As seen on Slotbeats.
“Listening intently to critique of each product release is a major priority for our development team and played an integral role in the creation of Money Train 2.” stated Simon Hammon, CPO at Relax Gaming, as he explains the company’s decision to create a sequel to its slot title Money Train.
Relax Gaming’s action-packed sequel Money Train 2, which claimed our Slot of the Week upon release, immersed players into a steam-punk inspired, post-apocalyptic world. The game promised an exhilarating player experience like no other with the four main characters leaving the Wild West being to embark on a new adventure.
The five-reel, 40 payline title includes new feature additions while also incorporating the ‘ever-popular’ Money Cart Bonus round that made the original title one of Relax’s highest-earning slots to date.
SlotBeats spoke exclusively with Hammon about the company’s desire to produce this sequel with the CPO stating that in line with one of Relax’s central beliefs ‘there is always room for improvement’. He noted: “Although Money Train continues to be an undeniable success, ranking in the top performing games on the Relax platform, we’re always looking at feedback to see if there’s a way to build on existing successes.
“The Relax team saw huge potential in developing a sequel that polished the elements of the original game that are responsible for its widespread popularity, whilst addressing the areas that we feel could enhance the player experience.
“We have to give credit to our team who approached this with a passion to optimise the Money Train gameplay. Their enthusiasm snowballed into a passion project for all involved. For us, just ‘good’ isn’t enough. We strive to be the best – and with Money Train 2, we think we’re as close as can be.”
Hammon went on to state that the game itself is an ‘amplified version’ of the original title with the theme, animation, mechanics and features packing ‘way more action’, claiming the reason for this was due to players feeling that the pace of the original title ‘lagged outside the headline feature’. The rectify this, Hammon claimed: “We’ve therefore added a free-spins mechanic to keep engagement high from the first to the last round, and also increased the maximum payout from 20,000x to 50,000x for bigger opportunities to win significant amounts.
“Having cranked the dial up several notches with the gameplay, we needed a theme to match. Our designers have expertly crafted a unique steampunk-inspired, post-apocalyptic setting that brings the game’s unique mechanics and features to life.
“To maintain familiarity with the prequel, Money Train 2 brings back the original characters, with a few new faces joining for the ride, too. Our artists and designers have had a lot of fun creating Money Train 2’s dark yet exhilarating world – and it clearly shows in the quality of the production.”
Part of the success of the original slot was the titles Money Cart round, yet the sequel didn’t rest on its success, yet looked to develop. The feature, which includes the original multiplier and free spin action, has introduced a new twist where an additional two reels can be unlocked if a reel is filled with symbols.
“We knew we had created something special with the Money Cart feature in the original but were still blown away by its instant popularity.” claimed Hammon. “With the second iteration, it made sense to keep the mechanics largely unchanged, but with additional twists and turns to keep an element of surprise for fans of the original.
“New special symbols give players another shot at winning when they collect all characters. They can also unlock an additional two reels if the standard reel is filled with symbols. With the addition of new characters such as the Necromancer, we’ve also increased the winning potential.
“These symbols bring used symbols back to life, transforming the Wild West gang into superhumans that offer greater opportunity to claim prizes.”
Yet it was the feedback from players which drove Relax Gaming to kick start development of the sequel with Hammon explaining that the feedback from partners, players and online gaming communities is ‘what inspired us to focus on building anticipation in the base game,’ with the CPO believing the company ‘hit the sweet spot’ after judging initial reviews.
On feature sequels for its other titles in the firm’s portfolio, Hammon insisted follow-ons would have to be ‘evident upgrades where there’s a clear route and common feedback on improvements to the original’. He concluded: “The reaction to Money Train 2 has shown the value in building a series out of a popular game, where it’s genuinely warranted, but that isn’t always the case.
“Too often in our industry sequels are seen as an easy win, as studios hope to piggyback on their original game’s successes and fanbase. However, if taken too lightly, a weak sequel could risk not only its own failure but may cannibalise the original’s popularity as well.
“Players are savvy and need to be respected. We wouldn’t release a weak sequel just to play off the name of another title, you lose traction with your audience who would see it as a transparent money-grab.
“We’ve still got a series of original, engaging titles in our roadmap for the rest of the year, but let’s see what 2021 holds.”