Jenga Online Slot Machine
While you can find many unique slots available, almost every game has one thing in common: spinning reels. This is where Amaya's Jenga slots differs greatly because instead of having reels, it's fashioned into a block tower.
If you've ever played Parker Brothers' classic Jenga game, this slot is just like it, only a lot more colorful.
Obviously this setup presents something totally new to the online slots world. But is totally new a good thing in this case? Or is it too far removed from traditional slots?
Keep reading to find out our take on these questions as well as how Jenga works, what special features it has, and how it compares to the land-based Jenga slot machine.
Jenga has 18 pay lines, and you must choose to play either 9 pay lines or all 18.
You can also change the coin size from between $0.05 to $20.00, making the minimum bet worth $0.45 and the maximum wager worth $360.00.
Betting options are listed in boxes on the side, or you can select the advanced tab to choose your preferred settings. The advanced tab also allows you to set win and loss limits on your playing session, just like in other newer Amaya slots.
On one hand, we love how Amaya went out on a limb with this new concept. However, this isn't something that will appeal to slots traditionalists who enjoy spinning the reels.
It's really pretty confusing when you first pull up Jenga and are presented with a large tower of colorful blocks. It won't take you long to learn how the pay lines correspond to the 18 block rows, but figuring out how winning combinations work is a bit difficult.
To explain this, we'll start with the easy part. A winning combination is formed when you get three of the same colored blocks on the same level.
A winning purple line is worth 1 coin, an orange line is worth 5 coins, and a red line is worth 25 coins.
When winning combinations are formed, the blocks involved disappear, causing the tower to drop down and more blocks to fall on top of the tower. This works much like cascading reels in standard slots games and can help you form more wins.
You also get payouts for every block that's linked to the winning pay line. For instance, a purple linked block is worth 1 coin, an orange linked block is worth 6 coins and a red linked block is worth 30 coins.
Some of the linked blocks are on the backside of the tower, and therefore hard to see. The game still adds all the pay outs up for you of course, but it just creates some initial confusion when you're used to playing standard slots.
Once you're used to how pay outs are formed in Jenga, it certainly has some nice elements, beginning with the colorful blocks.
You also get to see many different backgrounds because they switch as the game goes on. The game begins with stars and constellations as a backdrop, but this changes within a few minutes.
Assuming you find a background that you like, you can lock that specific setting. We wouldn't blame you for locking the background either because it can be somewhat distracting when the screen changes from black to green, green to red, and so on.
Return to player for Jenga is 95%, which is average for an online slots game.
Another aspect that separates Jenga from most other slots is its special blocks. While Jenga doesn't have wild symbols per say, the Magic Block and Layer Bombs act in these roles.
The Magic Block transforms the color of surrounding blocks to a single color, which helps you form winning combinations.
Layer Bombs are similar to expanding wilds in that they either destroy 2, 4, or 8 layers of blocks. When a Layer Bomb explodes, all of the blocks around it blow up, giving way to more possible combinations falling from the top.
In the physical Jenga game, the goal is to continue building the tower as high as possible without it falling over. However, in the online slots version, you want the tower to become unbalanced and collapse because this rewards you with a bonus game.
On the downside, there's nothing special at all to this bonus feature. It's just a free round with no extra wild symbols or multipliers, and you wouldn't even know it's a free round if not for the word Bonus listed in the right hand box.
While the fact that you trigger this bonus round by collapsing the tower is cool, the lack of any distinguishable bonus elements is a definite weakness to Jenga.
Comparison to Jenga Slot Machine
As we mentioned before, you can find a Jenga slot machine in land-based casinos. This version also incorporates elements of the classic, wooden block game, but it plays more like a traditional slot machine overall.
Considering that symbols consist of cocktails, disco balls, snack trays, and mixed drinks, the theme is a Jenga party. This really brings a lot of fun to the equation, which is one area where the land-based version trumps Amaya's online Jenga.
Assuming you get an expanding wild, blocks will fill up a reel and become wild when you spin. Most of the other features are unlocked when you spell out the word JENGA on the screen.
This allows you to select one of the five letters to reveal a prize. Our favorite is the Play Jenga option, which takes you to a second screen where you choose between two towers: Safe or Risky. The latter is less balanced, but it also gives you a chance to win bigger prizes.
Once you pick a tower, you'll select blocks from the middle and bottom to add to the top. The lower the blocks, the higher the bonus payout you'll receive.
You get to continue picking blocks and adding bonus credits as long as the tower stays upright. But as soon as it falls, the bonus round ends and your score is added up.
Our personal favorite Jenga game is the land-based version mainly because it's easier to pick up and enjoy right away.
Jenga slots is a nice break from the traditional drill of spinning reels and hoping for prizes. It's games like this that will continue helping slots evolve and encouraging software providers to take more risks.
Beyond the idea, the game itself is well designed with its colorful blocks and different backgrounds. We also like how often wins come in Jenga, which really keeps you engaged while playing.
However, this slot is definitely not without its faults, beginning with the learning curve. We're not saying this is like reading a rocket science manual, but you probably won't jump right in and start playing.
It would also be nice if Jenga slots could incorporate some kind of more advanced bonus feature. As it is, the Jenga bonus is nothing more than a single free round with no extra frills.