Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar: Slot Overview
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar is the fifth book in the jungle man series from American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. If you're familiar with it, you'll know it's a pretty bizarre story. Opar was a mine used to provide gold for the lost city of Atlantis; Tarzan hits his head, loses his memory, gets romanced by La, a priestess for the Flaming God, while her priests try to sacrifice him. In short, an entertaining setting for Microgaming partner Gameburger Studios’ follow up to their popular 9 Masks of Fire.
It must be hard not to milk a hit for all its worth, and Gameburger squeezed hard with 9 Pots of Gold. That one was basically a replica of the original, rolled up in a jolly Irish theme. This time, Gameburger has attempted to make a break while keeping a lot of what players liked about 9 Masks. What it means is a similar game in many ways, but one where key elements have been enhanced. An obvious change is that the 5-reel, 20-payline grid is set in a lushly drawn jungle this time around. Behind the scenes, the studio has altered several of the settings as well.
Gameburger's stated aim was to build on a smash hit math model. That's not just sales talk either - 9 Masks of Fire was Gameburger's high water mark, partly due to its user-friendly mathematics. 9 Pots of Gold used the same engine, whereas a few tweaks have been made for Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.
First, the RTP has been raised slightly to 96.38%, not as drastically different as the jackpot prize, but an uptick is always welcome. Heading the other way is the hit rate, which has dropped to 33.26%, yet still around one hit every three spins. What has remained the same, is the volatility, coming in again at a medium setting. So yeah, there have been a few prods and pokes to the math model, but it will be tough to spot much of a difference when the game is in action.
The vine-swinging antics are available on any device, where players choose stakes from 20 p/c to £/€20 per spin. Getting a winner means landing three or more of a kind on one of the 20 fixed paylines. There are 8 pay symbols to do so - 4 are low pay J-A royals designed in a nicely overgrown style, then the premiums which are The Belgian, Jane, La, and Tarzan at the top. Five Tarzans on a line are worth quite a lot at 37.5x the stake, while the remaining premiums payout 5 to 20 times the bet.
The remaining symbols are 2 scatters, covered below, and the panther wild appearing on any reel. Not only does it substitute for any pay symbol to make a combination, it is also worth up to 62.5x for a line of five.
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar: Slot Features
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar comes with several features mixing up the pace. They're all pretty straight forward, most having appeared in the previous 9 Masks/9 Pots games. One new addition is the Random Wild feature. On any spin, Tarzan may swing over the game one or more times, dumping at least 2 wild symbols onto the reels. Usually, this would produce 2 or 3 wilds during testing, but it can technically add up to 15, filling the reels for a 1,250x win.
Next are free spins, triggered when 3 scatter symbols land on reels 2, 3, and 4. When this happens, the Feature Wheel is activated, which is quite different this time around. The same number of spins is up for grabs 10-30, except this time the accompanying win multiplier can be as high as x10. This multiplier is applied to all wins during free spins except jackpot scatter wins.
The final feature is the one that helped put 9 Masks on the map – the scatter jackpot. Landing three or more purple jewel scatters instantly rewards a respective prize. The payout for getting 9 scatters now is 5,000 times the stake, more than double than before.
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar: Slot Verdict
While there is no '9' in the title, for all intents and purposes, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar is still 9 Masks of Fire at its heart. Yet, it's not the low effort duplicate 9 Pots of Gold was. Along with the name, distancing it from its predecessors, are a couple of changes. One of the most significant is the jackpot increase. This time players get 5,000x rather than 2,000x when 9 scatters land. An unexpected upgrade, and a welcome one for players who want to go larger. Most of the stats have been slightly transformed too, so the math model isn't a copy and paste job. The boffins had to break out the calculators to do a bit of tapping for this one.
Aside from the numbers, the visuals are also a complete departure from the last two. Particularly 9 Masks, which was a pretty plain, though the classic look was part of its charisma. Tarzan's Jewels uses a much more developed game world, packing in animations and more complex background imagery. Graphically, it's nice, yet not hugely different from other Tarzan slots such as Lord of the Wilds. Tarzan does his mandatory swinging through the trees on a vine deal for example.
In many ways, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar is a more conventional slot than its predecessors. It's got one more feature, bigger potential, and the theme is more developed (albeit, taken straight from a book). Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar lacks the classic slot/minimalist look of 9 Masks though, so it will be interesting to see if this one takes off in quite the same way. Does it lose some of the charm 9 Masks of Fire had by being more mainstream? It will be interesting to see how fans of the original react to the changes.
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar’s greater potential and altered math model help it dodge clone status, although it retains the spirit of 9 Masks of Fire at its core.