Gold Mine Stacks 2: Slot Overview
Ever had a conversation with someone, maybe a debate or even an argument, and later that day, a fantastic comeback pops into your head which would have been perfect, but your fellow interlocutor is long gone by then? You either have to file it away for deployment another day or get on the phone right away to your pal and flaunt your genius. Software provider Nailed It! Games appears to have chosen the latter option. This conjecture came about after the Polish developer released Gold Mine Stacks (2022) and then rather quickly followed it up with Gold Mine Stacks 2. There aren't titanic differences between the two games, yet differences there are; let's see.
To do so means donning a trusty metaphorical hard hat with a light on it and heading underground to check out Gold Mine Stacks 2. Fortunately, with the widespread prevalence of mining-themed slots, players shouldn't have a hard time getting equipped. Gold Mine Stacks 2's base game takes place outside a snow-covered mine entrance before delving deeper into the bowels of the earth for its hold 'n win bonus round, which for some reason, is covered in snow as well. Perhaps the weather was chilly in Poland when the studio designed the game. All good, a bit of visual variety never hurt while swinging a pick.
Buried deep within the gold mine shaft can be found a 'Very High' volatile math model, rolling out four different RTP models for operators to use – from 96.07% and downwards. At the highest level, hits have a frequency of 44.71%, occurring when three to five matching symbols land along one of the 20 paylines crossing Gold Mine Stacks 2's 5x3 game grid. Available on any device, players are able to pick stakes of 20 p/c up to £/€40 per paid spin.
Gold Mine Stacks 2's symbols are a little plain, but they serve their purpose well enough. On the less valuable side of the paytable are metallic J-A card ranks, worth two times the stake for a line of five winning symbols. Up from them are four high-pay gem symbols, awarding 8 to 20 times the bet for a five-of-a-kind winning line. Wilds share the same payout values as the top gem symbol and appear on all five reels. As well as creating wins of their own, wilds substitute for all symbols except the bonus symbol.
Gold Mine Stacks 2: Slot Features
Not only that, but wild symbols may land on the reels stacked. If a stack of three wilds lands, then a Wild Stack Respin is awarded. The wild stack is locked in place for the respin while all other reels spin. Respins keep being awarded until no full wild stack lands in view.
Gold Mine Stacks Bonus
Landing 3 or more bonus symbols in the base game triggers the Gold Mine Stacks Bonus round. The triggering bonus symbols turn sticky for the bonus round where only bonus symbols or blank spaces hit. Displayed above the game grid are bonus prizes that may appear on the bonus symbols. The round starts on Level 1 and can progress to Level 16. As the round levels up, the bonus prizes displayed above the grid increases as well. At Level 1, bonus prizes can be 1 to 20 times the bet; at Level 15, they can be 15 to 300x the bet. Reach Level 16, and the max win is awarded. Levelling up happens when a full reel is covered in bonus symbols. Not only do players move to the next level, but the grid is cleared of bonus symbols.
Before the round begins, a two-reel Randomizer spins. The left reel either lands one of the prize values or a safe, and the second reel lands a multiplier up to x20. Whenever the landed prize value appears on a bonus symbol, it is multiplied by the awarded multiplier. If a safe symbol lands, all prize values have the multiplier applied to them.
A total of 3 spins are initially awarded, and landing new symbols reset the spin counter. When spins run out or when Level 16 is achieved, the round ends. However, before the round begins, players may be given a chance to gamble for Super-lives on a segmented wheel. Successful spins award a Super-life (up to 2 max); unsuccessful spins ends the bonus round. Bear in mind, though, that if the feature is triggered by 4 or 5 bonus symbols in the base game, players automatically get 1 or 2 Super-lives, respectively.
Bonus Bet & Buy Bonus
These features may or may not be available depending on the market. If they are, then activating the Bonus Bet doubles the chance of triggering the Gold Mine Stacks Bonus, at the same time increasing the bet by 25%. For quicker access to the bonus round, Gold Mine Stacks Bonus can be bought for 100x the bet or for 250x the bet; players can get the Gold Mine Stacks Bonus with the Safe symbol on The Randomizer.
Gold Mine Stacks 2: Slot Verdict
Well, that was a pleasant surprise. After not tangling with Nailed It! Games before, Gold Mine Stacks 2 turned out to be better than expected. It looks pretty unassuming at first, a little basic, and the expectation was of a so-so main game and a run-of-the-mill hold 'n win bonus round. With no special symbols in the bonus, Gold Mine Stacks 2 didn't seem like it was going up against something like Relax Gaming's Money Train series, the crème de la crème of hold 'n win gaming. Instead, Nailed It! Games has headed in a different direction, keeping the concept simple, though being somewhat complicated with the details, while twisting the playability knob up to impressive levels.
The base game's got a decent flow to it, too, thanks to the relatively high hit rate and frequency of Wild Stack Respins. Nailed It! Games is totally upfront that filling the reels with wild stacks would lead to the main game's max win of 400x the bet. Not like wow, but compare this amount to the bonus round, where an eye-watering 50,000x the bet is technically up for grabs. Getting it means reaching Level 16, which, obviously, is unlikely to be a cakewalk. Even moving through the mid-levels could well take significant commitment. However, it is quite fun attempting to do so. More than you might expect such a hold 'n win round to be without the use of special symbols. The provider makes bald claims with the advertised max win potential, and it remains to be seen whether this is actually achievable or not. It's a bit of a shame there is no max win frequency data shared for the sake of transparency.
The Randomizer, the multiplier, and the increasing Bonus Prize values help out as well, and the result is quite a clever product. The massive top prize is also a major contributor to Gold Mine Stacks 2's appeal as well of course, but even without such impressive potential, the rest of the game would have been good enough for a sneaky look or two.