Cascading reels are one of the dynamic features video slots designers add to games these days. When game designers look for features which add excitement and dynamism to a game, they’ll find few features as exciting or dynamic as cascading reels. With increasing frequency over the years, many of the most famous online slots offer the cascading symbols feature.

Slots with cascading reels are more common than you would think. The problem is, different software designers call this feature by different names. Microgaming calls them “rolling reels”. NetEnt sometimes calls a similar game mechanic the “avalanche feature”. IGT and Play’n GO each call this feature “tumbling reels”. Cascading reels are a widespread concept with many different names. New players might not know what a cascading reel is, so I’ll provide a short description of this feature.

What Are Cascading Reels?

Cascading reels are a way for a player to have multiple winning combinations on a single spin. Normally, a winning combination appears on the screen, credits are added to your coin total, and it’s time for the next spin. Essentially, you have to risk coins to receive another chance to win coins.

With cascading reels, if a winning combination appears on the screen, those winning symbols tumble or cascade off the bottom of the screen. When that happens, new symbols appear to replace the lost symbols. If these activate another winning combination, then another set of symbols appear.

 What Cascading Reels Do

In many cases, the cascade effect continues indefinitely, until the new symbols do not create a winning combination. In other cases, the slot machine only activates the cascade effect a certain number of wins before moving on to the next spin.

Also, slots with cascading reels offer multipliers. With each new cascade, the multiplier increases. This allows for huge potential winnings, because the multiplier might get as large as 5x or 10x the regular payout.

Avalanche Feature –  Most of the time, only the winning symbols fall off the screen. This means that a lot of non-winning symbols remain on the screen, clogging up your chances of hitting new winning combinations. Net Entertainment allows for all of the symbols to tumble off the screen, in what they call the avalanche feature. On a 5×3 grid, this means that you receive 15 new symbols, thus a brand-new screen full of chances to hit a winning combo.

 Cricket Star Online Slot –  Cricket Star Slots from Microgaming has the rolling reel feature, which is the same as cascading reels. Microgaming added the Wild Wickets (wild symbol), 20 free spins, and stacked wilds to Cricket Star. The top fixed jackpot for Cricket Star is 12,500 coins.

Jungle Jim El Dorado Slots –  Jungle Jim El Dorado is an online slot from NetEnt with cascading reels. Jungle Jim El Dorado is a sequel to the original Jungle Jim Slot. In this case, the explorer is trying to find the lost city of gold, El Dorado. One of NetEnt’s most famous games, Gonzo’s Quest, has a similar theme. That’s not the only similarity; both games have tumbling reels. In fact, Jungle Jim El Dorado has 5 extra paylines, but otherwise is a close counterpart to Gonzo’s Quest. Thus, you could see Jungle Jim Eldorado as an update of Gonzo’s Quest, but with graphics and sounds optimized for mobile gaming.

Pyramid: Quest for Immortality –  Pyramid: Quest for Immortality Slots from NetEnt has the avalanche feature. As noted above, this means that the entire 5×3 set of reel symbols cascade off the screen when a winning combination happens. With a 50x multiplier, Pyramid: Quest for Immortality has a 3,600,000-coin top prize. That’s a huge fixed jackpot, mainly due to dynamic features like the avalanche reels.

Playboy: Don’t Stop the Party Featuring Pitbull –  Several Playboy Slots exist, but Playboy: Don’t Stop the Party Slots from Bally Technologies offers a feature similar to cascading reels. Featuring the rapper Pitbull, Playboy: Don’t Stop The Party has a feature called the “Give Me Everything” Bonus. In this bonus game, free spins are offered when wild drop onto the screen. In this case, the cascade comes from the top of the screen. The effects are similar.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword – Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword Slots has rolling reels with a 5x multiplier. This is the second Tomb Raider Online Slot from Microgaming, but it is packed with more features than the original game. Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword has wild symbols, scatter symbols, and 10 free spins.

Natural Powers Online Slot – Natural Powers Online Slot from Microgaming has a Freefall Symbol Feature, which are essentially cascading reels. Natural Powers Slots also has wild symbols and free spins. Natural Powers is based on comic books, specifically comic book heroines. With great power comes great riches, at least when the freefall symbol feature is active in this game.

Energoonz from Play’n GO – Energoonz from Play’n GO is an online slot anyone interested in cascading reels should know about. Energoonz is going to remind players of Pokémon, as it’s about a bunch of little monsters which grow and evolve. What makes the tumbling reel action on this game interesting is the Energy Meter. As you clear more monsters from the screen, the Energy Meter increases. Multipliers are unlocked with the energy increases. If enough monsters cascade off the screen, you’ll win +1000 coins. Energoonz Slots also has free spins and a retrigger feature, so your free spin mode can last a long time.

More Slots with Cascading Reels

The full list of slot machines with cascading reels is huge. I discussed a number of games in the page on tumbling reels, so I’ll simply list those games on this page: Gemix Slots, Cosmic Fortune, Gonzo’s Quest, Avalon II, Da Vinci Diamonds, Da Vinci Diamonds: Dual Play, and Dungeons & Dragons: Crystal Cavern.

If you want more video slots with the tumble feature, research titles like Football Star Online Slots, High Society Online Slot, Cleopatra Slots, Pixies of the Forest, and Troll Hunters. Once you’re finished with those, give a try to Frozen Diamonds, Cool Jewels, Cutie Fruits, Prissy Princess, and Cloud Quest. Each of these games offer cascading reels or some other version of the tumble feature.