Sorry Net Entertainment fans, I know you love the venerable 2010 slot game Gonzo’s quest, but, put quite simply, I don’t. Although NetEnt has never actually stated it, we all assume the first platinum slot game they ever released was based around Gonzalo Pizzaro and his quest to find the lost mythical Aztec city of Eldorado, where the street’s are paved with gold. I hope you do find it in real life because you won’t find gold in this game, well, you will find regular sprinkles to keep you playing, but a huge hoard of lost treasure is unlikely.
There are, of course, many reasons why the game is genuinely popular with slot players around the world, the avalanche bonus, the regular, albeit small wins and the ‘cute’ Gonzo character himself, moonwalking across the reels, because of course, that dance was all the rage back in the 1500’s. Given the objective of the game is to hunt down the lost city, let’s pop off on our own quest, to find out why slot players love it, and I loathe it.
Type: Video Slot, Animated Symbols
Structure: 5 Reels, 3 Rows, 20 Fixed Active Pay-lines
Bets: 100 Coin Per Line Max, Coin Values, 0. 01 – 0. 50
Min/Max Total Stake: 0. 50 – 50. 00 £/$/€
Max Win: 93, 750 £/$/€
Wild: Yes, fixed, replaces all bar scatter, no individual value.
Scatter: Yes, triggers a free fall (free spins) bonus round.
Other Features: Avalanche Bonus, Pay-Table, Auto-Play, Free Spins, Quick Spin,
Multipliers, Adjustable Sound & Graphics Level.
Theme & Game-play
I will give the devil his due, Gonzo’s quest has an amazing video intro sequence, no matter how creepy I find the conquistador character himself, the animation work NetEnt put into this video slot release was excellent and it stands the test of time nearly six years later.
This was one of the slot’s which cemented their reputation as entertainment game providers with a heavy focus on graphics and audio.
Setting up the game will introduce you to my first issue with this slot, instead of being able to adjust coin level and value up and down, it is a sequential click, so click one too far and go right back to the start to adjust the value upward again. On the positive side, this game includes highlight paylines when you hover over one of the numerically fixed pay line icons, quite why every slot on the market doesn’t include this has always been beyond me as it saves lots of time flicking to the paytable, which interrupts both your play and enjoyment.
Base game play on gonzo’s quest is all about the avalanche sequence on the reels, which is similar to the modern cascading or exploding symbol reels. Each time you get a winning combination the symbols will crumble and drop from the screen, being replaced by fresh ones from above, Tetris style. As an added bonus if this happens multiple times, a multiplier meter in the top right will offer you up to x15 on your win, it is by this route that the game’s top jackpot can be reached.
The bonus game is essentially free spins, though it is called free fall, a bet line containing 3 free fall symbols activates 10 free falls.
These must appear in sequence starting from the left most reel. Wild symbols, unusually, substitute all symbols including the free fall scatter icons, making this less elusive but still quite rare. The avalanche multipliers are also increased during the free falls, growing by 3x, 6x, 9x, and 15x.
The cost of play is a little higher than normal in this game, the minimum bet on Gonzo is 0. 50 credits whilst the max is 50. 00, much lower than most NetEnt titles. This might seem strange until you understand the logic, with an RTP of 96% and a hit ratio of over 40%, this game is designed to give you regular unspectacular wins, with you glued to the screen praying for that x15 multiplier. If it does hit, the 50. 00 credit max bet stops the win being truly spectacular. The game is publicised as medium variance, though for my money it plays much more like a low volatility slot.
I actually prefer the NetEnt touch mobile version of this game, as Gonzo isn’t doing his mad dance moves around the screen every five minutes.
The game does have its strong points and has proven incredibly popular, but it is crying out to be a proper grown up high variance game with a larger max bet, or a true low volatility game with a smaller minimum wager.
In general, I love NetEnt titles, you can’t get me off their new Drive: Multiplier Mayhem video slot for instance, but Gonzo’s quest is one I will leave to its devoted fan following. Aztec games are ten-a-penny in the online slot world, this game starts like one of the best out there, but leaves you as empty handed as the many explorers who have searched for the lost South American cities which inspire the game theme.