Gonzo’s Quest is a five-reel feature pokie that tips its hat to the Iberian conquistadors of the 16th century – namely Gonzalo Pizarro, an important (and rather brutal) figure in Spain’s colonisation of Peru. But while the inspiration may be rather bloody, the game itself is light-hearted, innovative, and very nicely animated. And unlike those doomed European expeditions in search of the lost city of El Dorado, there are riches aplenty to be plundered here in Gonzo’s Quest.
Gonzo’s Quest features 20 paylines, but it acts more like a 243-ways pokie because you cannot pick and choose individual betting lines. There are five fixed wager levels and you can tailor the coin increments to suit your bankroll, but you always play the full 20 bet lines per spin. You might think this limits your options, but in fact the spread between the minimum stake ($0.20) and the maximum bet ($50) makes it a versatile pokie that caters for players of all styles and situations.
For our money, Guts.com is the best place to play Gonzo’s Quest online for real cash. You can also try it out for free, which is easy as pie thanks to Guts’ slick instant play casino interface. Just find Gonzo’s Quest in the ‘Video Slots’ section, click ‘Play for Free’, and you’re good to go – no downloads required. And if you sign up for real money pokies at Guts Casino, you can score up to AUD $300 and 100 free spins.
The first thing you will notice about the Gonzo’s Quest online slot game is its quirky Avalanche reels. Unlike traditional video pokies where the reels spin rapidly and then settle into place, here the symbols drop down like Tetris blocks. And just like the classic ’80s video game, completing a win-line sees those blocks vanish and the ones above fall down to replace them. This results in some unique and entertaining gameplay features.
Every time you strike a payline and the winning symbols disappear, the Avalanche multiplier increases. This means you can win several times in a single regular spin, with each subsequent Avalanche paying more than the last. The multiplier goes up until you fail to hit a winner, at which point it returns to 1x and the turn is ended.
There are four stages to the standard Avalanche multiplier: 1x, 2x, 3x, and 5x. If you happen to hit five or more paying sequences, the multiplier will remain at the highest level until you strike out. This system also applies to the Free Fall bonus game, with increased payouts.
Collect three Free Fall symbols on consecutive reels, and Gonzo will carve a path through the Peruvian jungle to find you free spins galore at El Dorado. This bonus round works much like the base game, with 20 bet lines in play, but with bigger multiplier denominations and the ability to snag several winners simultaneously.
Where the Avalanche multiplier starts at 1x on a standard spin and tops out at 5x, in the Free Fall round you begin with a 3x multiplier that goes up to 6x, 9x, and finally a whopping 15x. This is where you make the big bucks in Gonzo’s Quest, as you can easily rack up thousands of Aussie dollars without having to wager a single cent.
The golden question mark panel represents the wild symbol, which can substitute for any other icon in order to form a paying combo. Unlike wild multipliers found in other Web pokies, the sole function of this feature is to mimic other symbols; there is no stand-alone payout for striking two or more wilds, and nor is there a doubled return for completing a payline with a wild. Considering Gonzo’s Quest has no real scatter symbols, this is a little bit of a let down.
The symbol design in this Net Entertainment video pokie is heavily influenced by Inca culture. And besides being beautifully rendered, these icons offer some huge payoffs when you line up three or more in sequence.
|5 = 2500
4 = 250
3 = 50
|5 = 1000
4 = 100
3 = 20
|5 = 500
4 = 50
3 = 15
|5 = 200
4 = 25
3 = 10
|5 = 100
4 = 20
3 = 5
|5 = 75
4 = 15
3 = 4
|5 = 50
4 = 10
3 = 3
This was a big release for NetEnt back in 2010, as it reminded the world that Microgaming isn’t the only top-shelf casino software developer out there. Besides the superior graphic quality and innovative Avalanche feature, Gonzo’s Quest is simply a very good AUD pokie game that offers big payouts and plenty of entertainment along the way.
We particularly like the Free Fall bonus game, which offers enormous potential returns no matter what bet level you are playing at. In fact, when trying this game out in free play mode, we raked in over 1300 credits in a single bonus round. If only we’d been playing for real cash at the time…
On the downside, there is no true scatter feature, while the wild symbol could have a few more string to its bow. However, this is more than made up for by the Avalanche multipliers – which, besides giving us the chance to snag several payoffs in a single spin, is just plain fun to watch. Thus, we say two thumbs up for NetEntertainment and Gonzo’s Quest.