By coincidence (?), both Swedish providers, NetEnt and Yggdrasil, are releasing games with cascading symbols on the very same day. We have had the opportunity to test both before release.
Gem Rocks is the next game in line to be released by Yggdrasil since Reptoids was launched on february 12. Reptoids really did look promising, with stunning graphics and what seemed like great potential. But the big win videos and screenshots posted on social media have been few, which indicates that either people never really fell for it, or winning is too damn hard.
Gem Rocks is a slot with cascading symbols, just like you know from the classic game Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt. It has 4096 paylines, 6 reels and 4 rows. Wins are payed out if you manage to land 3 or more symbols of the same kind in consecutive columns starting from left. The Return to Player is 96.2%.
The Gem Rock Feature
Everytime there is a winning combination of symbols, those symbols will disappear and will then be replaced by new symbols which hopefully results in more wins. To the left of the game play area is a meter (Monster Rock meter), which will light up by one for every single win. There are in total 3 steps in the Monster Rock meter with the first step having 2 levels, the second step 3 levels and the third step 4 levels. Activating these levels will release the Gem Rock feature where a troll will appear to cover an area in a rectangular formation and award a guaranteed win.
- 2 consecutive wins award: a 2×2 Monster Rock
- 5 consecutive wins award: a 3×3 Monster Rock
- 9 consecutive wins award: a 4×4 Monster Rock
The game hosts no wild symbols, which is a bit unusual and there are no scatter or bonus symbols either, which means the game does tend to get a bit redundant at times. There are 8 symbols in total, with only one that could really be concidered a premium symbol – the star symbol.
Gem Rocks has good potential with the possibility to win 4354x or more, so at least it has that going for it. But in all honesty we were far from impressed by this game in what seemed to be a cascade of dead spins, despite thousands of paylines. You simply can’t help to feel the game is rigged when spin after spin you always seem to be one away from a winning combination, while thinking how it could be possible with a limited about of symbols on a large play area and 4096 paylines. Sure, you could blame high variance, but slots with much more potential allows for better game play than this. We really do think that Yggdrasil could have worked a bit more on the mechanics here.
The lack of wild symbols, the lack of a bonus feaure of some sort or even a random feaure, makes this game a bit redundant, and watching your money disappear becomes painful very quckly. Of course, we could have been on a super cold swing during our test run and any game is great while winning, but we feel a game like this in particular will make people very aware of their losses with such a redundant game play.