Gronk's Gems: Slot Overview
Cave trolls might be one of the more fearful creatures in fantasy, just as the Fellowship of the Ring found out in Moria, but at times they can be downright cute too. Okay, maybe cute isn't the right word, yet the main character Gronk, in Hacksaw Gaming's online slot Gronk's Gems, has an amiable charm that makes him endearing. He's a bit like Shrek, although Shrek was an ogre. In some ways, friendly trolls are representative of a Hacksaw Gaming slot, part pal, part capable of performing brutal feats. Such is Gronk's Gems, a cluster-paying grid slot with two bonus rounds known as Gronk's Treasure and Gems Hoarder.
Gronk's Gems is part of Hacksaw Gaming's Pocketz Series of slots, which is a line of games with a mobile focus. When playing on a mobile, maybe spend a moment to flip your device to landscape mode. That way, you will be able to see Gronk himself lurking to the side of the screen rather than just the game grid. He's a formidable dude with gems growing from his shoulders and a facial expression suggesting curiosity rather than anger, for now, at least. However, try to keep on his good side; he's got the sort of huge hands that look like they could tear a human or elf limb from limb with ease.
Despite Pocketz slots being optimised for mobile usage, they can be enjoyed just as much, if not more, on any device from a tablet to a desktop. Gronk's Gems comes with three bonus buy options, but players must pick a base stake level regardless, where options begin at 10 p/c and go as high as $/€100. At its highest level, when playing normally, the theoretical return to player value is 96.24%, though it might be found at a lower level. Reading over the paytable will reveal the respective value. While the overall volatility has been rated 3 out of 5, or medium, buying features may affect volatility depending on your choice. All bonus buys are clearly labelled, so players know exactly what they're getting before taking the plunge.
To win on Gronk's Gems, at least five matching symbols must land in a cluster, connecting in horizontal or vertical directions. Winning clusters are blasted off the board and replaced by symbols falling from above. This continues until no new cluster wins appear. All of the pay symbols are gem-like objects, starting with what appears to be four uncut gems as the low pays in green, blue, purple, and yellow colours, while the higher value four are a blue octagonal gem, a purple hexagonal gem, a star, and a diamond. Hitting a five-of-a-kind cluster pays 0.2 to 1.5 times the bet, whereas clusters of 36+ are worth 150 to 1,500x the bet. Gronk's Gems does not have wild symbols.
Gronk's Gems: Slot Features
However, the other symbols to be on the lookout for are Charged symbols, Epic Gems, Gronk's Head, Gem Bags, and X-Gems, encountered at various points in the game.
Charged Symbols & Epic Gem
Symbol wins cause other symbols of the same type to glow, changing into what is known as a charged state. Symbols currently in a charged state are tracked by a bar above the reels. Symbols stay charged until the current spin ends. Now, Epic Gem symbols may appear on the board after winning symbols have been removed by a cascade. When no more wins or cascades occur, the Epic Gem activates, transforming all Charged Symbols in view into the highest-paying Charged symbol. Then, Charged symbols are absorbed by the Epic Gem and count as if they are one winning cluster. The Epic Gem always counts as 4 symbols, so if there is at least one Charged symbol in view, a winning cluster will be made after the absorption. When all Charged symbols have been absorbed, the Epic Gem explodes to trigger a cascade. In Gem Hoarder mode, symbols do not have a charged state.
Landing 3 Gronk's Head scatters in a single base game spin awards 10 free spins. During free spins, there is a higher chance of landing Epic Gem symbols than in the base game.
Landing 3 Gem Bag scatters in the base game triggers this bonus round. Here, 5 spins are awarded and landing 3 Gem Bags at once returns the spin counter back to 5. Whenever winning symbols are removed during the Gem Hoarder, each symbol increases the global multiplier by +1. If winning clusters are connected to the special X-Gem symbol, the global multiplier is applied to the winning total. If more than one X-Gem is connected to a win, the global multiplier is applied once for each connected X-Gem.
Where available, players are able to buy three different features, all rated as highly volatile. The available options are:
- Bonushunt Featurespins – 3x the bet where each spin is five times more likely to trigger one of the bonus games.
- Gronks's Treasure – 110x the bet to buy 10 free spins.
- Gem Hoarder – 200x the bet to buy this specific bonus round.
Gronk's Gems: Slot Verdict
Players down with Hacksaw Gaming's modus operandi should be all over Gronk's Gems. It's got the studio's trademarked blend of cute and ruthless brutality, flipping from one to the other with effortless ease and without warning. It's a Hacksaw Gaming grid slots that doesn't do a lot that's massively different from what preceded it but weaves in enough new bits alongside quirky audio-visuals to give Hacksaw Gaming fans an interesting alternative to try.
Like Hacksaw Gaming slots often are, bonus buyers are well-catered for in Gronk's Gems. Fair enough, you can technically get the same experience in the base game as you can in the Gronk's Treasure bonus, but in free spins, the all-important Epic Gem is more likely to land. The Epic Gem feature is quite clever too. Elegantly simple, yet capable of creating little (or large) blasts of excitement when gathering in decent numbers of matching symbols before exploding to make way for another cascade.
Pretty neat, yet the Gem Hoarder was the more intense of the two bonuses during testing for a number of reasons. One, it starts with just five spins, adding a sense of urgency, though retriggers weren't uncommon. Secondly, you need two things to happen - cluster wins to build the multiplier and X-Gems next to a cluster to make use of the multiplier. Of the two bonus rounds, this was arguably the one that produced the most thrilling action; of course, others may get varying results.
At full whack, Gronk's Gems is capable of firing off wins as high as 7,500x the stake, a sort of mid-level amount for a Hacksaw Gaming slot. A fitting amount, really, for another playable Pocketz slot that Hacksaw Gaming enthusiasts should enjoy whiling away a few spins on.
Gronk’s Gems gets on with doing what Hacksaw Gaming does best, though some might find the gameplay a tad repetitive.