Gonzo’s Gold

Gonzo’s Gold Slot Review

Slot Provider: NetEnt

RTP: 96.1% | Variance: Medium | Maximum Win: 5,000x

Our Score: 7.2

Play at Casumo Casino

About Gonzo’s Gold

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 3rd December 2021

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Gonzo’s Quest is one of the most famous slots of all time and would certainly feature in anyone’s top 10 NetEnt games, thanks to its compelling mix of narrative, charisma, upbeat conquistador, super-cool graphics and animations, and thrilling gameplay. Being one of the first slots to mix up the Cascading Wins mechanic with a Progressive Multiplier – a potent combination that is the bedrock of so many high variance slots nowdays – it will always hold a special place in our hearts. It is a surprise therefore that between 2013, the year of the original release, and 2020, there were no sequels to Gonzo’s Quest. Since then, and thanks in part to a deal between NetEnt and Red Tiger that saw NetEnt get use of Red Tiger’s Megaways™ license, we have seen the brilliant Gonzo’s Quest Megaways™, a worthy follow-up that make great use of the expanding reels mechanic .

And now, in 2021, NetEnt are at it again and we are introduced to the third in the series, going by the name of Gonzo’s Gold. Once again we are invited to the stone temples of the Aztec world where exotic masks fill the reels and evocative, chanting music fills the air. The gaming screen in Gonzo’s Gold is a 5×5 grid set between stone pillars, but what is missing is the original leafy background and the animated Gonzo character himself. And indeed, the Cascading Reels themselves, which have been replaced with regular rolling reels and a Cluster Pays mechanic.

At first glance it’s all a bit disappointing, and very much a pared-down version of the original with most of the best bits removed. But what about the gameplay itself, does it have some tricks up its sleeve? In this review we will endeavour to find out! You can play Gonzo’s Gold yourself at any of our recommended slot sites.

Gonzo’s Gold Game Information

  • RTP: 96.1%
  • Variance: Medium
  • Maximum Win: 5,000x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 5
  • Rows: 5
  • Paylines: Cluster Pays
  • Minimum Stake: £0.10
  • Features: Cascading Wins, Free Spins, Expanding Symbols

Gonzo’s Gold Review Scores

  • Gameplay and Features 7
  • Maximum Win 7
  • Theme and Design 7
  • Paytable 7
  • RTP and Variance 8

Gonzo’s Gold Pros and Cons

What We Liked

  • Exotic Aztec theme
  • High-paying Gonzo symbol
  • Expander Symbols
  • Free spins re-triggers
  • Slick graphics and animations

What We Didn't like

  • Limited bonus features

RTP and Variance

Our Score 8

What is RTP?

RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next.  Read more here.

What is Variance?

Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.

Starting with the maths, Gonzo’s Gold has an RTP of 96.1% which is average for a video slot and a bit over the original game’s RTP of 95.97%. Meanwhile, the medium volatility and 10p minimum bet makes this easy to play for everyone. You can expect a reasonable number of payouts of a decent size in relation to your bets. The top payout of 5,000x stake is achievable for players who manage to find Gonzo all over the reels, as this chap is the top-paying symbol in the game and he can indeed fill your ENTIRE screen, like the top moments from your favourite Book of … slots. Game on!

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 7

Remember, this game uses a Cluster Pays mechanice and you need to match 3 or 4 symbols on adjacent reels vertically or horizontally to enjoy a payout in Gonzo’s new exotic world. The symbols include 3 types of exotic masks, Gonzo himself wearing his trademark helmet, and a series of high cards to award the lower payouts.

The blue, purple and green masks can award the higher payouts, along with Gonzo himself with the best awards ranging from 750x to 5,000x stake for a full screen of 25 symbols.

There is no Wild Symbol in the game to make any substitutions. However, there is a temple Scatter symbol, which will trigger the Free Spins bonus round when 3 or more land on the reels on the same spin.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 7

Gonzo’s Gold is surprisingly light on features – it’s only about the free spins round and the opportunity to play with high value expander symbols. Let’s find out how it all works.

Cluster Pays

Gonzo’s Gold uses a Cluster Pays mechanic instead of the usual paylines. This means you need to match 3 premium symbols or 4 low-pay symbols adjacently, either horizontally or vertically on the reels, in order to receive a payout.

Free Spins round

Landing 3 or more Scattered temples will trigger the Free Spins round. You will receive 10 Free Spins along with a payout of 2, 20 or 200x your bet. If you hit 3 more Scatters during the Free Spins, you’ll trigger another 10 Free Spins.

Expanding Symbols

Before you start the Free Spins round, you need to play a mini game where you select 1 of 9 Question Mark symbols. This will reveal which symbol will have the power to become an Expanding Symbol during the Free Spins round. If 2 or more of these symbols appear during the round, they will expand to fill the entire reel and award a new Cluster win.

Fans of games like Book of Dead, Book of Ra, or more recently, Book of Shadows, will be familiar with this expander symbol mechanic. But using it with a Cluster Pays format is a nice twist.

The Final Verdict

Our Score 7.2

Gonzo’s Gold is a fun and exotic slot that invites players into an Aztec temple to help adventurer Gonzo find the hidden treasure. Whilst this is a sequel to the Gonzo’s Quest smash-hit, in fact players may only notice this due to the name of the game. Indeed, Gonzo is not a main feature in the design, as he was in the 3D original, appearing only as a symbol on the reels. And to be honest, for us this is an opportunity missed to make a bigger impression by featuring one of the slot world’s most famous explorers more prominently, especially in the main screen graphics and bonus game.

Moving onto the gameplay and removing the Cascading Reels might not be a popular decision either, as this can help to bring life to a game with limited bonus features and without any Wilds. With only Free Spins with Expanding Symbols as a bonus feature, we’re left searching for excitement. Of course, those with a love of Book of … games, may find this focused and intense gameplay fun. And to be fair we did notice that the free spins round does trigger pretty frequently. As for jackpots, the 5,000x stake top prize is decent and is achievable if you can fill the gaming grid with 25 Gonzo symbols in the bonus round.

On a final note, the soundtrack is pleasingly evocative too, but for a slot built around the exciting Aztec world, featuring such a famous Net Ent protagonist, overall this game is a bit of a disappointment.


Useful Resources

Learn More On NetEnt’s Own Gonzo’s Gold Profile Page

Slots Variance Guide

Who Made Gonzo’s Gold?

  • Name: NetEnt
  • Established: 1996
  • UK License: 39861 (Under Evolution Gaming)
  • Total Games: 500 +
  • Known For: Massive range of games, branded slots, big progressives, low to high variance
  • Popular Slots: Starburst, Dead or Alive, Gonzo's Quest, Aloha! Cluster Pays
Find More NetEnt

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