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Grand Jester

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Grand Jester Slot

From the looks of things, it seems like medieval jester slots are trending at the Novomatic headquarters having released four jolly themed games in the last couple of months. Grand Jester, Magic Jester, Fruit Fortune and The King’s Crown are all Novomatic online video slots designed with the jolly joker as the games’ Wild. Out of the lot, Grand Jester, Magic Jester, and Fruit Fortune are very reminiscent of those one-armed bandits of old with their fruity symbols, whereas The King’s Crown sees royalty, in the form of princes and princesses, on the reels. The Fruit Fortune video slot is practically a clone of Grand Jester in design with almost identical icons and the exact same diamond bearing grinning joker, however, it differs in gameplay with different Wild action. Despite the theme being somewhat unoriginal, the Gaminator slot, Grand Jester, stands out from its counterparts as it has some interesting bonus features like free spins, Expanding Wilds, and a progressive jackpot.

Theme & Icons

Much like the Magic Jester and Fruit Fortune slots, the game plays like a classic fruit machine, therefore the design is pretty basic with black reels set in a gold casing on top of a background featuring a pair of blue diamonds (the game’s major symbol). The reels are filled with sevens, green and blue bars, bells and your standard fruit icons; grapes, watermelons, plums, lemons, oranges, and cherries. The Wild is the court jester or jolly, a high-paying icon which can take the place of all symbols except for the Scatter, which is the diamond icon. The cherries and the jester Wild are the only icons which pay out on 2, 3, 4 or 5 of-a-kind, the rest all pay out when you land 3, 4 or 5 matching symbols on a single winning pay-line. As is the case with most fruity inspired slots, the graphics are fairly simple and are accompanied by Novomatic’s usual jingle.

Gameplay & Features

Grand Jester is a medium to high volatility video slot consisting of a 5x3 reel layout and 10 adjustable pay-lines. The minimum bet per line is 0.40 credits and the maximum is 50.00 credits with the RTP (payback index) set to 95.10%, which is very typical of slots with progressive jackpots. It’s not a cheap game to play, especially since it’s optimal to play on all bet lines and there are slots which are playable for as little as 0.01 credit per line.

The online slot’s bonus feature is triggered by landing three or more diamond Scatters in any position on the reels. Once activated you are awarded 12 free spins, hand in hand with some Expanding Wild action. During the bonus round, all the jolly symbols are held in their positions and expand to cover the whole reel for just one spin, creating a folly of winning combinations. As mentioned earlier, they can replace any icons but the Scatter. You can also retrigger the feature by hitting another three or more diamonds anywhere in view.

You can walk away jovially with the jackpot by landing a combination of five jollies (each reel shows one jumbo jester) on a single win-line during the bonus round thanks to those Expanding Wilds. If you play the maximum bet, then the entire jackpot will be yours. Lower amounts win a corresponding amount.

After each win, the Gamble feature becomes active. Clicking ‘Gamble’ will take you to a traditional set of gold bars. Pressing the ‘Gamble’ button a second time could either double your winnings and move you up to the next bar or cause you to lose your recently acquired winnings. You can keep gambling until you reach the top bar. Unlike in other Gaminator games, the gamble feature here is based on pure luck as you’re not asked to guess the next card in the sequence of Aces (as is the case in Magic Jester, The King’s Crown and several other Novomatic slots).

Summary

These types of fruity video slots do have a tendency of being simple in design and gameplay, therefore they aren’t teeming with bonus features and flashy graphics. That said, Grand Jester has quite a fruitful bonus round with its free spins, retriggers and Wilds which hold and expand over whole reels. It can be played online, on mobile and tablet devices for free and real money.

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