Gems of Adoria: Overview
Developer NetEnt offers few clues as to what the innovative slot Gems of Adoria is all about. Other than 'sci-fi fantasy', the game is wide open for reader interpretation. What we do know is that Gems of Adoria is a rather unique slot that showcases NetEnt's new Real Time 3D graphics system. It certainly looks good and is quite different from what you have probably seen before. So much is new here that Gems of Adoria is a slot that needs to be played to be fully appreciated, but we will do our best to convey the experience via the written word.
The main talking point is the Real Time 3D device which offers a slanting view of the 5-reel, 3-row grid and pivots the camera around different angles. The game looks like it was developed using the Unity game engine, which makes it simple, yet modern at the same time. Just where the action is set is anyone's guess. The framed grid is almost tribal, with floating islands that can be glimpsed in the background when the camera shifts positions.
Accompanying the mysterious visuals are aural effects that sound like they've come straight from a Daniel Deluxe album. The retro-wave vibe conjures up visions of a dystopian future where the human population is reduced to refining an ever more efficient algorithm to run their lives. Or something like that. The music is good anyway; the sound effects perfectly match the big chunky symbols.
Playable on desktop and mobile devices from 10 p/c to £/€200 per spin, Gems of Adoria's large symbols include 8 regular tiles divided into 4 low and 4 high pays. Each is a brightly coloured gem, with premiums getting metallic borders to set them apart from the low pays.
All symbols need at least three or more on one of the 15 fixed paylines to trigger a payout with five of a kind values ranging from 2.5x – 15x the stake. Fair rewards perhaps, but potential is not one of Gems of Adoria's strong points, and it relies on a steady stream of smaller wins to keep players engaged. What this means is a low volatility math model that produces an RTP of 96.13% along with a hit frequency of 22.1%. The name of the game is steady, yet small, with several features to break up the base game.
Gems of Adoria: Features
Gems of Adoria makes heavy use of wilds, so let's start there. The standard wilds is a big red and gold 'W' which looks like an eye-catching suitcase that says' look at me, I travel'. The wild's main job is to substitute for any of the pay symbols to form a winning combination, which can land anywhere to do so.
Wilds play a central part in the Striking Wilds feature as well. When this feature is activated, the viewpoint pans down to the left for a different view while 2 to 9 wild symbols are randomly placed on the reels. Stacks of wilds are a common result of the Striking Wilds feature to help eject a few coins.
The next random modifier is the Flipping Symbols feature. This one is a little trickier to describe, but in essence, 2 - 5 symbols on a row are randomly selected to flip either vertically or horizontally. The good part is that there may be multiple flips - each one revealing a better payout than the previous result or flip. Picture someone performing a Rubik's cube action on the grid to mix symbols up to get some idea of the process.
Last up is the glowing orb scatter symbol which can appear in any position. You need 3, 4, or 5 in view to be awarded 10, 20, or 50 Free Spins respectively. Flipping Symbols and Striking Symbols both appear during Free Spins, though there is little to distinguish them from the base game.
Gems of Adoria: Verdict
Well, it's different. You have to grant Gems of Adoria that. The Real Time 3D system is not so different it risks alienating people - the math model and potential do enough on their own to sift out a suitable audience. If the stats aren't to your liking, then there is nothing the graphics or their presentation can do to win you over.
Likewise, players who like easing into a session without massive swings may be able to appreciate the overall package. For some low key gaming in a chilled environment, it might suit, though if you are expecting anything more, then prepare to feel short-changed.
Is Gems of Adoria's modern look a glimpse of slots to come? Perhaps, the Real Time 3D effect is intriguing and will no doubt be rolled out again in the near future. This being their first use, it feels like Gems of Adoria was a test run for the new optics, while other aspects of the game were an afterthought.
Big pay outs and their accompanying thrills will be hard to experience with this unusual game. Actually, they are nigh on impossible since maximum wins sit in the region of 500 times the stake as observed during testing. Keep in mind too, the stats from NetEnt were obtained during 140 billion simulated spins so don't expect Gems of Adoria to hit highlight reels any time soon.
Gems of Adoria seems to be all about switching off, zoning out, in a relatively stress-free environment. Some will appreciate that, like traveling to a destination in a driverless car. Others prefer the hands-on approach and the satisfaction of doing the job yourself. You can appreciate the new graphics system from an evolutionary standpoint, but beyond that, there is little satisfaction to be gained after a few investigatory spins.
Gems of Adoria looks terrific, but ends up being a case of style over substance.