Golden Dollars is all about the filthy lucre. Unfortunately, even diamond encrusted dollar pendants can’t elevate this somewhat drab slot machine.
Golden Dollars is a fairly generic slot machine. It doesn’t have much story or theme to go on, just a general interest in cash, gold, and other wealth adjacent images: cauldrons of coins, dice, and diamond encrusted dollar signs.
It's somewhat unengaging and unimaginative as ideas for a slot go, but slots are a form of gambling your wealth, so gold bricks and gold crowns make a certain kind of sense.
The graphics are – rather like the theme – unimaginative but solid. The animations are what you would expect and the symbols cleanly drawn.
But it all feels rather glossy and empty. The background on the reels is empty blackness and the whole slot hovers in the foreground of a curtain of abstract lights.
The game lacks atmosphere and the music and sound effects do nothing to flesh that out.
The gameplay is typical of Ainsworth slot machines which often advertise their jackpot system, but then integrate the jackpots very poorly, making them feel like add ons rather than the point of a slot machine like this.
The base game is a twenty-five win line slot on a standard five by three grid. This is spiced up by a range of special symbols and features (see below for details).
Like in many Ainsworth games, the special symbols – though intuitive enough to play with – are somewhat complicated to explain.
We’ll start with the simplest of the symbols: the Dollar sign, which plays as a Wild symbol substituting for all symbols except for other special symbols.
Hitting six or more of the Diamond symbol will get you a go on the Golden Cash Feature. During this feature any Diamonds you hit (including those on the triggering spin) are locked in place till the feature ends. This feature nets you three free spins, which reset to three every time you hit another Diamond symbol.
You don’t win for combinations during the Golden Cash feature but when the feature ends every Diamond symbol nets you between one and fifty times your bet per spin.
The Free Game symbol triggers 8 free spins when you hit three symbols on one spin. During the free spins the ‘1 Free Game’ symbol is added to the reels and will add a spin to your counter every time one lands anywhere on a reel.
The Coin symbols all trigger a mini, minor, or major bonus when they land.
The Extra Bonus Golden Cash feature is triggered randomly and plays similarly to Golden Cash. The major difference is that you start with the middle three reels entirely turned to diamonds. If you fill all the spots with Diamonds during this feature you win the Grand Prize jackpot.
The volatility for Golden Dollars is high which matches well with our preferred strategies.
The return to player of this game is 94.34%, rather lower than the yardstick we use of 96%. This is a significant detriment to the game and means the game would need to be pulling a lot of weight to still get a recommendation.
The site we tested Golden Dollars on offered a range of bets from £/$/€1.00 per spin up to a maximum bet of £/$/€40.00. This is a somewhat narrow range and excludes high rollers and the lowest bankrolled players. However, you may find that your mileage varies depending on what sites you play on.
Golden Dollars is a somewhat flat experience. Though not bad by most measures (it does have a rather low return to player) it fails to excite with its relentlessly pedestrial creative choices.