Some slot games have the power to enchant and endear an entire nation of players. For Canadians, that one-of-a-kind game is Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania.
Developed by multi-national gaming provider IGT, Lobstermania has more than withstood the test of time.
With more than two decades in the market, the title routinely ranks amongst the most popular slot offerings in the Great White North. Whether in retail casinos, video lottery terminals, or the growing Canada online casino space, Canadians often gravitate to Lucky Larry.
PlayCanada put on its investigator hat to find out how the pipe-smoking fisherman captured the hearts of a nation. Here’s what we found.
Atmosphere at the forefront of Lobstermania
Simply put, the game’s iconic Atlantic Canadian theme and visuals, including Lucky Larry himself, creates a playing environment that is equal parts interactive and charming.
Unlike other titles with more cutting-edge graphics, Lobstermania’s appeal lies within the quirkiness of the imagery rather than the “flash.”
It serves as the perfect complement to its unique gameplay, highlighted by the famed “Buoy Bonus.” The feature is still a fan favourite after debuting more than 20 years ago as part of the original Lobstermania title.
Here, Lucky Larry makes his highly anticipated on-screen debut, taking centre stage along the stern. It is also here that Larry, yellow raincoat and all, reels in the lobsters that go towards your buoy bonus. Fair warning, be prepared for some smart remarks from Larry for the catches that look more like crayfish than lobsters.
Although it may take a few spins to get to the bonus round, the background sound of the B-52’s ‘Rock Lobster’ helps keep the energy up along the way. For those indifferent to the familiar rift, perhaps the mute button functions as a part of Lobstermania’s appeal.
Four geographical areas stand out as game’s most popular regions
Lobstermania has long been a hit from coast to coast. But, there are four regions, in particular, that stand out according to IGT.
Québec and the Atlantic provinces
The first two regions – Québec and the Atlantic provinces – should come as no surprise to anyone. Per the Fisheries Sustainability page on the Government of Canada website, these five provinces surround four of the most active lobster fisheries in Canada:
- Gulf of Maine
- Bay of Fundy
- Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence
- coastal Nova Scotia
It seems there is no complicated answer for why Lobstermania is so popular on the East Coast, and that’s a good thing. A familiar sight with a fun connection to home is a more than valid reason to side with Lucky Larry.
The next, and equally unsurprising region is Ontario.
Holding the throne as Canada’s leading gambling market, Ontario produced nearly $2 billion in total online gambling revenue from the combined Ontario online casino, Ontario poker, and Ontario sports betting sectors for the 2022-23 fiscal year (April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2022). iGaming Ontario reported $1.4 billion of said total, with 67% of the revenue coming from online casinos.
Notably, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation doesn’t provide separate online casino and sports betting figures. However, the point stands, online casino is king in Ontario and if a game is good, customers will play it.
The most surprising province on the list of most popular Lobstermania regions is undoubtedly Manitoba.
At first glance, the Keystone Province doesn’t jump off the page like Québec, the Maritimes, or Ontario. It’s not a lobster fishing hub like Québec or the Atlantic provinces, and government-operated PlayNow serves as the only online gaming platform.
That said, the fact that Manitoba is so different from the other regions on this list could very well be what draws players to Lobstermania. Instead of the ‘this reminds me of home, so I like it’ rationale, what if Manitobans employed the ‘this is different than home, so I like it’ mindset?
That’s certainly possible, but what’s for sure is that Lobstermania is a key player in the province’s VLT scene. Under the VLT Games tab on the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries website, Lobstermania holds a prominent position as one of the site’s featured titles.
If anything, the cross-section of regions is nothing but a testament to the charismatic nature of Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania.
Nothing beats the original
Over the years, IGT has put out over 10 sequels to the original Lobstermania title, and they’ve all fared well.
The UK-based developer has also released spin-offs, including Super Sally Shrimpmania and Crazy Carl’s Crabmania. But, just like any classic sitcom, the spinoffs could not match the success of the original.
After all these years together, Lucky Larry’s fanbase is still one crustacean bunch.