If you had showed me this game a few months earlier and asked me to guess which developer had created it, I would undoubtedly have said “Play’N’Go”. Of course, I would have been wrong – Jelly Reels™ online slot is a product of Wazdan, a software house you probably won’t have come across until the last couple of years despite having been creating games for over a decade. That’s a long and complicated story for another day, however – we have enough on our plate with the 16,777,216-pay way (!!!) Jelly Reels™, a 96.22% RTP online slot that has an artificial win cap of 2,500x your stake.
The game boasts a Mega Symbols modifier that can form 2x2 or 3x3 symbol blocks and features the cascading wins mechanic which has proven to be extremely popular among online slot players. Interestingly, this game also includes the “Hold the Jackpot” bonus round featured in several other Wazdan games despite having an entirely unrelated design.
Intrigued? Fire up our free demo slot of Jelly Reels™ below and give it a try yourself on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
Online slots are not fruit machines, but it is easy to understand how people get the two things mixed up. Some early online slots even featured a fruit machine-like layout, with three reels in the bottom left of the screen and a bonus game of some sort located directly above it. Developers soon realized that the space on a screen can be utilized much more effectively, however, and three-reel slots are a dying breed in today’s market. Images of fruit do make for easily distinguishable and attractive, brightly coloured symbols of course, so they are likely to remain a part of the online gaming industry for some time. Wazdan have also chosen to mix in a few other symbols just to make Jelly Reels™ a bit more difficult to categorise, so lucky sevens, teddy bears (Jelly babies, maybe?), and stars complete something of an eclectic reel set.
You would imagine that this would be a grid slot, what with having eight rows of eight symbols, but that is not the case. This is a regular slot which pays for any combination featuring four or more matching symbols from left to right on adjacent reels. That means that the big hits whilst playing Jelly Reels™ video slot are for the eight-of-a-kind combinations, starting with the lucky sevens which pay 5x your stake. I had to think about this for a moment the first time I saw it – surely that isn’t very much at all? But then I remembered, this game has more than sixteen million ways to win – 5x probably isn’t too bad at all! The teddy bear symbol is next on the high-paying symbols page at 3x for eight-of-a-kind, followed by the star at 2x and the lemon at 1x. The paytable also shows some wild symbols, but they occur so infrequently that I wasn’t sure if they were reserved for the bonus round when I started testing the game. When I finally did see a wild it showed up as a large 2x2 symbol on the far right of the reels, winning me nothing… sigh. I still hadn’t seen any bonus symbols either.
So, hitting the wilds and scatters seems to be quite difficult, but at least choosing how much you want to bet is straightforward enough! A row of options is shown directly underneath the giant reel set, and two arrow controls to the left and right of these allow you to scroll through higher or lower bets as you wish. The minimum bet is just €0.10 per spin, which is a nice touch for the low-roller crowd, whilst the maximum is all the way up at a frankly scary €100.00 per spin. You could go bust real quick spinning this one at that kind of money, let me tell you!
base game & MODIFIERS
If you didn’t already catch this earlier, let me reiterate – the Jelly Reels slot game is NOT a grid slot. This is a regular left-to-right pays online slot that uses pay ways instead of regular pay lines, and with a total reel area of eight-by-eight symbols, this makes for a total of 16,777,216 ways to win; by far the highest I can ever remember seeing in any online slot machine.
Any wins you do hit will be removed from the reels immediately, allowing the rest of the symbols to settle lower down and new ones to fall in from the top of the screen. This process can continue repeating indefinitely until no more winnings are collected.
All the symbols apart from the wilds appear to be stacked on the reels, but it is unclear how many ways you can win on simultaneously. Whatever the number might be is probably irrelevant, since Wazdan has capped the winnings per paid spin in this game to just 2,500x.
mega symbols Modifier
The paytable makes much of this supposed “feature”, but as far as I understand it, it does not have any real effect on the gameplay. Any symbol apart from the bonus symbol can appear as a large 2x2 symbol or a monster 3x3 symbol, but they do not have any multipliers attached to them or behave in any kind of special way. In fact, I don’t see what the difference between these symbols and just a patch of the same symbol would be?
