Gonzo’s Quest is a game based on the theme of Spanish explorers trekking through the Amazon. It is well established, having been created in 2011, and ranks as one of the 10 most popular slot games in the world.
Theme and Story Line
The Amazonian theme to Gonzo’s Quest is centred around explorer Gonzo, complete with hat and beard as his real-life counterpart, Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizzaro, was depicted as having. He acts as a cheerleader, gyrating and encouraging you as you go, while inspecting the falling tiles as if looking for the lost treasure of Eldorado. The intro clip sets you up to be engaged from the get go, and then the tiles themselves take the form of Amazonian masks in different colours, with Mayan-reminiscent stone walls either side of the main action area.
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The tiles themselves are very simple, but it is Gonzo himself that is the main focus of the animation, and his 3D movements through the walled area created by the falling tiles that make up the reels. As you match the tiles, they rumble and explode like some kind of ancient Indiana Jones-style trap, before being replaced with new ones. The music is quite basic and a bit dated, but the animation is still on a par with a lot of far more modern games.
The main feature of Gonzo’s Quest’s gameplay is the way in which the tiles drop like an avalanche, rather than spinning. This has since been copied by many other slots, but it feels in keeping with the theme and allows for really fast gameplay. While there is no separate side game, the speed of the gameplay and the anticipation that is built up when the gold scatter symbols fall down and you get closer to the free spin (called free fall here) mode.
Bonuses and Free Spins
The most regularly occurring bonus in Gonzo’s Quest is the wild symbol, which is a question mark. This can represent any tile and therefore extends or enables a win. It automatically defaults to the highest pay-out only.
The “free fall” feature occurs when you get 3 gold scatter symbols on consecutive reels. These can only land on reels 2-4. The multiplier also changes range; during normal gameplay, the maximum multiplier is 5x, but this changes from a minimum of 9x to a maximum of 15x. The number of free falls in this bonus game is 10, but you can win extra free falls as you play.
Bet sizes, RTP and Variance
The minimum bet for Gonzo’s Quest is €/£/$ 0.20, with the maximum at €/£/$ 50. There is a convenient button you can click to automatically revert to the maximum bet and an autoplay setting which can be configured to stop after a win, or a certain spend. The RTP is good, at 96% and as a high variance game, it requires some patience in between pay-outs. However, the maximum return is €/£/$ 125,000, so that leaves room for a bit of player ambition.
Gonzo’s Quest delivers an engaging storyline with a high level of excitement and, in Gonzo, a likeable if slightly stereotypical main character. With the multipliers and avalanche feature being well distributed and adding some real anticipation to the game, there is no surprise that it such a widely played game. Despite an average RTP and high variance being off-putting for more casual gamers, more seasoned pros with a bit more patience will see that there are opportunities for large pay-outs over a longer period of time, and will be attracted to the game as a result.