In many ways, Gonzo’s Quest demonstrates that NetEnt never rested on their laurels. For as long as we can remember, they had the dominant position in the industry. And yet, they always kept innovating, trying new things. Sometimes it does not work. And other times, you get a timeless classic like Gonzo’s Quest!
Just like Starburst, the popularity of this game spawned numerous attempts to clone its design. But while the mania of Starburst died down eventually, Gonzo’s Quest never has – and that is because of the fundamental difference between the two.
If you want to see what makes Gonzo’s Quest so special, you can play it right away at Loyal Casino. Otherwise, get yourself comfy, and prepare for a story from the distant year of 2013!
When it first came out, this NetEnt release blew the minds of many. With this slot, for the first time, we have seen visual fidelity being pushed forward in a major way. It was no longer enough to have icons that were well-designed. The developers set a new bar – especially when it came to animations.
Now, animations were nothing new. There are older games that made use of them for symbols and even the background. But NetEnt was the first to bring an actual character to the playing field, and give him a role.
Gonzo is constantly moving. Sometimes, he will pull out a map and grumble that things are taking too long. He reacts to big wins. He feels like an actual person. This was mind-blowing for a time, even if it has become somewhat standard today.
But Gonzo himself was not the big lesson other developers learned from NetEnt. Certainly, placing a memorable character front and centre has spread, but not nearly as much as one gameplay element. Gonzo’s Quest has a high volatility and an RTP of 96% – both of which only served to further enhance it. So what is this mysterious element? NetEnt called it Avalanche – today, we refer to it as cascading reels.
We saw a trailer for this slot, so we knew what we were getting into. But can you imagine how someone who had no prior knowledge must have felt after their first win? Seeing stone blocks crumble and disappear, letting existing ones take their place? We knew what was coming, and we were blown away. We knew this was going to be big.
Considering how many slots came out since with the cascading reels mechanic, we were happy to be proven right. Innovations in this field led to even better games as time passed. But Gonzo’s Quest remained the ‘king’ of cascading reels, and many players simply never made the switch.
The high volatility and great RTP both compliment the system. High variance meant huge wins were sparse. But once you got lucky, it felt amazing! Watching the board get cleared over and over, new blocks falling from the top and forming new wins. For those with the cash and patience to wait it out, Gonzo’s Quest was an experience.
The bonuses were quite simple, and served only to enhance the cascading reels mechanic – or Avalanche, as NetEnt called it. Each chained win increased the multiplier: first to 2x, then 3x, and finally 5x.
You could also win ten free spins by collecting three Scatters. Using the same method, gamblers could get additional turns and keep the special feature going for longer.
And you wanted to do that, because it meant the multiplier ranked up. During free spins, you start at x3, and then improve to 6x, 9x, and finally 15x.
While Starburst was successful because of its timing, Gonzo’s Quest was successful by the virtue of its mechanics alone. Cascading reels were something nobody has seen before this NetEnt release.
The mechanics of Gonzo’s Quest would be thoroughly unpacked and tried in various different games. Our favourite alteration are slots with large reels, cluster pays, and cascading reels. It provides a thoroughly different experience from Gonzo’s Quest, but would not be possible without it.
We find it amazing that NetEnt released their two most popular games with only a month between them. The fact players continue to enjoy them to this day shows they remain masterpieces, even six years later. Gonzo’s Quest is available right now at Loyal Casino. If you never played it before, you owe it to yourself to try it.