Hot Gems is a 5-reel casino slot from Playtech, one that features 25 unique paylines. The lurid, gem-themed video slot is known for its excellent gameplay, with both wild and scatter symbols to be found on the reels. Moreover, the title includes free spins bonuses and a collapsing reels feature. Playtech certainly aren’t in the habit of manufacturing dull video slots, and Hot Gems is yet another shining example of the developer’s fierce commitment to highly playable games offering attractive pay-outs.
Mining for gems
The game takes place in a mine, and your task is to prospect gems and other goodies to trigger pay-outs. At the start of the game, determine your number of autoplay spins (you can play up to 99), if applicable, then set your bet. The minimum line bet is 0.20, while the maximum is five for a total wager of 125 per spin. The 25 paylines are fixed.
Symbols include a bearded miner examining a chunk of gold, a lantern, a prospector’s pick, a coal trolley and numerous different coloured gems. Although you might come to the game expecting these glittering gems to be the gateway to big wins, that’s not actually the case; they’re the lower-value symbols. The lowest-value gem is the purple one, while the best is the sharp-looking gold gem.
The symbol you really want to watch out for is the miner. It pays 100 for three, 250 for four and a whopping 5,000 for five. Next best is the lamp, although it only pays 75 for three, 200 for four and 400 for five. Then it’s the pick (50/150/300) followed by the trolley (30/100/200). When the symbols fall into place, they do so with a resonant click, the kind of sound that might be made if, say, you dropped a bunch of gems in a bathtub.
The reels are collapsing!
In Hot Gems, each spin of the reels can have many possible permutations. When you’re lucky enough to hit a win, all symbols in a matching combo explode! After all wins of that screen have been tallied up, the symbols above them fall down and occupy the empty squares, a la Tetris. The reels continue to collapse in this manner so long as fresh winning combinations are made. Winning Hot Gems logo and Free Spins icons explode, too. This nifty feature is active in the base game, but also during the free spins bonus.
Hot gems and free spins
The wild icon appears only on the central three reels. It can replace other symbols to help you form winning combinations, though it cannot ever stand in for the scatter Hot Gems logo or the Free Spins symbol.
Free Games symbols naturally trigger free spins. You need to find them in any position on reels one, three and five simultaneously. If you manage to do so, you’ll win 15 free spins, with the collapsing reels multiplier feature. Free spins cannot re-trigger.
The initial free spins are attached with a x1 multiplier. However, the multiplier increases with each subsequent win, and any resulting winning combinations after the reels collapse are multiplied by this figure. The multiplier tops out at x5, though, and fresh free spins reset the multiplier to x1. During bonus games, reels are spun automatically using the same bet-per-line as on the spin that initially triggered the free spins.
The Hot Gems scatter is linked with moderate pay-outs, but triggers regular wins as the icons need not be found on active paylines, and they also pay in any configuration. The scatter pays one for two, four for three, 20 for four and 100 for five.
Hot Gems is another winner of a video slot from Playtech. The presence of three separate bonus icons ensures the pace remains speedy and the gameplay enjoyable, while the collapsing reels feature gives the title a certain uniqueness. On the downside, the gems are linked with fairly average pay-outs and the lines cannot be adjusted by the player, which is somewhat unusual. All in all, we have no trouble recommending this game to players old and new.