Galactic Gopher pokies, designed by Microgaming Solutions, first appeared at Internet casinos in 2008. The full name of the game is The Adventures of Galactic Gopher. The story of the game takes place in outer space, following the adventures of cartoon animals blasting their way around the universe.
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This poker machine uses what has become a standard layout for Microgaming video pokies: five reels and thirty pay lines with the option of betting between one and five coins per line. Available coin denominations are $0.01, $0.02, $0.05, $0.10, and $0.20.
That sets the minimum bet at $0.01 per spin with a maximum of $30; not much variety for gamblers looking to place large bets, but perfect for players with smaller bankrolls. Take note that the default coin denomination is $0.01, and unless you set your own per-line bet and number of activated lines, the default is 150 coins, for a total default wager of $1.50 per spin.
The Adventures of Galactic Gopher is a video pokie, though there aren’t that many video clips or visual effects besides the small animations the symbols make when they trigger pay outs. The game’s standard symbols (ones that don’t lead to any multipliers or extra games) include the standard Microgaming collection of high playing cards (9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace) along with a family of astronaut animals with silly names like Astro Ape, Cosmic Chicken, Deep Space Dog, Spaced Out Snake, and a few other space travel-related images.
As for the really valuable symbols, this Microgaming poker machine has both a wild multiplier and a scatter symbol. The wild symbol is an image identical to the game’s logo which flashes and makes strange satellite beeps and rocket blasting noises when it completes a winning combo. This wild symbol can substitute for any other in the game to form a jackpot combination except for the scatter symbol. The wild also multiplies any jackpots it completes by a power of three. Five wild symbols also awards bettors the largest jackpot on the machine.
The scatter symbol is a rocket ship that can appear anywhere, on any reel or pay line (even inactive lines) and pays out a different wager multiplier depending on how many symbols appear. For the scatter to multiply your bet, two have to appear on the display, and the appearance of two symbols multiplies the wager by 5x. Three scatters means a 10x multiplier, four lead to a 20x multiplier, and a scatter on all five reels pays a 100x wager multiplier.
The two top prizes available on the Galactic Gopher pokie by Microgaming come from standard symbols – a 37,500 credit payout is the biggest, resulting from the appearance of five wild game logo symbols. That prize is worth between $375 and $7,500 depending on the value of each coin wagered. The second most valuable prize is worth 25,000 credits, or between $250 and $5,000 based on the denomination of coins the bettor is gambling with.
Microgaming pokies that don’t have a traditional built-in bonus game use a special gamble feature known as Gamble Game. After every payout, the player can choose to gamble their jackpot (for a shot at doubling or quadrupling the prize) or keep it.
When the player chooses to gamble his bet, he must make two decisions – the first is whether he wants to try to increase it by two times or four times. The doubling gamble is a little easier; select a colour of playing card you think the game will produce (red or black, the traditional playing card colours) and if your wager matches the card revealed, your jackpot is doubled.
Want to quadruple the payout? Try to guess the suit of the card the game reveals. Pick the right suit (spades, clubs, diamonds, or hearts) and you’ve just earned a payout four times larger than you originally won.
Besides winning a bet multiplier even from positions on inactive lines, landing three or more ship symbols on this video pokie will start a free spin round. It isn’t entirely accurate to call it a bonus round, since it happens automatically without any player input and doesn’t reward any bonus pay outs or multipliers. Three symbols leads to two free rounds, four symbols earns the bettor five spins, and five symbols leads to ten free spins, the maximum available. This series of spins takes place automatically, so the player gets to sit back and watch the game play all by itself. This makes for a nice break–especially if you’ve been spinning the reels long enough to get a case of poker machine arthritis.
Because of the auto-play aspect, the free spins round is not really the same as a standard pokie bonus game; the free spins don’t pay off any additional multipliers or prizes, though the spins can be re-triggered an infinite number of times as long as you’re lucky enough to keep landing enough scatter symbols.
Thanks to a lack of any real bonus round, a small variety of per-spin bets, a free spins round that runs via the auto-play system, and very few multiplier or other opportunities to increase the value of payouts, The Adventures of Galactic Gopher isn’t the most feature-laden title produced by Microgaming. Then again, it is perfect for bettors with small bankrolls who still want to play a video pokie from a major software designer.