Tue, Sep 24, 4:35am by Noah Taylor
Last Updated Thu, Oct 10, 3:57am
This glittering pokie is set in a mystical cave where gems make up the winning symbols and come in many shapes, sizes, and groupings. While you spin some slow, ethereal music plays. Wins are met with bright blasts of light – and if you are lucky respins to increase your prizes.
The gameplay of the Gemtopia pokies is reminiscent of the best-known gems game online, such as Starburst from NetEnt. This involves wild respins, along with bi-directional wins. There is also a free spins game, plus the random progressive jackpots which will be familiar to fans of RealTimeGaming poker machines. Here are the sparkling highlights:
Symbols showing a beautifully cut diamond with the word ‘wild’ will appear only on the middle 3 reels. These substitute for any symbol except for the free games scatters. With wins in both directions, wilds are extra-useful on this pokie.
When one lands it will expand, covering all 3 rows on the reel. You will then get a free respin with this wild reel held in place.
Usually, you’ll collect some extra line hits and then move on. Sometimes a second wild symbol will appear, which will also expand – triggering an additional respin. This can happen a 3rd time too – with all 3 middle reels wild you are going to hit a lot of wins!
3 of the free spins bonus symbols will get you 15 free games. There is an additional boost to your bankroll before these extra spins begin. You get to pick the triggering gems by tapping or clicking on them. This reveals a prize in coins. When you combine those extra coins with the 3x wins you get during the free games, you will see that this bonus is well worth hitting.
Best of all, the wild reels respins are still in play – possibly extending your free spins further. You can retrigger this bonus game, though only for an additional 3 spins each time.
If you are a fan of RTG slots, then the randomly awarded progressives which appear on most of their games will already be familiar to you. The Gemtopia jackpot is shown above the reels on the right. This can be awarded at any bet level, it will simply drop at random after a spin.
Gemtopia has 15 win-lines. This seems like a smaller amount for an obviously recently produced game. The secret is that you can win in both directions. Symbols on win-lines from the right are hard to spot when you are not used to looking for them – though you will find you tune in very quickly. 5 of a kind wins are only paid once.
An egg-shaped multi-colored gem is the highest paying symbol. This is worth 500 coins for 5 of a kind. Next comes a square ruby, a topaz, sapphire – and then smaller gems in beige, yellow and green.
All these symbols come in stacks on the reels, making multi-line wins common – especially when the expanding wilds appear.
While the gems spin over a jet-black background of the reels, there is a more magical scene behind them. This shows a landscape as if viewed from inside a cave. Stalactites hand from above, with the branches of trees visible against the setting sun.
Artwork for the gems is excellent. They seem to sparkle, even when still. Bold colors and sizes make your winning combinations easy to spot. They will come to life with light shooting through whenever involved in a win. Expanding wilds add another air of mystery to Gemtopia – as does the gentle, almost enchanting musical soundtrack. When you get the free spins bonus, things liven up with a different tune.
As a final touch, the controls under the reels are all made to look like colored gems pocking out of the rock.
The wild respins with gems and 2-direction wins is too close to the famous Star Burst pokies not to have been ‘borrowed’. This is nothing unusual for pokie studios – and does add some big win potential to the game. Having a picks game before the free spins give you another shot at some prizes, though 15 free spins with the wild reels still in play is where your biggest hits will come from. Gemtopia from RTG is an ideal pokie for a relaxing, tranquil gambling session.