The California Gold Rush in the 19th century is what made the state the important one it is today. Before the gold rush, San Francisco was just a tiny village of less than 200 people. By the time the gold rush peaked, San Francisco had swelled to more than 300,000 people.
Before the rush, the state was fairly unpopulated. That is why people found it so easy to find gold. In many areas, nature had brought gold nuggets to the surface, and prospectors just had to walk around picking them up.
This momentous and historic event is the inspiration behind the California Gold video slots game. There are no famous characters to be found in the game. Instead, its symbols are made up from things we would associate with old-style mining. Therefore, we have a Miner, of course. He needs things to help him, including his Map, his Pickaxe and his Lantern.
Also helping him is his trusty Ass who pulls the Cart laden with treasure. No miner could carry out his task without something to blow open the rocks, so we have Dynamite. For those who seek gold in a more leisurely fashion, there is the traditional Pan.
Finally, to add spice to the game, we have the Bandit. This character is out to steal the Miner’s hard-won gold, just like some of those shady characters that populate the movies based on the same era.
California Gold graphics
California Gold is a video slots game published by Microgaming. Anybody familiar with Microgaming will know that the company produces clever and imaginative games backed up with excellent graphic presentations and highly entertaining animations.
California Gold is no exception to the high quality games produced by the company. Many of the company games are infused with a touch of humor. In California Gold, it is hard to resist a smile at the excited Miner as he dances for joy when he strikes gold. Apart from this, animations are kept to a minimum, which some people will prefer.
Playing California Gold
Microgaming often introduces subtle differences into the way various games pay out, and the betting options available. Most of their games have 243 winning combinations, but California Gold has only 25. However, overall the odds of winning are pretty much standard across all games.
Another subtle difference between California Gold and lots of other games is that you can bet only one coin per payline. This is less restrictive than it may appear at first, because the range of coin values goes from 0.01 all the way to 10.00. This lets players bet up to 250.00 per spin, and that will appeal to serious gamers. The highest possible jackpot is 5,000 coins. All other jackpots are 500 coins.
Wild and scatter symbols
No modern video slots game comes without these two special symbols. The only differences are in the graphics, where they appear, and what effect they have. In California Gold, the Miner is the wild symbol, and shows up only on reels 2, 3 or 4.
If the wild symbol makes up part of a winning combination, the payout is doubled for that win. If you reveal three miner symbols at the same time, you automatically go into the bonus game.
Good and bad points
California Gold comes with the level of entertainment you expect from the Microgaming stable. It has excellent graphics and animation, and includes all the features you would expect in a modern video slots game.
There is not much to complain about in California Gold. We suspect that some people would like to see progressive jackpots, and California Gold does not offer that feature. Otherwise, the game gets our top rating.