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One of the guiding rules I go by when I review any slot is how easy it is to play if you were coming to it as a relative newcomer. Fortunately most slots pass this test relatively easily, even some of those with more complicated features can be figured out in a relatively short space of time with a little patience.
However on occasion, you come across a slot game that is so complex that it seems to defy rational explanation, and then when you have an explanation of how the game works, it still doesn’t make much sense to the individual. Unfortunately, Cool Jewels is one such slot from WMS, and this is one game that took me a good while to get to grips with.
Cool Jewels is a slot game that actually doesn’t look like a slot game and it has been clearly designed to cash in on the popularity of social media-based games, such as Candy Crush Saga. In this game there are 6×6 reels involved, with a variety of jewels being the symbols on the reels. Alongside these jewels are a number of other icons including a wide variety of special Wild symbols and the Cool Jewels logo acts as the in-game scatter symbol.
The aim is to get four or more of the same jewels (or a Wild symbol substituting for a jewel) together in a block horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally). This constitutes a win and you receive a payout. In addition, the number of symbols you get in a payline is added to the Pay Per Symbol meter and the symbols on your payline disappear, allowing new symbols to drop down. You can trigger additional wins using this Cascading Reels feature, which also increases the value of the Pay Per Symbol meter with every win triggered and every symbol collected.
Who will the Cool Jewels slot appeal to?
Cool Jewels isn’t a slot that will appeal to traditional slot fans or retro gamers, however it is a slot game that I think will certainly appeal to slot fans that like new games that move away from the traditional 5×3 reel set up and like to push the boundaries of what a slot game can offer.
Furthermore, given that this games heritage lies within popular social-media games, I think people that enjoyed games such as Candy Crush Saga and other similar types of games will certainly enjoy this slot, as it shares a great many of the features of those types of games, but offers the opportunity to win real cash.
Gameplay: Cool Jewels
The Cool Jewels slot has a gameplay that is part slot, part social-media game and as a result, plays very differently to any other slot game you will have played previously. There are six reels, each with six symbols on display, but there are no paylines in this slot. So the question is, how do you win?
Well, in Cool Jewels, you receive a win when you land four or more of the same symbols together connected either horizontally or vertically anywhere on the board. When you achieve this, the number of symbols you collect is added to the Pay Per Symbol meter and the symbols collected disappear, allowing fresh symbols to cascade down from above, which can then trigger additional paylines (and increase the Pay Per Symbol meter with every symbol collected).
However, to help players achieve more wins, there are a number of other symbols alongside the jewel symbols that are most common on the reels. The first of these is the Wild symbol, or to be more accurate, the Wild symbols.
That’s because in Cool Jewels, there isn’t just one Wild symbol, but three and each performs a different operation. The Shocking Wild, when used as part of a winning group, destroys all the symbols radiating out from it in a diagonal direction (these symbols offer you a payout and also contribute to increasing your Pay Per Symbol value).
The Exploding Wild destroys all the symbols that surround it, again offering a payout per symbol and also increasing the Pay Per Symbol value). The Blasting Wild destroys all symbols emanating from it horizontally and vertically and it also collects the cash from those symbols and adds them to the Pay Per Symbol meter.
Best of all, if you can land two Wilds together, then they perform a number of different tasks and extra features, which can lead to increased wins and a greater chance of triggering additional wins.
Remember, every time a symbol is part of a payline, or destroyed by a Wild, this does trigger Cascading Reels, which rain down from above and these too can create additional wins. The Pay Per Symbol meter increases with every symbol you collect on a spin and the more you collect on a single spin, the higher the value this meter can reach (up to a maximum of 50).
The other symbol to look out for in the game is the Cool Jewels logo, which is the scatter symbol. Land four or more of these symbols on the reels to trigger between 8 and 20 free spins. To trigger these symbols, you need to destroy them using any of the Wilds or features attributed when two wilds activate on a spin. You can see the progress you are making on any spin by monitoring the Free Games meter on the right hand side of the screen.
Special Features: Cool Jewels
Pay Per Symbol meter
For every symbol you destroy as part of a winning payline, or through activating one of the Wild symbols, you fill in a slice of the meter, the more slices you fill in, the greater the value of your win for each symbol collected on that spin can grow, up to a maximum of 50.
Huge variety of Wilds
There are three different Wild symbols active in the game and each performs a specific function, however you can land two Wild symbols together in a group of symbols and if triggered, they can perform additional functions on top of their usual functions, thus increasing your chances of a better value win.
Land four or more of the Cool Jewels Logo scatter symbols to unlock up to 20 free spins and it is in this section of the game where the player does not have to wager a cash amount per spin, that some of the biggest value wins are possible, although the game does not have a stated jackpot size.
It is clear that the Cool Jewels slot has taken it inspiration from social-media gaming and that is fine, as to be fair, the game works well. The reels aren’t obvious but are there, and the unusual way that wins are triggered takes a little getting used to, but with clear graphics and nice sounds, they have presented this slot very well.
The three different Wild symbols are the key to unlocking some of the better wins in both the base game but especially in free spins. Landing them together when they can trigger additional features alongside their usual bonuses really does help increase your chances of a good return.
Free Games option
The Free Games option is where the bigger money in the slot can be won, ostensibly because you are not wagering on every spin. It is a volatile game though and it can be hard to hit a bigger win, even in Free Spins, at times.
Difficult to understand
There’s no doubting that playing this slot takes a lot more patience to get to grips with than a typical slot game. Although the features are good, when you first play it can be hard to fathom out exactly what is happening on screen, particularly when multiple Wild symbols trigger together.
Low play value
Unfortunately, one of the abiding features of the slot is just how poor value the wins are in the base game. Playing for the highest stakes of $50 per spin, most wins come in considerably less than that wager, with only the occasional win in excess of it, which means this is a game with poor value for players.
No jackpot to chase
Because in theory this is a game that could continue to payout ad infinitum, there is no quantifiable jackpot in place, so judging how appealing this game is to jackpot hunters is impossible, though on reviewing the game, I would argue that it is not likely to be hugely appealing.
Graphics & soundtrack 4/5
Cool Jewels is beautifully presented with crystal clear sounds and graphics and it is visually very appealing to look at. The team behind it have captured its social-media gaming roots quite beautifully while retaining the key elements of a slot game too.
Originality & creativity 4/5
Certainly there isn’t another game that I have played as a slot that comes close to Cool Jewels in terms of originality, as per the game design and with some of the features, such as the three different Wilds, this game does score well.
Play value 1/5
This is a real let down, as the vast majority of wins in the game are very small indeed with few reaching the level of the wager placed and some wins offering just a fraction of it.
Jackpot potential 1/5
In theory, this game could payout a limitless amount, but in truth the chances of a big win happening seem extraordinarily remote and with no upper jackpot to aim for, this isn’t a game that will attract those seeking a big win.
Repeat play 2/5
For novelty value and if you are a lover of social-media type games similar to Cool Jewels, then you may come back for a few spins now and then, but as a dedicated slot fan, Cool Jewels left me feeling decidedly cold to be honest.
Total score: 12/25
Cool Jewels is a novelty slot for me, it has some nice touches and with some time invested in it, soon becomes apparent how to play, but it isn’t the easiest game to pick up and understand and with a low play value and no jackpot amount stated, it isn’t likely to appeal to many slot game enthusiasts.