All aboard! The riverboat Jackpot Express is about to set out on a magical reel voyage on the slot from Yggdrasil Gaming. Step into the elegant casino room to join a cast of colourful characters and play exquisite games that will bring back the charm of the good ol’ days. Throw the dice or spin the roulette wheel in the free spins for sticky wilds, casino chips and multipliers to win up to 2,187 times your bet. May it be a lucky voyage and you get to spin the bonus wheel where three progressive jackpots are up for grabs.
Jackpot Express is a progressive video slot with five reels, three rows and 20 fixed pay lines. Wins are awarded for three to five matching symbols landing on a line from left to right only. You can jump aboard the casino boat on desktop or mobile from 0.20 to 100 credits per spin. The game has medium volatility with an overall RTP of 96.20%, which includes the contributions to the three jackpots totalling 5.00%.
Loading the game will see you stepping onto one of the traditional riverboats that acted as floating casinos while cruising up and down the Mississippi river. The game grid has been bolted onto the back of the riverboat with the three jackpot displays towering on top of reels. A colourful cast of poker players and lady gamblers will make for an entertaining voyage, all to a smooth jazz tune.
The pay symbols start at the low end with casino jetons marked with card suits – diamonds, clubs, hearts and spades – awarding 2.5x to 3.5x your stake for a single five of a kind. They are followed by the sleek card player, the smoking roulette lady, the champagne-sipping dice lady and the captain. Hit five on a line to win 5x to 12.5x your bet. An intricate icon marked with the word itself is the wild symbol, substituting for all regular pay symbols and also yielding 12.5x stake for five. A stack of gold coins marked with ‘Bonus’ acts as the scatter, appearing on reels two, three and four only.
Jackpot Express Slot Features
After having tested the game for a few hours, I thought I’d preempt the verdict to note that Jackpot Express is a typical progressive slot. Due to the jackpot contributions, you are basically playing a game with a core RTP of 91.2%, and it feels exactly like that. The main game can be rather dreary because all of the big win potential as well as the jackpots are stuffed into the bonus games. While the rather high overall hit frequency of 32% will produce a pay at a rate of roughly 1:3 spins on average, they often barely cover the bet due to low line pays. The free spins frequency has been noted with an average of 1:111 spins but we went easily 300 and 400 spins between triggers, so some caution is recommended as the base game will not hold your balance. Well, to be honest, the slot is geared towards jackpot chasers, and thus, the above is nothing out of the ordinary.
Hitting three scatters anywhere on the three middle reels will trigger the mighty Wheel of Fortune. It will cover reel three and contain four prizes – 3 free spin modes and a jackpot bonus game. The wheel will spin once and the icon stopping on the centre position will be your prize. All free spin modes will get you 10 Free Spins which cannot be retriggered. In all modes, the game window is moving towards the left and a casino table will appear according to the chosen mode to award extra prizes.
- Card Free Spins: Two cards are drawn at the end of each free spin, one to beat and one for you. A sticky wild is added to a random position if your card is higher. At the maximum, 10 sticky wilds can be won during the round.
- Dice Free Spins: A pair of dice is thrown on each winning free spin. The win will be multiplied by the total sum of the dice from x2 to x12.
- Roulette Free Spins: A Roulette wheel will spin on each free spin and award extra prizes if it lands on one: +1 or +2 free spins; sticky wild; an x2 or x3 multiplier for the current spin; coin wins of 1x, 2.5x or 5x bet.
The Jackpot bonus game is the fourth prize on the Wheel of Fortune. Once won, a giant wheel with three levels appears. Initially, one spin is awarded on level 1 and the aim is to land on the golden arrow that will advance you towards the Major Jackpot. Each wheel will have a range of coin wins and landing on any without a respin icon will instantly end the bonus game. Here’s what’s up for grabs on each level:
- Level 1: coins wins from 2.5x to 10x your bet, a green gem that will double all coin prizes and award respin and an arrow that will advance you to level 2.
- Level 2: coin wins from 10x to 50x your bet, a green gem that will double all coin prizes and award respin, the Mini Jackpot or an arrow to advance to level 3.
- Level 3: coin wins from 25x to 100x your bet, a green gem that will double all coin prizes and award respin, the Side Jackpot or the most desirable prize, the last arrow that will advance you to the centre and trigger the Major Jackpot.
All jackpots are progressive with 1.4% of each bet going to the Mini, 1.2% to the Side and 2.4% to the Major Jackpot. They are localized to a single site or a casino group and have seed values of €200 for the Mini, €1,500 for the Side and €15,000 for the Major. Every time a jackpot is won, the balance is of the respective jackpot is reset to the seed value.
Jackpot Express has all the usual high-quality Yggdrasil trimmings with regards to graphics, animations and accompanying audio. However, that is where my enthusiasm ended. The test runs became a borefest as there is simply no win potential in the base game nor any random feature that will interrupt your drift towards a nap. Admittedly, the free spin modes are entertaining thanks to the side games but the win potential is still rather low with the max peaking at just below 2,200x bet. However, these things never bothered the jackpot chasers and probably won’t do it now. The Major Jackpot is expected to trigger around the 100K mark, so keeping an eye on it might be a good idea.