High 5 Games (H5G) invented many popular, modern gameplay mechanics, such as tumbling reels and super stacks. Despite these undeniable achievements, its brand isn’t as widely recognized as Bally or WMS. This is because some of the most popular H5G slots were designed in cooperation with IGT and were released under IGT’s name.
Even though H5G’s work had a massive impact on the industry and arguably allowed IGT to secure the dominant position in the market it enjoys to this day, the H5G company is better known among insiders than players.
The best High 5 slot games
|Dangerous Beauty||96%||40||5||Fantasy, Assassin|
|Rembrandt Riches||95%||20||5||Art, Art History|
|Hoot Loot||95%||20||5||Animal, Wilderness|
|The Secrets of the Forest||94.9%||99||5||Magical Forest|
|Shadow of the Panther||94.9%||30||5||Jungle, Supernatural|
|Night of the Wolf||94.9%||30||5||Werewolf, Supernatural|
|Madame Monarch||94.9%||40||5||Fantasy, Butterflies|
|The Vanishing Act||94.9%||40||5||Magician|
|Michelangelo||94.9%||99||5||Art, Historical Figure|
|Island Eyes||94.9%||40||5||Island, Mystery|
|Jaguar Princess||94.9%||50||5||Jungle, Fantasy|
|Diamonds of Athens||94.9%||50||6||Greek mythology, Gems|
|Double Da Vinci Diamonds||94.9%||40||5||Art, Gems|
|Thundering Buffalo||94.9%||720 ways||5||Animal, Tribal|
|Twin Win||94.6%||15||5||Ocean, Animal|
Post-2015 High 5 slots offered via H5G’s proprietary Vault system are very similar to IGT games in that they put a lot of emphasis on gameplay and player satisfaction. This is often achieved through frequent payouts.
Many H5G bonuses and special mechanics are designed to make standard spins more interesting. Tumbling reels, payout multipliers, free spins, and stacked symbols are the name of the game here. If you’re looking for unorthodox reel configurations, pick ’em mini-games, or high variance, you should try WMS games instead.
High 5 slots: game spotlights
H5G has well over 300 contemporary slots games in its portfolio, and that’s without counting any of the titles it released under the IGT brand. Here’s a quick look at three post-2015 H5G slots that have been pulling the biggest numbers in early 2019:
- Double Da Vinci Diamonds – five reels, 40 paylines, and free spins. H5G’s trademark tumbling reels make this re-imagined classic a joy to play. Unlike in the original, this game can put double symbols on the reels, which means you can score up to ten Mona Lisas on a single payline if you get extremely lucky. Because every winning symbol gets replaced by the symbol tumbling down from above, you can win multiple times after placing just one bet. The graphics are very similar to the old Da Vinci Diamonds released under the IGT umbrella, but everything has been upscaled. The game features some new animations to make the payouts even more satisfying.
- Dangerous Beauty – five reels, 40 paylines. The most pleasing thing about this slot is the super-stacked symbols feature, which triggers on every spin. The stacks are completely random and can appear on any reel, and may even allow you to cover the entire screen with copies of one symbol. This also applies to wilds, increasing the odds of scoring a massive payout even further. In addition, the game offers a free spins bonus, which can be triggered by landing at least 12 green dragon symbols on the middle three reels.
- Night of the Wolf – five reels, 30 paylines. The basic symbols are based on poker cards, while higher-paying symbols are more detailed and feature wolves, beautiful women, pendants, roses, and magic potions. Each of these high-paying symbols has a double version, which can result in some rather satisfying payouts. Night of the Wolf includes super stacks, but they’re slightly rarer here. This is compensated by the fact the free spins are easier to trigger. You only need five scatter symbols, which also appear in split form.
Special slots features
As mentioned, H5G is one of the most innovative slots manufacturers in the industry. The company introduced tumbling reels, which give you multiple chances to win on the same spin; split symbols, which increase your anticipation by giving you an opportunity of nailing additional symbols on a standard payline; super stacks, which can fill the reels with one symbol, generating massive wins; and split symbols, which allow you to collect two times more money from a single position.
Aside from these flagship mechanics, H5G also helped popularize countless smaller features, such as 1024- and 720-ways-to-win, enduring wilds, and symbol fusion.
Still, H5G designers tend to stick to a single formula for prolonged periods of time. Once you play two or three of their recent slots, you might feel like you’ve had enough tumbling reels and symbol stacks for a while.
