Ever since IGT’s Da Vinci Diamonds took the slot world by storm – Gem themed slots have been a popular choice. Reel Gems from MicroGaming continues the tradition of slots which are not too fussy or complex, yet have engaging game play. The setting is a plain black set of reels with a blue surround. What stands out is the sparkle coming from the different gems, and the smooth easy-listening piano track.
There are some interesting game-play quirks. First, a standard free spins bonus game. This has the addition of 3x multipliers for any wins. What is less common is the ability to respin any reel for an additional cost. How much is costs to spin each reel depends on how likely a win is to appear when you spin it.
MicroGaming casino slot fans will not be surprised to hear that the traditional 5 reels and 3 rows grid is in use here. There are no win-lines, with the popular all-ways system replacing those. Betting is in units of 25c. You can change your coin size, and also bet as many as 10 coins per ‘line’. The bet amount is clearly shown, and auto-play is available too.
As you might expect, the gems are the highest paying symbols in Reel Gems free slot. These are topped by the round diamond, which is worth 4000 coins for5 of a kind. The diamond, along with the ruby, is the only regular symbol which pays from 2 of a kind and up. Rubies are worth 2500 coins for 5, while the emerald gets you 2000. Completing the gems are a sapphire and a garnet – worth 1000 and 500 coins respectively.
Playing cards might not really fit with gems. In this slot they are all drawn with a little sparkle, if only from the light effects. Aces down to nines are in play, and these make up the smaller wins.
After any spin, win or lose, you can opt to respin a single reel. This comes at a cost, which is shown at the bottom of each reel. You can only win once from each combination. For example, if you have 4 of a kind on a line, and respin reel 5, you will only win more if that 5th symbol comes in. If you have 2 of the free spins symbols, reel respins will cost you a little more – as you only need one more to trigger the bonus game.
A sparkling box with the name of the slot in diamonds on it is the wild symbol. This will substitute for any of the regular symbols. With the all-ways system in use, it will often create several wins at once.
Scatter symbols show a gold ring with the words ‘Free Spins’ in diamonds over it. These have a prize, and also trigger the bonus game. You can win up to 100x your total bet with 5 of a kind. There is then a jump to 10x your bet for 4, 2x for 3 and your bet back for just 2.
3 or more will trigger 15 free spins. Two things to note during this bonus game. First, you will not be able to respin any of the reels (the game moves too fast!). Second, any wins you hit will be tripled during this bonus. You can retrigger and get a 3x scatter win by hitting 3 or more of the gold ring symbols.
Overall the design is on the plain side. The logo above the reels show what could be a bracelet. This has diamonds either side, and a sparkling ‘Reel Gems’ in the middle. Around the reels is a blue silk effect, while the back of the reels is black.
The symbols are bright and blocky – this game would work well as a mobile slot. Gems are created with sparkle effects – like the light was shining from above them. The only real stand outs are the wild and scatter symbols. Both have small animations where they grow and sparkle when involved in a win.
While you spin a gentle piano track plays. This switches to a different (though also chilled) piano track during the bonus game.
If you enjoy gems style slot machines, then this title from MicroGaming is both solid and enjoyable. The respin any reel is a nice touch, though one of those features which you’ll only use for a while at the start. The big money will come via the 15 free spins, where tripled wins will start to make a big difference.