Pacific Gold

Pacific Gold Slot Review

Slot Provider: ELK Studios

RTP: 95% | Variance: High | Maximum Win: 10,000x

Our Score: 8.2

Play at Barz Casino

WHY YOU CAN TRUST THIS REVIEW: The information and opinions on this page are the result of an comprehensive process of information gathering and live game testing by the gambling experts who work at Find out more here.

About Pacific Gold

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 11th February 2022

How We Review Slot Games

We test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.

Pacific Gold is a high variance explorer slot, another in ELK Studio’s Gold series featuring the explore Kane. Avalanche wins are key to the action, triggering expanding reels which boost the win ways from 4,096 up to 262,144.

The game is all about combinations of powerful features. There are horizontal lines of identical symbols called Pacific Waves that fill up empty spaces beneath them with Wilds; and Power Stacks of 4 identical symbols that grow in size by 2 with each successive Avalanche; and Mega Symbols of up to 4×4 which also drop at any time to increase your chances of landing wins. Finally, there is a free spins round with up to 25 free drops and a Safety Level which maintains the expanded rows after each winning spin to help you expand the reels to maximum height.

Pacific Gold has a maximum win of 10,000x. Spins start at 20p.

Pacific Gold Game Information

  • RTP: 95%
  • Variance: High
  • Maximum Win: 10,000x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 6
  • Rows: Up to 8
  • Paylines: Up To 262,144
  • Minimum Stake: £0.20
  • Theme: Action and Adventure
  • Features: Wilds, Avalanche Wins, Mega Symbols, Free Drops, Pacific Waves, Ghost Boxes

Testing Notes: Here’s What Happened When We Played Pacific Gold

IMPORTANT: To give you an accurate assessment of the games we review our writers play 200 spins. Whilst this is a useful tool to help us review games and to give an example of what might happen when you play, keep in mind that 200 spins is only a very small sample and cannot be used to accurately predict what might happen over another 200 spins. The outcome of all slots play is always random.

Boom Or Bust? Our Session By The Numbers

I played 200 spins on Pacific Gold for real money at Pub Casino to test the game and this is what happened.

  • Stake Size: £0.2
  • Start balance: £20.53
  • End balance: £14.10
  • Biggest Win: 57.1x
  • Free Spins rounds: 1
  • Ghost Boxes: 3
  • Session Time: 19 minutes and 50 seconds

For entertainment value, Pacific Gold did not disappoint. There is plenty of action on most spins to keep you engaged and rarely a slow moment though as you might expect from a high variance game, the features were infrequent. I did at least unlock the free spins on one occasion. From 10 spins I unlocked all 8 rows and landed a decent 57.1x win (shown in the screenshot below).

Free Spins Win in Pacific Gold
A 57.1x win from the free spins round

The other big event, Ghost Boxes, were a rarity, with only 3 activating over 200 spins. When they do, it’s an exciting moment when they explode off the reels, dislodging surrounding symbols before their contents drop back down. With a few wilds that landed me an 8.8x win on one occasion.

Overall, despite finishing down on my balance Pacific Gold gave good value entertainment for 200 spins with close to 20 minutes of play to enjoy.

What We Liked

  • Mysterious cargo-plane crash story!
  • Expanding reels - Up to 262,144 Win Ways
  • Pacific Waves trigger extra Wilds
  • Mega Symbols up to 4x4
  • Ghost Boxes hoard and release symbols

What We Didn't like

  • Below average RTP
  • Variance too high for some players

Pacific Gold Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 10
  • RTP and Variance 7
  • Maximum Win 8
  • Symbols and Paytable 9
  • Features and Gameplay 9

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"A good storyline combines with a familiar character and new, innovative features to create a very playable slot with big potential"

Overall Score: 8.2

Theme & Design

Our Score 10

I find the Gold series of games to be some of the best explorer-themed slots out there – they are all steeped in drama and atmosphere and have a more cinematic quality than your average ‘Rich Wilde’ slot. That is partly down to narrative and once again ELK Studios have got creative on that front, telling the story of a Cargo plane bound for Japan in 1953, then mysteriously crashing on a Pacific Island. Snippets from the last radio call out from the pilot on his way down play intermittently as you are spinning whilst the backdrop shows the plane’s wreckage sticking out from the trees and rocks. The scene is completed by a tribal soundtrack that accompanies the regular taps and thuds of symbols dropping into place.

Pacific Gold by ELK Studios
Pacific Gold Slot – Super Atmosphere and Storyline

Overall, Pacific Gold looks and sounds great and the studio have done a really good job of creating ominous undertones without explaining the mystery in full – the perfect enigmatic setting for another Kane adventure.

