Goblin’s Cave

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Slot games seem to be getting more and more complex, loaded with secondary screen bonuses, hundreds of paylines and random free spin features. That’s why it is refreshing to come across a change of pace, a game that’s both simple and lots of fun to play as well as offering the possibility of huge payouts—exactly what software giant Playtech has developed in Goblin’s Cave.

The motif is rather humourous, depicting an elderly goblin on the left of the screen. Wearing spectacles and a floor-length turtleneck sweater, he has pointed ears and fangs, and he stands in his threadbare slippers atop piles and piles of gold coins. There is a treasure chest stuffed with gold on the right side of the screen, too, and a three-tiered wooden contraption with pulleys and ropes occupies the middle of the screen.

At first glance, Goblin’s Cave appears to have a 3-reel format with three horizontal paylines, but looks can be deceiving. When the goblin cranks up his contraption and the reels begin to spin, it becomes clear that only one payline is active —the one at the very bottom of the screen. When the three reels come to a halt, the player has the option to click a “Hold” button at the bottom of each reel to freeze 1, 2 or all 3 symbols in place for a follow-up spin.

When a symbol is held, it will appear on all three paylines. The player has the option to hold none of the reel symbols in place. Pressing spin will cause all unheld positions on the reels to spin independently and come to rest one by one. Payouts are made for the highest winning combinations on each payline, and the amounts paid are displayed in the centre of each line. There are also displays for Bet, Line Bet and Paid amounts to the right of the reels.

Available coin denominations range from €0.01 to €5.00. The value can be adjusted by using the +/- toggles adjacent to the bet indicator at the lower left of the screen. It is necessary to bet a minimum of three credits to cover all three of the game’s paylines. The amount wagered per line can be adjusted from 1 to 5 credits by using the “Bet One” button on the control panel below the reels. Clicking on Bet Max will apply a wager of 5 credits to each payline, but it does not change the denomination of each credit. The maximum total wager is €75 per spin.

Clicking on “Paytable” at the bottom of the screen will open a second screen showing the active symbols and payout rates. Three gold coins on a payline is the lowest payout, worth a multiplier of 1X. The very highest payout is awarded for three Wild Ruby symbols in a row, valued at 150X and making the top prize €11,250 for betting the maximum with a €5.00 credit denomination.

Other symbols include Green, Purple and Red Rings; Green, Blue and Red Teapots; and Green, Purple and Red Crowns. Alignments pay from 2X to 125X, and random combinations of Rings, Teapots and Crowns, respectively, also generate cash awards. The Wild Ruby substitutes for any symbol, and catching just 1 or 2 of them pays 2X or 5X, respectively.

One other symbol on the reels is the Blue Lantern. Three consecutive Blue Lanterns triggers the Bonus Round. A second screen appears showing a chamber deep within the Goblin’s Cave. There, eleven caskets are lined up on the floor, each hiding a cash award. Pick one and it will open, revealing a green lizard and the prize. Then, click on continue to return to the main game. The Wild Ruby can substitute for the Blue Lanterns, and catching Blue Lanterns on all nine reel positions awards three picks in the Bonus Round.

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