Head-2-Head: Casino Heroes vs Cashmio
Gamification is a real buzzword at the moment, with brands and businesses getting creative with the applications for the model. What’s gamification? In a nutshell, it introduces a game-like experience, with elements such as points, a storyline and so on, into a scenario that would not be considered game-like in any other way.
The online casino experience is the perfect platform for gamification. Sure, players head to casinos to play games but there is little connection between different games, which brings the whole experience together.
Gamification casinos are sometimes called adventure casinos, though there is some debate on this. More and more casinos are including gamification elements in the user experience and for the most part, these brands do exceptionally well – a sure sign that the audience is responding to this new, integrated approach.
In true RightCasino style, we’ve set out to find the top gamification casino out there and our two contenders today have already made an impact on the industry in their own ways.
The weigh in
In the yellow corner, our slightly younger contender with a big support team, is Cashmio! Set in a realm inhabited by diminutive, slightly wacky characters, Cashmio invites players on missions and has them collect bonus coins, all while providing a decent range of casino games.
With its own army of characters in the purple corner is Casino Heroes! Intrepid explorers (aka players) go on a journey through the many islands on the map. There are big, beastly creatures to defeat and Rubies to collect.
Will it be Cashmio putting the imaginary trophy on the mantelpiece tonight? Or will Casino Heroes claim the title for itself? Here are the stats on our two competitors:
- Founded 2016
- Licensed by the UKGC and MGA
- Reward currency: Bonus Coins
- Gamification features: Missions
- Founded 2014
- Licensed by the MGA and Curacao
- Reward currency: Rubies
- Gamification features: Avatars, Maps, Bosses
A good game needs characters and this is true of any game, whether it’s Monopoly or World of Warcraft. Characters create a plot and in an adventure or gamified (is that a word? We think it’s a word) casino, characters play a really important role in adding value to the player experience.
Some casinos have just the one character, usually the mascot. But in our ring today we have two casinos that both have multiple characters!
Let’s start off with Cashmio. The characters here are definitely drawing on popular culture for inspiration. We’re thinking those yellow Tic Tacs, starred in a couple of animated films, the name rhymes with ‘pinion’? Yeah, you know the ones. There’s more than a passing resemblance there but the Cashmio crowd is definitely unique. The main character is called Benny – he’s the lad with the snazzy haircut and the big goggles. He’s the face of the casino and even appears in its logo.
Benny isn’t the only one there though. Throughout the Cashmio site, players will notice different characters. Loitering in the FAQ page or hanging out by the games, these characters don’t play a huge role in the casino experience but spotting them is like collecting Pokemon – gotta catch ‘em all!
At Casino Heroes, the role of the characters is a little more clearly defined. When a player first creates an account, they get to choose one of 21 characters to represent them and that character will then go on to have adventures as the player progresses.
Players can change their avatar at any time and Casino Heroes seem to have added more options since the site was launched. Players can choose between burly knights, wizened wizards, ninjas and all manner of exciting characters.
Though the choice of avatar doesn’t impact the player’s chances when squaring up to a Boss, it does add a deeper level of engagement for players. It’s nice to have a companion on a journey, even if that journey is completely virtual!
For character design and player engagement, Round 1 goes to Casino Heroes!
There are thousands of casino brands out there, jostling for players’ attention at this very moment. About 90% of them look and function the same way and along the same basic tenets – give players games then make a profit.
While the transaction is, at its core, exactly the same across any casino, some brands go the extra mile to give players a more noteworthy experience. Casino Heroes and Cashmio are two perfect examples of that. How do these two casinos’ gamification elements stack up?
Cashmio comes under our scrutiny first. This minimalistic site almost seems to have no gamification features at all, with its tidy, stripped back site and the occasional glimpse of an egg-headed Cashmio character. But look closer and you’ll see that the entire bonus and tournaments system has been gamified!
This casino does not offer promotions as you will likely see at most other casinos. At Cashmio, rewards are counted in coins, which can then be exchanged for prizes. While there are one-off tournaments to participate in (usually marking the launch of a new game or the addition of a new developer), there are daily opportunities to earn goodies and these are called Missions.
Players get three missions a day. Complete one, two or all of them. Or even none of them, if you’re not in the mood. Each Mission outlines a specific game and what the player needs to do to win the prize. Every completed Mission will be replaced with a new one the following day. If a player has already started a Mission, it remains active until time is up.