RTP and Variance

Our Score 7

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.

The maths model in Pacific Gold is similar stats to others in the Kane adventures. That means an RTP of 95% which is underwhelming for a slot – most run at a minimum of 96% – whilst the variance is very high. That makes Pacific Gold a frustrating game at times and unpredictable in its pattern of payouts. However, it is also a game that can on rare occasions deliver a stunning series of wins when Avalanches and Ghost Boxes come together as I will explain further down this review.

Maximum Win

Our Score 8

What Is Maximum Win?

Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.  

The maximum payout in Paficic Gold is 10,000x.  This is the same as early games in the Gold series like Katmandu and Zulu Gold, but short of more recent games like Avalon Gold and Dead Man’s Gold, both of which come in at 25,000x.

If you like games with big potential be sure to check out our list of slots with the highest maximum wins too.

Explore Games With Similar RTP, Variance and Maximum Win

Like the numbers? Here are some more games you might want to try.

Slot SiteSupplierRTPVarianceTop Payout
Zulu GoldELK Studios95%High10,000xPlay Here
Cursed SeasHacksaw Gaming96.22%High12,500xPlay Here
Forest FortuneHacksaw Gaming96.31%High10,000xPlay Here
Gladiator LegendsHacksaw Gaming96.31%High10,000xPlay Here
Smugglers CovePragmatic Play96.5%High10,000xPlay Here
Gates of ValhallaPragmatic Play96.46%High10,000xPlay Here
Wanted WildzRed Tiger96.05%High15,000xPlay Here
Champion of the UnderworldYggdrasil Gaming96%High10,000xPlay Here

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 9

Pacific Gold starts out as a 6 reel and 4 row slot but it can grow to 8 rows high. It is a Win Ways game. That means wins are triggered by landing identical symbols across consecutive reels from left to right, regardless of their row position. It is this mechanic that gives it a massive 4,096 win ways per spin at 6×4 and even bigger 262,144 win ways per spin when the reels are fully expanded.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with the paytable values at first glance – they max out at 5x for 6 top premiums. However, this game is all about features and many win ways so that offsets that concern to some degree.

Pacific Gold Paytable
Pay symbol values are not high in Pacific Gold but there are many features to enhance your wins

The high cards award the lower payouts with from 0.1x for 3 up to just 0.3x for 6 of a kind on each of those symbols. There are then 4 mid-range symbols, each with a different color, valued at from 0.15x for 3 blues up to 1x for 6 reds. Finally, the tribal masks and Kane award the best payouts with from 0.5x for 3 blue masks up to 5x for 6 Kanes.

There is also a Wild symbol, which can substitute for all pay symbols to complete winlines, and an aeroplane which is the Bonus symbol, which triggers free spins when 3 or more land at once.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 9

I think the gameplay in the Gold series is brilliantly done and there are some really clever ways to unlock wins here. In particular, Ghost Boxes which store up payouts are a favourite.

Avalanche Wins Trigger Reel Expansions

The action always starts with Avalanche Wins in Gold games where one spin can trigger multiple wins. Winning symbols are removed from the reels and new ones drop in to replace them and one row is added to each reel. If more wins ways are created, the process repeats.

You can grow the reels up to 8 high this way – and create up to 262,144 win ways too.

Avalanche Win in Pacific Gold
Avalanche Win and symbols exploding off the reels

Watch Out For Mega Symbols During Avalanches

Another fun part of Pacific Gold is the Mega Symbols which are super-sized versions of normal symbols. They can be 2×2, 3×3 or 4×4. The size is important here – a 2×2 counts as FOUR symbols, a 3×3 as NINE symbols, a 4×4 as SIXTEEN symbols. That’s a massive boost to your wins when they land.

They don’t arrive on a normal spin, only during Avalanches. And what is also useful is that symbols appearing under a Mega Symbol are always filled with symbols of the same type as the Mega Symbol.

Power Stacks Also Grow With Each Avalanche

The avalanches just keep on giving when Power Stacks land. These are standard symbols that appear with a number 4 on them. They represent FOUR versions of the same symbol and grows by 2 (to 6, then to 8) with each successive Avalanche.

Pacific Waves Add Horizontal Lines of Identical Symbols

This feature is also superb, bringing a horizontal stack of identical symbols as a 1×2, 1×3 or 1×4 line.  These look great and are powerful because they always fill spaces beneath them with liquid gold that solidifies into a Wild symbol before the next drop! In testing they proved really effective because they ALWAYS add wilds to the reels in this way, which is very useful particularly when they reels are fully expanded.