Online slots and land-based machines
When slots manufacturers port their land-based games to online casinos, they usually sacrifice graphical fidelity and sound effects for size to assure good performance on slower internet connections. H5G follows a different philosophy as their internet games tend to be very similar to their traditional counterparts.
For example, the online version of Double Da Vinci Diamonds features all the animations included in the original game. Gems sparkle and disappear in effective bursts of light, wilds pop out from the screen, and payline markers are a joy to look at, especially when they fill the entire screen.
In fact, the background seems to be even more detailed than in the land-based game. It’s all very impressive and immersive, but all this eye candy comes at the expense of longer loading times. Post-2015 H5G slots are best enjoyed on a desktop computer equipped with a broadband internet connection.
Select games and payback percentages
H5G helped IGT discover its winning slots formula, so modern H5G games tend to be somewhat similar to IGT releases. The variance is usually low, and most titles give the house a 5% to 6% edge.
- Hoot Loot – 95% RTP
- Thundering Buffalo – 94.9% RTP
- Twin Win – 94.6% RTP
- Double Da Vinci Diamonds – 94.9% RTP
- Dangerous Beauty – 94.9% RTP
- Jaguar Princess – 94.9% RTP
- Michelangelo – 94.9% RTP
- The Vanishing Act – 94.9% RTP
- Night of the Wolf – 94.9% RTP
- Madame Monarch – 94.9% RTP
High 5 Games history
|Name||High 5 Games|
|Top slot||Dangerous Beauty|
|Special slot feature||Split Symbols, Super Stacks|
High 5 Games was founded in 1995. The company released its first video slot, 777, in 2002. One year later, H5G signed a development deal with IGT and began releasing its games under its partner’s brand.
The first jointly designed slot was released in 2004. By 2005, H5G-designed games were already available. The partnership was renewed in 2008, the same year that H5G released one of its greater hits, Da Vinci Diamonds.
In 2009, H5G released its 200th game. In 2010, one of their games – Noah’s Ark – was named Online Game of the Year by IGT.
In 2011, the partnership deal between both companies expired. H5G started releasing its games through Racecourse Media Group, shifting a lot of its attention to the New Jersey casino market. That same year, H5G released two casino megahits, Golden Goddess and Black Widow.
Social gaming and The Vault
In 2012, H5G’s Facebook casino was recognized after the fastest-growing social casino in the world. The platform acquired almost two million players in just a few years. In addition, H5G began looking for new partners on the development front. In August, the company announced an agreement with Bally Technologies. In October 2012, H5G announced it was planning to develop more games for IGT casinos.
In April 2014, the company launched a server for RMG casinos in New Jersey, which was called The Vault. Later that year, RMG launched a new platform in Europe, allowing H5G to reach new audiences.
Deteriorating relationship with IGT
The cooperation between H5G and IGT wasn’t going as smoothly as in the previous decade because of a dispute over royalty payments. In March 2015, H5G filed a lawsuit against its partner (High 5 Games, LLC vs International Gaming Technology, No. 15 C 2133) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division, claiming breach of contract, trademark infringement, and unfair competition.
IGT filed a partial motion to dismiss the suit, but only the portion related to the unfair competition was dismissed. The matter was resolved with a settlement agreement in 2016, but further cooperation between H5G and IGT was impossible.
Despite losing a long-term business partner, H5G continued to expand. In 2015, the company opened a new headquarters at 1 World Trade Center and signed new partnership deals with Carnival Corporation and Inspired.
High 5 Games investors
High 5 Games is a privately owned, independent company. As mentioned above, some of the H5G titles were released under the IGT brand because of the development partnership deal signed between both companies in 2003. This deal expired in 2011.
High 5 Games management and corporate structure
Unlike slots manufacturers Bally and WMS, High 5 Games hasn’t morphed into a different company. They’ve introduced new technologies, opened new offices, and hired new people, but in the end, the company is still led by Anthony Singer, who was named one of the 50 most influential people in the entire gambling industry.
Even though H5G negotiated numerous deals with companies like Caesars Entertainment, Konami, and IGT, it managed to retain its independence and unique identity.
High 5 Games executive team:
- Anthony Singer (Chief Executive Officer)
- Jon Fallon (General Counsel & Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs)
- Karl Tangara (Chief Financial Officer)
- Thom Ang (Vice President, Creative)
- Patrick Benson (Vice President, Integrated Marketing)
- Oleg Simonov (Vice President, Technology)