Gemscapades Pokie Review
Gemscapades is a 5-reel 10-payline pokie released by Betsoft, a top-ranked casino game developer. The pokie is themed around gems, all kinds of gems with sparkling facets and fascinating shapes. The precious stones have different colors, from light red to dark blue to light orange. It’s a pure fun spinning the reels of this eye-catching slot and see the magnificent color tints and special effects that accompany every win. The pokie proudly presents a very rare “Win Both Ways” feature that increases the number of potential combinations by counting combos both ways. Besides, you get free respins that will also improve your chances for a nice win.
The pokie is about gems. Placed against an abstract space-like background with stars and moving lights, the pokie looks somewhat dated because the abundance of gems on the screen will most likely make gamers think about vintage slot machines but Gemscapades is a modern game by any definition. Having metallic bet indicators and oval-shaped payline markers on both sides of the reels, the pokie radiates the idea of deep space adventures. Adherers of “faux 3D effects” will not find here Betsoft’s iconic graphics that rocketed the vendor to fame but the game is still worthwhile your attention, time and money for several reasons described in more detail below.
On the reels you will encounter the following symbols: red gem ($250 at max), blue gem ($250), orange gem ($400), green gem ($500), yellow gem ($600), red seven ($1200) and BAR ($2500). Combinations count in a traditional way: You need to hit three or more of them on a payline. Combos do not occur very often and it appears that the pokie falls into the category of medium-variance games that offer a “best of the worlds” gameplay and the perfect balance between low-variance and high-variance pokies.
Bet sizes in the game are designed to fit the betting habits of low-rollers and stingy gamers. High-rollers will hardly be satisfied with the maximum stake. To begin with, the player can deactivate paylines and choose to bet on any number of them between 1 and 10. Other options are a coin denomination ($0.02 to $1) and the amount of coins per line (1 to 10). Therefore, a total bet ranges between $0.20 and $100 per round. Although it is possible to bet just $0.02 by activating a single line, it is not feasible, unless you want to test some winning strategy in the online casino of your choice.
Win Both Ways format
Gemscapades is based on the same model as Fruit Zen, another pokie from Betsoft. In both pokies, the software provider uses an usual reel format, which is known on the market as “Win Both Ways”. The point of this model is that the matching symbols may begin from reel 1 and reel 5 to be considered a winning combination. Suppose you line up three BARs on reels 1, 2 and 3, meaning you qualify for 50 coins (up to $500). At the same time, you get the same combination on reel 3, 4 and 5, on another payline. And again, you get 50 coins for that combination.
In all other pokies, getting a combo on reels 3 to 5 fails to generate any rewards. That is why Win Both Ways pokies like Gemscapades is very popular with gamblers, who look for it in NZ-friendly online casinos.
Expanding wilds and respins
There is a wild symbol in the pokie, and it is also designed to be part of the gem theme. It is designed as a jewelry in the shape of an eight-petal flower where petals are made of different gemstones. The wild cannot create its own combos but its role is important in the game. It lands on reels 2, 3 and 4 only and when doing so, it expands vertically and fills in the entire reel. There’s no limit on the number of reels to be covered by expanding wilds so chances are a spin can end up with three reels being wild simultaneously.
But there is more. Every time an expanding wild is created on the reels, all wins are calculated, you get a related cash prize and are awarded a free respin. There can be three outcomes of a respin: no win, a normal win, and a feature win with an expanding wild. In case of the third outcome of the listed, you get one more respin, and the process continues until no more expanding wilds appear after a respin.
Bottom line on Gemscapades
Gemscapades is an alluring pokie for those who love Betsoft’s pokies. The key features include expanding wilds (reels 2, 3 and 4) and respins that are automatically triggered upon activation of expanding wilds. The maximum cash prize is $2500 but the bonus features enhance your winning opportunities beyond that sum.