This is not the first slot I have played which tries to recreate the hugely popular gems type games people enjoy on their smartphones. Compared to the competition, this is easily the best in the genre. Other slot makers, for example IGT and their Da Vinci Diamonds game, kept the standard slot setup and introduced gems and cascading wins to the mix. Gemix does things from a different direction. They take the gameplay of the mobile games, and added ways to win money onto this.
There are levels, worlds and entertaining on-reel behaviours. Reels is meant in the loose sense of the word, this game is played on a 7x7 grid, which brightly coloured gems fall into. Where there are 5 or more adjacent (sideways, not corner to corner) then they count as a win, and then disappear. More gems fall into their place, and the others move downwards – often creating new combinations.
Underneath the gems is a pattern of blue squares. As you get wins on those squares, they turn orange. Once the whole pattern is orange, you move to a new level, getting brand new pattern to fill. 3 patterns later, you’ll move to the next world. This introduces a progressive element to the game, which is helped along by a ‘world bonus’ which is displayed on the screen. You’ll win this when you complete the world.
Graphically, the game is excellent – I would not be able to distinguish it from one of the many gems games without spotting the coins / bet sizes section below. The music is light and almost comic, after a while it gets a little repetitive, though while you are winning you’ll hardly notice it. As you start accumulating wins, the music goes up an intensity level, with bass notes and the drums more forward. When you change worlds, both the background graphics and the music change too.
There are several extra features to keep the gameplay from going stale, these are outlined below.
This is a 9 line slot, and you can choose any number you wish. Note that the super-jackpot involves lining up all the symbols on line 9, so it does make sense to choose them all. The coin value was fixed at 10c on the version I played, with up to 5 coins possible and 9 lines. This make the spin costs range from 50c to $4.50c. You can select auto-play, which lets you choose spins and configure options on when to stop them.
There are no win lines in the normal way, so you simply select the amount you want to gamble on each spin. This starts at just 50c, with 70c, $1, $1,50c, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 steps. There is the standard Play N Go auto spin option, which lets you configure up to 50 spins at a time.
You can get the symbols in groups of up to 15 or as small as 5. The best gem is the star, which is worth 1000 times your bet amount for 15, and 200x for 12+. Hearts are worth 500 for all 15, with the purple crescent and orange flower worth 100. Values go very small, for example 5 of the darker blue gems is worth only 1/10th of your spin amount. Keep in mind that every win gives you the chance of more via the cascading wins system – and those smaller wins also add up nicely over time.
The patterns and worlds do keep you interested in the game – especially when you only have one more square to get a win on before progressing! On top of this there are some interesting features which add to the game play.
First, there is always a ‘Crystal Charge’ in play. This sits on the right hand side above the display of the current pattern. Each gem that counts towards a win will help the meter move forward. Once you win with 20+ symbols on any one ‘spin’, you get one of 4 special behaviours.
There is a ‘nova blast’ where an explosion wipes out a lot of the symbols, allowing more to fall in and hopefully create more wins. The crystal warp takes on symbol type and turns all of those into different symbols. The light beam transforms symbols vertically and horizontally, and the chain lightning does the same in a zig-zag pattern.
This can be retriggered with a super-charge if you hit 40 wins, when all subsequent wins are multiplied by 3.
Depending on which world you are playing in, there are also characters which appear and give you some wild symbols. Level 1 is the mine, where a dwarf appears and gives up to 10 lanterns randomly on the reels as wilds. This only happens on spins when there are no normal wins. On the 2nd level the princess appears and gives wilds which are linked from side to side and on the final level a wizard has the task of giving you random wilds.
I’m impressed by this game, even though I do not usually play the gems type games on my mobile phone. There are multiple ways to keep you engaged, including that progressive element of moving through different worlds to collect bonuses and get new types of wilds. The Crystal Charge comes into play often enough to keep you interested, and will sometimes add some significant wins.
Most of all, finishing a pattern feels like an achievement all of its own.
I recommend this slot, check it out for yourself and see how a little imagination can make a big difference compared to the 1000’s of regular slots out there.