Gods of Gold Infinireels: Overview
Editor's Note: We've published a Q&A with NetEnt Director of Games, Bryan Upton, talking about the InfiniReels (NetEnt) vs Infinity Reels (ReelPlay) situation. You can read it here.
Swedish developer NetEnt has built up a respected reputation for cooking up innovative ideas that have entertained players over the years. In a twist, their latest slot Gods of Gold comes with a mechanic that looks a lot like the Infinity Reels mechanic that debuted in Aussie developer ReelPlay's El Dorado slot. In fact, the similarities are so striking that it's even hard to tell them apart by name.
What makes the imitation so fascinating is not just the similarity, however, but because NetEnt is like a starving pitbull on meat when it comes to other developers copying their work. The prime example is when they dropkicked Play’n GO's slot Starblast back to the drawing board for a rebrand. Is karma going to come back and bite? Time will tell. In the meantime, while we can, let's put Gods of Gold through its paces and see just how innovative this new slot is.
Gods of Gold is a nice looking slot located in an Aladdin's cave full of gold and jewels. The Middle Eastern theme is accentuated by an Arabian Nights styled soundtrack and the grid is full of equally exotic characters. It's the usual high standard that NetEnt turns out, though its reels don't scroll through a lush landscape like El Dorado did.
The game uses 20 coins with values from 0.01 to 10 credits each. This provides total bet levels of 20 p/c up to £/€200 a pop – manual or by setting up to 1,000 auto spins. Players get some nice chunky symbols on the game's default 3x3 grid. They are quite unusual too, apart from the four gemstone low pay symbols which are somewhat generic. The high pays, on the other hand, are a rather sinister-looking motley crew of characters such as an owl, bull, queen, and king. For whatever reason, they all appear completely irate, which does make winning their coins all the sweeter.
Payouts occur when three or more matching symbols land consecutively on any row. The wild symbol helps in this regard by substituting for any of the pay symbols. Keep in mind it can only come into play when there are four or more reels in use - never when there are just 3 reels. The game does not have set paylines, but starts with 27 win ways in the 3x3 format, and are multiplied by 3 with every new reel that is added. Other stats include a user-friendly RTP rating of 96.12% along with a medium/high volatility to keep you guessing.
Gods of Gold Infinireels: Features
Let's kick off with a rundown of the new Infinireels mechanic which comes into play whenever there is a winning combo on screen. When there is, a new reel is added to the grid. If the new reel contains a wild, or any other matching symbol, then another reel is added. So on and so on, infinitely as the name suggests, until no new winning symbol land and the reels are reset back to 3x3 size.
It might be hard to keep up with all of the winning symbols as they pile up and get pushed along by the new reels. To keep track of what is going on, a Minimap provides an overview of what is happening. It works with the Symbol Counter which displays the length of a win and how many win ways are currently active.
After the reels stop spinning and no more wins turn up, a Respin can randomly be awarded. When this happens, a genie character covers the final reel in green magic, and the result is always a guaranteed win. Another secondary feature during a win is the Multi Slam which randomly adds 2-3 more reels for another guaranteed win.
Lastly, the final feature is the Win Spins Free Spins game. The pearl/golden sun symbol is the scatter, and when 3 land simultaneously, they award players with 10 Win Spins. If any more scatters are in view, they grant 5 extra Win Spins each. The rules of the bonus game are the same as the base game bar one important difference - each Win Spin guarantees a winning payout, and they can be retriggered to extend the fun.
Gods of Gold Infinireels: Verdict
Gods of Gold is a decent game, but let's be honest, the imitation factor is strong with this one. NetEnt might have jazzed it up by adding the Minimap and the Symbol Counter, but it's basically ReelPlay's Infinity Reels feature with a few extra bits. Will players still have fun playing it? Sure, why not. It's fast and easy, the reels expand fairly regularly which is always an exciting moment, and the extras nailed on do make a difference.
Respin wins keep the base game rolling along, while the climax is the guaranteed payouts from the Win Spin feature which can tally up nicely. When stretched to capacity, Gods of Gold is capable of hitting wins in the 25,000 times the stake range. Do note, however, that it's highly unlikely to go that high as it only happened once during a simulation of 11.6 billion spins. More realistic are wins in the 500-2,500x range.
Then again, despite Gods of Gold's finer points, a lot, if not most, of the talk is going to be about how NetEnt's Infinite Reels are so close to ReelPlay's Infinity version. This is NetEnt, after all; a company that unleashes lawyers like the dogs of war on anyone copying their concepts. What makes the situation more amusing is that even the name has been used before by 888 Holding in their Greek themed game called, ahem, Gods of Gold.
At the end of the day, as a standalone slot, Gods of Gold is pretty good. The graphic standard is high, as you'd expect from NetEnt, the features are fun, and the math model solid. Potential is there due to Infinite Reels and guaranteed wins, and yet. What happens behind the scenes could be more of a slot thriller. Will Gods of Gold roll out into the daylight, or will ReelPlay's lawyers jump up and down on it like a demented kangaroo? Watch this space.
If you enjoy the gameplay that the InfiniReels mechanic has to offer, be sure to have a look at Red Tiger's Dragon's Fire InfiniReels slot. Based on the original Dragon's Fire game, it offers wins of up to 10,454 times your stake.
NetEnt’s Gods of Gold Infinireels has its thrilling moments, but it could have been so much more.