Ever since Evolution Gaming took over the reins of NetEnt, the Swedish software provider seems to be getting a bit nostalgic. The studio has returned to the past with games like Starburst XXXtreme, Gonzo’s Gold, and now Silverback Gold. Silverback Gold doesn’t follow the cult slot like the other two, per se, but makes a pretty bold statement nonetheless. With Silverback Gold, NetEnt seems to have taken the opportunity to correct any criticism it may have received about the previous game, Gorilla Kingdom.
However, there were no complaints about the graphics of the original game, because Silverback Gold looks almost the same. It takes place on a 5×4 game grid that offers 1024 ways to win. Behind it lies a dense backdrop of jungle; this time, NetEnt captured the scene at a different time of day, the light bouncing off the foliage creating a slightly shifted range of colors. Otherwise, the two games look the same except for the feature buy button, which glows on the left side of the screen.
With the transition to a mathematical model, some of the most significant updates begin to emerge. The RTP remained the same at 96.1%, but the volatility was raised from the previous average to high. The max win has also increased exponentially, making Silverback Gold a much more enticing proposition for players tracking down the biggest potential payout possible. The stakes have been capped, now ranging from £10 to £100 per spin.
To win, you need to collect at least three matching symbols from left to right on the right side of the grid. The exception is gorilla premiums; only two identical winnings are required to pay out. The game uses two gorillas: the regular one is worth 4 times the bet, or the gold version is worth 8 times the bet for five of a kind. Below them are symbols of birds, snakes, crocodiles and leopards, which increase the bet by 2.5-3 times, and further down the table, five members of the royal family from 9 cards will bring you from 1 to 1.5 times your bet. In a sudden move, wild symbols appear on the reels, replacing everything except the scatter. In free spins, wilds even have multiplier powers.
In free spins, the tokens collected in the bonus game are added to the collection meter, where more tokens can be collected from free spins as they can appear on silver back symbols. When a certain number of tokens are collected, the symbol is upgraded to a premium symbol with a silver back:
30 tokens upgrade crocodile symbols.
60 tokens upgrade leopard symbols.
120 tokens upgrade snake symbols
200 tokens upgrade bird symbols.
300 tokens upgrade regular silver spins to golden silver symbols.
When the collection meter reaches 300, all silver back symbols turn into gold silver back symbols, which only appear during free spins. Also, in free spins, when wild symbols land, they have a x2 or x3 multiplier. If 2 or more wild multipliers appear on the path of a winning bet, the total is multiplied by the product of the wild symbol values. Finally, if a land comes up, each one awards an additional free spin.
If you prefer to go to the jungle by helicopter rather than camping, players have the option to buy free spins for a price of 100x their stake.
Concluding this review, it seems like NetEnt is fed up with people asking why they should play Gorilla Kingdom and not Pink Elephants, and going back to the drawing board to assuage criticism for good. The result was Silverback Gold, which is of course closely related to the Pink Elephants symbol upgrade system, but with much more potential. It also has an extra feature in the base game that was missing from Gorilla Kingdom, mixing things up. However, it is a bonus game and free spins when the silver back in question starts to get all territorial.
The new token collection feature is intriguing and can lead to free spins with some or even all of the symbols already upgraded from the start. Not only is this smart, but it helps widen the gap between Silverback Gold and the previous Gorilla game, as well as Pink Elephants. Now, the bonus game as a whole is more like an evolution of the symbol transformation concept than an imitation.
The game upgrades higher value premium symbols to silver instead of lower value, just like the previous gorilla game. This approach seems to increase the level of difficulty, as higher value symbols tend to land less, making it technically difficult to convert all symbols to golden silver spins. By the way, wouldn’t a gold silver back technically be a gold back? In any case, one of the main bugbears of the Gorilla Kingdom has been completely erased. To quell the controversy among big win hunters, NetEnt has given Silverback Gold the potential of 45,126 times the stake.
After all, Silverback Gold is rapidly moving forward from the slot it evolved from. NetEnt came up with a game filled with primates that, on the one hand, can seriously crack down on the unwary. However, the new Symbol Transform Free Spins round is an upgrade in itself, and the winning possibilities are dizzying, all of which make the trip back to the jungle alluring.