Tue, Aug 13, 6:27pm by William Brown
Last Updated Sat, Oct 5, 4:10am
It is not often that the introductory sequence for a pokie is worth watching. Jack and the Beanstalk from NetEnt is the exception. You’ll see Jack (along with the golden goose) attempting to escape from the giant’s castle in the clouds. That giant is not only purple, it has two heads! The excellent animations continue when you get to the slot reels. There are small touches like Jack appearing in a doorway and blue butterflies fluttering over the reels. Artwork is detailed, and jaunty tunes complete the fairy tale feeling.
There are plenty of features to get your teeth into. These include moving wild symbols, and a free spins bonus where those wilds get upgraded as you go. Here are the reasons to swap the family cow for a spin on NetEnt’s Jack and the Beanstalk:
During the base game, wild symbols show a golden logo of the pokie – on a red background. These appear on all reels. When you get one, music kicks in, and a sequence of respins begin. The wild will jump one space to the left, while the reels respin. There is no charge for this. The pattern then repeats, with your wins accumulating below the reels, until the wild disappears off the left-hand side of the reels.
While the respins are underway, you can get a second (or multiple) wilds. These extend the feature until all of them disappear.
When you get 3 or more of the golden treasure chest scatters on the reels, you are in for a treat. An animated sequence even better than the introductory one starts. First, the reels disappear. You’ll see a tiny plant in a patch of dried out earth. This literally explodes skyward, taking Jack with it. By the time the reels reappear, you’ll be in the clouds, with the impressive giant’s castle in the distance, and a big Jack avatar as your host.
You will also see some new additions below the reels. These are tied-in with the new key symbols that appear on reel 5. As you collect keys, the wild symbols get better. 3 keys will get you money bag wilds, which are 2 symbols tall. 3 more keys get you 3-symbols tall golden goose wilds, and 3 more harp wilds, which expand.
Each of these wilds is a ‘walking wild’ in the same way the regular wilds work in the base game. While you only get 10 free spins as a base, the respins can extend this.
20 win-lines are used for this pokie, which has 5 reels and 3 rows of symbols. Bets start small, with 1c per line the minimum. Changing your coin denomination and / or adding a multiplier will soon increase your bet.
There are some generous line prizes available – especially when you consider that wilds play an important role. Jack has the biggest prize, 1000 coins for 5 of a kind. Next comes the two-headed purple giant, followed by a goat, axe and watering can.
NetEnt have made the playing card symbols out of pieces of beanstalk. These are in their usual role of providing the smaller and more regular wins.
Around the reels of this pokie you’ll see the farmhouse and a gnarled tree. The axe, which played an important part at the end of the story, and tiny beanstalk can be seen in the foreground. Jack will peek out from the doorway of a ramshackle hit while you spin.
There is plenty of detail in the symbols and the walking wilds trigger an entertaining tune. Things really only spring to life in the free spins bonus. Not only is the animated sequence amazing, those big walking wilds make the game play intense. You’ll have a big avatar of Jack to the left of the reels, reacting to your wins – often in unexpected ways.
While you can’t win golden eggs playing this impressive NetEnt gambling machine, there is plenty of potential for big line hits. Key to these are the wild symbols. If you get multiple walking wilds in the base game, those hits can quickly add up. In the free spins bonus, they get bigger and better as you go along – by the end you’ll have the potential for a giant-sized win!