Jolly Roger 2: Overview
After a lengthy hiatus, developer Play’n GO revisits their 2012 buccaneering slot Jolly Roger. Play’n GO have stacked the sequel with more features than an old-time pirate has teeth, not to mention vastly improved the graphics. The studio has also managed a nod or two to the original as well, which fans may appreciate. If you’re ready, let’s go on a high seas feature-fest, full of instant wins, random multipliers, and free spin bonus games.
Visually, Jolly Roger 2 is obviously a massive improvement over its predecessor. If you’ve played the original, the difference between the two cannot be overstated. Jolly Roger 2 uses a semi-transparent 5-reel, 20-payline grid set on board a ship at sea, cannons ready for battle. A stirringly dramatic soundtrack fills in the gaps, perfectly matching the swashbuckling antics playing out on screen.
Playable from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin on any device, the numbers produced by the game are those you typically find from Play’n GO. From a default RTP of 96.20% and medium to high volatility, to the 5,000x potential, the stats are as rock-solid as you’d expect with this developer.
Taking a look at the paytable reveals 10 – A royals, followed by high paying skull rings, skull crucifixes, diamonds, and treasure chests. The high pays vary in value from 5 to 10 times the stake for a winning combination of five of a kind. The skull and crossbones wild is worth the same as the treasure chest on a payline. Wilds can also substitute for any symbol in the game except scatters.
Jolly Roger 2: Features
Like NetEnt’s pirate slot Rage of the Seas, there are many features to cover. As always, we’ll do our best to be as clear as possible, but it is easy to get lost when there is so much to go over. Probably why they used treasure maps back then.
First up is the Compass feature which sits above the reels and is activated at random. When it comes to life, the compass adds a multiplier of x2, x3, x5, x8, or x10 to the current spin.
Fans of the first Jolly Roger slot itching to do some picking will find satisfaction with the Bonus Quest feature which comes into play when 3 scatters land on reels 1, 3, and 5. Players pick from 12 scrolls until three matching bonus features are revealed. There are 4 bonuses in total: Instant Prizes, a Bottle of Rum Free Spin, Treasure Hunt, and Battle Free Spins.
Instant prizes payout a one-off reward of 2x to 20x the bet. Keep in mind it is possible for the compass feature to join in here, increasing the prize by up to x10.
The Bottle of Rum Free Spin is one free spin that displays 5 rum bottles when the reels come to a stop. Players pick bottles until the poisoned one is uncovered, then wins are evaluated. Each non-poisoned bottle picked turns a random reel fully wild. Again, the compass feature can come into play here for up to an extra 10x.
The Treasure Hunt begins with 10 free spins. Beneath the reels is a game map displaying a boat, an ‘X’, and a certain number of moves. Each map symbol that lands on the reels moves the boat one position on the game map. When then boat makes it to an ‘X’, a chest is dug up to award 2 or 3 free spins and an upgrade. Upgrades include win multipliers, symbol upgrades, and symbol to wild transformations. There are 7 chests in total to dig up. Once they have all been found, free spins count down using the active modifiers.
Battle Spins are open-ended since they don’t have a set number of free spins. Instead, players get three lives, and the feature ends when these are gone. Randomly selected, the opponent could be a Privateer Ship or a Merchant Ship. There are three types of Privateer Ship – Dutch, British, or Portuguese; each has a different reward when defeated. The battle takes place on a 3x3 grid using pirate and privateer coins. Whichever side lands the most coins wins the current battle round.
If you defeat a Privateer you gain an extra life (up to 3) plus you get one spin with the compass feature and a reel of stacked wilds. You also get a respective Opponents Victory Reward:
- British - all high paying symbols are upgraded to treasure chests.
- Portuguese - up to 2 symbol types turn wild.
- Dutch - three adjacent reels display the same symbols.
If you lose the battle against a Privateer Ship you lose a life. You still get a free spin with a stacked wild reel, but no Opponents Victory Award or compass multiplier is active for it. Players always defeat Merchant ships, but do not gain a life for doing so. The following free spin has a reel of stacked wilds, but no compass multiplier or Opponent Victory Reward.
Jolly Roger 2: Verdict
Jolly Roger 2 is light years away from the original. It’s like comparing a Koenigsegg Agera to the first Audi Quattro. An exaggeration? Probably, but play Jolly Roger 2 for a while then have a blast on part 1 to witness the advances made in slot development.
There are some connections between the two games, which is nice. For example, bonus games in the first were all about picking chests or places to dig for rewards. The second keeps the picking dynamic alive via scrolls or rum bottles.
As well as enhanced features, the base game moves along well too. This is due to fairly frequent albeit small wins, the odd modifier, and copious two scatter teases to keep interest levels up. The bonus games are where it’s at of course, and Play’n GO has designed a group of really great features to get excited about. Since Battle Free Spins aren’t set, they can become quite lengthy indeed, stretching out the action as wins pile up. However, even the ‘lowly’ Instant Prize or Bottle of Rum Free Spins can turn out well, especially if the compass feature kicks in at the same time.
When it comes to pirate-themed slots it doesn’t get much better than Jolly Roger 2. It looks good, sounds great, and has several enticing bonus games. Play’n GO has captured the spirit of the high seas, backing it up with a solid math model. The only criticism really is that the game won’t suit players who prefer conventional bonus games. When you consider the leap between part 1 and part 2, it makes you wonder how much slots will change in the upcoming years.
Jolly Roger 2 showcases Play’n GO’s evolution as a studio in an exciting pirate-themed game packed to the gills with features.