Silverback Gold: Slot Overview
Since Evolution Gaming took over the reins at NetEnt, it seems the Swedish software provider has been on a bit of a nostalgia kick. The studio has revisited the past in games like Starburst XXXtreme, Gonzo's Gold, and now Silverback Gold. Silverback Gold doesn't follow on from an iconic slot like the other two as such, but it makes a rather bold statement, nonetheless. With Silverback Gold, NetEnt appears to have taken the opportunity to rectify any criticism it may have received over the previous game, Gorilla Kingdom.
There can't have been many complaints about the original game's graphics though, because Silverback Gold looks largely the same. Its action takes place on a 5x4 game grid that provides 1,024 ways to win. Behind it lies a thick jungle background; this time, NetEnt has captured the scene at a different time of day, the light rebounding off the foliage to produce a slightly shifted range of colours. Otherwise, the two games look close, with the exception of a feature buy button glowing away on the left side of the screen.
Moving onto the math model is where some of the more significant upgrades start to arise. The RTP has remained the same at 96.1%, but volatility has been wound up from its previous medium setting to a high one. Max win has exponentially increased as well, making Silverback Gold a far more tempting proposal for players tracking down as large a potential payout as possible. Bets have been reined in, now ranging from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin.
To win, you'll need to land at least three matching symbols left to right from the right side of the grid. The exception is the gorilla premiums; these only require two of a kind to payout. Two gorillas are used in the game, a regular one worth 4x the bet or a golden version worth 8x the bet for five of a kind. Beneath them are birds, snakes, crocodiles, and leopard symbols worth 2.5 to 3x the stake, while further down the table, five 9-A card royals will get you 1 to 1.5x your stake. In a surprise move, wild symbols make their way onto the reels, substituting for anything except the scatter. In free spins, wilds even come with multiplying abilities.
Silverback Gold: Slot Features
Silverback Gold's features might be close to those found in Gorilla Kingdom; however, NetEnt has fine-tuned a few things while adding others to make this a new experience.
Probably the last two words you want to hear when wandering through the jungle, yet a welcome addition is the new Silverback Attack feature. This one is served up in the base or bonus game completely at random. When triggered, 6 to 20 premium silverback symbols are added to the spinning reels for the chance of hitting something decent.
Silverback Bonus Game
Landing 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols awards 10, 15, or 20 free spins, but before they begin, players participate in a preliminary bonus game. In the bonus game, 3 spins are awarded in a hold-and-spin type round where the triggering scatter symbols are locked while all other positions spin individually. Only tokens may appear in the bonus game. When a token lands, it flips to reveal a value and resets the number of spins. The bonus game ends when spins run out, all positions are filled, or the value of collected tokens reaches 300. When the round ends, the token values in view are saved, and free spins start.
In free spins, the tokens collected in the bonus game are added to a collect meter where it is possible to collect more tokens from free spins as they may appear on silverback symbols. When set numbers of tokens are collected, a symbol is upgraded to the premium silverback symbol:
- 30 tokens upgrades crocodile symbols.
- 60 tokens upgrades leopard symbols.
- 120 tokens upgrades snake symbols
- 200 tokens upgrades bird symbols.
- 300 tokens upgrade regular silverbacks in the golden silverback symbols.
When the collect meter reaches 300, all silverback symbols upgrade to golden silverback symbols, which only appear in free spins. Also, in free spins, when wild symbols hit, they come with an x2 or x3 multiplier. If 2 or more multiplier wilds appear on a winning bet way, the total is multiplied by the product of the wild symbol values. Lastly, should scatters land, each one awards an additional free spin.
If you'd rather chopper into the jungle than trek, players have the option of buying free spins for the cost of 100x their stake.
Silverback Gold: Slot Verdict
Finishing this review, an image arose of NetEnt getting sick of people asking why they should play Gorilla Kingdom over Pink Elephants and going back to the drawing board to quieten the criticism for good. The result is Silverback Gold, which is closely linked to the Pink Elephants symbol upgrade system, sure, but with much more potential on tap. It's also got an extra feature in its base game which Gorilla Kingdom lacked, mixing things up. However, it's the bonus game and free spins when the silverback in question starts to get all territorial.
The new token collection feature is intriguing and can lead to free spins with some, or even all, symbols already upgraded from the get-go. Not only is this clever, but it helps widen the gap between Silverback Gold and the previous Gorilla Game, as well as Pink Elephants. Now, the bonus game as a whole feels more like a progression of the symbol transformation concept than an imitation.
The game upgrades higher value premium symbols to silverbacks before the lower value ones in the same way as the previous gorilla game did. Doing things this way presumably ups the difficulty level since higher value symbols tend to land less, technically making it tougher to covert all symbols to golden silverbacks. By the way, wouldn't a golden silverback technically be a golden back? Anyway, one of the main bugbears of Gorilla Kingdom has been utterly erased. To silence dissension amongst big-win chasers, NetEnt has endowed Silverback Gold with potential of 45,126x the bet.
In the end, Silverback Gold moves things along in leaps and bounds over the slot it evolved from. NetEnt has stepped up with a primate filled game that, on one hand, can seriously savage the unwary. Yet, the new symbol transformation round of free spins is an upgrade itself, and the winning possibilities are dizzying, all of which makes a journey back to the jungle a tempting one.
NetEnt’s follow up to Gorilla Kingdom is a bona fide chest thumper that significantly builds on what the previous game could do.