Gonzo’s Quest was released in 2009 and was one of the first truly significant and popular Net Entertainment (NetEnt) online slot machines. The game was somewhat controversial upon its initial release because Gonzo, the game’s protagonist, was clearly based on the 16th-century Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro who was instrumental in the morally questionable Spanish conquest of the Americas. The questionable nature of the game’s theme seems to have long since been forgotten though, and Gonzo’s Quest slot remains one of the most prominent and celebrated NetEnt games to this day. Whilst the jackpot win in this game is not as high as some other slots, this is still definitely a high variance machine. If you want a reasonable chance of some decent playtime and a chance to experience the free falls bonus mode, you would be well advised to keep your bet sizes relatively small compared to the size of your bankroll whilst spinning Gonzo’s Quest.
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The graphics and sounds are a perfect fit for the games “Search for El Dorado” theme, and it still looks and sounds great today despite its age. All spins are played on twenty fixed pay lines and the overall RTP is very fair at 96%. The Gonzo character appears to the left of the reels at all times during play and becomes quite excited whenever a reasonably sized win is achieved. It’s a purely cosmetic touch of course, but Gonzo proved to be so popular with players that he actually started something of a trend – there are now a whole host of games featuring an animated character who watches over the slot whilst you play such as Foxin Wins, King Kong Cash, and Rooks Revenge, to name just a few.
Gonzo’s Quest Features
Whilst the design and mechanics of Gonzo’s Quest are reasonably familiar today, it was an innovative and unusual game when it was first released all those years ago. There are no traditional “reels” as such, and each press of the spin button causes the current symbols to fall to the bottom of the screen, and be replaced by a unique five-by-three arrangement of fresh symbol blocks. It might appear to work in a similar fashion to any other five reel slot game, but the lack of fixed reel strips means that any symbol can occur adjacent to any other at any time. For example, in some games the wild symbols will be positioned directly above or below a low paying symbol, therefore limiting the winnings potential from wild-featuring combinations. There is no such restriction in Gonzo’s Quest slot machine, as a full line of wild symbols could theoretically drop into place whilst also being surrounded entirely by other high paying symbols. It’s a significant design change that definitely benefits the player, whilst also dramatically increasing the variance of the machine.
Each time a winning combination lands on screen in Gonzos Quest slot machine, the multiplier for the next spin is increased. The current multiplier is shown in the top right-hand corner of the screen and can reach a maximum of 5x during the base game or 15x during the free spins mode. Triggering the free spins can be quite difficult, as not only do the bonus symbols only appear on the first three reels, but you will also need to land them all on an active pay line in order to be awarded the feature. This can be extremely frustrating if you manage to actually get three bonus symbols, yet they manage to land in positions that do not result in the feature being triggered! Interestingly, the wild symbol does substitute for the bonus symbol in this game which can be helpful, but it would have been better if the bonus symbols were simply scatters as in almost every other online slot. The top five of a kind combination during the free spins feature can award up to 1875x your stake, but you will need the maximum 15x multiplier to be active in order to achieve this and so will need to be extremely lucky indeed!
It’s clear that Gonzo’s Quest slot machine is something of a design classic, so much so that it has been blatantly cloned and copied several times by other slot providers. Microgaming even went as far as to name their own Gonzos Quest clone “El Dorado”, and gave it an identical paytable and gameplay mechanics – I’m surprised the lawyers haven’t been called over that particular case! It may not be the highest paying game around but it has a certain charm that few other slots can match, and it’s likely that Gonzo himself has been instrumental in aiding this games impressive longevity. Give it a try yourself here on this page or check out our bonus offers at Casumo, LeoVegas or BGO if you would like to play the game for real money.