Hot Gems is a new Western themed video slot from Playtech. Following the (surprisingly high quality) intro video, where a Wild West prospector finds a massive stash of gems – hence the title, you’re launched into the game. Here’s a top tip – don’t dive straight in – leave the screen for a while and the prospector guy from the video pops up and dances for you 🙂
Well it sure does look mighty pretty, but what’s the game like?
Hot Gems has the standard 5 reels found on most video slots these days and there are 25 paylines that are always activated (i.e. you don’t get to choose) – you can however change the coin value to suit your play type; it can be dialled up to £10 per line for a whopping £250 bet per spin, or if you’re just looking to pass the time, you can take it down to £0.01 resulting in a total of 25p per spin.
The symbols in use in the slot are all gem or mining related and there are some special symbols within the game:
Wild – does exactly what it says on the tin; substitutes for any symbol apart from the Scatter and Free Games symbols
Free Games – 3 of these, appearing at least once on reels 1, 3 and 5 activates 15 free spins. More on the free spins feature later in the review.
Scatter – Minimum of two of the scatter symbols anywhere in the playing area will trigger a win, up to a maximum of 5, which will give you 100x your line bet.
The highest value symbol in Hot Gems is the little miner chappie from the intro video – 3 of him will give you 100x your line bet, 5 awards a whopping 5,000x!
Yee-ha – What about them there special features? (can you tell I’m running low on cowboy lingo?)
So, when you trigger a win (or multiple wins) with a spin, the blocks that have ‘participated’ in those winning lines explode and the symbols above fall down and empty spaces are re-filled. If there are any new wins, these are counted and the symbols explode again. This is a process that can go on indefinitely, although probability says that it won’t go on forever. That said, it’s pretty exciting when you get a ‘combo’ win as a result of a couple or more explosions off of one spin.
Free Spins (told you we’d get back to it…)
So, as we told you earlier in the review, 3 free spins symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5 will activate the free spins (which kicks off with the miner dude popping back onto your screen and doing a quick bit of mining). In this feature, the collapsing reel feature (as described above) is active. Whenever you get a winning combination, the spin multiplier is increased by 1 up to a maximum of 5x. However, the multiplier is reset with each new spin *sad face*
Also, free games can’t be re-triggered *double sad face*
I’m gonna play me some of that
Ok, but until you do – here’s our experience…
Hot Gems has a standard autoplay that lets you choose a number of spins, or to spin until you hit a feature (though not available in free play mode!)
The collapsing reels feature is a nice touch – very similar to Da Vinci Diamonds and others, and can lead to some good wins when you get a streak of them – usually we found it stops after one or two.
The free spins feature is where the potential for large wins exist (apart from getting combinations of the miner symbol) because if you manage to get up the multiplier chain, it means you’ve hit winning combinations several times on the way up, which in theory should result in a big win. However, getting this to trigger is easier said than done and didn’t happen for us during our play.
Hot Gems is another well designed slot from Playtech. There is the potential for some big wins here – if you’re lucky enough to trigger them or you’ve got a wallet to get there!