Gem Burst looks different - and it is
This slot looks really different from most of the others you'll have played - and it differs from other Playtech slots too. The symbols are floating about, as if in space, or in a strange liquid, and the view is unique. We’re looking up from the bottom of the mine shaft towards the sky - or possibly along the mineshaft to a bright light further on. It's all very intriguing.
Beautiful chunks of purple amethyst glow round the edge of the game area, and the music adds to the sense of otherworldliness - slightly abstract and a bit new age. Round the edge of the symbol rows are curved multipliers from 1x to 5x. And in a row at the bottom are five bundles of dynamite, with three sticks in each.
Floating in the game area are mystery rocks that may or may not contain gems. At the top of the play area, we get hints about the gameplay to come - and those hints certainly made us impatient, so let's get that dynamite blasting and see what this gem mine has to offer!
Gem Burst goes wild
The Wild suddenly explodes, doing a kind of pirouette with rotating atom symbols, which is all very impressive. Then they disappear in a puff of smoke, and other symbols move down to take their place, giving you another chance to hit a winning payline. The Wild substitutes for all symbols except two, and those are the Blasting Free Games symbol and the mystery Scatter symbol.
Betting on Gem Burst
There are 243 ways to win on Gem Burst, but you can't adjust the number of paylines yourself - they're fixed. The only way to increase your bet is to increase the value of the coins you're playing with, or simply increase the total bet number.
Wins are multiplied by your coin value, and the total bet is your coin value multiplied by 25, which is the number of paylines. Any three symbols on any combination of adjacent reels, starting from the left, give you a win. Scatter symbols trigger from any position.
Playtech has included some betting strategy choices in this game, that allow you to make betting decisions depending on your game strategy and your risk appetite. See the section on Blasting Free Games bombs for more details - but this is a really interesting development for gamers.
Gem Burst payouts for symbols
The ruby is the highest value in the game. Five will pay you 500, four will give you 120, and three will give you 40. Next up when it comes to the precious gems in the mine is the purple amethyst rock. Five will pay you 200, four will give you 60 and three will award you 20. The yellow stone could be citrine - but in any case, five will pay you 150, four will give you 40 and three will give you 12. And as for the black stone - which could be agate - five will give you 100, four will give you 25, and three will give you just 8.
The playing cards also pay out on five, four and three of a kind. With Aces, that gives us wins of 80, 20 and 6. With Kings, it's 60, 15 and 5. For the Queen, it's 40,12 and 4. And for the Jack, 30, 10 and just 3.
Gem Burst cascading reels
As we mentioned, winning symbols go up in a puff of smoke, and the symbols above them drop into their place. That allows new symbols to enter the game area from above, giving you new winning combos. In this way, one spin can trigger a whole bunch of wins, in a very rewarding cascade.
What's more, when a win activates this kind of cascade, the multiplier for the win goes up one place. The next time you get a cascade win, this increased multiplier applies to the win. So if it's 1x on the first win, by the fourth or subsequent cascades, it's 5x.
Sadly, even Gem Burst cascades have to come to an end eventually. When there are no more wins present, the cascade ends and the multiplier goes right back down to 1x for the next spin.
Gem blasting free games
Are you calm and rested? You're going to need to be, because the Gem Blasting Free Games gameplay is a tiny bit complex. That makes Gem Burst a great game to play long term and one that you won't easily tire of, but at first, it takes a bit of getting your head around. Those gamesters at Playtech are definitely not going to let you get bored with this one.
The Blasting Free Games feature is activated when three or more dynamite stick Scatters appear on the reels. (Not that this game has reels, far too classy for that). But you have some work to do to get these games going. All the Blasting Free Games bombs have to be placed below a reel, which happens when they are dragged from the reel area of the game to their place underneath the reel. Up to three of the Blasting Free Games bombs can be stacked under each reel.
It gets more complex! During the Blasting Free Games feature, an extra mystery symbol takes up position on the reels. The mystery symbol is a multi-coloured rock with a question mark on it. If you have bombs placed underneath a reel, and the mystery symbol lands on that reel, the Blasting Free Games bombs will blow up any mystery symbols to reveal a cash prize.
Each Blasting Free Games Scatter can morph into up to three bombs in the Blasting Free Games feature. The minimum number of Blasting Free Games you can win is 6, and the maximum is 30.