Just to left of the spin button is an extra control with a strange three chilli label pictured on it. Pressing this allows you to swap out the reel set in use between low, medium, and high volatility options. The low volatility reels will pay lots of smaller wins regularly, whilst the high volatility reels pay much less often, but you have the opportunity of hitting bigger wins.
jelly reels™ slot bonus bonus feature
The bonus symbol in Jelly Reels™ is represented by a coin with a multiplier shown on it. The multiplier has no effect during the base game and is not applied to any regular winning combinations, so don’t be confused as I was initially!
If three, four, or five of these bonus coin symbols appear on a single spin then the game will award you a free re-spin for the chance to catch more. If at least one more bonus symbol lands then you will awarded another free re-spin until you either gather up at least six bonus symbols or fail to hit any additional coins.
hold the jackpot bonus Feature
It can be tough to get here in this game, from my experience, so you may want to use the feature buy option detailed below if you struggle to gather the necessary bonus symbols the hard way. However you get here though, you will notice that your triggering symbols have been locked in place, in my example here adding up to 15x, and you now have three re-spins to try and hit the Grand Jackpot.
The reels only contain blank spaces and bonus symbols in this feature. If your spin ends without any bonus symbols landing on the screen, your remaining spin counter will be reduced by one. If at least one bonus symbol does land, your remaining spins will be reset back to three.
You will notice that, unlike other games with this “Hold the Jackpot” feature by Wazdan, in Jelly Reels™ the top half of the screen contains large, 2x2 spaces, whilst the bottom half is occupied by regular symbol-sized spots. If you hit a bonus symbol in the large 2x2 slots before you have unlocked them, your remaining spin counter will NOT be reset to three at the end of the spin.
The question is, how do you unlock the top spots? Ah, you need to collect four bonus symbols in the corresponding squares of the smaller grid below. So, for example, if you fill the bottom-left corner of the screen with four gold coins, you will unlock the large, 2x2 space in the bottom-left corner of the top half of the feature.
The large spots are the only ones where you can collect jackpot prizes in this variant of the Hold the Jackpot feature, and it is technically possible to complete the feature with several large prizes locked away in the top half of the screen, although I never saw this happen during testing – it seems as if the game is programmed to ensure that you always unlock any prizes you have landed in the top half of the grid.
Whilst the jackpots shown on the right may look like progressives, they are in fact fixed in this game; the Mini always pays 15x your stake, the Minor pays 30x your stake, the Major pays 150x your stake, and finally, the Grand will award you the games maximum prize of 2,500x outright – making everything which happened prior to this during the bonus round completely pointless, if you think about it.
Just to the left of the stake select area is a button with a picture of a shopping cart on it. This can be used to purchase the “Hold the Jackpot” feature immediately. Interestingly, there are three volatility options you can select from when you press this button – it is not clear if these volatility levels match the one you currently have selected for the base game, although that seems as if it would make sense to me.
Buying the “low-volatility” bonus costs 50x your current bet, whilst the regular mode charges 100x your stake and the “high-volatility” option ups the ante all the way to 300x your stake. I tried each option a few times and noticed that the top half of the grid seemed to fill up substantially more in the high-volatility bonus round, but I still find myself struggling to recommend taking a risk on such an expensive feature because it isn’t clear what odds you are receiving on the bet. Instead, I recommend you try our demo slot of Jelly Reels at the top of this page before trying this out for real money.
jelly reels™ slot review final thoughts
If it wasn’t for the painfully small artificial win limit of 2,500x your stake, Wazdan would have another hit on their hands here. I feel an alarming sense of Déjà vu saying this about one of their games right now – I believe the company has seen sense and increased the limit to a higher amount in their latest games, but that still leaves far too many older games on the market with this problem in place. It’s a real shame too, as this slot would surely deserve a much better verdict otherwise.