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I’m rather fond of aquariums, and there’s nothing more relaxing to me that sitting watching a shoal of beautifully colored neon tetras shimmer through the water in front of an old wrecked castle and the bubbling treasure chest.
So when I learned the Gold Fish slot was set against the backdrop of an aquarium filled with all kinds of exotic fish, I was expecting a feast for the eyes. Having reviewed some pretty good WMS slots of late, I was looking forward to trying out this game.
Let’s take a look at whether I hooked a big one, or whether this slot was a little fishy.
Overview: Gold Fish
The Gold Fish slot is a 5×3 reel game that has a total of 25 paylines in operation on every spin.
You can increase the size of your bet per payline from $0.01 up to $1.00 per payline, which means that you have a total bet range from $0.35 up to a maximum of $35 per spin (when you include the feature bet — 10x your line stake.)
There are no playing card low symbols on the reels. Instead, there are a number of aquarium features, such as nets, plants, and corals as the lower value symbols, while the fish and other assorted creatures are the higher value symbols.
The goldfish is the in-game wild and can be used to help create winning paylines as a replacement for all symbols.
Who will the Gold Fish slot appeal to?
If you like a flexible slot that allows you to wager exactly what you want on a spin, then the Gold Fish slot is worth a closer look. In addition, if you are not a fan of free spins games and prefer other forms of bonuses, then there are a number of different bonuses available.
Given the graphics, slot fans that enjoy retro-style gaming will perhaps enjoy the slot. However, the actual slot game itself isn’t particularly retro, so it will be a delicate balancing act on that score.
Where to play the Gold Fish slot online in NJ
If you’re going for the gold, or rathe the Gold Fish, then you need only go to one of the following legal NJ online gambling sites:
Gameplay: Gold Fish
When the Gold Fish slot loads up, you are presented with a somewhat unusual situation. The background, which is usually what you don’t want to focus on in a slot, is actually a better-presented picture and animation than the reels, which look somewhat dated thanks to poor resolution graphics and a color scheme that doesn’t help enhance the detail.
The quality of the graphics on the reels is quite poor and looks like an old 8-bit style slot. It certainly isn’t what you’d expect of a modern online slot in New Jersey.
Beneath that shortcoming is actually an enjoyable and playable game. The Gold Fish slot isn’t complex, but it is sufficiently different to the usual 5×3 offering.
The base game is 25-payline game and the goldfish sits atop the pile of symbols as the in-game wild, which helps create winning paylines when it lands on the first three reels.
Its appearance in the base game is usually a boon as it often rounds off a two or three symbol payline and turns it into a win, or a higher value win.
The biggest and most unusual feature of the slot is the random fish feature, which can occur after any spin, win or lose. When this happens, a fishbowl will streak into view on the screen and a fish will drop down from above into the bowl.
The color of the fish determines what bonus you will receive. Here’s a breakdown:
It blows three air bubbles which turn into numbers. The numbers then rearrange into a single three-digit number, which is the multiplier of your payline stake. This is the amount you win as a bonus.
The red fish simply reveals a number of adornments in the bottom of the bowl. When you pick one, if the red fish kisses that ornament, the value of the cash prize contained therein will increase.
The green fish blows a number of bubbles, from which you can select one for a cash reward. Pick the right bubble and you’ll win all the cash amounts hidden behind the bubbles.
This is a superscatter feature that allows you between one and three spins. Symbols on the reels create winning combinations not just on active paylines.
If you don’t win anything on your spins, you receive a 10x multiplier on the initial win triggering the bonus.
This is the big value fish. It grants you between five and 20 free spins, complete with a multiplier of between 2x and 10x the winning amount.
Land three of the fish food scatters and you trigger another bonus feature, this time a simple matching game, where you find three or four matching colors to trigger a bonus. Or, if you hit the three turtles or gold turtles, you can also have one final increasingly rewarding pick.
Special features: Gold Fish
In the base game, the goldfish symbol acts as the in-game wild and can substitute for all low and higher paying symbols (but not the scatter) to create winning paylines across the reels.
Random fish feature
The most exciting bonus in the game is the random fish feature, which can occur after any spin.
A fish bowl appears and one of several colored fish will drop into it, offering you one of five different bonus features.
Fish food feature
Land three or more scatters to launch the matching bonus game that offers you a chance of winning a number of prizes. The turtle prizes, especially the gold turtle prizes, are the ones offering players the larger prize wins.
Random fish feature
This is a great feature that offers you a chance to access five different bonus features. Some of these features are markedly better than others.
The blue and gold fish options have the best chance of offering you a better return.
Clever bonus games
Added to the five random fish features outlined above, the scatter matching colors mini game is also a nice touch. Between all six features, you have bonuses which are a pleasing mix of different features and which all dovetail nicely with the fish and aquatic theme.
Regular wins in base game
Gold Fish isn’t a slot which requires you to play a lengthy spell before you hit a win. Base game wins come along fairly regularly.
They are a decent mix of amounts, some smaller than your bet, but a fair few larger which does help keep your balance topped up.
No immediate free spins option
You can access a free spins round from the random fish feature, but the scatter symbol reveals a matching game, rather than free spins. If you are a fan of free spins, having to wait to hit the bonus and then get lucky with the bonus may be a bit too much of a wait.
Poor graphics on reels
It’s difficult to state how disappointing the graphics are on the reels. It’s not just the low resolution, but the colors are a mess too and leave some of the symbols looking a little blurry.
They aren’t attractive to the eye, which is the entire point of an aquarium.
It is very rare that I come across any software issues with a game. If I do, it is usually a hardware issue.
But with Gold Fish, twice on the random fish feature I triggered the purple fish and twice it failed to blow out three numbers and the slot just hung.
Graphics and soundtrack: 1/5
The sound on the game is pretty generic of most slots, but I do like the background of the slot as that is nicely done.
The graphics on the reels, however, are somewhat disappointing and not really of a quality you would expect for a relatively modern slot game.
Originality and creativity: 4/5
I like the fact that there are so many bonus games included in the Gold Fish slot. Six is a good number and there’s a good mix of games.
I just think the game misses out a little in not having a dedicated free spins round that you can access straight from the base game.
Play value: 3/5
The jackpot value on this slot is not great but the base game wins offer decent value.
Most wins are generally small in the base game, but occasionally you can hit a bigger value win that keeps your balance from dipping too low.
Jackpot potential: 3/5
The jackpot is only 300x your line win, which isn’t a huge amount if you are playing at smaller stakes, but if you play for more money then this prize can be worthwhile chasing.
Overall it is on the small side compared to other slots.
Repeat play: 3/5
Those additional bonus games and features will have you coming back for more on the Gold Fish slot, but once you have played through them a few times I wonder if the slot has long term appeal beyond that.
Total score: 14/25
This potentially is a much better slot than the score suggests. Better graphics and sound would help, as would a dedicated free spins round accessible from the base game and a much improved jackpot.
Until then Gold Fish is a decent, but not brilliant slot.