Highly volatile and huge potential aren’t the first things that come to mind when you think of Just For The Win. The games may look good, but the math model and gameplay often leave something to be desired, especially for more seasoned gamblers. The studio hopes to change players’ minds with their slot Western Gold, which has both high volatility and the potential for large payouts to lucky players.
Western Gold is still a visually appealing game, at least in terms of its background art. Aurora Beast Hunter’s grainy visual style is replicated on the reels, at least on mobile devices. The 5-reel, 40-payline playing area is set in a canyon at either the end or beginning of the day, surrounded by cliff faces. This picture reminds me of an Edgar Payne painting of the American West.
If there’s one thing a Western setting allows for, it’s the chance to create a fantastic score. Once again, Just For The Win delivers the goods by laying down an excellent steel string number in the vein of Bon Jovi that sets the mood even before you play it.
Western Gold is powered by Microgaming and has a generous hit rate of 38.98%, meaning there are plenty of wins along the way to keep you going. Bets range from 10 p/c to $/€25 per spin. While the’very high’ volatility rating may not appeal to all players, the 96.12% RTP should satisfy the vast majority. This is not a leisurely stroll along a path that winds through beautiful canyons.
The symbols are a blend of traditional slot icons and stock Western imagery. In descending order of value are the whip, boot, hat, pistol, bar, double bar, triple bar, and lucky seven. Lucky Sevens have the highest payout for a full house, at 30 times the original wager for five of a kind. The golden ‘W’ wild is when you land in any position. It can substitute for all symbols except for the scatters and free spins icons, and it has the same value as the Lucky 7s.
El Dorado: The Goods
The goal of the game is to amass a large amount of loot by collecting horseshoe scatters. You can do this during regular play or during the bonus round of free spins.
During the main game, you win a prize if you get four horseshoes on a single spin. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, or twelve visible horseshoes immediately pay out 1, 5, 15, 25, 50, 100, 250, 1,000, or 10,000 times the wager, respectively. In the main game, getting four or five of them is fairly common, but getting high numbers, such as ten horseshoes, is difficult unless you have some help.
Fortunately this is where the next feature comes in. The sheriff’s badge symbol is the free spins symbol, landing on reels 2, 3 or 4 in the main game. When 3 are in view, the free spins feature is triggered.
This feature starts with 3 free spins on the clock. Each time a horseshoe scatter lands, it is collected, and spins are reset to three. The number of scatters collected has the same worth as they do in the main game. So again, collect 12 of them to trigger the 10,000x top prize.
Western Gold: Verdict
Just For The Win has definitely turned a corner in 2020, or attempting to at least? Sure, there have been misses, yet the studio has released several games recently with big numbers such as Immortal Glory, and Wolf Howl. Of course, numbers are just numbers and don’t reveal the full picture. However, it kind of feels like a change is brewing at the studio. We’re still to see the breakout hit that blasts Just For The Win’s critics away, but is it only a matter of time?
Western Gold might not be the breakout, but it still has some enticing elements. Firstly, Just For The Win has designed an enjoyable game world to lose yourself in for a while. The strong Western vibe comes at you via the oil painting looks and a great soundtrack, imbuing an almost Manifest Destiny feel while chasing the big win. That’s good too because chasing is Western Gold’s one and only trick. For those who like massively volatile, straight forward gameplay, Western Gold is one of the better games to come off Just For The Win’s production line.
Decent non-horseshoe wins are possible via the premium symbols, yet you don’t need us to tell you, Western Gold is all about collecting horseshoes – nothing else matters. In many ways, it plays out in a similar manner to Gameburger’s 9 Masks of Fire which proved to be a fairly popular release. The difference with Western Gold is that it’s a lot more volatile and if you go all the way the top prize is five times what 9 Masks Of Fire has to offer. The Western theme and music are more engaging too, though that’s more of a personal matter.
So while Western Gold probably won’t be the game that makes Just For The Win a household name, it’s not bad either. It’s done something which would have been nearly unthinkable a scant year ago, namely, raised intrigue at what the next Just For The Win slot might be.