Jungle Jim El Dorado: Overview
Thanks to its association with gold, the legend of El Dorado pops up at regular intervals in the slots world. Perhaps players like to imagine they are slashing their way through the undergrowth, on the hunt for massive hauls of coins? Whatever it is, one of the most popular slots to utilise the South American legend is Jungle Jim El Dorado from Microgaming. There is no getting around its resemblance to NetEnt’s smash hit Gonzo’s Quest, and that might be true, but that doesn’t stop Jungle Jim: El Dorado from being a fine game in its own right.
The action starts when we meet the ‘liberator of treasure’ - Jim, swinging his way through the jungle. The first impressive feature is the way Jim’s hair holds that incredible shape beneath his fedora, which he whips off a better admire the grid. On it, players get 5 reels, 3 rows, and 25 paylines with which to stage their adventure. The reels are transparent and reveal more of the jungle background, with big bright symbols suspended across them. Graphically, Jungle Jim is easily one of the better El Dorado themed slots you’ll come across with a fantastic vibe created by the static visuals and the excellent animations.
To start your adventure, You should first choose stakes that start at 25 p/c and can be raised as high as £/€25 per spin – or more, depending on the operator’s settings. Players hit winning combinations when three or more matching symbols land left to right, and every time that happens, Rolling Reels are triggered. With this mechanic, winning symbols explode off the reels, and new ones drop down into the empty positions. This means more combinations can form since Rolling Reels remain active as long as winning symbols continue to land.
This feature also works hand in hand with the Multiplier Trail. During the base game, the first win has an x1 multiplier, but on consecutive Rolls, the Multiplier Trail increases by +1 though x2, x3, x4, and up to a maximum of x5. As you’ll see this gets even better during free spins.
Microgaming has designed some great symbols for players to line up. The first four low pays are chunky, precious stones of various colours, followed by a flute, a snake sculpture, an Aztec statue and a treasure chest. Payouts range from 2 times the stake for five of the low pay rocks, up to 120 times the stake for a line of five treasure chests.
The wild logo symbol helps out here by substituting for any of the regular symbols. Critical stats produced by the game’s math model include an above-average RTP of 96.31%, and a medium volatility. Theoretically, this means smaller more frequent payouts augmented by Rolling Reels and The Multiplier Trail, with the whole dynamic shifting into high gear during the bonus game.
Jungle Jim El Dorado: Features
Along with Rolling Reels, the other principal feature is a round of Free Spins which is activated with the help of the scatter symbols. This desirable symbol, styled in the likeness of an Aztec Calendar, can land on reels 1, 2, and 3 - when all 3 are in view, they award 10 Free Spins along with a 5x payout on top for good measure.
There isn’t a huge difference between the base game and bonus round, but the one change is a significant one. The Multiplier Trail makes a great addition to the base game, but gets a major boost during free spins where it can radically improve wins. This is because the default multiplier starts at x3 whilst subsequent Rolls increase the Trail in increments of +3 to x6, x9, x12 until it reaches x15 at the most.
Jungle Jim El Dorado: Verdict
There is a lot to like about Microgaming’s Jungle Jim: El Dorado slot. For one, it’s got a great look and a friendly cartoon feel provided partly by the lush jungle visuals and by Jim himself, who is a fun guy to spin reels with. The overall presentation is of a high quality, from the subtle wildlife sounds to the precious looking symbols and the silky animations. It might be a bit of an imitator in some regards, but that doesn’t stop Jungle Jim: El Dorado being a superbly designed slot either.
Sure, it might be Microgaming’s attempt to ride Gonzo’s coattails, but when the gameplay is this good, it is easy to look the other way. Several years passed between the release of Gonzo and Jungle Jim, and that time has led to a revamping of the graphics and effects. The gameplay is just as good as ever, and some argue that Jungle Jim: El Dorado is a more pleasing game to play due to its more modern vibe.
Jungle Jim isn’t a complete copy either with a few key points that arguably make it a better a choice. For one, players get an extra 5 betways to make use of. Moreover, the RTP is higher, which always goes down well. Another factor in Jungle Jim: El Dorado’s success is its potential. The game might not be a heavyweight when it comes to huge, all-time payouts, but Jungle Jim: El Dorado is capable of hitting wins of up to 3,680 times your stake. Okay, for some that might not quite be the city of gold that El Dorado made out to be, but decent returns are possible all the same.
At the end of the trek, if you are going to imitate a popular slot, then you may as well do it in style. That’s exactly how Microgaming has approached the development of Jungle Jim: El Dorado, and the result is a slot that continues to entertain players via its look, excellent gameplay, and respectable potential.
In 2020, Microgaming partner Stormcraft Studios released a sequel titled Jungle Jim and the Lost Sphinx. Played using 5 reels and up to 50 paylines, it involves many of the mechanics found in the original such as the Rolling Reels feature and Multiplier Trail. It can also prove to be much more lucrative as it offers payouts of up to 6,250 times your stake.
Jungle Jim: El Dorado is a fun romp through the rain forest that might not be hugely original, but when a game plays and looks this good, does it really matter?