During this feature, no additional Blasting Free Games can be won. Now normally, we'd start up with the boo hiss on hearing this, but that's not the case with Gem Burst, because the gameplay here is on a whole other level. Free spins on free spins is a pretty simple gameplay concept. What you have in Gem Burst is a better chance to win, through more satisfying gameplay, and even a chance to develop a betting strategy.
Gem Burst bombs make multipliers for mystery symbols
In addition, the number of Blasting Free Games bombs that you've placed under a reel acts as the win multiplier for the Mystery symbol rewards. For instance, if a Mystery symbol lands on a reel that has three bombs stacked underneath it, the bombs will be detonated and the Mystery symbol will be multiplied by 3.
However, note that Mystery symbol wins can't activate a cascade, and they don't get influenced by the normal cascade win multiplier.
Your best Gem Burst gaming strategy
Note that the Mystery symbols don't always win the same amount. On reels 1, 2 and 3, they will win a little bit less than they would on reels four and five. That's because the win cascades are more likely to happen on reels 1 to 3. However, the good news is that the Blasting Free Games bombs stay active right through all of the Blasting Free Games that they activated.
To get the right gaming strategy for you, in Gem Burst, you need to think about where to put those Blasting Free Games bombs, and what your playing style is. If you want to play it safe, spread them over the first three reels. If you want to gamble for higher rewards, put several bombs under reels 4 or 5.
The theoretical return to the player is an average of 96.16%, but as Slots Temple players know, that's not a very helpful figure, as it is an average over many hundreds of thousands of spins. An individual player's experience in a half hour session might be quite different - possibly better, possibly worse.
If you love Gem Burst……
If you love Gem Burst, just look up at the red menu bar and click on the "Themes" option. The jewel slots theme has lots of slots you'll love, already selected for you and gathered together in one place. What's more, they're all free, and all available on mobile and tablet.
One of these of course, is NetEnt’s Starburst. We can't help wondering whether Playtech is parking its tanks on NetEnts's lawn by bringing out Gem Burst. However, more likely, it's the playful rivalry that you get among slot design houses.
If you loved Gem Burst, you're bound to love Da Vinci Diamonds too. This game from IGT also has tumbling reels, and it has to be said, the gems look stunning - beautiful rubies, emeralds and amber jewels. There are portraits of the Mona Lisa and other DaVinci subjects, all more valuable in real life than any mere gem! In the Bonus Free Spins round, you get to listen to medieval-themed music - very classy!
Eastern Emeralds from Quickspin has a generous multiplier that can go as far as 1680x during the free spins round. It looks great and has a "Destiny Bonus" feature. There are gold carp, tortoises, vessels and other symbols, and the emerald Wild is particularly vibrant. You can pick up multipliers that can take your wins up to 2,400 coins and beyond.
Meanwhile, Giovanni's Gems is a Betsoft title, in which you go hunting for precious stones. It's got great gameplay, with amazing 3D graphics, which make the gems look brilliant. You can earn over 500,000 credits in a single game, and the animation as the gems fall down after a spin is amazing. It's got cascading symbols, with beautiful colours on a black background There are six reels and six lines, with lots of great animation for wins. It has the brilliant idea that symbols starting as coal gradually becomes diamonds if they're next to a win. You've got a sack, pickaxe and a torch, but you could find emeralds or rubies and other gems. It looks gorgeous, and has some innovative gameplay ideas - definitely worth a try.
If you love Playtech Slots, try Gem Heat - but be prepared for some surprises. With locked Wilds and multipliers that increase, you get the usual great Playtech gameplay, but this game is something of a puzzle. It's retro and then some! Remember the "bars" on vintage slots? Well in Gem Heat, we have bars (words) and bars (gold bars). There are lucky sevens on fire, and a diamond gem, also emerging from the fire. It has an interesting "High Roller" feature that allows the diamond Wild to appear on more reels, the higher the stake. So it may look vintage, but as with all slots from Playtech, this title makes you think! The firm is definitely playing around with the way that people can customise slots, playing them as they wish, in line with their individual playing style. Where this leads is anyone's guess, but we're all going to be interested in the developments.
Gem Burst is so beautiful, it will look great on any device, and the gameplay reaches new levels of interest and engagement. It's a cliche, but Playtech has done it again with this one - other slot designers have a lot to beat when there are offerings like this available for free play.
|Game Name:||Gem Burst|
|Themes:||Action & Adventure, Jewels|
|Min Bet (all lines covered):||0.25|