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Gem Rocks

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Gem Rocks Slot Machine

We’ve all seen online casino slot machines with conventional paylines running across them, and most of us are used to 243 Ways to Win games, where symbols just need to be anywhere on adjacent reels to create a winning combination. Seeing 1,024 different ways to line symbols up is fairly common as well, but the Gem Rocks video slot from Yggdrasil Gaming is probably the first game we’ve seen where you have 4,096 ways to get a prize-winning combination.

This impressive number comes from the fact that Gem Rocks has 6 reels, instead of the more usual 5, while each contains 4 symbol positions. Those symbols are largely made up of colourful rocks, each with a gem imbedded in it, although the occasional Monster Rock can turn up to help create some high-value wins. There’s more rocks making up the surroundings to the main reels, all in an eerie blue-grey shade with a hint of a setting sun behind them, and studded with even more precious jewels, although to the left side, you will see a win-meter that we’ll come to later.

Based in Sweden, the Yggdrasil casino games company is a relative newcomer to the scene, having been in business since 2013, but in that time, they have won numerous awards, including the EGR Slots Provider of 2016 and 2017, along with the International Gaming Awards Innovator of the Year 2017. The Gem Rocks video slot is sure to improve their growing reputation as a developer of innovative games, all of which have exciting features.

Six Rocking Reels

The 6x4 grid of symbols tumble down into place accompanied by a nice clicking sound and some generic music, although I suppose calling it Rock Music would be too obvious. The amount won each time depends on how many matching symbols are seen on connected reels from the left side, and how many are on a single reel within that row.

Any 3 of a kind across the reels will be worth a prize, which increases when you land 4, 5, or 6 of the same across additional reels, but if any of those reels has more than a single example of the winning symbol on it, the prize is multiplied. If for example one of the reels has 2 of the same symbol, it’s doubled, and these multipliers can be multiplied by themselves, leading to some potentially huge awards. While most symbols take up a single spot on the reel, it’s also fairly common for giant symbols to land, in 2x2, 3x3, or even 4x4 blocks, making it easier to claim some high-value wins.

Symbol values vary, from the brown cross or purple diamonds, which each pay 5, 10, 15, or 20 coins when landing on 3, 4, 5, or 6 reels from the left, through the green, white, blue and aquamarine gems which are each worth a little more. A crescent moon gem pays out 10, 15, 25, or 35 coins, but by far the best prizes come from the red star, as it’s worth 20, 40, 60, or 200 coins. There’s no conventional wild or scatter symbols here, and no distinct free spins round, but not to worry, as Yggdrasil have packed Gem Rocks full of other bonus features.

Cascades of Prizes

This slot game has a Cascading Reels feature, which means that any which become part of a winning combination will disappear, leaving empty spaces for new symbols to drop down in to. There’s a little explosion as each spot blows up, and a pause before the new symbols fall down, but if this new mix leads to another winning line being completed, you will see a bar light up in the win-meter by the side of the game and a Monster Rock creature will appear on the reels.

This guy will be in the same colour as a standard symbol and is in a 2x2 block, which should help to complete a combination. If yet another win-line comes from this, more bars will light up, leading to a 3x3 sized Monster Rock appearing after the fifth consecutive win, and a huge 4x4 Monster after the ninth win in a row. The potential winnings from this feature are substantial, especially if our friendly Monster Rock is patterned after a high value symbol, but whatever colour he is, it’s a unique way for players to get win after win.

Bet Range and Options

Without any paylines to place your bets on, there’s just the option to change coin values, which are multiplied by 50x to give the total stake per spin. With a coin range of 0.01 to 1.00 giving a total bet of 0.50 to 50.00, it’s a game geared more towards casual punters rather than high rollers looking to land some huge payouts, but there’s still the chance of a few decent wins along the way, especially when multiple symbols of the same type appear on each reel.

Free Gem Rocks video slots have also been made available, which is a good way to practice this game, but clearly, there’s no real cash prizes to be had.

Like all slots in the Yggdrasil range, it’s a fair and reliable slot machine, where results are determined at random and there’s a good return to player ratio.

Others Gems to play.

While the rock-based theme of this slot game is pretty much unique, there’s quite a few that feature gems, perhaps inspired by games such as Jewels, or even Candy Crush, where players simply line up matching symbols.

Perhaps the most popular slot of the genre is Gems, Gems, Gems, from WMS, and there’s no prizes for guessing what the theme of the game is. It comes with an even more unusual layout than Gem Rocks, where players spin 4 sets of reels at once, and alongside wild substitutions, there’s a free spins bonus feature where multipliers of up to 4x can apply to any winning lines across any of the sets of reels.

A Little Gem of a game?

Cascading rocks are usually quite dangerous, but in this case, we are more than happy to see them blowing up and new ones dropping into their places. The over-sized symbols in normal play, and huge Monster Rocks won’t necessarily complete winning lines of matching icons, but they certainly make it easier to do so.

Having 4,096 different ways to win across the 6 reels could seem a little overwhelming at first, but once the combinations start to land it all becomes much clearer, although working out multipliers when you see several identical symbols on a reel can take a bit of getting used to.

In common with the whole Yggdrasil casino games range, Gem Rocks is developed in HTML5, so it’s mobile optimised for those who like to access their games on smartphones or tablet computers, while also playing perfectly well on desktop PC’s and laptops.

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