The Gold Rush slot celebrates when people from America and from around the world headed to California and beyond to try and find wealth in what they believed were gold-laden hills.
Of course, history is written by the winners but for every person lucky enough to find those precious nuggets, many left empty handed. Such is the way the world works. Now you get the chance to follow in their footsteps to find out if you can be a winner with this rather beautifully realized 5x3 reel slot from Pragmatic Play.
So, is this Gold Rush slot a little nugget itself, or is it the dreaded fool's gold? Let's take a closer look and see what the game has to offer and where you can play it.
Where can I play the Gold Rush slot?
You don't have to procure a donkey and head to the hills and rivers of the Yukon with the Gold Rush slot, no siree! Instead, what you should do is head on over to Spartan Slots where you can take advantage of a fabulous starter offer to earn yourself a few extra nuggets to play with at this mightily popular casino.
As a new customer with Spartan Slots you get 25 Free Spins simply for registering with the casino, and you can keep what you win. Then when you decide to make your first deposit with the casino, you will receive a fabulous 200% Deposit Bonus, which could be worth up to a maximum of $2,000 free on your first deposit.
That is not all though as on your next four deposits, you will also receive another Matched Bonus. That bonus is worth 100% on your second, third and fourth deposits and then increases to a massive 175% for your fifth deposit. This means you will get tonnes of extra cash each time you deposit and play at Spartan Slots.
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With so many top games to pick from, Spartan Slots is the perfect site to join today to enjoy new games such as Gold Rush every month.
The way the Gold Rush slot is presented is very nicely done. There's a rather cheery musical accompaniment when you initially spin the reels that does hark back to the old west, but once that fades away, what you are left with are the sounds you would accompany with mining. Hammers and chisels being hit, a horse neighing, the constant sound of dripping water echoing off the cavern walls.
As you would expect with this soundscape, the setting for the slot is a gold mine, which has been bathed in an orange light, which does give the impression that the rock walls surrounding the reels are made of gold. It looks and sounds fabulous and surprisingly authentic.
The reels are the usual 5x3 set up and the main controls and displays are all located at the foot of the slot including the Spin and Auto-play buttons. It's a simplistic and perhaps even formulaic approach to the game, but when done well it works superbly, so there's full credit to Pragmatic Play for that.
What's on the reels?
There are a total of ten different standard symbols on the reels and the first five of these, somewhat disappointingly, are the usual playing card symbols from ten through to the ace. These offer pays of between a fifth and 3x your total bet, which isn't particularly a large amount and is somewhat disappointing.
There are also five higher value symbols on the reels. These are the Pick axe and Shovel, the miners lamp, the pit pony, the mine cart filled with gold and the gold miner himself, who is looking rather pleased at his days' work it has to be said.
Again, the wins on these symbols are not particularly high with wins ranging from 0.8x your wager up to 200 times your wager, but the majority of wins in the slot will be less than what you spend to get the reels spinning and that is a disappointment.
There are two other symbols on the base game reels to look out for the Wild and Scatter and we will explore what these symbols do in more detail below.
The Wild symbol in the game is the sticks of dynamite symbol and these can replace any of the low or higher value symbols on the reels to give you a chance at landing additional wins. There is no pay out solely for the Wild symbol landing next to itself however, which is a bit of a shame especially given how low most of the wins on the slot are.
Free Spins features
The Free Spins bonus feature is triggered when you land three of the Scatter symbols (which are the Mine symbol with the word Scatter written across the front) across the middle three reels of the slot (Scatter symbols do not appear on the first or fifth reels).
Once you have landed three on those middle reels, then you earn yourself an initial 10 Free Spins on top of your cash award. The Free Spins take place on slightly different reels and for the duration of the Free Spins round, there is an additional symbol added to the reel. A nugget of gold symbol.
That's because during Free Spins you can collect these nuggets by landing them on the reel and as you collect them, you progress through different levels, with each new level unlocking slightly different reels with more of the highest value symbols (the gold miner) on each. You begin on Level 1 with 7 extra of these symbols but reach Level 2 and you get 16 extra, Level 3 has 21 extra and Level 4 has 29 extra.
In addition to collecting the Nuggets to move through the levels in Free Spins, you can also earn two more free spins each time you land a Scatter during the bonus round. The more Free Spins you can trigger then the greater your cumulative cash reward will be and the more chance you have of progressing through the levels by collecting the nugget symbols.
Other bonus features
The Gold Rush slot doesn't have any additional bonus features other than those outlined above.
Best feature of the Gold Rush slot
Without doubt the best feature of the Gold Rush slot, alongside its immaculate presentation and sound, is the Free Spins bonus game. Although you only get 10 initial Free Spins, the fact you can land additional spins with each scatter landed on the reels is a real bonus and of course, moving through the levels gives the bonus game an added twist which makes it all the more enjoyable (even though it can be very difficult to progress through to the higher levels).
What does the Gold Rush slot lack?
There are a couple of additions that I feel would have made the Gold Rush slot a little more enticing to players. The first is that I think the cash rewards you receive for landing symbols are nowhere near enough and the jackpot amounts are too small. 200x your stake sounds a lot, but in some games you can win 1,000, 5,000 or even 10,000 times your stake. Played at a lower stakes this mean that even if you hit the jackpot, your $0.25 bet is only going to turn into a $5.00 return. This really impinges on how exciting the game is as you never feel like you stand a chance of winning a decent amount of cash, unless you decide to bet big, which on a highly volatile slot, can leave your balance in tatters.
The other thing I feel the slot lacks is a bit of variation in the base game. Everything is focused on triggering the Free Spins bonus and I think a little random game, or some other bonus feature would have given the base game added appeal and offered players better long-term value for money.
The Gold Rush slot looks and sounds very nice and it has plenty of excellent features, especially the Free Spins bonus round which is a particular delight. The base game is a little repetitive at times though and a little extra bonus feature here would have helped given the game a little added excitement. Unfortunately, it's let down by the relatively low value of the wins on the slot, the majority of which won't even match what you have spent on the spin. That is the real let down on what is otherwise an excellent slot from Pragmatic Play.
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