Money Jar: Slot Overview
Ever had a money jar, a container you dropped loose change into until it was full, then busted it open to splurge on something frivolous? If so, did they seem to either cough up way more or way less than you were expecting? Anyhoo, money jars are the stars of today's review in an online slot from software provider Slotmill named Money Jar. Money Jar is a real mash-up of new and recognisable elements, a sort of who's who of several popular online slots, all bundled into a swinging jazz ensemble. It's got a stack of features, too, from Win Respins, Countdown Wilds, Extra Chances, Money Jar & Coin Grabs, a Money Jar Bonus Game, and a suite of Fast Track options.
On the home screen, players find themselves outside what at first looks like a low-key members-only club before entering a private casino-style establishment that roars straight from the 1930s. The game has a strong Cuphead, Charlie Chance vibe, where cartoon characters possess a sinister streak and inanimate objects have faces drawn on, bringing them to life. In a corner of the room, hidden out of sight, an upright bass player jams out jazz tracks with a drummer, and a stack of amusing sound effects have been incorporated with the reel action. All in all, the game takes place in an enticing joint in which to have a spin or two, or just snap your fingers to the groove for a bit while taking in the scene.
Money Jar is a highly volatile slot, and playing through its bonus game numerous times reinforced this impression. Free spins, and other Fast Track options, are available for eligible users, offering a variety of return values, but playing the game in the normal mode comes with a theoretical return value of 96.09%. When you're ready to roll with the gang at the Slotmill Social Club, stakes can be set as low as 20 p/c or as high as £/€30 per spin – any device may be used.
The gaming takes place on a 6-reel, 6-row grid, providing 46,656 ways to win. Regular symbols pay left to right, starting from the left-most reels, and can land stacked. First along are the lower value J-A card ranks, paying 0.25x the bet for six of a kind, followed by mid-value dice, cards, chips, and reels, which are worth 0.6x the bet for a 6-symbol win. Lastly, four characters make up the four high pay symbols, awarding 1.2 to 3.5 times the stake for six of a kind. Wilds came in useful here, as they are able to substitute for all symbols except Coins or Money Jars.
Money Jar: Slot Features
Slotmill slots tend to come with a sack of extras, and Money Jar is no exception. Here, we find Win Respins, Countdown Wilds, Money Jar & Coin-Grab Feature, Extra Chance, Money Jar Bonus Game, Fast Track, and Burst Mode.
After a winning way has paid out, all of the winning symbols respin. For the respin, each reel lands either the same pay symbol, wilds, or Money Jars. Win Respins continue to be awarded as long as winning combinations keep appearing.
Wild symbols can land with a number displayed on their lower right corner. This number signifies how many times the wilds can be used in a win without being removed. Each Win Respin decreases the number by 1.
Money Jar & Coin-Grab Feature
Money Jar Bonus symbols can land on reels 2, 3, 4, or 5 on initial spins or any reel during Respins. Moreover, Locked Coin symbols can also appear on any reel in the base game. When Respins end and there are no more wins, any Money Jars in view collect adjacent Coin Symbols, awarding their values. Adjacent Money Jars collect each other's values.
When Respins end, and there are 2 Money Jars in view, the Extra Chance feature triggers. Positions next to Money Jars respin, where only Coins or extra Money Jars may land.
Money Jar Bonus Game
Landing 3 or 4 Money Jar symbols awards the Money Jar Bonus Game. The game starts with 3 lives which drop by one on each spin. The round ends when there are no more lives left, but landing a heart symbol resets the Life Meter back to 3 lives. The Money Jar Bonus Game is played on a special reel set where normal pays and wilds have been removed. When a spin stops, the Money Jars collect adjacent Coins, Money Jars, Magnets, or Payers. After the spin, Money Jar symbols jump to a random position. In the end, the total value of each Money Jar is awarded. Several special symbols may appear, acting like so:
- Doubler – doubles the value of all visible symbols.
- Payer – adds its value to all visible symbols.
- Magnet - collects all visible Coins at the beginning of each spin until collected by a Money Jar.
- Persistent Payer – adds its value to all visible symbols on every spin.
- Persistent Magnet – collects all visible Coins at the beginning of each spin. It can be collected by Money Jars multiple times.
Where available, clicking the feature buy Fast Track button provides direct access to Money Jar's features.
- 2+ Countdown Wilds – 5x the bet buys a game round guaranteeing 2+ Countdown Wilds. (RTP 96.22%)
- 3+ Countdown Wilds – 20x the bet buys a game round guaranteeing 3+ Countdown Wilds. (RTP 96.29%)
- 2 Jars – 30x the bet gets you a game round with a guaranteed 2 Money Jars. (RTP 96.4%)
- Bonus – buy access to the bonus game for 100x the bet.
Burst Mode is a faster way of playing Money Jar. Here you can pick a stake and a number of spins which are played without any visual effects. The game simply runs its engine and displays any wins that occur.
Money Jar: Slot Verdict
It's obvious a lot of care and attention went into designing Money Jar, resulting in a game that has a lot to like. The 1930s cartoon casino setting is fun, as are the dubious characters populating the room. Slotmill has nailed the retro Mickey Mouse vibe, so stepping into the club, you can almost smell the cigar smoke amidst the clinking sound of whisky glasses and slot machines kachinging in the background. It's an inviting scene, a sort of gambling version of old-school animations.
While Money Jar has a strong personality of its own, it doesn't take long before references to other slots emerge. Thanks to the name, the first was Jammin' Jars and its sequel. However, aside from jars with faces appearing on the grid, the two games are nothing alike, really. Where Jammin' Jars provides kicks by multiplying the daylights out of cluster wins, Money Jar is a ways game, with jars that collect Coins instead. Something closer was Relax Gaming's slot Chip Spin, both games using a casino theme. However, where Chip Spins went all out Vegas, Money Jar keeps things inconspicuously private. The Money Jar Bonus Game, with its Money Train-like symbols, is also similar in some ways to the Chip Spin Bonus Game.
If you're considering buying Money Jar's bonus round, it might pay to have a solid demo because they were tough going in the review. Heart symbols were critical because, without them, three spins could end rather quickly, and since individual Coins weren't generally worth a lot, it was tricky to build massive winning totals. Extending the round with extra lives and hitting a few of the special symbols helped, but Money Jar Bonus Round didn't have the same unpredictable explosiveness of Chip Spin, and despite repeatedly smashing the bonus buy button like a furious violinist, breaking even was rare. Maybe luck was not on our side because Money Jar does boast wins as high as 20,000x the bet. Whether there is a better chance of that happening on a massive base game spin/respin sequence or from an epic bonus round when everything goes to plan is kind of hard to say.
Money Jar might not have the same adrenalised star quality The Big Hit had, but as mentioned, there is a lot to like about it. The 1930s Betty Boop atmosphere, a long list of extras, options, excellent production values, and vibrant personality combine to make Money Jar a highly playable game.
Money Jar mixes familiar concepts with several new ideas to create a unique personality-heavy, if at times brutal, slot.