Kulta Jaska: Slot Overview
Editor's note: due to Red Tiger's exclusive agreement with Finnish operator Veikkaus who owns the Kulta Jaska trademark we are prevented from displaying any media assets.
When you start diving down the Google search rabbit hole, there is no telling where you'll end up. Like the doughnut-shaped universe theory, you somehow simultaneously circle back to where you started as well as heading into the unknown. So it was when trying to decipher the meaning of Kulta Jaska, the title to Red Tiger and partner R7's mining themed slot. Kulta was easy, appearing to mean 'gold' which makes sense given the theme. Jaska proved harder, eventually ending us up on a baby-naming site that defined Jaska as a Finnish moniker. So, Kulta Jaska means something like Jack Gold or Golden Jack, perhaps? Apologies to our Finnish friends if it's all been lost in translation.
Whatever the meaning, Kulta Jaska Megaways is a take on 'Kulta-Jaska', a popular series of slots in Finland. Here, Red Tiger has recreated the rustic charm of the country's great outdoors in a game destined for the Suomi market, and in which players get to embark on a mining adventure taking place on a 6-reel Megaways grid located deep in the woods amongst some very picturesque scenery. Pine trees sway in the breeze, waterfalls bubble away, while a snow-covered mountain resides in the distance. R7 has foregone a soundtrack, in the base game, so as not to disturb the scene. Instead, birds chirp, woodpeckers peck, water sloshes, and the reels give off a wooden sound as they spin or land. It adds up to a warm environment to try your luck in.
Kulta Jaska is available on any device, offering a modest range of bets starting at 10 p/c, rising to £/€10 at the pricier end. There are no major surprises when playing Kulta Jaska Megaways, aside from the name, including the math model. Volatility runs on a fairly high level, while RTP is a little low for Megaways slots, though not a major concern at 95.75%.
Every spin drops 2 to 7 symbols on each reel, the precise number is random. As to win ways, this changes from spin to spin as well, from 64 up to 117,649 when the grid is maxed. To win, players need three or more of all symbol types, except for Emma, who only needs two. She is the top paying premium, worth 20x the bet for six of a kind.
From there we get gold, jewels, kettles, and lanterns as the remaining high pays worth 5-1.2x the bet. Then there are the low pays, where you'll find picks, flowers, rocks, birds, and deer. The low pays are all theme-based which makes a nice change from card royals, giving the game a more authentic touch. If the usual 9-A's had shown up, Kulta Jaska might have felt more like visiting a family-run dairy in a secluded natural spot and ordering a Fanta rather than milk straight from the teat.
Kulta Jaska: Slot Features
Kulta Jaska makes use of three pretty common features. These are cascades, full reel Kulta Jaska wilds, plus free spins with a progressive win multiplier. Cascades are triggered by any win. Winning symbols are removed from the grid, making space to let new ones drop down into the gaps for another chance at a hit. Cascades continue to occur, piling up wins until no new combinations are formed, then the next new spin can take place.
Kulta Jaska Wilds may land on any spin, either in the base or bonus game. Kulta-Jaska Wilds always cover an entire reel when they land and carry a multiplier of up to x7 in value. These wilds substitute for all regular pay symbols to complete winning combinations. It is possible more than one will land at the same time. When that happens, their multipliers are summed up.
The headline feature is free spins, triggered when 3 dynamite scatter symbols land anywhere on the reels. This activates a bonus wheel which awards 7-20 free spins plus a win multiplier starting anywhere from x1 to x10.
The free spins action moves to the underground mine, and something like a low key Oompah Band strikes up to accompany it. Each win during the round increases the win multiplier by +1, which does not reset between spins, or have a limit. Lastly, each dynamite scatter symbol landing in the round adds one more spin to the remaining total.
Kulta Jaska: Slot Verdict
Red Tiger/R7 have done well to create a game that feels like a nostalgic trip to the clean air woods, where you hold out your hand and doves land on them while chipmunks pile acorns at your feet. Then there are the copious nuggets lying about, giving off the impression just tapping any old rock will pour forth streams of the gold stuff. Imagine a slot based on a Disney cartoon, say Bambi, to get an idea of the vibe.
This might sound overly cheesy, but Kulta Jaska Megaways is actually a really nice game to play. It's easy to sink a little lower in your chair to enjoy the tranquillity evoked by the Arcadian scene, made extra bucolic by the chirpy, music free base game.
When it comes to the actual gameplay, there hasn't been a lot of blue sky thinking involved. Full reel wilds might be a little different from the norm, but other than that, Kulta Jaska is a pretty conventional Megaways slot. Players enjoy cascades on their way to triggering a round of free spins with a limitless multiplier. Well maybe not limitless, though Kulta Jaska is capable of producing wins as high as 10,482 times the bet. There is a twist; being able to start the multiplier in the bonus on x10, with 20 free spins in the best case scenario adds a thrill.
It would be easy to shoot down a slot which looks like it was painted by Thomas Kincade, used Bonanza as a template, and kidnapped the prospector from Blueprint Gaming's Diamond Mine Megaways. While it's difficult to refute those accusations, the result is so pleasant to play it's easy to push criticism to the back of your mind and just enjoy a moment of peace.
Kulta Jaska is a charming game offering pretty standard Megaways features which is nonetheless enjoyable to play due to the pleasant pastoral atmosphere.