Jungle Jim and The Lost Sphinx: Overview
Released by Microgaming in September 2016, the original Jungle Jim: El Dorado was a direct response to NetEnt's hugely successful Gonzo's Quest, a slot that is today considered one of the most iconic slots ever made. Featuring the same kind of tumbling reels mechanics, or Avalanche feature as NetEnt calls it, as well as increasing win multipliers, Jungle Jim became an instant hit although it never achieved the same status as Gonzo within the casino community. One of the most prominent aspects of the game is the animation of Jim, who can be seen standing next to the reels restlessly waiting for adventure. Beyond question, Jungle Jim is an outstanding medium variance video slot that still holds up three years after its release.
With the hair still on point and not looking a day older, our beloved Jimmy is back in a brand new adventure ambitiously titled Jungle Jim and the Lost Sphinx. To be in charge of this project, Microgaming assigned independent developer Stormcraft Studios, and boy do they have a lot to prove. Having bombed a previous classic follow up, Agent Jane Blonde Returns, the question on everyone's lips is - are they up for the task?
So, let's get our hands dirty. Jungle Jim and the Lost Sphinx utilizes a default setup of 5 reels, 4 rows, and 35 paylines, but can extend to 5 rows and 50 paylines during gameplay. Playable from 0.10 to £/€20 per spin, our vain adventurer heads to the Valley of the Kings in search of long lost treasures where he'll encounter Rolling Reels™, Multiplier Trails and a free spins game where multipliers of up to 20x can unleash super mega wins.
Although the setting has changed quite dramatically, with Jim having left the Amazon jungle for the dessert sands of Egypt and all, players will still feel right at home. In the backdrop, a starry sky stretches above the dunes whilst a dramatic Egyptian soundtrack is playing in synchronization to the reels. With the game area set within an ancient Egyptian temple, symbols on the reels include the familiar old gemstones as well as more lucrative pots, treasure chests, and the Book of Dead. The most rewarding, however, is Jim himself - 5 of him on a full payline yields 10 times your stake. The logo is the wild; it appears on all reels and substitutes for all regular symbols.
Jungle Jim and The Lost Sphinx: Features
Just like the original version, Jungle Jim 2 makes use of Microgaming's trademarked Rolling Reels™ feature. This is essentially a cascading reels feature where you'll see winning symbols removed to make way for new symbols. With every chain reaction win, the multiplier increases by one level accordingly:
- Default level - played on the default 5x3, 35 payline reel set.
- 1st level - played using a 2x multiplier.
- 2nd level - played using a 3x multiplier.
- 3rd level - played using a 4x multiplier. From here, the reel set is extended to 5 reels, 5 rows and 50 paylines.
- 4th level - played using a 5x multiplier.
- 5th level - played using a 10x multiplier.
Under normal circumstances, a losing spin will reset the increasing multiplier back to default level, but to help you a bit along the way, a Second Chance Respin feature has been introduced. This "lifeline", however, only comes into play after the third roll/cascade. Basically, it gives you a respin and thus a new chance to move through to the next multiplier by landing a winning combination.
To gain access to the Free Spins feature, you and Jim need to land 3 or more scatter symbols anywhere in view. To increase the odds of triggering the feature, you can also opt for the Win Booster feature which, for an extra cost per spin, will unlock an additional scatter symbol. Anyway, with 12 free spins rewarded, the round is played using the fully extended version of the reel set. Moreover, the Rolling Reels™ feature, which has now been enhanced, is also in play but will start you off at 2x and increase accordingly:
- Default level - played using a 2x multiplier.
- 1st level - played using a 3x multiplier.
- 2nd level - played using a 4x multiplier.
- 3rd level - played using a 8x multiplier.
- 4th level - played using a 12x multiplier.
- 5th level - played using a 20x multiplier.
Also, keep an eye out for the sphinx appearing on the central reel only - collect 6 of these and you will have secured an extra cascade (1+ free spin essentially). As far as potential goes, it's hard to say for sure since no numbers have been made public yet. But seeing that the symbols appear partially stacked on the reels (including the wild), you should be able to land wins of at least 4000 times your stake on a single spin with the help of the 20x multiplier in the bonus round.
Jungle Jim and The Lost Sphinx: Verdict
While we're excited to see one of our favourite characters make a comeback, Stormcraft's representation of Jim is one that is less vibrant and that also lacks the charm of the original. Without being able to pinpoint exactly what it is, Jungle Jim and the Lost Sphinx almost looks like some kind of Chinese counterfeit version with a strange generic quality to it. Don't get us wrong, there are parts of it that look phenomenal, but there's just something about it that doesn't sit quite right with us. Compared to the original version, the sequel could probably pass as the predecessor.
So what about the gameplay. Well, Jungle Jim 2 is more volatile and also offers better win potential, which in itself could be enough to make it more appealing to some players. Even so, the feelgood vibe of the original just isn't there and it's not really doing anything for us. It could be the looks, or it could be the fact that we felt somewhat restrained by the limitations of its paylines. With that said, Jungle Jim 2 is a good slot with great potential, so, in the end, it all just comes down to personal taste.
Jungle Jim and The Lost Sphinx is not a bad slot, but it could have been so much more.