Monkey’s Gold: Slot Overview
Developer Nolimit City is one of those studios you never know what you're going to get next, but expectations always run high. Will it be insanely brutal and full of Barbarians, a baffling use of bunnies, or a 'book of' slot like no other? Uncertainty is the only certainty, and this time they are hitting the complex angle in a slot called Monkey's Gold. Here, several elements bundle together to build on top of each other like Technic Lego. Let's see if we can untangle this Gordian knot and make it all clear.
The setting is straight forward, revolving around a Monkey King ruling the jungle and controlling its riches. This jungle isn't just trees and vines; old stone statues lay strewn about adding to the mystery. Two huge stone heads surround the 6x6 grid which drops 36 symbols on each spin. The accompanying Lion King-esque soundtrack is passionate, though maybe better suited to the Savannah than the jungle. No biggie though, once the symbols start dropping, it fades away into the bush, playing seconds to the action.
A wide range of bets are on offer here, from 20 p/c to €100 per spin across any device. After a few cursory spins, you might be surprised to know the studio has rated the volatility as medium. Due to the way winning combinations build, there can be a few dead spins as a counterweight. Still, an official hit rate of 1 in 4 means you aren't waiting too long for something to happen. Players who like to get bang for their buck will appreciate the way wins pile up before delivery too. Default RTP isn't bad either at 96.02%, pushing it a monkey's whisker width over average.
As for rules, things start to get more complicated. Monkey's Gold uses neither paylines nor win ways. Instead, we get Nolimit City's new xPays system. This mechanic sparks to life when at least three matching symbols connect from reels 1 to 3 - on any row. All non-winning symbols are removed, while the winners are collected at the bottom of the grid. Another batch of symbols then drops in, and the process continues as long as new winners land. It's a sort of reverse Megaways reaction system. When no new winning symbols appear, the number collected is multiplied by the individual value to calculate the payout.
The paytable consists of 10 regular symbols and several specials we'll look at below. Making up the low pays are J-A royals, then three glowing gems, followed by three exotically carved heads. Values range from 0.05 for each lowly Jack up to 0.6x for red Hindu-looking masks. A golden 'W' is the wild, which substitutes for any normal symbol.
Monkey’s Gold: Slot Features
NoLimit City layers on more complexity and winning opportunities through a bunch of extra features. The hottest one is free spins with a progressive multiplier, joined by colossal symbols, symbol multipliers, and symbol upgrades.
Symbol upgrades tie directly to xPays. When a row is filled during a spin sequence, all winning symbols in view are upgraded to a higher paying version. The highest paying symbol gets upgraded with an added multiplier.
At random, 2x2 or 3x3 colossal symbols may land on any free drop. Not only do they contribute their bulk, they also come with a multiplier of x4 to x500. Let's be clear; this multiplies the number of symbols collected, not the total win. If colossal symbols drop, forming empty positions beneath them, any gaps become wilds. Any symbol with a multiplier on it gets counted as multiple symbols rather than just a single. Moreover, when substituting for other symbols, wilds inherit any active symbol multiplier.
Monkey's Gold pulls all this good stuff together and sprinkles on a win multiplier during free spins. To get there, you need to land 3 or more scatter symbols - this will award you 10 free spins whilst +3 extra spins are added for any additional scatter symbol.
Before free spins commence, a dice is rolled to reveal how much the win multiplier increments by; +1, +2 or +3. Whenever a row is filled during free spins, as well as upgrading symbols, it increases the win multiplier by the respective amount.
Last up is the feature buy where for 73 times the stake at least three bonus symbols land on the next drop.
Monkey’s Gold: Slot Verdict
It's funny, playing Monkey's Gold xPays caused flashes of half a dozen slots to bubble up from the subconscious. First, there is an ELK's Gold feel to it, stemming from both features and mechanics. There's even a bit of Yggdrasil's Pirate 2: Mutiny worming its way in due to the way the winning symbol collection system works. Despite the melange of memories, Monkey's Gold has its own individuality. Features that might have been seen elsewhere have been twisted, and arguably improved. You have to hand it to Nolimit City; even when they might have allowed themselves to be inspired by others, they can't help put an individual stamp on them.
Nolimit has done a superb job of integrating the features, so when they fire together, the experience can only be described as thrilling. Collected winning symbols, triggering full row upgrades, capped by the progressive multiplier during free spins is sublime in practice.
Nolimit City might have taken inspiration from other sources, or appeared to, yet it really doesn't matter. What they've crafted here is a highly playable slot with some appealing features. They work best in tandem, yet even in isolation they can raise the roof. Take the symbol multiplier as an example. Okay, this isn't going to happen often, but in testing, a colossal Ace landed during free spins, packing an eye-watering x250 multiplier. In a heartbeat, what was shaping up as an average bonus became an instant heart racer. At full tilt, solid wins of up to 12,693 times the bet are possible. And as we all know by now, Nolimit City stated win potential is actually achievable, something that cannot be said for some of their competitors.
Nolimit City has further cemented their creative credentials by designing a game that reminds you of others while transcending them at the same time. It's not as brutal, or as rewarding, as some heavyweights in the feature on feature category. It nevertheless is an absolute joy to play when it's stacking on features and wins like there's no tomorrow. Fans of straight forward gaming may struggle to appreciate the complexities, but for those who like the multi-layered wedding cake angle, Monkey's Gold piles it on with best of them.
The intricate gameplay won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but the core Monkey’s Gold xPays experience is still a ton of fun, in particular for those looking for some more depth and dynamics in a slot.