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Everyone will know the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk – this story of a young boy, who sells his family cow for five magic beans, has beguiled children for years.
NetEnt, however, have used this simple story as the basis for a quite beautifully presented 5×3 reel slot. Does Jack still have the magic, or is this a Giant letdown for slot fans?
Let’s take a closer look.
Overview: Jack and the Beanstalk
As the name suggests, this slot is about Jack and his beanstalk. The poor boy who sold his cow for five magic beans and was ‘unfairly’ vilified by his mother for doing so. Personally, I feel the mother gets a raw deal here; how would you feel if your son spent your entire monthly wage on something magic?
This is a 5×3 reel slot with 20 paylines in operation which are not selectable and it has a very enticing 600,000 coin jackpot available to be won, which will certainly be of interest to the jackpot hunting NJ online slot enthusiast.
Who will the Jack and the Beanstalk slot appeal to?
One of the calling cards of a NetEnt slot is high quality presentation.
This is certainly the case with the Jack and the Beanstalk slot. Slot fans who enjoy slick presentation and some new features, such as the Walking Wilds feature, will certainly enjoy this.
It is an affordable game for most people initially, with spins starting at $0.20, but watch out.
Although you may appear to be winning frequently, many base game wins pay out much less than your original bet, which can mean your bankroll does take a hit.
This isn’t a hugely complicated slot and most slot players will enjoy the game and its features, however it is most suited to a more experienced player with a significant bankroll who would like to invest time and money in the slot to discover all it has to offer.
Gameplay: Jack and the Beanstalk
There’s lots that you can take pleasure in with the Jack and the Beanstalk slot.
The presentation of the slot is hugely enjoyable, with perfectly judged sound effects and music accompanying the action on the spinning reels.
Add into this some neat animations when you trigger certain wins, or random events such as birds landing on the reels or butterflies floating across the screen, and it’s easy to appreciate that a lot of nice touches went into the creation of the game.
The base game itself would be somewhat ordinary but for the Walking Wilds feature. This is landed relatively frequently and when landed, the Wild awards a free spin. It also moves across the reels from right to left (so if you land the symbol on the fifth reel, you’ll land five free spins).
This is a great feature as it offers some fantastic bonuses in the base game and perhaps alleviates the frustration of trying to hit the Free Spins round, which seems almost impossible to get to at times.
Indeed, hitting free spins and the fact that many base game wins are often a lot less than your initial stake, does mean that in terms of your bankroll, a relatively dry spell at the reels on Jack and the Beanstalk and you could come up empty handed relatively quickly.
This is definitely a low variance slot, but it has the potential to offer wins up to 600,000 coins, which means that this is a jackpot well worth attempting to land. Just make sure you have plenty of coin in your bankroll before you do as hitting the big money could take a lot longer than it took the beanstalk to grow.
Special features: Jack and the Beanstalk
- Free spins – Land three or more of the Treasure Chest scatters and you can win 10 free spins, which can be retriggered from within the free spins round.
- Treasure Collection – During free spins, if you collect enough key symbols on the fifth reel you can unlock one of three Wild features, giving you increasingly valuable Wild symbols.
- Walking Wilds – Land the Jack and the Beanstalk wild anywhere on the reels in the base game or free spins, and you receive a free re-spin and the symbol will move one reel to the left. You keep receiving free spins until the feature moves off screen.
- Walking Wild – Jaunty music announces the arrival of the Walking Wild which wends its way across the screen from right to left on successive spins offering you the chance of further payouts. A nice touch that offers some decent base game wins.
- Accessible – You can play the Jack and the Beanstalk slot from $0.20 per spin, up to $200 per spin, so it is a scalable slot that can be afforded by all players depending on bankroll size.
- Presentation – From the gentle birdsong and jaunty music in the game, to the beautifully back drops and animations around the reels, Jack and the Beanstalk looks and sounds fantastic.
- Free spins – Jack may have the Magic Beans but there’s no magic with the free spins round. It is so difficult to trigger free spins that you can go through hundreds of spins and never see it.
- Treasure Collection Wild features – Given this feature is triggered only in free spins and you may need multiple free spins to activate these bonuses fully, this is a bonus that is extremely difficult to hit in the game.
- Small base game wins – You’ll here the happy sound of a base game win, but all too often, the win is just a fraction of your initial bet, which means that your bankroll still takes a hit even if you seem to be winning regularly.
Graphics and soundtrack: 4/5
Originality and creativity: 3/5
There are a few original features, the Walking Wild being the primary one but the rest of the features are relatively unoriginal, but well-presented.
Play value: 1.5/5
This is where the Jack and the Beanstalk slot lets itself down. Very low base game wins and a free spins round, with bonuses, that takes an age to hit just don’t add up to great value.
Jackpot potential: 3/5
There is a jackpot available of 600,000 coins, which is a fantastic sum to be won, so Jack and the Beanstalk does offer potential for a really big win. The question is, how often is that sum, or a sum anywhere near it, triggered?
Repeat play: 2.5/5
The production values of the slot, combined with a nice size jackpot and engaging game will certainly keep you coming back, but if your bank balance keeps taking a hit, it won’t be too long before you are looking elsewhere.
Total score: 14/25
Jack and the Beanstalk looks and plays superbly and has some innovative features that brighten up the play, but it suffers in terms of value and especially because of the devilishly hard to hit free spins round.