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Gem Rocks Review

  • 17 Aug 2023
  • Will
5.6

MEDIOCRE

0

USER AVG.

“Oh, Miek’s dead. I accidentally stomped on him on the bridge and I’ve felt so guilty, I’ve been carrying him around all day.”

Yggdrasil’s latest video slot ‘Gem Rocks’ is a 4096 ways game with cascading symbols, large multiple reel symbols and the ‘Gem Rock’ feature. The name itself makes you think of a mashup between Starburst and Guns and Roses [ED: What a game that would be?!] however the reality is actually something to do with a tribe of gem-hearted rock golems or something trying to give you wins. Basically, a lot of expense was spared on trying to build a narrative for this title, or they just decided to skip the storyboard stage of development, and the game suffers for it. None the less, Yggdrasil are known for their quality graphics and sound, and their innovative approach to slots, so I was more than happy to review this video slot.

Offering 4096 different winning combinations, the premise is simple enough – four rows and six columns of exploding block symbols, incorporating further dropdown wins to increase your potential winnings. Get identical symbols in the first three or more reels and you have a winning spin with additional identical symbols in the winning reels acting as multipliers. 

Gem Rocks also adds a nice twist for multiple winning streaks in the form of giant Monster Rocks that turn into 2×2, 3×3 or 4×4 blocks and replace existing symbols to maximize winnings. When spinning, some individual symbols can also be up to 4×4 in size (although I never saw one) and these will split into the more regular-sized images in the event of a win of any value or symbol. However, the fun, and I am using this word generously, stops there!

… the first thing you will want to do after loading this game is to turn off the interminable and repetitive drawn out five-note, looping violin background music

Slots are becoming increasingly interactive and try to offer an ‘experience’ beyond the basic. Gem Rocks seems to be a regressive step that offers a beautiful, but an unbelievably dull game. Perhaps it is looking for those players that what to play, rather than experience. If this is the target market, then it will have succeeded admirably.

I am a great fan of Yggdrasil’s content and I tried really hard to find some positives in this offering, but this game left me as stony-faced as the Monster Rocks themselves. All the features are in the base game but they just aren’t interesting enough to keep me here. The profile feels pretty volatile in that when the features were hitting the pays weren’t great and it left me with little hope that I (or the average player) would recover any significant part of the house edge. Ultimately, if you’re going to design a volatile game then make it for hardcore players, as they are the ones that will want to play it… Aristocrat do this pretty well. If you’re going to design a game that looks fluffy and accessible, then at least give the maths profile that feels like it gives value back. Lastly, if you’re going to introduce any sort of characterisation, then at least try and draw out the narrative to give some purpose to their inclusion as it wouldn’t have made any difference to this title if, instead of the Rock Monsters, it was just large symbols that popped up during the feature.

5.6

MEDIOCRE

  • presentation : 4
  • accessibility : 10
  • features : 4
  • uniqueness : 4
  • enjoyment : 6

GOOD

  • Straightforward design, easy to follow
  • Flashbacks to classical fruit games
  • Energetic music and soundtrack

BAD

  • Theme is very basic
  • Not very original

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