Gonzo’s Quest – avalanche style tile symbols
The funny little character at the centre of this slots game is Gonzo, a Spanish conquistador. He’s based upon a real and rather unsavoury character from the 16th Century called Gonzalo Pizarro who, with his even more unsavoury brother, wreaked havoc in Peru, conquering and persecuting the Incas and Aztecs. But please don’t let that put you off this game!
Gonzo is a greedy little caricature of his namesake, and amusing with it. His personal quest is to make his way through the Amazon forest to find Eldorado, the lost city of gold. Our challenge is to help him, and hopefully put a little gold in our pockets.
The game comes from NetEnt, who have been in the online gaming business since 1996. They are giants in the industry and very well respected. They are also a bundle of fun. To get a feel for the NetEnt culture, take a look at the “about us” page on their website, where they have a very amusing video that celebrates their 20th anniversary.
The game has a five-column and three-row playing area, with twenty paylines. It features a cascading avalanche-style, with stone tiles exploding and being replaced by new tiles dropping from above. This gives the game a new and refreshing look and feel, letting you watch the playing area develop, rather than seeing everything replaced with spinning reels.
The game is based around a funny and quirky little character called Gonzo. He’ll stand next to the game and watch you play, and then moonwalk across the screen when you win. If that’s your thing, that’s great. Otherwise, he is not too much of a distraction. He takes a little getting used to, considering the nasty little conquistador he is actually based upon – but let’s not get too sentimental. There’s a short video intro, explaining how our hero found himself in this predicament, but I won’t spoil the plot for you. I’ll let you watch it. You’ll be glad to know that you can skip the intro when you return to the game, once you’ve seen it. And later, if you need a refresher as to why you are helping this little guy, you can always let it run uninterrupted at the start of your next game.
The game’s dynamics are pretty interesting, featuring stone tiles with Mayan symbols on them, which explode when you get a winning line – to then be replaced by tiles falling from above, sometimes creating new winning lines. As these automatically cascading avalanches happen, a multiplier is activated that increases the value of your win by a factor of x2, x3, and even x5.
There are a number of features in Gonzo’s Quest, including Wilds, Free Falls (rather than free spins), and the Avalanche Multiplier, which is pretty interesting. That’s where you can really start to build your winnings.
A novel and interesting aspect of Gonzo’s Quest is the Avalanche Feature. We’ve mentioned the 5×3 playing area being populated by stone tiles with Mayan symbols on them, rather than the traditional spinning reels. As you get a winning payline, the respective tiles explode into dust, to be replaced by new tiles that drop from above, which can create another winning line, prompting another “avalanche”, as they call them, and so on. This is where the multiplier comes in. Every time new tiles drop down to replace exploded ones, the multiplier and the top right of the screen ticks up one notch, from x1 to x2, then from x2 to x3, and if you are really lucky, from x3 to x5, multiplying the winnings by that amount. But once the avalanches stop, it drops back to x1.
Wild and Scatter Symbols
There are Wild Symbols, denoted by a tile with a big question mark on it, which will substitute for any symbol on a winning line, but there are no Scatters. Instead, you have the Free Fall symbols.
Because of the cascading avalanche-type way that the tiles fall from the top of the play area, these are called “free falls”, rather than “free spins”, but it’s pretty much the same thing. They are activated when there are 3x Free Fall symbols on a playline. However, the Free Fall symbols must appear from left to right.
You get ten Free Falls, and here’s where it gets interesting. The multiplier feature changes from x1, x2, x3, and x5 to x3, x6, x9, and x15.
So, if you manage to win your ten Free Falls, and during your Free Fall period you manage to activate the Avalanche feature, more than once, you can really start to crank up your winnings.
You can win more Free Falls during the Free Fall period, giving you the opportunity to win even more while the higher multipliers are active. But once you’ve used up your ten Free Falls, the multiplier reverts back to x1, x2, x3, and x5 – until next time.
I guess the closest we have to a bonus level is the Multiplier, which gets cranked up when you win Free Falls, as explained above.
The Pay Table is easy to find, by clicking on the button labelled, you’ve guessed it, “Pay Table” on the left side of the screen, under the first column of tiles.
The Pay Table has three distinct screens, which clearly explain which tiles are which, including the Wild tiles and the Free Fall tiles. It shows you the paylines and how the multiplier works, including the value of each of the different symbols during the various multiplier phases.
The jackpot is difficult to predict, because your maximum win is dependent upon the size of your bet, and you winning when the multiplier has reached its maximum at x15. And who’s to say that you won’t do this repeatedly?
Minimum and Maximum Bets
Minimum bet is $0.2 and maximum is $50 per spin.
Gonzo’s Quest comes out of the NetEnt stable. This reputable games developer has been around for more than 20 years and the folks at NetEnt really know what they’re doing. Their servers are vast and scattered around the World. Therefore, you can be confident in the levels of performance and reliability of both the software and hardware that our friends at NetEnt are delivering, with smooth animation and seamless high-definition graphics.
Those genius IT gurus talk about SLA, or Service Level Agreement. In our language, that’s their guarantee of the percentage of time that their servers and software are “up”, or working just tickety-boo. The clever folk at NetEnt guarantee “up-time” of 99.9%, every day of the year. After all, they have been doing and investing in this for a long time!
This a well-established and popular game from developer NetEnt, so you can’t go wrong with the technology or the graphics. The cascading tiles make the experience a little different and the winning combinations are easy to understand.