Pacific Wave in Pacific Gold
A Pacific Wave drops wilds into empty spaces beneath

Ghost Boxes Collect and Re-Distribute Winning Symbols

My favourite, and potentially highly rewarding feature from the game is the Ghost Boxes. These eerie looking icons that look like metal boxes with skulls on them collect all winning symbols after a winning spin, including those from the Mega Symbols (16 from a 4×4 for example). Then, the Ghost Box releases its load when the last Avalanche plays out. At that point, all symbols that were collected in the box are redistributed onto the reels giving you a final win.

In my experience this can be really useful and trigger a mighty payout so look out for those boxes.

Free Drops With Safety Levels In Play

The free spins round, here called free drops, is also innovative, and if you’ve played another Gold game then you will be familiar with the special Safety Level that comes with it.

The round is triggered by landing gold bonus symbols, with drops awarded as follows:

  • 3 bonus symbols will earn you 10 free drops
  • 4 bonus symbols will earn you 15 free drops
  • 5 bonus symbolswill earn you 20 free drops
  • 6 bonus symbolswill earn you 25 free drops

In addition to all the same features as the base game is the Safety Level which is a way of keeping the extra rows open after an Avalanche. Effectively, after a free drop that results in a win, then the Safety Level moves up one row. So, after the first win the next spin starts with 5 rows, after the second win, the next spin starts with 6. And so on, up to the full 8 rows high.

The Final Verdict

This is an excellent online slot from ELK Studios and a fine addition to one of my favourite series of games. It combines style with gameplay in the best way possible, weaving feature and narrative to great affect.

The key to success, and the reason Pacific Gold can deliver some huge thrills, is feature combinations, all starting with the Avalanches. Epic things can definitely happen here – you’ll see big win videos online of sequential wins in the free drops round where the grid is filled with a stunning mix of high value symbols, Pacific Waves triggering extra wilds and Power Stacks valued at 8. And then all topped off with a Ghost Box. That is your dream moment, and whilst rare – remember this is a high risk slot – it can happen every once in a while and it’s why people play games like this.

The only slight caveat here is the low RTP and the lower than average max win for a game of this nature. A 10,000x top payout is still good, but compared to most modern high volatility games it comes up a bit short which is a shame. But if you can live with that, Pacific Gold offers great entertainment and is a worthwhile entry point into this awesome series.

Compare Pacific Gold With Similar Slots Picked By Us

Here are more games like Pacific Gold compared on configuration and features. Click through to read a review of each one.

Slot GameProviderThemeMin. StakeMax. RTPVariancePaylinesTop PayoutJackpot
ELK StudiosAdventure£0.2095%HighUp to 262,14410,000xNo
Play n GoAncient Egypt£0.0196.29%High105,000xNo
Play n GoAdventure£10,000.0096.2%High24310,000xNo
Hacksaw GamingNorse£0.1096.41%High1412,500xNo
Hacksaw GamingAztec£0.1096.23%HighWin Ways10,000xNo
Yggdrasil GamingTahiti£0.1096.2%High2512,800xNo
NetEntAztec£0.1096.1%MediumCluster Pays5,000xNo
Hacksaw GamingAncient Egypt£0.1096.22%Medium1410,000xNo

Useful Tips When Playing Pacific Gold

Remember, online slots are games of chance, there is NO strategy that can improve your odds of winning. However, reading our review and following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing this slot game.

1. Combination Of Features Are Very Powerful

My experience of this and other ‘Gold Series’ slots is that the biggest wins come when features combine. For example, Pacific Waves might not do much on their own but when they repeatedly drop Wilds on every Avalanche over a long sequence with Mega Symbols too, the results can be huge!


2. Power Stacks Are Rare But Exciting Treats

I rarely saw these in testing but they have obvious power so look out for them. If they are part of wins in successive Avalanches they can grow to 8 symbols in size which means potentially big rewards.

3. Choose A Low Stake

I recommend playing with a low stake to begin with whilst you get to understand the gameplay. This is high risk slots action and it can burn you. The 20p minimum wager allows you to stretch your balance further.

4. Only Play At Licensed Slot Sites

We always recommend that you only spin slots at licensed casinos which are subject to UK regulation on fairness and responsible gambling. The sites we recommend on this page are all licensed. Choose one from our list to be sure.

Who Made Pacific Gold?

  • Name: ELK Studios
  • Established: 2013
  • UK License: 40844
  • Total Games: 60 +
  • Known For: Amazing artwork, wide choice of themes and styles
  • Popular Slots: Avalon Gold, Dropz, Nitropolis, Wild Toro
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