Jin Chan’s Pond of Riches: Overview
Developer Thunderkick makes a controversial foray into the Asian themed sphere with their slot Jin Chan's Pond of Riches. Controversial in that it unashamedly runs on one of the worst non-jackpot RTP ratings to creep across the desk in a while. Is it a signal of things to come? Is this the canary in the mine we all look back and point an accusatory finger at? Only time will tell. For now, let's give Jin Chan's Pond of Riches a spin to see what its multiplying wilds and free spins can conjure up.
Jin Chan's Pond of Riches is an attractive example of a game in this genre, designed with a definite Thunderkick flair. The reels, royal symbols, and the overall feel hearkens back to their Beat the Beast range.
Players can dip their toe in the pond by selecting bets from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin. The 5-reel, 15-payline game area is located in a pagoda-like structure, covered in rich red and gold carvings, while animals of all description adorn the sides of the frame.
Jin Chan translates to 'money frog' or 'money toad' from Chinese to English. Have you ever seen one of those frog statues with three legs and a coin in its mouth? That's a Jin Chan. Like much other Chinese symbology used in the slots realm, Jin Chan represents prosperity or good news that is wealth-related. On a more tangible level, what may prevent the Jin Chan effect for players is an RTP rating of 94.27%.
What might be more enticing for the discerning gamer is the combination of high volatility and high potential. Though whether you want to deal with the sub-par RTP while battling your way to the big bucks is a pertinent question.
Taking a look at the paytable we find a batch of crimson coloured 9 to A royals making up the symbols on the low pay side. On the more rewarding end we get a heron, koi, turtle, and Jin Chan as the frog worth 50 times your stake for five of a kind.
Jin Chan’s Pond of Riches: Features
Jin Chan might seem relatively light in the features department at first, but they can be highly effective at full strength. The Wild symbol is more desirable than what you find in most games. It substitutes for other pay symbols as per usual, but it also activates multipliers when part of a winining combination. The value of the multipliers are based on the corresponding reel on which the wild lands on, so a wild on reel one has an x1 multiplier, a wild on reel three an x3 multiplier and so on. Wild symbols multiply each other on the same line, so a wild on reels 1 to 5 creates a multiplier of 120x.
On top of the wild multiplier feature is free spins triggered by the gold coin scatter - landing 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols grants 8, 12, or 16 free spins respectively. Now, scatters remain in the game during free spins and are collected whenever they land.
When 3 scatters are collected, a wild is added to each free spin from then on; 6 scatters add 2 wilds to each spin, while 9 collected scatters means 3 wilds are added at the start of free spins. Each scatter collected also adds a free spin to the remaining total. Once 9 have been collected no extra wilds are possible, but free spins continue to be added.
In addition, every win on a free spin triggers the Sticky Respin feature. Winning symbols are locked in place while all other positions are respun for a chance of improving the win. Getting more matching symbols keeps the respins coming. Sticky Respins finish when no new winning symbols appear or the grid is full.
Jin Chan’s Pond of Riches: Verdict
Let's start by acknowledging the good points of Jin Chan's Pond of Riches. For one, it has a great look, designed to a high Thunderkick standard with chunky attractive characters adding a dash of personality. When designing a slot in this category, there is a certain formula developers usually adhere to, which Thunderkick has stylishly done while managing to retain an element of individuality.
As well the pleasant aesthetics, the features are pretty juicy too. Wild Multipliers can be mental at high volumes, which won't happen often, but a possible 120x multiplier is capable of significant results. There is a lot to like about free spins too, provided a good number of scatters land to bestow the dual benefits of added wilds and free spins. So far so good, plus the notable potential of 10,000 times the bet is the icing on top. It's too bad Thunderkick basically erases all of that with the poor return to player rating.
Despite the nifty features, the main gossip around Jin Chan's Pond of Riches will be centred on the absurd RTP. Is Thunderkick testing the waters? If enough punters are okay with the rating, is that a green light for developers to go hog wild? Lowering the rate without a justified reason like a jackpot feels like bad form. Then again, this could be a one-off anomaly which never rears its ugly head from whatever rock it crawled out of.
Either way you cut it, Jin Chan's Pond of Riches boasts a classy look, big potential and bunch of useful features. If it wasn't for the unfriendly RTP, it might have become a go-to Asian themed slot.
Jin Chan’s Pond of Riches may look like another solid Thunderkick offering, but some will undoubtedly be put off by its disappointing stats.