Launched in June 2019, The Golden Chase by STHLM Gaming is your typical Summer release, packed with colourful symbols and retro references to classic slot machines. Still, as simple as it may appear at the first glance, there is more to it than meets the eye – the number of rows and paylines can change at any moment, triggering the bonus feature and boosting the winning odds.
The slot starts off with 3 rows and 243 paylines which pay left to right when a combination of at least three matching icons lands on the connecting reels. The bets range from $0.25 to $100 per spin and the coin value is fixed; to place the bet, the players can use the – / + commands at the bottom of the game screen or simply select the desired amount on the pop-up betting window. For faster play, one can activate the Quick Spin mode and initiate the Auto Play, setting in motion up to 500 continuous spins. The Auto Play can be deactivated manually or by determining the parameters that will automatically stop the spin (for example, bonus feature activation).
Judging by the symbols, STHLM Gaming seems to have been inspired by early land-based slot cabinets – the kind that's still immensely popular at brick and mortar casinos. The highest paying icons are the Diamond, number 7 and the Horseshoe, followed by the Bell and the 4-Leaf Clover symbol. A, K, Q, and J are the lowest paying icons and the value of each symbol combination is determined by the size of the stake.
In the base game, the Wild can replace all other icons to complete the symbol combination and generate the payout. Unlike most slots, The Golden Chase does not introduce the Scatter icons – instead, the bonus rounds are unlocked by 5 consecutive wins and played across 1024 paylines and 4 rows. Every winning spin will add a “golden feature” to the collection, which will be stored in The Golden Chase meter at the top of the game screen and triggered during the Fee Spins. Depending on the active feature, the players will be rewarded with 1- 3 additional Free Spins, up to x3 win multiplier, x5 symbol multiplier, or extra Wild on reels 2 – 5.
If lining up 5 consecutive winning spins sounds a bit “unmanageable” you will be pleased to hear that even a single win can start a feature. One hit is all it takes for a re-spin to be unlocked, which means that pretty much every win carries an extra payout chance. The developer has not specified the slot’s volatility, but it’s easy to determine that an average gameplay session falls between medium and high volatility.
The wins and re-spins are generated fairly easily, and even the Free Spins bonus has a decent hit frequency. The fluctuating structure is a nice touch, drawing resemblance to BTG’s MEGAWAYS system (where the number of paylines changes on every spin). Overall, we are looking at a visually pleasing and potentially lucrative slot machine, that might not become iconic, but will give you your money’s worth.