at the end of the level, and the bonus feature differs depending on the outcome, but the bonus for getting away doesn't appear to be any better than the bonus for getting caught. I don't know, maybe the developers wanted to teach the lesson that crime doesn't pay.

Between various levels and features are annoying videos, which I would expect to get old very quickly, although they are skippable.

The regular slots are better. The three-reelers are typical examples of their type, but they treated me very well through prolonged play.

The regular video slots are typical 15-line games, but with a few oddities. An example is the "Metal Detector" game. The pay table is unusually proportioned. A typical symbol may pay 10 for two symbols left to right, only 15 for three of the symbol, and maybe 40 or 50 for four. The result is a lot of small hits and a few large hits, but very few medium payoffs.

The bonus feature requires maneuvering a man holding a metal detector along a beach. A buried object is then revealed and a bonus amount is awarded. There's no rhyme or reason to this. In one instance the buried object is a safety pin and the payoff is 200 coins. Next time OMG it's the Ark of the Covenant! And the payoff is ... 100 coins. WTF!?!

Summing up the slot games, I didn't find any of them revolutionary. But I noticed that every game and every feature is totally luck-based, which in my estimation is a huge limitation on creativity. Admittedly luck-based games are the norm, but to really reward continued play and crank up the loyalty factor, I think the designers need to consider incorporating elements of skill.

*** VIDEO POKER ***

The video poker is like going back in time to a Microgaming casino in 2004. Games are available in either single-line or 4-line options, and with the exception of single-line Deuces, all pay tables appear to be the same as Microgaming. (Rival uses the good Deuces payoffs for both single and 4-line.)

Graphics are slightly flashier than Microgaming, but the overall experience is essentially the same. Kudos to Rival for offering both 5 and 10 cent coin amounts.

Missing from the Rival software is a perfect-strategy autoplay feature. That's OK with me because I think it was a mistake for Microgaming to offer it. The ability to play skill games perfectly effectively turns Microgaming's video poker into 99.5% slots. (Or 99% or 98.5% depending on the game.) Which has largely killed the ability of Microgaming casinos to offer decent incentives.

*** TABLE GAMES ***

Didn't play any, but they offer the usual assortment.

*** CASHIER AND ACCOUNTING ***

The software offers excellent tracking of comp points. According to support, the comp rate ranges from 0.1% for BJ & VP all the way up to 0.4% for slots. But for some reason I earned at the 0.1% rate for all games. I thought it might be because I was playing with a bonus, but the 0.1% rate continued even after the bonus and my withdrawal had cleared.

Bonuses are activated prior to depositing, somewhat like the RTG software. The active bonus information and terms continue to be accessible via the cashier until the bonus has cleared.

The software has a unique feature to prevent bonus abuse -- excluded games are allowed to be played, but bet sizes are limited. I assume this is to prevent a player from doubling up at a table game before clearing a bonus at slots.

Wagering progress toward a bonus does not appear to be trackable within the software, although the comp point counter may be useful for this. Support wasn't especially helpful. They claimed the cashier area would tell me when I was finished. After another inquiry to support, I was advised that I was clear to withdraw, but the software continued to display the active bonus.

Then after some confusion over ID verification, I cashed out successfully.

*** MISCELLANEOUS ***

The software doesn't appear to download any games automatically. Each download initiates when a game is launched for the first time, and it's not possible to play other games while waiting.

I found the slots autoplay feature to be somewhat slow. It would occasionally speed up, but I was never able to achieve consistently rapid play. May have been my computer though.

*** SUMMARY ***

This may be reflective of my reduced expectations after multiple unsatisfactory casino experiences, but I liked the casino and would play there again. For non-bonus play I would still choose a Microgaming casino instead, but a few incentives would swing the pendulum in favor of Rival, at least some of the time. And the Rival casinos do appear to be more aggressive with their bonus offers.
 

Simmo!

Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
England
Hmmm... Sal Monella. Just reminded me I have a big bar of Cadbury's chocolate in the fridge....:thumbsup:
 

dominique

Dormant account
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Location
The Boonies
I'm getting nice feedback on these.

There are some new slots coming out, too.

I see people returning for more, so that seems to be a good indication that fun is to be had.

My own test runs were fun. I liked the islots.
 

paul1

Dormant account
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
sal monella said:
Missing from the Rival software is a perfect-strategy autoplay feature. That's OK with me because I think it was a mistake for Microgaming to offer it. The ability to play skill games perfectly effectively turns Microgaming's video poker into 99.5% slots. (Or 99% or 98.5% depending on the game.) Which has largely killed the ability of Microgaming casinos to offer decent incentives.

Good point, Sal. This was my same thoughts exactly. They should never have added that feature.
 

kwblue

Dormant Account
webmeister
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Location
USA
I liked the I-Slots, Reel Crime more than the others (including the new Art Heist).

I, actually, liked the regular video slots better. Grandma's Attic was fun (to me) because I seemed to get some regular wins out of it. However, I agree that they should really kick it up a notch with the games and try to offer some unique bonus games (like Marvel Comics Slots have). Or some major Free Spins like you see in many of the newer MGS games.


Overall, I really like the casinos as it is a nice interface. I would really like to see a lot of new games, though. They could really 'Rival' MGS if they can get the variety up. (pun intended)


kwblue
 

sal monella

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Location
Where the deers and the antelopes play
I guess it's too late to edit my original post. Just noticed the Deuces video poker pay table at Rival casinos is not the same as Microgaming. The Microgaming payout for 4 deuces is 1250, assuming max coins, but Rival only pays 1000. This reduces the optimal return of the game to around 98.5%, instead of about 99.3% at Microgaming.

Time for a new eyeglass prescription.
 

RobRival

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Location
Canada
Comp Point Issue

Thanks to Sal Monella for the review on the Rival Gaming software.

We take all feedback seriously, and this thread has been forwarded to our developers.

In particular, we examined the comp point issue you raised.

All four 400 Group casinos (www.thisisvegas.com , www.cocoacasino.com, www.paradise8.com and www.davincisgold.com ) have set the following comp policy:

For each dollar wagered, players are awarded points -

* 4 points for Keno
* 3 points for Slots
* 2 points for Caribbean Stud Poker, Let it Ride, War, Red Dog, and Three Card Poker
* 1 point for all other games.

We conducted an audit of the system and determined player accounts were indeed receiving incorrect comp points based on the games played. As Sal Monella noted, all wagers, despite what games were being played, were receiving 1 point for each $1 bet. We are pleased to let you know that this issue has been resolved and all new wagers are being comped using the above point system. All previously placed wagers have been retroactively comped to correct any discrepancies. Players with accounts that were affected have been notified via email.

We've also determined that a portion of these comps have been applied to accounts that are no longer accessible due to voluntary self exclusion from the casinos. The 400 Group has decided that these comps will be converted to a cash donation to be made to www.GamAid.com.

We trust that this issue has been resolved to all players' satisfaction, and that Rival's and The 400 Group's commitment to fair play is clear.

Thanks to Sal Monella for bringing this to our attention.
Rob Lockhart
Rival Gaming Technical Support
 

kwblue

Dormant Account
webmeister
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Location
USA
Serious kudos to resolving an issue and even back-filling the comp points. I received my email about it and then saw this thread. Simply superb support, IMO.
 

soflat

Dormant Account
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Location
Florida
kwblue said:
Serious kudos to resolving an issue and even back-filling the comp points. I received my email about it and then saw this thread. Simply superb support, IMO.

Yes! I second that. I always wondered what was up with the comp point counter, now I know.

Anyways I like their 3-reel slots. They don't look real fancy like some other software, but I'd rather have a chance at winning over being impressed by some graphics anyday.

I also see they have added a new version of Reel Crime (an art heist version with famous paintings).
 

