When we first heard of Jack and the Beanstalk, we recall our distinctive reaction being negative due to its theme. Slots using fairy tales as basis, when gambling is forbidden for minors, seemed like it was asking for trouble. Even still, the trend continued, so much so that the UKGC ended up restricting access to certain games because they had ‘child-friendly’ themes. Almost ten years later, the slot still rubs us the wrong way because of this.
Looking past the theme, this NetEnt release has many other things that it does right. Jack and the Beanstalk has an RTP of 96.3%, slightly higher than the current average. There are also several fun bonuses, like free spins, walking Wilds, re-spins and treasure collection. Make good use of them, and you have a chance of winning 600,000 coins during free spins!
For the year it was released, this game looks fantastic. Well, everything except Jack’s dorky face, which makes us feel the need to punch something. But this release shines brightest while all of its special features are active. Each Wild usually brings a re-spin or two, and that bonus is incredibly useful during free spins, too. These special features and the paytable can create massive wins that can even rival Starburst, NetEnt’s most popular slot.
The symbols looked great when this slot first came out, but they’re a little bit dated now. We like the fact they made playing card royals look like beanstalks. Alongside them, you will find a rusted watering can, a lumberjack’s axe, a goat, a two-headed ogre, and Jack. Unsurprisingly, the protagonist of the story is the highest paying icon, worth 1000 coins for a five-of-a-kind win. Meanwhile, the number 10 is the least valuable symbol, valued at 30 coins for a five-of-a-kind win. The moral of the story? Don’t eat veggies if you want to win the jackpot, kids!
Free Spins: Three or more Scatters in any position reward 10 free spins. Collecting three or more Scatters while the extra turns are already being played nets you five more spins.
Walking Wilds & Re-spins: When a Wild icon appears, a re-spin is awarded. During the re-spin, the Wild moves one position to the left, and another re-spin is played. This continues until the Wild ‘walks’ off the left side of the screen. This continues until no Wilds remain on the playing field. Furthermore, any winning combinations that include Wilds have their pays increased by 3x.
Treasure Collection: The key symbol only appears during free spins, and is a collectable bonus. Three, six or nine collected keys transform the Wild. The Wild first turns stacked, then another stack is added, and finally, it becomes an expanded Wild. The design also changes from money bags, to hens, and finally, harps.
We disapprove of the child-friendly theme that NetEnt has used here. Others will disagree, but we stand firm on the fact fairy tales shouldn’t be acceptable ideas for slots. The remaining graphics looked fine when they were released, but look dated several years later.
The gameplay and rewards both remain superb, even after so many years. It doesn’t have the simplicity of Starburst, or the thrill of constant, small prizes, but the game is still fun. High volatility will turn some players off, but a chance at winning 600,000 coins is hard to pass up.
If what you have read in this review sounds fun, we recommend trying it for yourself. We cannot endorse it due to our disagreement over the theme, but there’s no denying it’s enjoyable and incredibly lucrative.