Playboy Gold Jackpots (Triple Edge Studios): Overview
Mr Hugh Hefner, the founder of iconic adult magazine Playboy, might be gone, but his legacy still lives on. He did, however, live long enough to see his brand turned into one of the best online slots ever created. Released some four years before his passing, the Playboy slot became a massive hit with the casino community and remained in high demand until around 2017 when the Flash version expired, leaving players with the awkward mobile version because, well, Microgaming couldn't be bothered to launch a html5 version?
Thankfully, Hugh Hefner did not have to see his brand butchered in the 2018 sequel Playboy Gold. Sure, the good looks and gentle volatility might have fared well with recreational players, we don't know, but the cork-sniffers were not impressed.
So what direction does this third instalment take? Well, you can probably already sense the lack of enthusiasm from our side, but let's give it a chance. First of all, what we see here is a rather odd approach with 5-reels, 6-rows and 30 paylines being used. Either Triple Edge Studios felt a little wild and crazy, or they are just trying to distract your attention from the dull content. As expected, the volatility is in the medium range while the RTP is set to a solid 96.08%. You can play it across all devices from as little as 0.15 up to £/€60 per spin.
Visually, there's little to complain about - for the male audience, at last. Some of the playmates featured here can be recognised from the previous game. You will see them standing to the left of the reels in various poses. With a luxurious feel, symbols include the usual lower-value card suits as well as 4 different playmates - Stephanie, Gia, Hiromi, and Carly. Stephanie is the most rewarding (boy, does that sound wrong), giving you 8.75 times your stake for a 5 of a kind combination. There are three different wilds included as well - 2x, 3x, and 5x multiplier wilds which appear on the first and last reels.
Playboy Gold Jackpots (Triple Edge Studios): Features
Before we go in for the kill, let's go through the features. First out is the Jumbo Block feature. Pay attention to the stacked picture symbols - these can combine on the three central reels to form a 3x4 block for bigger payouts. The other symbol to keep an eye out for is the wheel symbol - when a full wheel block appears in view (it can also be nudged into place), the Wheel Bonus feature comes into play. Once activated, the wheel is spun, and when finally coming to a stop, the corresponding prize is awarded which can be either a fixed jackpot prize of 20, 100, 500, or 2,500 times your stake, or the Free Spins feature.
During the Free Spins round you will benefit from a full jumbo block appearing on each spin. This increases the odds of landing big wins as well as activating the Wheel Bonus for a shot at the jackpot prizes or even more free spins.
Playboy Gold Jackpots (Triple Edge Studios): Verdict
Disappointingly, Microgaming and its partnering studios seem to have turned a blind eye to the negative feedback that they have been receiving from the casino community over the past few years. All too many games lack innovation, personality, and thrill factor - Playboy Gold Jackpots is no exception. It's as if Microgaming has abandoned the casino community altogether to focus on creating family-friendly slots. We really are at a loss to understand what's going on. Obviously, they have found a strategy that works for them, but from our perspective, as hardcore gamers, there is no appeal to a game like this whatsoever.
Playboy Gold Jackpots looks ok, and the brand itself will undoubtedly help attract attention. At the same time, it's awfully generic for a branded slot. Add to that an awkward grid layout (a giant reel set with only 30 paylines, come on), low symbol value, dated gameplay and mediocre potential. To be fair, Triple Edge Studios are actually one of the better independent developers working with Microgaming, although the products have been hit and miss. If asked to place Playboy Gold Jackpots into one of those two categories, it undoubtedly falls into the latter.
Not even pretty girls can save Playboy Gold Jackpots from fiasco.