Getting the chance to participate in a challenge every day certainly adds value to our casino experience and we’re sure many other players share that enthusiasm. And because new Missions are added every day, there isn’t that pressure on players to participate in every single one – Cashmio has put the player completely in charge.
Over at Casino Heroes, the gamification element is a lot more prominent. New players start off by selecting their avatar and can notice a little counter in the top left of their screen, keeping track of the Rubies that stand in for loyalty points at Casino Heroes.
This brand has built most of the user experience around a gamification concept. Casino Heroes is set in a mysterious land, which can be viewed by clicking on the Map button. The region is made up of three islands, though more appear during promotional campaigns. Players travel through these islands by playing casino games and their progress is tracked in the bar at the top of the page.
There are treasure bags stuffed with rewards to pick up along the way and once a player reaches a new level, they get to face off against a Boss – one of several hideous monsters that block the path to the next part of the island. These Boss fights are as close to an actual video game as we have ever seen in a casino. Players are armed with weapons and health boosts, can attack and deflect, and experience a truly randomised mini game that is actually exciting and unpredictable.
More and more of our various online experiences are being given the gamification treatment. While some might find this a little distracting or unnecessary, the success of these two brands prove that casino players are receptive to the model. After all, we’re here because we love games!
Based solely on the depth of the gamification available, Casino Heroes wins Round 2. If Cashmio wants to catch up, they’ll need to make the gamification element on the casino site more immersive.
Overall user experience
Gamification is all well and good but at the end of the day, it cannot and does not take precedence over the casino product as a whole. Whether you like battling Bosses or not, being able to have a consistently safe, reliable and varied experience at your casino of choice is the most important thing. So how do our contestants measure up to our exacting user experience standards?
The answer is ‘very well’. Let’s start off with Casino Heroes. On signing in, players are presented with a straightforward layout – games in the middle, progression bar at the top, collapsible menu on the right. Players can browse games by category or search for them by name.
Casino Heroes offers a fairly standard range of categories, including slots, jackpots, table games and live games. There’s also a Blitz Games section, which includes titles that can be played up to six times faster. While we’re sure some players will be thrilled with these high-speed shenanigans, we’re happy to play at the usual pace so this feature wasn’t for us.
The Map section of the site is accessible through the menu and it occurred to us that those players who want nothing to do with the gamification bits of Casino Heroes can easily just ignore it and simply enjoy the casino as is. That broadens the appeal of this brand as players can choose whether or not they participate in that part of the experience.
We fired up Casino Heroes on an Android smartphone. The mobile site loaded quickly within the browser and it presents itself as a mobile-friendly version of the desktop site. They look identical but the mobile site has been scaled down to be able to fit nicely on a smaller screen.
On to Cashmio! As we mentioned before, the casino site is pretty sparse. Some players might not appreciate that but we’ve seen our share of obnoxiously loud, disorganised casino sites and quite prefer being able to see exactly where everything is.
Despite its stripped-back look, Cashmio hasn’t put anything where we couldn’t find it. The menu bar on the left has everything we need – games, banking, help and access to the player dashboard. The latter is a good way to keep track of you progress on Missions, peruse your collection of Bonus coins and manage things like user settings, account limits and such.
On the Games page, titles can be sorted by category or found via the search bar. Cashmio has added a helpful little feature to its game section – each game thumbnail features information on the minimum and maximum bets the game allows and the number of betlines. Clicking on the ‘i’ information button on the game card itself will launch a small window that offers more details, including the game provider, the RTP, and whether the game has a free spins feature. Players can also add the game to their favourites by clicking the star symbol. It’s this kind of attention to detail that puts casinos like Cashmio on the map.
On mobile, Cashmio works like a dream. It looks great scaled down to fit a smartphone screen and it retains the same navigation functions are its desktop site. Absolutely no complaints from us here!
After this bout, we cannot honestly determine a winner – it’s just too close to call! Round 3 ends in a draw.
And the winner is…
These two casinos were pitted against one another because they both offer an experience with a little something extra – another element or facet that sets them apart from others. Both these young bucks have built their reputation around offering a casino experience that is not just about spinning and winning, and both have done well for themselves.
Alas, there can be only one! After three gruelling rounds, one casino has proven itself the grand master of gamification. While Cashmio put in a valiant effort and gave it its all, we are awarding Casino Heroes the title of Best Gamification Casino!