Wild Willy’s Gold Rush Review
Slot developers absolutely love the Gold Rush theme, so it’s only natural that Armadillo Studios should address the subject at some point. After all, what slots fan isn’t tempted by the word ‘gold’, especially when accompanied by the chance to win real cash prizes?
We’ve seen so many games based around prospectors hoping to make their fortune, so we were keen to see how this latest addition measures up.
Pine forests, steep hillsides and a river form the backdrop to Wild Willy’s Gold Rush, with a wooden frame supporting the reels. The graphics are so-so, with slightly cartoonish characters and basic animations to celebrate wins.
We found the colours rather subdued, and it all feels a little basic, but it’s the game mechanics that are of most interest to us.
As you spin the reels you’ll notice an extra, random symbol appears above them. If that symbol is involved in a win on the reels, a 3x multiplier is added, unless the win involves Golden Nuggets, in which case it increases to 20x.
Land 3, 4 or 5 mine cart Scatters to trigger 8, 12 or 15 free spins respectively. Throughout the bonus round a Wild Collect feature gathers up the values of any Golden Nuggets in view, adding to your win total.
Every Wild that lands during free spins adds +1 to the meter awarding additional free spins and an increase in the multiplier at the following levels:
- 3rd Wild – 5 extra free spins and a 3x multiplier.
- 7th Wild – 5 extra free spins and a 5x multiplier.
- 11th Wild – 5 extra spins and a 20x multiplier.
The lowest-paying symbol on the paytable is the 10, which returns your stake for a five-of-a-kind win. The character symbols pay better returns, with the Wild and the saloon girl paying up to 10x the bet.
Base game wins can be enhanced if the winning symbol also appears above the reels, awarding a 3x multiplier, or 20x in the case of Golden Nuggets. But it’s the free spins bonus round where the biggest wins are to be found. Keep spinning up Wilds to collect Golden Nugget cash prizes and fill the meter to increase the win multiplier all the way up to 20x for big cash prizes.
The RTP comes in at slightly above the industry average of 96%, but keep in mind that this is a highly volatile game. A modest bankroll is unlikely to take you far, so try a few demo spins if you can, before putting your own money on the line.
We gave it our best shot, but Wild Willy’s Gold Rush didn’t really hit the spot for us. To be fair, that’s almost entirely down to a less than rewarding playing experience - if we’d had more luck on the reels we might have taken a more favourable view, although we still felt a bit let down by the graphics.
As we’ve already mentioned, the Gold Rush theme is hugely popular with developers and players, and there are some truly iconic games in this genre, including Bonanza, which set the bar high. It’s highly unlikely that the team at Big Time Gaming will be quaking in their boots about this new addition to the genre, but that’s no reason not to give it a try. See if you have more luck than we did, and let us know how you get on!