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Up$hitCreek
I was about to email support about the comps points issue. (I usually check CasinoMeister first. LOL) I've just logged in at Da Vinci's Gold and find that the comps in my account seem to have been corrected since I played last night.

Thank you CocoaRob & 400 Group! Good customer service is always appreciated. :thumbsup:

And thanks Sal for your review.
 

paul02085

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Location
USA
Very impressive response. I can think of one or two (hundred) casinos that could stand to get their customer service like this. Kudos.:thumbsup:
 

soflat

Dormant Account
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Location
Florida
I tried Reel Crime 2: Art Heist today, starting with $200 balance including a300% bonus.

It was brutal because it took 400 spins before I got the three scatter Art Heist symbols and advanced to the next level. After that, I advanced more quickly, but my fate was sealed because I burned through 70% of my bankroll in that intial stage. I eventually made it to the final round (which I lost).

Besides the 3 Art Heist scatters, the other scatters that pay 10 free spins were hard to come by. I hit those twice in 1100 spins for wins of 15 and 26 X my bet.

The Robin Hood bonus round would be a nice feature. It happens randomly after a spin and include a little cartoon. The problem is that it pays so poorly and I started dreading them because you sit through the same cartoons and get little payoff. The top payoff was 6.67 x bet, the lowest was 1.33. I hit this bonus 14 times in 1100 spins.
 

paulcr

Full Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Location
UK
As I mentioned in a post yesterday, I joined with Davinci Gold after reading about the fact they use different software and provided good customer service in relation to a Comps point error.

I played slots only and way over the wagering level and made a cashout.

Yesterday I posted on these forums to mention the positive experience I had at the casino and another casinomeister user replied saying ` if you like the software at Davinci`s then try these, and then a few more casino were mentioned.

I signed up at one a second ago and was promptly banned from recieving any promotions. I asked support and it appears from the chat below I am labelled a promotion abuser after playing slots only at one casino in the group.

I could understand if I was playing minimum stakes blackjack and cashed out as soon as I met the WR but come on, slots only and way over the WR!!



Xiovani: Welcome to Cocoa Casino's Live Support. How may I assist you?
you: hi, can you tell me why i get a denied message when i claim a promotion.
Xiovani: May I have your email address or login please?
you: it is paulcr. i played at davinci gold yesterday after seeing it on the casinomeister website. a rep from your group pointed out this one.
Xiovani: Please hold one moment.
Xiovani: Unfortunately, the casinos security system has flagged your account and you are not eligible for promotions. You may still play for Fun or for Real without promotions.
you: what could have caused this as i only played at one yesterday after a recommendation.
Xiovani: I am sorry to inform you but the casino reserves the right to deny promotions to anyone, without disclosing the reason why.
you: ok thanks for your time.
Xiovani: Thank you for visiting Cocoa Casino. Please contact us at any time.
 

paul02085

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Location
USA
I have a feeling these are all 1 outfit. They need to say you can only get 1 signup bonus very clearly if is the case. NOT COOL.:mad:

We need CocoaRob to come clarify this.
 

silcnlayc

Just one more spin pleez!
PABaccred
PABnonaccred
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Location
Left Hungary
Besides the 3 Art Heist scatters, the other scatters that pay 10 free spins were hard to come by. I hit those twice in 1100 spins for wins of 15 and 26 X my bet.
Didn't realize this thread was here otherwise I would not have started a new one on paradise8 and thier awful paying games and posted screenshots....
It was brutal because it took 400 spins before I got the three scatter Art Heist symbols and advanced to the next level.
No truer words have been said...stay away if you want a game with any kind of fun play and excitement...these are so totally boring throughout knowing the wins are not worth the time...bonus rounds suck awful!
 

RobRival

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Location
Canada
Promotions And Games

Hello everyone,

Before I respond, I'd like to clarify that I work for Rival and not The 400 Group (which runs the 4 casino properties, Cocoa Casino, This is Vegas, Da Vinci's Gold, and Paradise 8).

