Yggdrasil has done it again, this time with an elegantly designed video slot that harks back to the Roaring Twenties. You have a quaint riverboat casino set against a serene riverside. The captain of the boat himself appears to be trying his luck, along with a couple of lady gamblers and a male debauchee. The low value card suites appear against a white background, which while providing visual relief on the reels, take away from the Art Deco style.
Played on a 5 reels x 3 rows grid backed by 20 paylines, Jackpot Express is aptly named since it features three progressive jackpots called Mini, Side, and Mega. Though the bonus or scatter symbol
is adequately represented by casino chips, the wild mnemonic has nothing to do with the theme. However, it does its job pretty effectively by filling in the gaps on the reels to make win combos, just like the joker does in card games.
After several teasers, when you finally get the third bonus symbol to land on the reels, you are given a round of 10 free spins in any of three versions: the card game, dice game, and roulette. All three modes have their own characteristic features and are played on different reel sets. The entire screen is reminiscent of the Art Deco style, including the setting of the twenties. The entire game play is accompanied by lounge music played by the casino’s invisible band.
Well, it’s a riverboat casino you’re playing on, so it all depends on the water gods. The mid-variance game itself has a decent 96.2% return to player rate with the jackpots, and 91.2% if you don’t count them. The betting window starts at $0.20 and ends at $100.00, inviting all kinds of playing budgets.
Jackpot Express has an attractive strike rate of 32%, which means that you have guaranteed hits in at least 1 out of 3 spins on average. This mechanic is what keeps things interesting in the base game
Winning combinations are made from left to right when at least 3 identical symbols land on adjacent reels beginning from the first. The male gambler, the brunette, and the blonde pay 10, 12.5, and 15 times your bet if they appear on all 5 reels. The captain of course is the highest paying character in the game and pays 25 times your stake for landing on all 5 reels. The maximum payout potential of the game, if you don’t consider the progressives, is 2,175 times your stake.
The Wheel of Fortune is where all the game’s features are bundled, including the 3 progressive jackpots. And all this depends on at least bonus symbols or the scatters appearing anywhere on the reels. When this happens, the wheel of fortune appears on the center reel and spins to give you free spins or the jackpots. The free spins, which cannot be retriggered, are awarded in three different modes, all with their own features: card game, dice, or roulette. The mode is awarded randomly and the action shifts to a different setting.
This feature works much like the risk gamble feature found independently in many slot games. On each of 10 free spins, you get 2 cards. If the second card beats the first, the winning card becomes a wild and sticks on to the reels. The sticky wilds you accumulate on the reels in this fashion can give you some really good wins and can turn around the complexion of the game.
Whenever a free spin results in a winning combination, a pair of dice are rolled on to the screen. The payout from that win combo is then multiplied by the sum of the numbers facing up on the dice. Thus your original payout is multiplied from x2 to x12, which can add bundles of coins to your game’s credit balance. This is the first win multiplier of Jackpot Express.
The ‘small wheel’ appears alongside the reels and spins with every free spin. You may get a sticky wild for the duration of the round, or 1 or 2 more free spins. Other awards can include cash wins of 1 to 5 times your bet, or the current spin value may be multiplied by 2 or 3. There may also be some free spins where you get nothing, which is when the aqua gods are probably displeased with you.
In the jackpots feature, the wheel of fortune acquires 3 dimensions, which offer progressive prizes. Activating this bonus feature with 3, 4, or 5 scatters will start the feature on the corresponding level 1, 2, or 3. Each level may bring cash prizes with re-spins and multipliers, an arrow that advances you to the next level, or coin wins, which will end the feature.
The Mini Jackpot will be won on the 2nd level; the Side Jackpot on the 3rd tier. If you should hit the arrow on the 3rd level, you will have just won the Mega Jackpot. All the jackpot values are displayed on the top of reels, even in the base game.
Jackpot Express is programmed with HTML5, which supports all mobile operating platforms like Android, Windows Phone, iOS, and Blackberry, etc. Hence the game can be seamlessly enjoyed on the move on all smartphones and tablet devices that run on these systems.
You will need a stable internet connection at all times to enjoy smooth gameplay. You can play the game in original audio and visual quality, particularly if you play in landscape mode, which is tailor-made for horizontal format of the game.
Though we are riddled with slot games themed on Las Vegas glamour and riches, a quaint riverboat casino from the roaring twenties is a concept out of the blue. Design elegance has always been Yggdrasil’s forte, and this time it is complemented by the boutique features of the game, particularly the 3 different modes in which the free spins are played.