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Gem Crush Slot Review

GOSU GAME REVIEW

We were looking through our slot review library the other day. And we noticed that we have analyzed quite a bit of NetEnt creations. In truth, we did not expect to see so many titles from this legendary Swedish developer in our review catalog. As you may likely know, NetEnt is, without question, one of the most prominent game suppliers in the sector. Yet, we have not seen its name in the news much in 2023.

Most of the headlines we have spotted on our Google News feed have been regarding the games this company releases. It still puts out two to three spinners per month, and one of its most recent slots that caught our eye was Gem Crush. It did so because, at first sight, going by the thumbnail, we thought this was a Starburst-like game. We did an article on Starburst mechanic games some time back, so this piqued our interest in Gem Crush, which debuted on December 12th, 2023, to a sizeable degree of interest, pulling in Okay playability numbers in most top markets in the first week of its release. So, let us explore what it offers and tell you if it has any staying power.

Theme & Design

The graphics here reminded us of some Aztec/Mayan games. We say that because the stone cravings here are reminiscent of ones in some Ancient Civilization/hidden treasure slots. That said, the theme here seems to be nature, specifically, a waterfall in a forest. That is about it if we are 100% honest. Now, if you are asking to recommend waterfall-themed spinners, a few suggestions we can throw out are Wild Falls 2 by Play’n GO, Habanero’s Naughty Wukong, and Might Gorilla from Booming Games.

However, we would say that, in our eyes, the motif here is essentially the scatter-pay system this game implements. It has a bit of a Jammin’ Jars feel mixed in with a little Sugar Rush from Pragmatic.

The reel-spinning action happens here inside a stone structure that looks like a gate/portal, with a waterfall in the background. The reels get framed inside the portal’s gateway, boasting a semi-transparent backdrop with the game logo at the top. The image style is a cartoony one that incorporates a palette that is easy on the eyes and water animations that are not so smooth. We also feel the symbol images stick out a tad more than they should from the natural setting. They are sharper, and the animations are better than the background ones. Hence, this creates a bit of a visual separation in our minds.

We found the music in Gem Crush relaxing, and even when the sound effects get a bit wild, corresponding to events on the reels, they still fit. They are not too loud and in tune with the general atmosphere this slot establishes. Thus, we will say that this game has a light-hearted presentation that should create some easy-going sessions. We were only not fans of the symbol transformation announcement.

The auto-play and settings icons in Gem Crush flank the bet adjuster, and you will spot the spin and Buy Feature buttons hovering right of the reel grid. In the bottom screen corners, rest your win and balance info.

Specs & Gameplay

Gem Crush is a 6×8 cluster pay slot by NetEnt whose betting range begins at $0.10 and ends at a maximum stake sum of $20. That is somewhat surprising for a medium/high variance game with an RTP of 96.1%. We would have expected the top bet to be higher here. The maximum exposure setting stands at x4,361, and the RTP moves up a notch to 96.13 when you buy your way into the free spins around here, which will cost you x70 your stake.

Note that Gem Crush implements the avalanche mechanic, so prize-forming tokens explode, leaving gaps to get filled by different gems falling from above. Different-colored gems are the game symbols here. The low-paying ones are blue, green, purple, and yellow ones, while the premium variants are framed versions of these. Wins in this slot occur when five or more matching symbols land as a cluster. The chief regular-pay wins get produced for combos of above thirty identical tokens hitting, with the big yellow gem supplying the best reward for this number of matching symbols, x80, and the unframed blue gem the lowest, x10.

The letter W is the wild here, replacing regular-pay tokens en route to creating or improving prize clusters.

Bonus Features

Multipliers of x2, x3, x4, and x5 may appear randomly in Gem Crush. And when the Rainbow Gem emerges on the reels. It designates one symbol for an upgrade to another for the ongoing spin. A maximum of four can appear during the Free Spins mode, which you can trigger via three scatters, and landing that many scatters will award you ten on-the-house reel rotations. In this round, four modifiers can come into play. The first is an increasing multiplier, the second a 2×2 wild, up to four symbol transformations, and an XStrike, which boosts the multiplier by +1.

GOSU Verdict

We hoped for more from this NetEnt creation. It is fine as a basic cluster-pay title. Nonetheless, as you probably know, we always look for something novel in every game we review. Gem Crush did not offer anything new. Yet, it is not a flavorless slot, as it has cascading gameplay mixed in with multipliers and multiple modifiers. The game looks nice enough and has a pleasant tone, but it is not super diverse in terms of gameplay, nor does it feel as distinct as we would like a cluster product to be.

Spec-wise, Gem Crush is also not very impressive, and we are sure that many of our readers will not be overly happy because of the max win here. For example, Pragmatic Play’s Gem Bonanza has a max exposure of x10,000 on a top wager of $100. So, we would advise you to play that cluster-pay game over this one. Other products in this vein you should prioritize before this one are Lure of Fortune by Relax Gaming and Hacksaw’s Wanted Dead or a Wild.

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