Miner Donkey Trouble: Slot Overview
You don’t need us to tell you gold mining is one of the more populous categories of slot. To help set theirs apart from the rest, Swedish developer Play’n GO pulls out one of the most successful tropes in comedy to inject some personality. Think Jay and Silent Bob, Rogan and Franco, Wilder and Pryor, Stiller and Owen, or the insanity of Will Farrell & John C. Reilly. We are talking of course about the madcap antics of the comedic duo. Play’n GO has taken this one step further by making it interspecial, personifying a donkey and teaming him up with a frazzled, yet optimistic old-time gold miner in a cluster pays slot titled Miner Donkey Trouble.
The pair are found deep underground next to a 5x7 sized grid dumping a load of 35 gems, nuggets or special symbols on each spin. Both characters look familiar. The miner because his sort turns up in just about every mining themed slot ever released wearing more or less the same outfit. Picture blue jeans, overalls, a neckerchief, upturned brim on his cowboy hat, plus a bushy fireman’s moustache. He seems pretty ticked off at his partner, standing defiantly on the other side of the screen, looking like Donkey from Shrek - except an angry version. Don’t expect too many waffles from this guy.
Sparking up the nugget hunt can be conducted on any device, from smartphones to desktops. Play’n GO are masters of the grid slot format, and part of their success is designing math models that match the features. In Miner Donkey Trouble we get a highly volatile one, rated 8 out of 10, yet slightly more balanced compared to some of their other offerings to ensure nice long runs of consecutive wins in between dead/low thrill drops. Play’n GO does variable RTPs, where the default in Miner Donkey Trouble clocks in at 96.27%. Since RTP can be dropped, be sure to check the docs before picking a stake from 10 p/c to £/€100, and embarking down the shaft.
Wins occur in Miner Donkey Trouble when five or more matching symbols are adjacently connected, forming a cluster. Doing so awards a payout, triggers the cascading wins system, and contributes to the Donkey Destruction feature as you will see. When it comes to the symbols, you’ll find four low pay rocks alongside four high pay gems. The largest paying clusters groups are made up of 18+ symbols which are worth 10 to 250 times your stake for the premium group. It couldn’t be a mining game without diamonds somewhere - here one appears on the wild. Wilds have no value of their own but can be used to replace any regular pay symbol to complete a cluster.
Miner Donkey Trouble: Slot Features
Here’s where things get more complex, with a stack of extra features adding depth to the gameplay. Perhaps the donkey’s miffed because he got fed up trying to explain them to the miner? Anyway, what we’ll cover here is cascading wins, a Donkey Destruction Meter, a Pick-axe Wild feature, Mega Symbols, and free spins.
Cascades are standard. They kick in after every win, removing the winning cluster, so that other symbols can drop down into the gaps, potentially causing consecutive wins off a single spin until no new wins cluster up.
Each win also contributes to the Donkey Destruction meter, marking your progress on the left-hand side of the grid. The number collected triggers modifiers when it reaches certain levels:
- 18 symbols activate Donkey Destruction 1 - destroys all rock symbols on the grid.
- 40 symbols activate Donkey Destruction 2 – destroys all gem and rock symbols on the grid.
- 50 symbols activate Donkey Destruction 3 – destroys all symbols on the grid except Golden Nuggets and guarantees up to 5 extra Golden Nuggets.
Keep an eye out for Golden Nuggets which have no value so are not part of clusters. However, when Golden Nuggets appear on or reach the bottom row of the grid, they are removed, increasing the win multiplier by +1 each. This multiplier applies to any further wins, then resets at the start of each new paid spin.
Another special symbol is the Miner’s Pick-axe which has no value either and only appears as part of new symbols in a cascade. When removed, they are collected as part of the Pick-axe Wild feature. This feature is activated when the win sequence ends, adding 4-10 wilds to the grid in random positions.
Then we get the Mega Symbol feature, randomly triggered on non-winning spins, or when win sequences have concluded. When active, up to 2 rock, gem, or wild symbols overlay the grid in sizes of 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4.
Finally we come to free spins. Dynamite scatters enter the game only from cascades, and detonate when all wins have concluded. Detonate 3 of them to be awarded 5 free spins which can be retriggered up to 20 at the most. The action here is similar to the base game, although comes with the benefit of the win multiplier not resetting between spins.
Miner Donkey Trouble: Slot Verdict
That’s quite a lot to get through, but Play’n GO has cleverly designed Miner Donkey Trouble so it doesn’t overwhelm or get bogged down. In fine grid slot tradition, cascades flow into features, activating other extras, ultimately leading to free spins. The theme is arguably overused, yet Play’n Go makes the most of it via high-quality visuals, effects, and a dash of humour.
If you’re a fan of grid slots in general, Miner Donkey Trouble’s has pretty much everything you could ask for. Where it wins out over hits like Reactoonz is in its rewards. Lately, Play'n GO has been in the habit of raising the max potential on their slots, and Miner Donkey Trouble is another example of this trend. The riches down this mine can reach as high as 10,000x the bet, significantly more than most of the studio’s previous releases in this category. However, due to its medium volatility and high hit rate it can sometimes feel as one those games where you seem to be getting nowhere. Bonuses are relatively rare, and once you trigger them they typically just sort of pay back some of your base game losses, leaving you where you started.
Combine everything though, and you’ve got another solid grid slot from the Play'n GO team. It doesn’t have the individuality of the Reactoonz series - picking a gold mining theme will do that. However, the entertaining gameplay, phenomenal design, a bundle of great features, and big win potential make it a compelling option.
Miner Donkey Trouble nails every aspect of what constitutes a highly playable grid slot.