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Introducing Gems Bonanza by Pragmatic Play
Gems Bonanza is the latest title the developers at Pragmatic Play have added to their ever-growing portfolio of Aztec themed grid slots. The development team have studied the games produced by the masters of this genre at Play ‘n’ Go. The slot is busy with special features which includes symbols collection systems, modifiers, meters, and a whole host of other extras. As well as producing grid slots, Pragmatic Play have developed many games using the South American theme with different levels of success. Therefore, if you are ready to see how the game plays out read on.
Theme & Design
The grid slots from Pragmatic Play appear to be getting bigger and better on every release. Gems Bonanza plays out on an 8x8 sized area with a massive 64 symbols that descend on your reels with every new spin. Your game screen is surrounded by a furnace styled object that is dripping liquid gold to one side, and a Birds Eye view of the temple complex on the other. There is an old-fashioned sounding music that is reminiscent of an excellent track that you would use for relaxation and meditation.
As soon as you are ready you can use the plus or minus buttons to select the bet you are most comfortable playing with, and the bets range from 20p per spin up to £100 per spin. The slot can be played on any devices which gives you the freedom or where and when you wish to play. The developers have given the slot the highest volatility rating which stands at 5/5 and proves that this game can go one way or the other within a small-time scale. Theoretically, this means that the slot will pay out less, but long sequences of wins after wins is possible. The return to player stands at 96.51% which is above average, however I urge you to check this before you play as this is the default setting and may be lowered by other the casino you play the slot through.
Symbols and Winners
To create a win, you need to land a cluster or as referred to by this slot a block of five of the same symbols which are connected either vertically or horizontally. When this happens the tumble feature becomes active and the symbols begin to drop from above. As you would expect from the title of this slot there is a vast array of gems on the pay table. All the gems are shiny hard objects and there are seven different colours in total which offer wins of 50x to 1,000x your bet. When you land blocks there is a wild that will help you to pull winning combinations together however the wild does not land on tumbles or spins. Instead it adds to the board during the Wild Gem or Lucky Wilds feature to substitute for any of the regular pay symbols and create winning combinations.
Gems Bonanza is crammed with extras and therefore you can be guaranteed at any point in the game that something is going to or is about to happen. As well as the tumbles there are Spin Features, Gold Fever, and the option of the bonus buy.
The tumble feature will clear all winning symbols from your grid and new symbols will then drop down onto the grid from above. If you land another win the process will be repeated until no further win clusters appear, and you then move forward for your next spin.
Whilst playing in the base game, you will see that the board behind the symbols displays some coloured markings in random positions. If you land a win on top of a marked spot you will then activate 1 to 5 modifiers, dependant on the colour that has landed. These then become active when the current tumble sequence has come to an end.
If you land blue spots this will reward you with the Nuclear modifier and you will see that your screen is cleared of symbols allowing a new batch if symbols to fall for additional chances to win. If you are awarded with pink spots the Wild Gem is activated and here all types of random symbols on the grid will turn wild. Landing Brown or yellow squares will see random blocks of 2x2 size of the same symbol randomly added to positions on the game screen. Landing red spots activate the colossal symbols and a random 3x3, 4x4, or 5x5 block of the same symbols takes up a random position on your game screen. Finally, if it is a green spot you will activate the Lucky Wild, and in this instance 5 to 15 wilds will be added to your screen at random. If you land more than one feature in the same spin, the modifiers are played as follows: Nuclear, Wild Gem, Squares, Colossal Symbol, and Lucky Wilds.
The next feature that is on offer in this slot is the Gold Fever Progressive. Here all winning clusters explode during tumbles and fill a certain amount of the Gold Fever metre located to the right of your reels. When there are no new tumbles the metre will reset to zero. However, if you managed to collect 114 winning symbols the metre will be completely full, and the Gold Fever Progressive feature will begin when the current tumble ends.
The Gold Fever bonus is made up of five tiers and begins at level one. With all levels every spin modifiers are played all at once in sequential order and there is a win multiplier that starts at x2. The symbols continue to be collected and once your gold fever metre is full you will move on to the next level. The difference between level 2, 3, 4, or 5, is the amount of win multipliers which are x4, x6, x8, or x10, respectively. The feature ends when you have used all your multi modifiers and there are not enough collected symbols to move you to the next level. Alternatively, the feature will end when all the spin features from level 5 have been played out.
The final feature in Gems Bonanza which seems to be appearing more regularly on slots from Pragmatic Play is the bonus buy option. You can enter the bonus buy by paying 100x your total bet and for this you are guaranteed a full metre on your next spin, which then will trigger the Gold Fever Bonus the features rules are exactly the same as described above.
Gems Bonanza gives me the impression that the developers at Pragmatic Play have been taking a close look at their competition and then produced a grid slot which mirrors the best of them. The win tracker and Gold Fever metre have a very distinct feel from Play ‘n’ Go. However, if you look past this Gems Bonanza is a decent grid slot. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it has several advantages over similar offerings.
For me, one of the key positives is the way this slot flows, as it is free from extended periods of play when nothing happens. This is largely down to the glowing marks on the board which provide you with regular modifiers when wins occur over them. I did notice there was a big difference between how effective the modifiers were, with the Nuclear modifier rarely leading to much extra action, it simply cleared the screen but did little else. The Colossal symbols are useful provided you land the high value ones. Lucky Wilds lit up a whole bunch of wins for me which then tipped the Gold Fever metre into activating the feature.
The Gold Fever feature is a volatile one, some rounds past for me unnoticed whilst others were very intense. The feature triggered quite regularly however getting past level 2 proved to be a real challenge. The winnings soon build up when the bigger multipliers are involved and these can reach up to 10,000x your stake and technically they were possible provided you manage to get through the Gold Fever tiers.
I found gems bonanza to be a well-made slot with big potential and good features. The gaming it provides is fun and reasonably fast paced and I felt that there was always something going on. My rating for this game would stand at a respectable 7.5/10 and I would be more than happy to recommend this to all players.