Over the course of the last decade, the slot gaming genre has evolved to become a key driver of the iGaming gross gambling yield (GYY). As a result of this, developers have invested more of their time and resources in creating a diverse library of slot games, many of which are themed and provide some impressive pop-culture references.
Not all of these slots have been created equal, however, and few have had the impact of the iconic Gonzo’s Quest. Launched in 2011, this slot was the first platinum title released by NetEnt, whilst it also introduced a number of unique and innovative features that have since taken the slot gaming genre by storm.
If you want to experience what Gonzo’s Quest has to offer, you can demo it here. We’ll review this game in further detail below, however, whilst asking why it has become such an enduringly popular and iconic title.
Gonzo’s Quest – A Brief History
Just as the iGaming GGY has enjoyed exponential growth across the globe during the last decade, so too slot gaming has become increasingly generative.
This trend has been borne out by the figures, with slots accounting for nearly two-thirds (64.5%) of the online casino GGY in 2017. This makes it the dominant iGaming force, and one that continues to shape the contemporary online gambling experience.
This is due in part to titles such as Gonzo’s Quest, which has enjoyed phenomenal growth and earned almost cult status amongst players since its release around eight years ago.
Available in both free play and gambling modes, Gonzo’s Quest is a mid-variance slot that boasts five reels and 20 rewarding paylines. Despite the relatively high payouts on offer, the slot also boasts a competitive return-to-player (RTP) rate of 95%, and this is just one of the reasons behind its incredible popularity.
The game also charts the adventures of the intrepid Gonzo, as the beloved conquistador arrives at the Peruvian coast in a galleon. From here, he steals a treasure map and sets of in the search for Eldorado, which is known to all as the ‘lost city of gold’.
Gonzo is undoubtedly the heartbeat of the game, with his interactive characterisation adding an incredibly fun dimension to the overall experience.
This represents just the tip of the iceberg when appraising the iconic appeal of the game as a whole, however, as there are plenty of reasons why Gonzo’s Quest has continued to take the market by storm.
Why is Gonzo’s Quest Such an Iconic Slot Title?
Aside from the appealing simplicity of the game’s layout and its impressive RTP rate, there’s no doubt that the design and animation of Gonzo is at the heart of the slot’s popularity.
Firstly, the intrepid explorer at the heart of a fun and immersive theme, which blazed a trail for others to follow in the market and helped to establish NetEnt as the king of inventive slot gaming narratives.
The fun nature of Gonzo himself also creates a genuinely immersive gameplay experience, and one that has undoubtedly won over an army of casual players whilst also helping to create a unique hook in an increasingly crowded space.
The game’s three-dimensional graphics engine has also boosted its competitiveness, with the high quality animation and use of stylish icons more than a match for many of the recently launched slot titles.
This is an important consideration, as it’s all too easy for older slots to quickly become outdated in an age of rapid technological advancement, but Gonzo’s Quest has managed to avoid this trap to become a true cult classic.
Safe in the knowledge that this would be a flagship, premium slot game, NetEnt also ensured that Gonzo’s Quest was equipped with some unique gameplay features.
The biggest example of this is the decision to eschew traditional spinning reels, in favour of using symbols that fall into place from the top of the screen. This undoubtedly added a new and dreamy quality to the game on its release, whilst it has also inspired a host of similarly-designed titles in the years since.
Now commonly known as the ‘avalanche’ feature, this is a great way of introducing symbols and forging on-screen winning combinations, and it has helped to keep the slot gaming market on its toes during the last decade or so.
When you consider this along with the fact that Gonzo’s Quest also blazed a trail for featuring multiple bonus rounds (there are five in total), it’s little wonder that the game remains enduringly popular to this day.
We can’t see this trend changing anytime soon either, regardless of how many new slots are released each year in the marketplace.