As obvious a theme it might be, we only get very few casino themed slots. There is Cazino Zeppelin and some similar games, also from Yggdrasil Gaming, but overall, it’s a rarity. And a casino river cruise is even rarer a find among slot themes. But it’s exactly what we get with Jackpot Express.
Set in the 1920s, we find ourselves on a Mississippi river cruise with a casino on board. Graphics are decent, though not as sophisticated as we’ve seen in other Yggdrasil slots. In fact, some things may be rather more simple than we’d prefer them to be. The background is a static riverscape, which is almost boring.
The soundtrack suits the area and swings along nicely with the game.
It’s still a good-looking game, don’t get us wrong. But it could have been great-looking. And the Art Deco elements are well done. But the card suit casino chips are a bit odd to look at, which is mostly owed to the white background they are set against.
Those low value symbols aside, we also get the cruise captain, a charming dealer and two gambling ladies. The captain is the most valuable of the bunch, paying 12.5x our stake for 5 of his kind. The other three are worth between 5x and 7.25x our stake for such a win.
You can play this game from 0.20 to 100.00 per spin.
One of the highlights in this game are the three progressive jackpots you can win. They are local progressive jackpots, of course, but with enough players chipping in, they can be quite substantial.
Three, four of five scatters may trigger the bonus wheel, which then starts the feature on level 1, 2 or 3. Each level awards either a coin win, which also ends the feature; a coin win plus re-spin, which gives you another spin on the bonus wheel; a multiplier or the chance to advance to the next level.
The Mini jackpot is available on the 2nd level, the Side jackpot on the 3rd and the Major jackpot is in the middle of the reel. From what we’ve seen, the Mini jackpot starts at €200, the Side jackpot starts at €1,500 and the Major jackpot starts at €15,000.
The bonus scatters actually trigger the Wheel of Fortune, which reveals either the jackpot bonus as described above, or one of three free spin options. One way or another, we end up with 10 free spins, which play out as follows:
Card Free Spins – at the end of each spin two cards are dealt, one for the player and one for the dealer. The player card is the higher one, we get a sticky wild added to the reels where it remains for all other spins.
Dice Free Spins – each time we land a win, two dice are thrown and the sum of the two dice will be the multiplier (between 2x and 12x) that is added to our win.
Roulette Free Spins – on each free spin, a roulette wheel spins as well to reveal +1 or +2 extra free spins, a coin win between 1x and 5x our stake, a sticky wild or a 2x or 3x multiplier for the current win. It’s also possible to get nothing here.
It’s not possible to retrigger the free spins.
The theoretical RTP (Return to Player) for Jackpot Express is 96.2%, which is solid for a slot of low to medium volatility such as this one. We even get a hit frequency of 32%. That’s excellent and just as well, considering there is nothing happening in the base game. We just wait for the scatters to show up and trigger the bonus game or free spins.
The game can be quite entertaining when you manage to get enough scatters regularly and the three different free spin modes are well done, making the most of the theme at hand. Mind you, the maximum possible payout here is 2,175x our stake.
That said, the jackpots are the real highlight and main draw for most players. The Major jackpot is set to drop at around €100,000, whereas the Side jackpot may hit at a value of about €4,000 and the Mini jackpot at €500. Since they are local jackpot, they won’t increase to the likes of Empire Fortune or Joker Millions, but these are worthwhile values regardless.
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