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Swimming to success: Greentube’s The Little Mermaid slot game

| By Thomas Caldon | Reading Time: 7 minutes
Fairy tales are the first fascinating stories we read as children. From Cinderella to Beauty and the Beast and everything in between, these enchanting tales transport us to the faraway reaches of our imagination. Now Greentube has tapped into the magic of fairy tales to produce its newest slot game – Diamond Tales: The Little Mermaid.
Diamond Tales: The Little Mermaid by Greentube GmbH

Maid to perfection: How the Little Mermaid game works

As the digital gaming and entertainment division of Novomatic, Greentube has taken a deep dive into the ocean to set the scene for its exciting new slot game, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid.

The tale of the mythical creature who longs to leave the underwater kingdom and live on land with a handsome prince was first published in 1837 and has stood the test of time. Richard Ganster, Games Portfolio Manager at Greentube, believes the story now has the capacity to captivate an igaming audience.

“The stories and characters are easily recognisable and understood by our players,” Ganster tells iGB. “I think this makes fairy tales and more traditional themes more approachable to players because by seeing thumbnails or gameplay videos, the player knows quickly and easily what the game is about and what to expect from it.

“At Greentube, we like to lean into traditional themes like fairy tales, and Egyptian and Greek history, but we are trying to add twists to our games to keep them feeling fresh for players.”

Greentube has been providing state-of-the-art gaming solutions for more than 20 years. The company has established a bold reputation for pioneering development ever since it first broke onto the scene in 1998 with the release of its 3D sports game Ski Challenge.

The Diamond Tales: Little Mermaid is the latest addition to Greentube’s vast and continuously growing portfolio of products and services which includes classic slots, video bingo games, video poker games, table games, server-based gaming and social casino gaming.

Little Mermaid’s features explained

The 5-reel, 40 paylines slot, which is available now to Greentube’s B2B partners, boasts new special game features including a buy bonus mode, turbo mode and volatility mode to engage and challenge players.

With the buy bonus feature, a chapter of the story is picked by the wheel of fortune which is activated when one bet that is 100 times the value of the current bet is paid. In an exciting next step, a random number of pearl hearts gets added to the special reel. The multipliers displayed on all hearts are added together and multiply the bet once the player has run out of free spins.

Equally thrilling is the new volatility mode which allows players to change the volatility level from low to high and everything in between. These volatility levels are unlocked as players progress through the game. The turbo function also enables players to watch the story unfold even faster.

“In this game we’ve added some environmental storytelling to the different chapters of the game, showing the player not just the story progression but the volatility of the game itself,” says Ganster.

“We wanted to reward the player for finishing the story and what better way to do this than by giving them a higher volatility? Greentube has never done something like this before and it is an innovative design idea we have not yet seen on the market.”

Innovation and expansion are key pillars of Greentube’s strategy, and the supplier is continuing to grow its game library and move into new territories, most recently securing a new licence in Germany to offer new slots via its StarGames brand.

Drama and design make Diamond Tales

As well as constructing The Little Mermaid’s format and features, Greentube has sealed a promising partnership which paves the way for more successful fairy tale slot games.

“In the case of Diamond Tales, we were lucky enough to work in partnership on the games with RoyalCasino, a Danish operator which own the rights to the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales of The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and two other stories, which you will see later this year, so watch this space,” says Ganster.

“This meant that for us, it was important to try and stick as close as we could to these beloved stories because they are known so well by millions of people. To do this, we added a beautifully illustrated book, the pages of which turn as the player spins.”

Greentube launched Diamond Tales: The Ugly Duckling in November last year and enjoyed a hugely positive response from players. One SlotsJudge review read: “Diamond Tales: The Ugly Duckling has a lovely and adorable design, interesting and rich gameplay, an incredible max win, and many interesting game features that make the slot so much more enjoyable. All this makes Diamond Tales: The Ugly Duckling a game we absolutely recommend!”

Encouraged by the popularity of the first Diamond Tales game, Greentube has included many of the original series features within The Little Mermaid. In the latest game, for example, landing three book bonus symbols on reels one, three and five triggers the Diamond Tales feature.

