One thing that slots maker Aristocrat are very good at is taking a winning formula and repackaging it. It feels like this is the case with Where’s the Gold, which has almost the same game play as ‘Let’s go Fishin’, right through to the pick-em phase of the bonus round. The result is a very playable slot, which is themed around a gold mine. I cannot work out whether the miner is supposed to be a dwarf (as in Snow White) or not. There are minimal animations on the screen, with the dynamite exploding when you trigger the feature round.
This is a 25 line, 5 reel video slot, with the usual collection of wilds, scatters and winning symbols. The Aristocrat standard features can all be ticked off the list while playing this game. These include the ‘click-click’ of the reels, the electronic ditties when you win, the playing card symbols and the option to gamble on the turn of a card if you wish to after a win. The pick-em phase of the free spins round is reasonably rare for Aristocrat, who have traditionally focused on simple slots. This does add an element of entertainment for those players used to the more interactive games.
This colorful slot has 25 win lines, which you can select from. I recommend the full 25 lines, as this maximizes the combinations that the wild symbols can make. You can choose your bet amounts starting from just 2c, making a 50c minimum for the full 25 lines. $4 per line is the max spin, which is $100 total. You can select from 5 to 500 spins using the orange ‘autoplay’ button.
Graphically, the symbols are relatively plain, with a mine, wagon, miner, dynamite and pick / shovel combo the biggest payers. The one you want to see is the miner. This worth 100 coins for 5 on a win-line, and also acts as the wild (with the normal exclusion that it does not substitute for the scatter). The mine pays 500 for 5, with the wagon and tools coming next.
Scatter wins are multiplied by the total bet amount, with up to 50x your bet for 5 dynamite symbols. Getting 3 or more of these will also trigger the bonus feature.
There are two parts to the bonus round, with a pick-em first and free spins next. There are no advantages (other than the payout) to triggering this with 4 or 5 scatters, rather than 3.
First you need to pick from one of 5 quirky characters, which are lined up along the screen. Once you choose one a spotlight appears from the top of the screen over your character. Next the boxes beneath them fill up with gold nuggets and mini-symbols. The nuggets show how many free spins you get (up to 10) and the symbols which of the regular game symbols will become wild for the free spins round.
You can get up to 3 of the regular symbols as wilds, which could lead to big payouts from the bonus round. When this starts, your wild symbols change to look like they are made out of gold. To top it off, this bonus feature can be retriggered during play.
Things are starting to get more interesting with Aristocrat slots, with the break-out screen for the bonus a positive move for me. This one is not as involved as Outback Jack (for example), though much better than some of the ‘spins only’ games which Aristocrat build their business on.
No interesting behavior on the reels does make the appeal of this game limited to a few sessions max for me, though the potential for 3 types of wild symbols for the free spins certainly gives this game the potential for a big payout.