Slot designers are a creative bunch who manage to find inspiration in all sorts of places. The world of traditional fairy tales often provides them with a particularly rich stream of valuable ideas. While that might sound surprising, given the fact that playing online games is a strictly adults-only hobby, slot developers instinctively know that, deep down, most adults are still suckers for a well-told story with a happy-ever-after ending. That's why we love fairy tale pokie themes as much as any other, and it's also why pokie games like Jack and the Beanstalk, which was released in 2013 by NetEnt, never get old.
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Jack and the Beanstalk Info and Facts
- Gaming provider: NetEnt
- Launch date: 2013
- Number of reels, rows, and paylines: 5 reels | 3 rows | 20 paylines
- RTP & volatility: 96.28% | High volatility
- Min and max bet: 0.20 - 100.00
- Game features: Walking Wilds, Free Spins, Treasure Collection.
Step Into a Beautifully Rendered World
Despite NetEnt releasing this online pokie a decade ago, Jack and the Beanstalk is a game that doesn't seem to have aged one bit. This is a five-reel pokie and one of the things that made it particularly special when it first arrived at online casinos was the stunning quality of its 3D-rendered graphics. Those visuals have held up very well over time, as you'll see when you launch the title.
The reels are presented against a background showing the young Jack's humble home, and he'll pop out from time to time as you play. Take a closer look at the background environment and you'll notice plenty of nice details that call back to the original fairytale. For example, you'll see that the roof on Jack's house is missing some tiles, and if you're patient enough a bird will eventually peek through, but only for a moment, so keep your eyes peeled.
Symbols appearing on the reels include beanstalk versions of the playing cards ranks from 10 to A, an old watering can, a hand axe, a goat, a pair of ugly giants and Jack himself. A Jack and the Beanstalk logo is wild and a treasure chest symbol serves as a scatter.
The audio is just as impressive as the visuals, but you'll be disappointed if you expect to hear an orchestral work playing throughout. What you'll hear in this game is a wonderfully realistic soundscape of birdsong and other natural sounds, which is exactly what Jack is used to hearing from day to day. There are also incidental audio effects that accompany the spinning of the reels and other in-game events, while a musical score will be heard during special features.
Walking Wild Feature
The first bonus feature that you're likely to trigger when playing this game is the Walking Wild feature. Every wild symbol in Jack and the Beanstalk is a Walking Wild, and whenever one of them appears it will give you a free respin. The Walking Wild will then "walk" one reel to the left as the respin is taking place. More respins will continue to be awarded until the Walking Wild symbol has walked all the way to the first reel and off the screen.
Should you get two or more Walking Wilds on the reels at the same time, they will all walk one reel to the left with each respin until they exit the screen. This can give you quite a few chances to win from a single paid spin of the reels. Even better, every win that is achieved or improved by a Walking Wild symbol will pay you three times its usual prize.
Free Spins with Treasure Collection Feature
When you manage to land three or more treasure chest scatter symbols on the reels at the same time, you will trigger the main special feature in this game which is Free Spins. This round takes place at the top of the beanstalk, where Jack stands proudly to the left of the reels. You'll be awarded ten free spins, to begin with, and if you land three or more additional scatters at the same time, you'll earn an extra five free spins.
During the Free Spins round a special Key symbol will appear on the fifth reel. You'll collect these symbols as they land, and when you have collected three, six, or nine of them, the next wild symbol that lands will transform into a special wild with its own distinct properties, as follows:
- Collect three keys and the next wild symbol will transform into a stacked wild of two money bag symbols.
- Collect six keys and the next wild symbol will transform into a stacked wild of three golden hen symbols.
- Collect nine keys and the next wild symbol will transform into a golden harp expanding wild.
These transformed wilds will walk from right to left, one reel at a time, just as the regular Walking Wilds do in the main game.
Jack and the Beanstalk: Our Verdict
The first time I played this game was in 2013 when it was initially released. Back then I thought that the rendered 3D graphics were just about as good as they could get in the world of online pokies. I was wrong about that because I hadn't taken the looming prospect of virtual reality gaming into consideration, but I'm pleased to confirm that this game still holds up very well indeed. The visuals are as delightful as they ever were, and the gameplay is just as satisfying as it was a decade ago. If you're the kind of online casino player who enjoys a good old-fashioned fairy tale now and again, grab yourself a handful of beans and spend some time with Jack and the Beanstalk. You'll be glad you did.