It is easy to throw around clichés like ‘innovative’ and ‘unique’ when reviewing slot games. With Play N Go titles, this is more than just hype – many of their games are completely different to those by other slot makers. Golden Ticket is a great example. Not only is the theme new (an 1800’s circus), but the game-play and setup is brand new too. You are playing on a 5x5 grid, and wins happen anywhere there are adjacent (straight) lines of 3 or more symbols. This technology has been put to good use before by Play N Go, with their Energoonz slot, which is based on Pokémon type aliens, rather than 1800’s strong men and clowns.
This slot is very well designed, from the animated characters on the right hand side to the animations on the reels, it all fits perfectly. In the background between spins there are some ambient circus type noises, like the babbling of a crowd. This is joined by old steam organ tunes and bell type noises when you spin. There is a full medley during the bonus game, which is in the style of an old shooting game and also has exceptional design.
When you win, the combination disappears and the remaining symbols fall into the gaps – often creating new wins. Wins are shown in the left hand column (along with multipliers). If you manage to clear the entire grid, you’ll win 200 times your bet amount. There is only the single feature. While this looks completely different, underneath it is a new set of reels with different symbols.
With no win lines in the standard way, you only need to choose the amount of each spin. There is a wide range to select from, starting at 20c and going right up to $40. As with all Play N Go slots, there is an auto play which can be configured for up to 50 spins.
Wins happen with 3 adjacent symbols anywhere on the grid. While the individual wins are small, there are 2 effects which mitigate this. First you’ll get runs of wins as the symbols for each one explode and others move downwards into their place (no new ones appear from the top). Second, when you get a win, a ‘golden ticket’ is created, which becomes a wild for the next set of symbols – creating more winning chances. Each win also enjoys an increasing multiplier – up to 5x as you get multiple wins for the same spin.
All the wins are multiples of your total bet, since there are no individual coins. These range from 5x for 5 ringmasters, 3 for 5 of the clown or strong man and 2 for the top hat – the weights are the smallest prize symbol, giving half of your bet for all 5.
Behind the reels at random is the word ‘Bonus’. If you clear an entire reel with this word on it, you go to the shooting gallery screen, where it is possible to win some big prizes. This does not look like the same 5x5 grid, as there is perspective in play – with the symbols at the bottom of the screen very large, and the top very small. What you’ll find is that these are the same reels, except this time you can get scatter wins from the 10 different symbols – from balloons to ducks and animal faces.
The symbols just pop up, and any group of 5 or above get ‘shot’ and turn brown. For 10 of the clown faces you’ll win 35x your spin amount, with 15x for the lowest 5 symbols. Pay-outs occur for 5+ of any symbol. I had a lot of wins in this bonus, most were smaller, though they did add up nicely. If you get 5+ big top bonus symbols, you can retrigger this feature (max of 20 times).
This is a really creative game. With thoughtful game-play and excellent design, I’d have to recommend it to slots fans that are fed up with the same old reels system. The babbling crowd in the background did get a little strange at times, though most of the sound effects are in keeping with the theme. The chance to accumulate some big wins via the shooting gallery bonus game is ever present. There is also the chance to get a quick win of 200x your bet by clearing all of the reels.