Perfect Gems Slot
Having only just dusted themselves down after their last plagiarism scandal, Play ‘n Go are back at it again with their May 2019 slot release ‘Perfect Gems’, which bears more than a little likeness to a number of Megaways™slots.
This year has already seen Play ‘n GO forced to change the name (and some functionality) of their March 2019 release from Starblast to Crystal Sun after complaints from NetEnt that it was just a little too similar to their most popular slot, Starburst. Despite the resulting controversy it would seem that Play ‘n GO are determined to continue to sail as close to the wind as they can if Perfect Gems is anything to go by.
Much like Big Time Gaming’s hugely popular Megaways™ slot, Bonanza, Perfect Gems also has a coloured jewel theme. It also comes with 6 regular vertical reels (some of which spin in a different number of symbols each spin) and one horizontal reel of 4 symbols above reels 2-5. As well as that it also benefits from cascading reels which apply a +1 win multiplier after each consecutive win and wilds only on the horizontal reel. So far, so very similar to BTG’s patented game mechanic, not to mention the special features.
Perfect Gems comes with up to 21,609 payways, a lucrative free spins round and a maximum win of 5,000x the stake. This highly volatile slot can be played from €0.20 to €100 per spin at participating casinos.
Design & Symbols
The action takes place in what appears to be a book filled study at the top of an old building. Judging by the look of the furniture and the illumination by candlelight I think we can assume that we’re being transported into the past to observe this slot. The inhabitant of the study is also something of an artist if the easel towards the back of the room is anything to go by.
As previously explained, the game board has 6 vertical reels and one horizontal reel with 4 symbols above reels 2-5. Reels 1 and 6 always maintain 3 symbols. The other rows have a minimum of 4 symbols (including symbols from the horizontal reel which form part of reels below) but have the capacity to expand up to 7 symbols on every spin – just how will be explained later. The reels are housed within a detailed brass coloured frame.
Low value symbols are represented by the playing card values 9-A. The four high value symbols are different coloured gemstones (purple, green, gold, and blue), of which blue is the most valuable with 6 on adjacent reels paying 50x the stake. Incidentally the symbols used for Bonanza are also 9-A and four coloured gemstones…hmm! There are two scatters, the Perfect Scatter which activates the bonus round, and the Spin Scatter which awards extra free spins in the bonus round. The wild is a golden W and only appears on the horizontal top row.
Perfect Gems benefits from cascading symbols and cascading win streaks with win multipliers in both the base and bonus games. Also, a symbol splitting feature enables reels 2-5 to increase from 4 up to 7 symbols on every single spin.
The way in which reels 2-5 can expand beyond 4 symbols is unique, and is one significant way in which the mechanic differs to a Megaways™ slot. If any of the 3 symbols on vertical reels 2-5 match the symbol from the horizontal row at the top then they will split into two identical symbols. In the event that all three symbols are the same they will split into 6 identical symbols creating 7 symbols in total for that reel. If a wild symbol appears on the horizontal row then all regular symbols below will split into two, regardless of what they are. With all reels fully expanded there are 21,609 ‘payways’ (as Play ‘n GO are calling them).
A feature common to most Megaways™ slots (and numerous non-Megaways™ slots by the way), Perfect Gems operates a cascading symbols mechanic. After a winning combo lands the symbols involved will disappear and symbols will cascade from above to fill the gaps.
Cascading Win Streaks with Win Multipliers
If the cascading symbols then create a new winning combination (or combinations) the win will be added to the initial spins total and another cascade will begin. Further cascades will continue to fall as long as the win streak continues. Once the streak ends the multiplier resets to 1x. In addition to this, each consecutive winning combination will add a win multiplier to the overall streak win.
3, 4, 5, or 6 Perfect Spin Scatters award 9, 15, 21, or 27 Perfect Spins (free spins). During Perfect Spins 2 additional spins are awarded every time a Spin Scatter lands anywhere on the board. There are no limits to the number of additional spins which can be awarded. Spins in the bonus round work pretty much the same as in the base game with one notable exception. The exception being that the win multipliers generated from winning combinations don’t reset after the end of a win streak. This means that the total multiplier will increase throughout the round which can lead to some huge wins.
Our Thoughts on Perfect Gems
While Perfect Gems clearly borrows a hell of a lot of elements from Megaways™ there’s no denying it’s a fun game to play and it looks great. I guess it could be argued that there are at least a few minor differences to the way the mechanic works – but whether that will stop Big Time Gaming kicking up a fuss is another question entirely. Personally I’d be surprised if they let it lie without having something to say about it!
All being said, this slot has some great potential, and regardless of any intellectual property disputes it’s a slot that is well worth playing.