Gemscapades by Betsoft is an electronic Technicolor blast of slot gameplay. So closely related to Betsoft’s Mega Gems slot that it might be its predecessor, Gemscapades launches a series of colorful gems along its reels, paying from the right and left, while offering an expanding wild symbol. While not as rich as Mega Gems, Gemscapades is quick to learn and easy to follow, making it a good choice for new and casual players. Its design is full of bursts of light and zap! sound effects, unfolding on a five-reel three-row structure. While the slot looks best on desktops, its simplified setup for mobile devices works well for those on the go. It’s available in free and real money paid modes on both types of platforms.
Gemscapades’s slot structure will be familiar to anyone who has played other Betsoft games. The metallic gameplay buttons are large and well marked. Bets can be set using three fields. “Coin Value” adjusts the unit between .02 and 1.00. The player can choose from the 10 total paylines with the “Select Lines” buttons. “Bet Per Line” is adjustable up to 10, multiplying the bet and wins.
“Spin” triggers a single play using the set bet. “Max Bet Spin” ups the playlines and per line bet to their highest levels and gives the reels a twirl with one click. Gemscapades does not include an autospin option.
At the top of the screen, the “Options” button lets the player customize the game’s sound and graphics. “View Pays” lists the symbols and their payouts.
Wins are awarded when three or more consecutive matching symbols align from either left to right or right to left, starting from the first or fifth reel, on a played payline. The game’s symbols and their payouts are as follows:
Though the slot has no scatter symbols, nor additional gambling game, it does have a multicolored wild symbol that triggers the game’s lone feature.
The wild symbol occurs only on reels two, three and four. When it appears, it expands across its entire reel, substituting for all symbols on played paylines. Wins are collected, then the player wins a re-spin with the wild reel locked in place. This free spin offers a second round of payouts.
If additional wild symbols appear on the re-spin, they expand across their reels, wins are collected and another re-spin occurs. These compounding wilds can prove to be the slot’s most lucrative opportunity.
This expanding wild feature is identical to that of Betsoft’s Mega Gems, down to the shape and colors of the wild symbol. Sadly, Gemscapades does not have Mega Gems’s progressive jackpot feature.
Compared to many current video slots, Gemscapades offers lean gameplay. It lacks scatters, bonus games and jackpots, but the expanding wilds pay well and happen often. During the 200 test spins played for this review, the expanding wilds materialized just as often as higher-than-bet payouts: each occurring in approximately 9% of spins.
Still, Mega Gems (as well as many other Betsoft slots) delivers a fuller experience with better graphics than Gemscapades. Casual gamers will enjoy this game’s simplicity more than long-time slot players who will be looking for more options and action.