Regarding the RC2 game, we've had many comments about the game, many positive, some not so much. I want to assure you all that we are listening and take your feedback seriously. The best way to let us know what you think about the games is to email customer support for the casinos, they forward game feedback to Rival. Barring that, I suppose you could post it here. :)

As for promotions, our bonus system is highly advanced but does make the occasional mistake. The player is always informed if they are not eligible when claiming/depositing, not after they have sent money to the casino.

In the event you feel your account has been mistakingly denied promotions, please feel free to email the manager of the casino (manager @ thisisvegas . com, manager @ cocoacasino . com, manager @ paradise8 .com and manager @ davincisgold . com) and your account will be reviewed. Please note that the manager may or may not reverse the decision, but reserves the right to deny promotions without disclosing the reason why.

I hope this helps!

Cheers,

Rob
Rival Technical Support
 

Dewberry

Dormant account
PABaccred
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Location
Vancouver Island
Like soflat, I received an email for the 300% bonus and played the Art Heist slot.
Had the same experience as both soflat and silc. It took many spins to get the bonus round and the usual win on the bonus round was about $20 playing $1.50 or 2.25/spin. Pretty crappy. One set of free spins at 2.25 gave me nothing. I think I made it just over $260 once from the $200 I started with.

I worked really hard and managed to steal the painting and get to the market to try and sell it. It was there I picked the wrong box and had to start the whole game again. No way!! Just too boring. I got to the point where I just wanted to log off and never return.

The email stated that to receive a no-deposit bonus of $100 you had to steal the painting. I managed to do that and after an email to support found out you can't get the bonus unless you finish the whole game.

Tried a couple of other slots and found them to have lousy payouts too.

Near the end of my bankroll, I did manage to get a decent win and quickly cashed out $250 (met the 14X wagering of dep and bonus). I'd already deposited way more than that over the last couple of weeks and got nothing.

Not impressed at all.
 

silcnlayc

Just one more spin pleez!
PABaccred
PABnonaccred
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Location
Left Hungary
Too funny for Words!

I got to the point where I just wanted to log off and never return.
OMG, I thought I was the only crazy one, for I did exactly that on the 2nd round of the heist...I changed games in the middle of it..got to the point I lost 2/3rds of my bankroll just to get to the 2nd screen in the heist and that did it...left in the middle of the game..It is NOT WORTH the investement.. glad you mentioned this...for it will eat you alive!
 

deucebag

Full Member
PABaccred
PABnonaccred
PABnononaccred
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Location
cyberspace
I signed up at one a second ago and was promptly banned from recieving any promotions. I asked support and it appears from the chat below I am labelled a promotion abuser after playing slots only at one casino in the group.

I could understand if I was playing minimum stakes blackjack and cashed out as soon as I met the WR but come on, slots only and way over the WR!!

It seems a lot of casinos will bonus ban you simply for making a cash out. It doesn't matter what games you played or how much you wagered -- they do not want players capable of cashing out a win. The only kind of customer they're insterested in is gambling addicts who will play untill they lose everything no matter what.

Although in this case it could be because you signed up for two casinos in the same group.
 

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Up$hitCreek
As stated earlier, I signed up at DaVinci's got the 300% bonus, had a nice hit on Gold Rush (betting $15 per spin -- I thought I'd hyperventilate before meeting WR), managed to cash out $400. Cash out was received to my NETeller within 2 days.

Rival video slots: The intro graphics on vid slots like Gramma Attic and The 80's is not necessary and is too simplistic (cartoony). The payoffs on these slots is meager, and hopes of getting something nice during bonus rounds (whether picks or free spins) were repeatedly dashed.

I-Slots: I didn't go near the I-Slots. I'd played them in 'play' money mode at Paradise 8 a few months ago (never deposited or took a bonus there) and decided they (I-Slots) were purely money vacuums disguised as vid slots.

