The allure of gold is unmistakable. From the days of King Midas to the Gold Rush era of early California and the quest for excellence at the modern Olympic Games, the world has long been enamoured by the precious yellow metal. No less attractive, then, are Microgaming’s “Gold Factory” slots, introduced in 2011 to serve a market hungry for ever greater riches.
The Gold Factory game features a five-reel, 50-payline format and a fantasy theme that may remind some players of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Wide betting limits are allowed with wagering of up to 20 credits per line for a Max Bet of 1,000 credits. Denominations allowed range from €0.01 to €0.10, so the biggest bet possible is €10. The credit value is easily adjusted by using the +/1 toggles below the first reel.
Winning combinations start with matching three or more symbols for Gold Coins, Gold Bullion or Gold Ore on an active payline at multipliers from 15X to 500X. Higher awards of 60X to 4,000X come from lining up three or more Airship, Submarine or Train symbols. The biggest per-line prizes of 125X to 12,500X can be claimed by matching three or more Factory, Apprentice or Goldsmith symbols.
The Gold Factory Logo is wild and substitutes for all symbols except the Gold Medallion Bonus scatter symbol. When 3, 4 or 5 Logos line up on an active payline, the top line reward of 375X, 3,750X or 37,500X is paid. Catching 2, 3, 4 or 5 Scattered Gold Medallions on any of the reels pays 500X, 750X, 5,000X or 50,000X, respectively.
The credit denomination can be adjusted by using the +/- toggles below reel one. The game is initiated by clicking “Spin.” Winnings appear in the “Win” window beneath reel five, while the available Coins show in the lower left corner and total Bet is displayed below reel four. Use of the Autoplay allows repetition of 5 or 10 bets and can be accessed by clicking on the toggles under reel two.
Certainly the most exciting aspects of Gold Factory slots are its Bonus Features. Whenever three or more Scattered Gold Medallion Bonus symbols appear, the Gold Factory Bonus is activated, worth up to 619,000 credits. The regular slot mode is suspended as the scene shifts to the Boiler Room Bonus. Here, the player selects four out of the twelve Gold Hoppers on display, each of them revealing one of three prizes: Instant Wins, Free Spins or the special Reactor Bonus.
The latter two prizes are called “Second Level Bonuses” and they trigger immediately when revealed. In the Free Spins, the player is prompted to hit a spin button in front of two computer screens. These hide a random number of free spins from 10 to 35, along with a 2x multiplier. When the Free Spins have finished, the game reverts back to the Boiler Room to conclude any remaining picks.
During the Reactor Bonus, a dozen chambers appear around the central Reactor. The player must choose chambers one by one to reveal additional rewards until a “malfunction” symbol appears, ending the bonus round. Again, the game reverts back to the Boiler Room to conclude any remaining picks.
Free games cannot be retriggered during the Free Spins, although both of the Second Level Bonuses may be initiated during the Boiler Room Bonus. On the downside, it is also possible to pick four Gold Hoppers without receiving either the Free Spins or Reactor Bonus. This can make Gold Factory slots a bit frustrating, but the volatility is so high that any annoyance is soon forgotten when the gold begins to flow.