Golden Ticket 2: Overview
Sequel season continues at Play’n GO as they release a follow up to their 2014 circus themed slot Golden Ticket. The studio has stuck to the core spirit of the game while fine-tuning the looks, features and potential. Actually, when you put it like that, there does seem to be quite a lot of changes. Let's take a ringside seat to go over what's new in Golden Ticket 2.
Visually, there is a lot linking the two games. It's certainly not a complete disconnect like Jolly Roger 1 and 2 was. Playable from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin, players get the same 5x5 setup along with 20 fixed paylines located in a tent surrounded by clowns, ringmasters and other characters of the big top. One minor cosmetic change is the action predominantly took place outside in the first, this time we've moved under the canvas. The spirit remains the same though fortunately, which was one of the major selling points of the original. Play’n GO absolutely nailed the look and feel of an old-time circus, nicely reviving it for the sequel.
As you likely know by now, Play'n GO makes use of flexible RTP which means you can face different RTP-settings depending on wh ere you're playing. The default RTP, however, is set to 96.5%. The math model has definitely been altered, so be prepared to go up against a totally different beast if you've played the original. That one was a medium volatile slot whilst the sequel is as volatile as Play'n GO slots come.
In terms of the actual gameplay, it works as follows: on each spin 25 symbols tumble into the grid. Wins are achieved by landing 3 or more matching symbols connecting either horizontally or vertically. Winning combinations are cleared from the grid after they have been paid, and any remaining symbols drop to fill the gaps, potentially creating new wins. With each new drop, the win multiplier is increased by one, resetting to x1 on a new base game spin.
The paytable is full of circus icons consisting of 5 low pay, 3 high pay symbols. The low pays include a monocycle, juggling items, a target, knives, and a ringmaster's hat. Hit a line of 5 low pays for rewards of 2 to 4 times the stake. The high pays are three characters from the show - a clown, a blindfolded knife thrower, and a ringmaster. A 5 of a kind combo here rewards 10 times the stake no matter the symbol. Players also get a consolation prize of up to 5x for lines of three or more mixed premiums landing horizontally or vertically.
Finally, the golden tent is the wild, substituting for any pay symbol to make a combination. It is also worth a fair amount on its own with 5 in a row worth 50 times the stake. Wilds are created in the middle position when a winning combination of three symbols is removed. If there are only wilds left on the grid, then they are removed.
Golden Ticket 2: Features
Play’n GO has given the features a vigorous shakeup and now revolves around multiplier wilds, Win Spins and free spins.
To the left of the grid is a 3 segment meter that is filled when premium wins occur. Wins consisting of 3, 4, or 5 symbols fill 1, 2, or 3 segments of the meter respectively. Completely filling the meter triggers the multiplier wilds feature where 1 or 2 multiplier wilds are added randomly to the reels.
On the right, one of the three characters is displayed, influencing which wild multiplier it will be. An active clown, knife thrower, or ringmaster, awards the x1, x2, or x3 multiplier wilds respectively. The multiplier wilds feature can only trigger once per game round; then the character changes for the next trigger.
Like the original, lurking behind the symbols on the grid is the word BONUS. Clearing the BONUS row triggers free spins which comes with three options. The less free spins, the higher the multiplier and the volatility, so players choose their most suitable option:
- 5 highly volatile free spins with an x3 multiplier wild.
- 7 medium volatile free spins with an x2 multiplier wild.
- 9 low volatile free spins with an x1 multiplier wild.
During free spins, filling 3 segments of the meter triggers a Win Spin using a 2x2 version of the multiplier wild. A new grid of symbols appears, and the multiplier wild is randomly placed on the board. The win multiplier is reset between free spins and Win Spins.
Filling 5 segments of the expanded meter on a Win Spin retriggers another one – keeping in mind the win multiplier is not reset between consecutive Win Spins. Finally, should you manage to clear the full grid, a bonus prize of 500x the bet is awarded.
Golden Ticket 2: Verdict
Whether the sequel will appeal to the same fans of the first will be interesting to see. On the one hand, the two games look quite similar, both handling the circus theme in style, creating bags of big top atmosphere. On the other hand, the volatility and potential are much higher, which may suit a more dedicated attitude.
For some, the removal of the target shooting bonus game will be a blow. Not that it was highly lucrative, but it was fun, and worked perfectly with the theme. The new bonus games are a lot more sophisticated though, capable of producing more intense moments and larger payouts. Now, Golden Ticket 2 offers wins of up to 5,000 times the stake, or double the first.
All up, it's a case of Golden Ticket looks and base game meets Moon Princess with elements of Pimped (Win Spins) tossed in for good measure. The result of this mash-up can be as enjoyable as a day out at the circus. That is, one of those delightful disasters of a show which constantly threatens to slip from a state of barely controlled chaos into total mayhem.
Golden Ticket 2 is a competent sequel with good looks and great atmosphere, yet also a totally different beast.