I didn't try the Video Poker or other games as I was trying to meet WR.

My opinion: this software has potential. I like the interactive feature of the vid slots, but I found myself repeatedly frustrated with never getting any really good hits and never even getting the bonus/feature on some games after many, many spins. Then when I did finally get a bonus round, I saw few hits, and nothing that would make me say: "Oh, yeah!"
 

paul02085

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Location
USA
Rob, can you find out if there is a rule about getting the sign up bonus from only 1 of the 4 casinos and let us know???


Also, it sounds to me like the payout % on these slots is way too low. If so, they will lose their customers very quickly and should do whatever is necessary to improve it to at least 95% or even slot junkies like us will leave due to mass boredom.

I wonder if Zoozie could do an analysis of this slot. That would be interesting.
 
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soflat

Dormant Account
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Location
Florida
I worked really hard and managed to steal the painting and get to the market to try and sell it. It was there I picked the wrong box and had to start the whole game again. No way!! Just too boring. I got to the point where I just wanted to log off and never return.

The email stated that to receive a no-deposit bonus of $100 you had to steal the painting. I managed to do that and after an email to support found out you can't get the bonus unless you finish the whole game.

I did the 400+ spins to get to the art picking round, only to get the wrong painting. I have no idea if you can go back and try to pick a different one but I wasn't about to try since it ate so much of my bankroll already.

Anyways I advanced somewhat more quickly after that until the final round where you only get 100 spins to hit some unlikely combination, otherwise you just wasted all that time and money for nothing (even if you do finish out I doubt the payout is more than a few dollars).

Now I see how they can offer a 300% bonus plus another $100 for stealing the painting of the day.

The thing that would keep people playing is the anticipation of moving to the next round, but it's way too hard and the wins along the way are too stingy.

I did like their 3-reel slots but now I suspect those are or will be tightening up as well.

Also, it sounds to me like the payout % on these slots is way too low. If so, they will lose their customers very quickly and should do whatever is necessary to improve it to at least 95% or even slot junkies like us will leave due to mass boredom.

Absolutely. If you throw out one tight slot like this than the impression is that the whole place is tight. You should have made it looser and gained customer interest. How could anyone play this without a bonus?
 

sal monella

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Location
Where the deers and the antelopes play
How could anyone play this without a bonus?
Unless there's some amazing payoff for successful completion, the Art Heist game looks even worse than the other two I-slots. The bonus rounds between levels are pitiful. The max payoff in the "Painting Selection" round seems to be 10x the initiating bet.

Then later is the "Pick Your Tools" bonus round, in which the player must choose a tool by eliminating pairs from a grid. This bonus game theoretically tests the player's memory, but there's no payoff regardless of the outcome.

I failed to get past the "Find the Forgeries" bonus round, which requires finding three forgeries before revealing an "authenique." On the first try I only revealed one forgery before losing. The display informed me that I would receive no consolation prize because life is tough for art thieves.

Later I managed to reveal two forgeries before losing. The display informed me that I would receive no consolation prize because life is tough for art thieves.

Three times I hit the Robin Hood bonus feature, which promises up to 375,000 coins as I recall. I hit slightly less -- 100 coins each time, on a 75-coin initiating bet.

Possibly there's huge payoff potential hidden somewhere within the I-slot games, but I haven't found it.
 

soflat

Dormant Account
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Location
Florida
Being eliminated in the forgeries round is a BIG disappointment, especially after having stolen the correct painting of the day, plus all the time invested.

One other thing I noticed is that the Robin Hood bonus must only be for max coins bet, because I never had to suffer through it with a 4-coin bet.
 

Dewberry

Dormant account
PABaccred
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Location
Vancouver Island
It also seems to me that the size of the payouts decrease as you go further in the game.

I agree with soflat, there's no way I'd play this game without a bonus.

As for Robin Hood, I saw him only once, but don't remember if I was playing max bet.
 
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