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The Hawaiian Tiki legends are a popular theme for slots.
They’re colorful, yet dramatic, and cover a wide range of subjects and objects. As such, it isn’t surprising that Gamesys has got in on the act with this 5×3 reel slot based on all things Hawaiian called Tiki Island.
The slot boasts an island backdrop with palm trees, Tiki masks, monkeys hanging from the trees, and some of Hawaii’s brightest flora and fauna.
The setting looks perfect, so how does the actual game pan out? Let’s take a closer look.
Overview: Tiki Island
So the initial impressions of the Tiki Island slot are good. It is a 5×3 reel game with 20 fixed paylines and you can wager between $0.20 and $40 per spin.
This means it is a good game for medium to low rollers or micro stakes gamers.
There are two pick ‘em bonus features in the game, a Puffer Fish bonus and a Coconut bonus.
Each has its own bonus symbol which needs to be landed three across the reels to activate the bonus. There’s also a scatter symbol (a Tiki mask) that offers payouts depending on how many you land across the reels.
Who will the Tiki Island slot appeal to?
In truth, this is slot is somewhat basic.
The lack of free spins features harms its appeal to fans of that particular bonus element of a slot, but there are two pick ’em bonus games to compensate. But those lack the same level of intrigue and excitement of free spins and are not quite as flexible when it comes to dishing out awards.
Slot fans who like to be able to win the biggest prizes on the slot without activating a bonus feature will like Tiki Island initially, as will those who prefer slots that play with a lot higher variance.
This is a slot that doesn’t like to reward its customers too often.
Where to play the Tiki Island online slot in NJ
Unlike many New Jersey online slots titles, Tiki Island can’t be found just anywhere.
Gameplay: Tiki Island
The gameplay Tiki Island is hugely repetitive.
Of course, all slots are somewhat repetitive, but when a slot actually has a bonus feature, you’d expect to be able to activate it relatively often.
However, with the Tiki Island slot, you could be waiting for Halley’s Comet to return before you engage either the Puffer Fish or Coconut bonus games.
That leaves you with the base game, which is bright and colorful, and there are many different symbols on the reels. There’s a variety of colored fish across the reels, as well as some flowers, which seem to be the low and mid paying symbols.
The higher paying symbols are the Hawaiian girl, the Tiki mask and then the monkey, with the Tiki Island wild symbol offering the greatest payouts of between 10 credits and 10,000 credits, depending on if you land two, three, four, or all five across a single payline.
In addition to these base game high and low symbols there is an in-game scatter symbol, which is a rather scary Tiki mask surrounded by spears.
However, this symbol doesn’t unlock free spins, but simply awards a win when you land three or more across the reels of between 5x (three), 25x (four), and 100x (all five) your total coin bet.
The two bonus symbols are easy to spot but you have to land three of each across the reels to trigger the relevant bonus game. This can be hugely frustrating when you land two puffer fish and two coconut bonus symbols on the reels, but don’t receive any reward for it.
The Puffer Fish bonus is a simple pick ‘em game where you select a fish to reveal a number of coins. You continue to keep picking fish until you pick the puffer fish with no coins behind it, and then the round ends.
The Coconut bonus is a very similar game, but instead of fish, you select coconuts to reveal cash prizes. When you pick the coconut with no cash prize, the round will end.
Special features: Tiki Island
Big base game jackpot
There’s a 10,000-coin jackpot to be won on the Tiki Island slot, which can be achieved direct from the base game.
Because you can bet a considerable amount per coin, this can translate to a sizable win.
Two bonus games
There’s no free spins game in the Tiki Island slot, but you do get a choice of two bonus games, which are both accessed via their own bonus symbol (the puffer fish and the coconut) from the base game.
In addition to offering up the biggest jackpot in the game, the wild symbol can substitute for all high and low symbols (but not the scatter or bonus symbols) to help create multiple winning paylines.
If you are a fan of slots that don’t reward players every few spins but require working up to a genuinely big win, even in the base game, then Tiki Island will certainly fit the bill.
Certainly the 10,000-coin jackpot offers punters the chance to win a serious amount of money direct from the base game. This feature alone is the slot’s biggest attraction.
Rare big base game wins
You can win in the base game, but the majority of wins are generally very small and often just a fraction of your initial wager. This means that rather than win cash back, you tend to just lose money a little less quickly.
However, when you do hit a bigger win, which can happen if you are patient, you get a hefty payback.
Triggering the two bonus games can take forever at times, and while the volatile nature of the slot means that this is probably planned, it does seem extremely punitive to make a player wait so long and spend so much money to activate one of two very similar bonus games, only to then receive a usually small payout.
Small frequent base game wins
One of the big reasons that Tiki Island will swallow up your bankroll is simply because most base game wins are quite small, often considerably smaller than your stake even when you land multiple paylines.
No autoplay feature
The lack of an autoplay feature is forgivable on a slot that is packed with additional features and has you clicking on different games all the time. On a slot that is essentially the same spin after spin, it is unforgivable to overlook this option for players.
Graphics and soundtrack: 1.5/5
The graphics are very basic, as is the soundtrack. There’s some decent animations at the top of the screen when you land certain winning combinations, but in terms of presentation, there is certainly nothing out of the ordinary here.
Originality and creativity: 1.5/5
We’ll give the company a mark for including two bonus games, but the fact they are so hard to activate during the base game means that we can’t give anything approaching half marks.
They are almost incidental to the game.
Play value: 1/5
This is a highly volatile slot that pays out small amounts for most wins, chews through your bankroll at a fast rate, and offers you scant hope of triggering the bonus games any time soon.
Jackpot potential: 3.5/5
The 10,000-coin base game jackpot for five wilds landing across the reels on a payline is the one redeeming feature, alongside the wins for two symbols.
The potential for decent base game wins is possibly the only reason you’d come back.
Repeat play: 1/5
Given how quickly Tiki Island runs down your bankroll, without offering you any bonus rounds, this isn’t a game you’ll be rushing back to play.
Total score: 8.5/25
Other than the potential for some big base game wins of up to 10,000 coins per spin, there is little to keep you interested here. It’s a sloppy game from Gamesys. It’s highly volatile and lacks some of the basic ingredients needed to make a slot appealing.
If you fancy the island lifestyle, be sure to check out our review of the Tiki Totems online slot.