Earlier this year, Microgaming decided to revisit their Jungle Jim slot and give it something of a major overhaul, the end result was one of the most eagerly anticipated slots of the year; Jungle Jim El Dorado.
However, almost immediately after the slot was released and the first reviews rolled in, it seemed that many people had noticed something about Jungle Jim El Dorado, specifically just how uncannily similar it was to another hugely popular slot, NetEnt's Gonzo's Quest.
Indeed, a quick scan of the reviews from the release of Jungle Jim El Dorado will find reviewers almost constantly reminding slot players that Jungle Jim El Dorado, was simply Microgaming's version of Gonzo's Quest.
Of course, this is nothing new. Any time a company strikes gold with a slot, you can be sure that other development companies will be doing their best to get a very similar game out in their casinos. There are so many slot games available nowadays across a broad range of themes that finding a truly original game is almost impossible.
Take NetEnt's Starburst slot for example, NextGen's Starmania slot is almost a carbon copy of that game. This practice happens all the time and for slot players it is a good thing as it means that they have such a wide choice of games to pick from to play.
However, there hasn't been quite as much furor over two similar slots as there was when Jungle Jim El Dorado was released, so in this article we're going to take a look at the two and compare them to see what are the similarities and what the differences are between the slots under a number of different categories.
1. The Basics
Let's now compare how the very basics of each slot compares:
As you can see, in terms of the very basics of the slot then there are some key differences between the two. Jungle Jim El Dorado offers a wider range of bets available, and a larger jackpot in the base game.
However, the similarities between the two extend beyond the basics and into the actual game design and the incorporation of some of the key features.
2. Game Design
The first thing to note is that both the slots look very similar. Now you can argue that since both are based on the 'El Dorado' theme that a high degree of similarity is likely but the similarities extend well beyond the theme.
The first notable similarity between the slots is that both see the main protagonist (Gonzo or Jungle Jim) stood to the left of the reels set against an El Dorado backdrop. Both interact with the player when they achieve certain winning combinations on the slot.
Both games also see the Rolling Reels feature in operation (although it operates under a different name on Gonzo's Quest). This is where the reels fall down from above onto the 5x3 matrix and then if a winning pay line is created, the winning symbols disappear and new symbols drop down from above to replace them. This can trigger multiple wins from the same spin.
Linked to the Rolling Reels is another similarity between the slots as there is a Multiplier Trial at the top right hand corner of the screen on both. This increases in value with each successive Rolling Reel win from a single spin. On Jungle Jim, this extends from 1x through to 5x the win in order, but on Gonzo's Quest the layout is slightly different (1x, 2x, 3x and 5x).
It is this similarity in presentation and features which seems to have spawned the majority of comments on the review pages, but in truth, if you look at any popular slots, you will find that there are others that have, to put it mildly ‘taken inspiration' from that slot to come up with something very similar.
It is clear that both slots look and play very similarly, but do the similarities extend beyond what we've listed above and into the key bonus features of the slot?
3. Key Features
Both slots have their own Free Spins feature which is the key bonus feature in the game and which affords players a chance at the highest possible wins in the game. Let's see how similar they are:
Jungle Jim El Dorado - Land three or more scatters across the reel, 10 free spins awarded, Rolling Reels applies and Values in the Multiplier Trail increase to 3x, 6x, 9x, 12x and 15x for the duration of free spins. Free Spins can be re-triggered.
Gonzo's Quest - Land three or more scatters across three consecutive reels to receive 10 free falls (spins). Multiplier Trail increases to 3x, 6x, 9x and 15x for the duration of the free spins round. Free spins can be re-triggered
As you can see, the ket feature in the slots is very similar indeed with almost no difference between the two games in terms of terminology, the value of the multipliers or the fact that you can re-trigger free spins from within the round.
4. Payline win values
Let's now take a look at how the two games reward players in the base game, by taking a look at how many different symbols there are and the range of payouts available.
Jungle Jim El Dorado - 8 symbols on the reels paying out a minimum of 3 coins up to a maximum of 3,000 coins. Payouts begin with a minimum of three of the same symbols on a winning pay line (Wild symbols can be used to complete a winning pay line).
Gonzo's Quest - 7 symbols on the reels paying out from a minimum of 3 coins up to a maximum of 2,500 coins. Payouts begin with three of the same symbols in a line (although Wild symbols can be used to complete pay lines).
Once again, you can see the number of symbols is slightly different but the payout values on each of the pay lines is very similar and they are also structured in a similar style, although Jungle Jim does have an extra symbol, it also offers a higher base game jackpot 500 coins more than the Gonzo's Quest top prize.
So what does all this mean?
What this means is that there is no denying that Jungle Jim El Dorado and Gonzo's Quest are two very similar slots, however that is nothing new. Almost any popular slot will have other companies clamoring to develop their own very similar version of the game.
And that is good news for slots players as it means you have a greater choice of games to play and more top slot action to enjoy!
Give these two games a go and see which you like the best!