Giga Jar Cluster Link: Slot Overview
Sometimes seemingly odd ideas just kinda work, don't they? A bit like that tech influencer Michael Reeves who created a system whereby his goldfish would pick one of two stocks at the market's opening bell. Somehow, his fish is said to have outperformed the Nasdaq by around 13% - though this is by no means financial advice. It is, however, a lead into Push Gaming's Giga Jar Cluster Link, a follow-on from the giga-popular online slot Jammin' Jars, a slot literally built around jars bouncing about a grid. Who would've thought a game like that would have struck such a chord with online gamblers? But here we are, several years down the track, with another one of its offshoots. Care to have jam and find out if it's any good?
Looks wise, Giga Jar Cluster Link is closer to Jammin' Jars 2 than the original Jammin' Jars. The original was a little simplistic when it came to background imagery; hey, it is getting on a bit, while part 2 had a more immersive scene as if players were chilling in a tropical-themed nightclub. Giga Jar Cluster Link keeps that idea alive, taking place in another club-type scene, full of neon lighting and cubes, like one of those ice bars you can only visit for like 30 minutes and have to wear a massive overcoat lest your extremities freeze. It's as jammin' as ever, though, with a boogie-licious soundtrack providing the final, aural touch.
To begin 'getting jiggy', players pick a bet of 10 p/c to $/€100 per paid game round and decide whether to activate the Ante Bet or not. The Ante Bet increases the stake by 80%, activating the first Wild Jar from the start of the spin. Hitting the play button drops tiles into a 7x7 game grid in the hope of hitting clusters of 5 or more adjacent matching symbols to create a win. Wins are cleared from the board, and symbols drop down to replace them, repeating the sequence if a new win is formed. Medium volatile, Giga Jar Cluster Link boasts a multitude of RTP settings with a maximum return to player value of 96.48%.
For symbols, Giga Jar Cluster Link has six regular pays, all fruit displayed in a cuboid shape. From low to high, we find a berry, grapes, kiwifruit, an apricot or some sort of stone fruit, an orange, and a strawberry. Hitting a five-of-a-kind cluster is worth 0.1 to 1 times the bet, while a 16+ cluster awards 10 to 500 times the stake. One other symbol type, for now, is the Instant Prize symbols. These are bet multipliers of 1x to 1,000x, which award their values when they also land in clusters of five or more. Right, let's go meet the jars.
Giga Jar Cluster Link: Slot Features
Giga Jar Cluster Link's cascade mechanic is the key to just about everything else in the game. For instance, when winning clusters are removed from the board, the Jar Meter sitting next to the grid is filled by +1 step. The Jar Meter contains elements such as Wild Jars activation meters, Giga Jar activation meter, or Giga Jar multiplier upgrade levels.
The Snowball feature may trigger on a non-winning cascade after two consecutive winning cascades have occurred, randomly adding 1 or 2 Giant symbols to the grid. Giant symbols can be 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4 in size, either pay symbols or Instant Prize symbols. Giant symbols break down to 1x1 size blocks once they've landed.
Ice Breaker Feature
When the Ice Breaker feature randomly triggers, it removes 1 to 3 pay symbol types from the game grid. Like before, it may trigger on a non-winning cascade after two previous consecutive winning cascades have occurred.
Wild Jar Symbol
The Wild Jar symbol is a wild symbol which substitutes for all pay tiles. After 3 consecutive winning cascades, the first Wild Jar activation is complete. Then, a Wild Jar symbol is added to the board in a random position. When a Wild Jar participates in a win, it jumps to a random adjacent vacant position before the next cascade. Three more consecutive cascades add the second Wild Jar, while a further three consecutive cascades unleash the third Wild Jar. Each Wild Jar symbol has a multiplier starting at x1. This multiplier is applied to any win the Wild Jar symbol is part of and increases by +1 when it does so.
Giga Jar Feature
When all 3 Wild Jar Symbols are active on the grid, the Giga Jar activation meter is activated. Now, 3 consecutive winning cascades fill the meter, triggering the Giga Jar feature. Then, the Giga Jar symbol lands on a random grid position, where it sticks until the feature ends. The Giga Jar is a 2x2 wild symbol, counting as 4 1x1 wild symbols. It also has a starting multiplier of x1 and stays in place for three cascades, after which it becomes inactive. However, hitting 3 consecutive winning cascades reactivates the Giga Jar, and each reactivation upgrades its multiplier up to x50. When no more cluster wins occur, the feature ends.
Giga Jar Cluster Link: Slot Verdict
While Jammin' Jars elevated itself to classic status, its follow-up Jammin' Jars 2, and by a broad extension Retro Tapes Cluster Link, while being top-notch games in their own right, didn't make quite as favourable impressions. As a result, the approach to reviewing Giga Jar Cluster Link was a bit more guarded than it might have been, in an attempt to keep enthusiasm in check, thereby avoiding any sky-high expectations being crushed by a disappointing reality.
The good news is, Giga Jar Cluster Link did crush expectations but in a positive way. Actually, ways, plural. For one, it did not come across as being as taxing as Jammin' Jars 2 could be. Cascades were plentiful, Wild Jars were injected at fairly frequent intervals, and even the Giga Jar made an appearance within the first few hundred spins or so. Sure, luck may have had a lot to do with it, and others' experiences may vary wildly, yet Giga Jar Cluster Link was nowhere near the slog Jammin' Jars 2 could be. The flip side is that its medium volatility and a more down-to-earth max win of 10,000x the bet might mean it's not 'core' enough for some hardcore gamers. Yet, the test session was a surprisingly positive one, reviving memories of Fire Hopper for some reason. Fun factor, maybe?
What helped win Giga Jar Cluster Link over was the sheer action-packed pace of the thing. Three consecutive cascades, you've got a Wild Jar, a few more, and you've got three Wild Jars, and maybe just maybe, the Giga Jar will make its presence known. Sprinkled here and there are the two side features - the Ice Breaker and the Snowball, meaning Giga Jar Cluster Link felt nicely balanced between tease and reward. To be sure, there was tease going on during the review, getting to within one or two wins of triggering the Giga Jar, that sort of thing, and there could be dead spin patches, too. However, not enough to put a major dent in Giga Jar Cluster Link's enjoyment levels. This might be tantamount to slot impiety, but Giga Jar Cluster Link's vibrant, upbeat mood and straight fun features combined to give the original Jammin' Jars a darn good run for its money.
It might not knock the original off the podium as the best jar slot, but Giga Jar Cluster Link comes pretty close.