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Zen Garden

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Zen Garden Slot Machine

Being more ‘zen’ is something a lot of us could benefit from; with such busy and stressful lives, moments of peace and tranquility are hard to come by. We’re not promising that Zen Garden will open your mind up like a lotus flower, but we think it’ll help you unwind. Consisting of 5-reels and 50 paylines, this is a large slot from Gamesys.

The meaning of zen is based in Buddhism, but this real cash slot won’t be teaching you any ancient ways of living. Instead it’ll expect you to pay a small toll, and then work your way through an 11-symbol paytable. Furthermore, you’ll be able to pick up free games, get a taster of unexpected wilds, and watch as the reels rain down upon you. All that for just a starting bet of 0.50 coins.

Seen That Before

Despite Zen Garden being an arresting visual haven of original style, there are some elements we can’t help but recognise from previous Gamesys titles. Specifically the cascading reels and extras bar. As a rule, cascading reels aren’t limited to one brand or title, but this particular company seems to have an obsession with the feature. We like seeing it, but playing too often takes away from how special the reel delivery is, which in turn leads to boredom.

When the winning lines come in, the successful symbols will be removed from the grid, with new ones taking up their places. In addition to this process, you then have the bowls of water on the right hand side filling up whenever these wins are made. You mustn’t break the consecutive wins, otherwise the bowls will be emptied and reset to one. On its own it’s a great feature, but considering that Monopoly City Spins had the same setup, we’ve become immune to its charm.

Harsh Elements

If cascading reels are your thing, Gamesys is definitely going to be the brand of choice for you. As previously mentioned, they have a thing for providing this speciality design, rather than sticking with the conventional spinning reels formula. A game we’d highly recommend is Guardians of Fire and Ice. Granted the interface is smaller than this one, but it still brings all the mystique of Zen Garden, but without the totally chilled out vibes.

One issue that might irk some players though is that the RTP is smaller than with Zen Garden, at 94.82%, which theoretically means you’re worse off. However, it our experience these numbers aren’t always to be trusted. You could be playing a 98.65% RTP game and still feel like it’s destroying you and your bank account.

Cup Runneth Over

We’re going to backtrack a little right now, to bring your attention back to those water bowls on the right hand side of the 4x5 matrix. As we’ve already stated, they fill up when you make a series of wins, but what we forgot to say was that after five wins you receive five extra spins. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Of course, if you get to the top of this water feature, you get a total of 20 games to play through. However, let’s be realistic, the likelihood of achieving that feat is incredibly reduced. What is more, no amount of upping your bet will change that outcome; you could stake the max amount of 200 credits and still never reach the 20 spins mark.

As far as special features go, this is one of the smaller extras to interact with. There’s plenty of real cash slots to sink your teeth into, but this title is all about seeing the beauty of the subtle movements in life. And so you have only a single feature to enjoy rather than several, which in this instance is actually much more enjoyable.

Growing Garden

When Zen Garden comes to an end, we’re not exactly pumped up with energy, but rather relaxed to the point of wanting to fall asleep. This isn’t because of us being bored, but because that gentle atmosphere cocoons us like a baby being wrapped in a blanket. We just can’t emphasise how simple and rewarding this slot machine can be, without having all those contemporary gimmicks thrown in.

Overall, Zen Garden is a top-notch slot machine that has plenty of room for growth, however whether it’ll ever realise that potential is another matter. Gamesys could create another game and create a franchise, but we doubt it would be as successful as this one. Here’s to many more playthroughs of this naturalistic interface.

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