Crystal Golem: Slot Overview
Golems are fairly common in pop culture, showing up in Pokémon and appearing in Minecraft in forms such as iron or ice. Interestingly the term was first used in Jewish folklore, meaning something along the lines of 'shapeless mass' that were chunks of matter, like clay, brought to life via sacred words or charms. In the Middle Ages, golems were seen as ideal servants, if a little too single-minded when carrying out duties. Nowadays, golems are more likely to be entities made of various materials, set to work on mechanical tasks requiring little to no mental input.
This definition neatly sums up the golems in Crystal Golem, the second slot from newcomers Print Studios. In this game, golems are wild, meaning they have one simple job to do in the base game. Trigger free spins, however, and they are given extra duties, though nothing excessively strenuous. Crystal Golem is set in a pinky, pastel underworld, all crystals, and rock formations, turning a darker blue for free spins. If we were to compare it to anything, the game has a distinct Push-like look to it; high def, quirky characters and objects, which makes sense given Print Studios has ex-Push members on the team. The soundtrack's fun too, a swirling ambient number, with a hint of the 1980s to it that would suit a science fiction film from the era.
Played on a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with 20 fixed paylines, Crystal Golem coughs up wins when at least three matching symbols land adjacently from the leftmost side. The RTP comes in two forms depending on whether you trigger the bonus game naturally at 96.36% or buying free spins, which bumps the value up to 96.99%. The volatility is high, though not extremely so, rated 4 out of 5 by the creators themselves. Another useful stat is a hit frequency just shy of 1 in 4 spins, or 23.48% to be exact.
Playable from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin, there are nine regular pay symbols to form winning combinations of – four low pays, five high. The lows are called Jack, Queen, King, and Ace, though their shapes don't exactly resemble card royals. Then come several cave items such as water mushrooms, gold mushrooms, fire mushrooms, crystal bats, and stone snakes. Hitting a full win line of premium symbols will get you a payout of 2.5 to 20 times the stake. Golems appear on the wild symbol, and landing five of them on a payline is worth the most, at 50x the stake. Golem wilds also replace any pay symbols to complete a win while receiving a handy boost during free spins.
Crystal Golem: Slot Features
Crystal Golem is a fairly simple game once you've worked out what all of the extra bits do and offers cascades, SuperSpinners, plus free spins with wild upgrades. The cascade system destroys any winning combination, clearing it off the game panel. This allows remaining symbols on the reels to drop down and plug the gaps, potentially leading to additional winning lines. This process repeats itself until no new wins form.
If you have a look at the dividing lines between reels, you'll see small diamond-shaped objects – some with numbers on them. These are the SuperSpinners and if a winning line crosses one with a number on it, the payout is multiplied by the number. If the winning line passes through more than one SuperSpinnner, the multipliers are applied one at a time to the payout. For example, two SuperSpinners showing a 4 and an 8 will multiplier the payout by 32.
The bright white glowing crystal symbol is the scatter and landing 3, 4, or 5 of them awards 8, 12, or 16 free Evolution Spins, respectively. In free spins, some of the SuperSpinners randomly appear with a green flame on them. These are called Charged Spinners. If a wild Golem lands next to a Charged Spinner, it evolves to a wild Golem Stage 2 symbol, meaning it stays on the reels once after being used in a win. Also, the reel the wild Golem Stage 2 is on is upgraded too, so any new wild Golems landing on the reel automatically become Stage 2. The upgraded reel can be upgraded a second time, so any new wild Golems landing on it become Stage 3. These wilds persist for two wins.
If you manage to upgrade all reels at least once, then +4 additional free spins are awarded. Upgrading them all again awards another batch of 4 free spins.
One last feature, for players who have access to it, is the bonus buy. Evolution Spins can be bought for the cost of 100x the bet, which lands at least 3 scatters on the next spin.
Crystal Golem: Slot Verdict
It feels like we merely blinked after trying out Print Studios' debut Book of Destiny, and already their follow up Crystal Golem is on the table. The relatively short time-lapse doesn't mean Crystal Golem appears rushed in any way. Rather you get the feeling the team is bursting with ideas they are enthusiastic about getting out to players. Crystal Golem certainly has a great look, is cleanly animated, and has a groovy soundtrack to match.
Speaking of animations, since every single winning line is meticulously highlighted, some players may find this speed-bumps the process, disrupting the game's flow. Others may appreciate being led through each detail of every single win. SuperSpinners are the key to best results in Crystal Golem since they multiply each other rather than be added together when several are involved in a winning combination. At their max, combined multipliers can reach x400.
While playing Crystal Golem, one competitor slot which kept springing to mind was Yggdrasil's beast Raptor DoubleMax which happens to be trending at the time of writing. You don't get the impression Print was trying to copy them in any way; it's that the two games have a comparable graphical quality, relatively simple reel set up, and masses of multipliers which can go crazy when they want to. Both games also share a similar figure when it comes to potential, Crystal Golem achieving a max simulated win of 20,758.5x the bet.
For their sophomore effort, Print Studios has turned out another polished, playable game. In several ways, it's more original than their first one was, looks the business, and has a useful multiplying feature that can create soaring results under the right circumstances. Print might not be a revolutionary force just yet, but games like Crystal Golem are pushing them in a positive direction.
Crystal Golem’s turn-based cascades hold up the flow in what is otherwise a well-designed slot offering simple, enticing gameplay.