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One of the most enticing ways to attract slot players to try a new game is to offer them something new and exciting beyond that of merely additional free spins or bonus games. With the new Giant Gems slot, what you have here is effectively a choice of ways to play. You can play the standard base game for the usual bet size, or you can increase the size of your bet and replace lower value symbols with different symbols offering a vastly increased potential win.
So the decision facing the player on this slot comes before you even have the reels spinning. Do you elect to play the base game as it is and take the rewards on offer there? Or should you opt to trigger the Fortune Spins feature and lose some or all of the lower value symbols on the reels and stand a chance of a much larger win, but pay a greater price per spin for doing so? What’s the best option? Well in this review, that’s what we’re going to attempt to find out.
Overview: Giant Gems
Giant Gems is a slot that is somewhat in your face. It is large and the 5×3 reels and 10 paylines do take up most of the screen. However, the key aspect of the slot comes before you spin. Do you play the standard game for the defined price, or do you activate Fortune Spins and remove some of the lower paying symbols (or maybe even all of them) and instead play with the Giant Gem symbols offering a maximum win of between 100x and 500x your wager?
You can Bet Up or Bet Down using the Fortune Spins meter to select which option you wish. The more lower paying symbols you remove from the reels, the greater the unit cost per spin. But, of course, the greater the value of a potential Giant Gem symbol win. You have a choice of five levels, each removing the 10, then jack, then queen, then king then ace from the reels.
Who will the Giant Gems slot appeal to?
Without a doubt, Giant Gems is one of those slots that will appeal to someone who likes to explore different ways to play the same slot. There are not too many of these slots about nowadays and as a result, finding one which offers such a wide variety of wagering options is quite rare and exciting. People who like flexibility over their bets will find plenty to enjoy here.
However, the base game itself is rather simple, regardless of whether you play with the Fortune Spins meter active or not. Wins tend to come along relatively frequently and you can win both ways across the reels, as well as also across the middle three reel. This is very appealing and means that the player is invested in each spin until the end. However with only 10 paylines, it does mean that what may appear to be a win, does not in fact turn out to be one.
Gameplay: Giant Gems
The Giant Gems gameplay is essentially the same whether you play the standard game or the Fortune Spins game. The only difference is the type of giant symbols and the number of lower paying symbols (10 through to Ace) that are on the reels.
If you elect to play the standard game, then you have the lower value symbols outlined above on the reels. They can offer payouts of up to 200 coins for five on a payline. In addition to that you also have four Gem symbols on the reels: green and purple (which both offer the same value payouts), blue, and the highest paying red gem. This last gem offers a very appealing 5,000 coin jackpot.
For each successive level of the Fortune Spins feature you activate you remove the lowest paying symbols. These are replaced with additional gems on the reels, including Giant Gems. Land any of the Giant Gem symbols on the reel completely and you can win a payout ranging from 100x to 500x your wager. However, how many of the giant gems are on the reels depends on what level of the Fortune Spins feature you activate. The higher multiple levels are only available if you place a considerably larger bet.
The key to this slot is most definitely the ability to gauge which of the Fortune Spins features, if any, offer you the best value for your bet. As such, it’s absolutely vital to ensure that you bet the correct unit amount for your bankroll. Playing with too much per bet, especially when you then increase the value of that bet considerably using the Fortune Spins feature, can mean you end up quickly out of pocket.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this slot is that there are no bonus features to trigger in the game at all, other than the super sized Giant Gems. There is no free spins round, no pick em games and no other features beyond the base game spins. As such, it does leave the player feeling a little underwhelmed, especially if you find the slot playing tight over the course of a session.
Special Features: Giant Gems
As a player you can elect to play with Fortune Spins activated at one of five levels, each level removes one lower paying symbol from the reel and increases the value of the Giant Gems payout from 100x up to a maximum of 500x, although the size of your wager will increase with each level of the feature you access.
The Giant Gems do make the game more exciting with some big money wins available in the base game simply by landing that giant gem across the middle three reels in full.
5,000 Coin Jackpot
The base game jackpot is good value for money with a decent sized 5,000 coins up for grabs if you can land the Red Gem symbol five across the reels and hitting five of a kind on the slot does tend to happen more often than on other games.
The fact that you can elect to turn on or off the Featured Spins feature and wager more or less is a nice touch. The question with these features is always whether they offer value for money and there are many that don’t, but I feel played at the right level for your bankroll, the Fortune Spins option does.
The base game, even if you have Featured Spins active, plays out very nicely and there are some spells when you seem to hit a number of higher paying wins, but there are also spells when it plays more conservatively and you need to wager sensibly to be able to cope with these peaks and troughs.
Three ways to win
The fact that you can win right to left, left to right and also on the middle three reels on any of the ten paylines does make this game far more exciting for the player and this is arguably an even better feature than the Featured Spins option.
No Wild symbol
The base game is sorely lacking a Wild feature, even though the Giant Gems symbol effectively acts as one, to not have a Wild in the base game when the feature isn’t activated isn’t great and does detract from the slot a great deal.
No Bonus features
In addition to a lack of Wild symbols, there are no free spins game to trigger or any other features of the slot other than the Featured Spins option. That does mean that what you see with the Giant Gems slot is very much what you get and in truth, the gameplay does suffer.
Like we mentioned above, not having a ‘goal’ to trigger a bonus feature on the slot or to hit free spins, does mean that the gameplay on the slot becomes very repetitive even if you have the Giant Gems activated.
Graphics & soundtrack 3/5
The graphics on the slot and the soundtrack are perfectly fine and the gems in particular are nicely rendered. However there’s nothing truly exciting here. What you have is a slot with one big new feature and then nothing else has been given any additional attention in the game.
Originality & creativity 3/5
The Feature Spins option does give this slot lots of creativity but beyond that you simply have a standard slot that doesn’t even pack a free spins game or other bonus. I like the different ways to win, which again ups this above the average mark, but the lack of variety in gameplay does affect its score negatively.
Play value 3/5
The Giant Gems slot is a medium to lower variance game and in truth, playing the Feature Spins option doesn’t really affect that greatly, however what is certainly true is the higher your wager each spin, then the lower the value of the slot in terms of how it plays. Personally, I feel the base game, or the first level of Feature Spins offers the best value for money.
Jackpot potential 2/5
The 5,000 coin jackpot in the base game for 5 red gems across a payline is a very tempting amount and the big payouts on offer in Feature Spins do give this game a number of bigger value wins, but when compared to other slots, the jackpots amounts do tend to be a tad on the small side.
Repeat play 2/5
Giant Gems is a slot that you’ll play for a while to trial the different Feature Spins often but after a few sessions, the slot quickly loses its appeal and to be honest, it isn’t one I’ll be returning to any time soon.
Total score: 13/25
Giant Gems is a good example of a slot which places all its eggs into one basket in the hope that the Feature Spins offer will attract people to try the game. While this is a decent enough feature, the lack of anything else in the slot to make you sit up and want to carry on playing means that this is a slot that is satisfying initially, but which quickly loses its appeal.