The Diamond Tales feature is a hold-and-spin with a twist. Two types of heart symbol can land during it – the pearl and gold diamond hearts. When they land on the reels, they carry a multiplier of the same value as the heart above them in the special reel. When another heart lands on the same reel, their multiplier is modified. The pearl heart’s value is added to the landing card’s value, and the golden card’s value is multiplied, leading to some magnificent wins.

When no free spins are left, the Diamond Tales feature ends and the value of all of the hearts is tallied up. The final value will multiply the total bet, awarding players up to 50,000 times their stakes.

Snap Drop is another tried and trusted feature for Greentube. If at least one pearl heart symbol is collected on the special reel and the snap drop symbol lands on reel five, the Snap Drop feature gets triggered and one free respin is awarded. All the hearts that land on the reels during the respin come with multipliers that get totted up to increase the total bet.

Like every good story, The Little Mermaid unfolds in chapters, and collecting enough pearl heart symbols will enable players to swim from one to the next. There are five chapters in total ending with the ocean feature in chapter five, and the number of hearts players need to collect before being able to reach the next chapter is displayed on a counter above the main reels. Once the counter is filled, the book pages turn to reveal what happens next in the fairy tale.

Diamond Tales: Who wants to play?

Keeping the traditional story of The Little Mermaid that people have come to know and love has been key to Greentube’s game development strategy, and the fairy tale’s popularity has also influenced the supplier’s target audience.

“When designing the Diamond Tales games and looking into Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, we learned that these fairy tales, and fairy tales in general, exist in some form or the other in many different cultures and parts of the world,” says Ganster.

Naturally, fairy tales are typically enjoyed by children readers, and they don’t hold a prominent position within the content consumed by adults. However, Ganster suggests that the vibrant and modern illustrations within the game design will attract all types of players.

“Therefore, the demographic for these games is quite hard to nail down as so many players know these tales in various ways. What we believe is that these games are appealing for more casual players because of the theme. But because of the design of the game mechanics, the volatility mode and the massive 50,000x max win, high-rollers will enjoy the game too.”

Whether The Little Mermaid sinks or swims will come down to how deeply the product resonates with players, something Greentube will measure by assessing and evaluating the game’s player data over the coming months.

Old Diamond Tales, new tricks

Through the Diamond Tales series, Greentube is applying a current spin to cult classics by creating new animations, artwork and experimental features. At the same time, its developers believe there is still plenty of room for new games and new stories in the market.

“When you look at other entertainment industries like the video game industry, genres of games have existed since the 1970s and 1980s and still thrive today.

“However, that doesn’t mean new genres or themes can’t exist because of them. What we believe with the Diamond Tales games is that we are pushing the fairy tale theme both visually with our top-quality animations, transitions and artwork, and mechanically via new features like the Diamond Tales feature and the Snap Drop feature.”

Not only is Greentube hoping to retain those players who enjoyed Diamond Tales: The Ugly Duckling, but it also expects to reel in a school of new players through its online Reel Reveal explainer videos which showcase the components and colourways of new games.

“Because of these visual and mechanical factors, we expect the fairy tale theme will evolve and draw in new players that might not have played these types of games before,” says Ganster.

“With that being said, experimenting with new and exciting themes is important to us too and we think you will see this with some of our releases later this year.”

The future of Greentube

In the present day, Ganster suggests Greentube is perfectly poised to extend its rich history and ride the wave of excitement that will greet the release of The Little Mermaid.

“We have some innovative games lined up for 2023 that will impress players visually with interesting themes that they’ve not yet seen from Greentube and mechanically with new features and ideas that we have not yet seen anywhere else on the market.”

Greentube has already announced its plans to release two more games based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tales before the end of the year, but it has not yet revealed whether they will be adaptations of The Little Match Girl, The Princess and the Pea, or another two of the author’s short stories. Until that day comes, players will have to tread water in anticipation.

Richard Ganster joined Greentube in November 2020 after working for NOVOMATIC for five years. At this time, he had already developed and delivered games for Greentube.

He initially started as a game designer at Greentubes’s internal game design studio in Vienna, and since mid-2022, he has been responsible for overseeing the game portfolio and its direction.

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