One thing that seem to have disappeared from the collective psyche of the world in recent years has been the prevalence of Mexican 'Jumping' Beans. Once prevalent around the world, they are still sold today in the United States, though not in the numbers that they once were.
Oddly enough, what causes the bean to "jump" is the larvae of a small moth, which has burrowed into the bean, eaten the inside and then attached itself to the bean while it matures. In this state, when the bean is exposed to heat (such as by holding it in your hand), the larvae will flip the bean over to try and cool it.
That's all very scientific but perhaps not much fun, so the good news is that if you are looking to play the Jumping Bean slot from Realtime Gaming, then you are in for a much more fun time. This 3-reel slot really packs a huge amount into what looks like a simple and basic game so let's take a closer look at what exactly this cheerful slot has to offer.
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When you get a three-reel slot to review, usually the presentation on the slot is somewhat basic and the bonus items tend to be simplistic and perhaps even a little retro. Every now and then there comes along a slot which breaks that mold and I'm delighted to say that the Jumping Beans slot is one of them.
Every bit of attention has been lavished on this slot as it would a 5-reel game. The setting is the Mexican desert and the styling of the slot is very much reminiscent of that of the cartoon TV show Spongebob Squarepants, albeit based on a Jumping Bean Mexican theme.
The key information is displayed at the top of the reels including your balance, bet size, any wins you achieve, plus the two progressive jackpot prizes, the minor and the major.
The three reels are central with the operation buttons at the foot of the reels along with the bet size selector. To the left and right of the eels are the Bonus Beans meters which show you how many bonus beans are collected during free spins and the multiplier bonus it will activate. More on this a bit a later when we discuss the different bonus features.
With a fabulous Mexican soundtrack to play along to and plenty of fabulous animations that bring humor and enjoyment to the slot, this is a slot that is an absolutely delight to view and play.
What's on the reels?
When it comes to what is on the reels of the Jumping Beans slot then you will find there are a total of ten different standard symbols. The lower value symbols are the flower, the cactus, the maracas and the guitar which offer pay outs of up to 10 coins per spin on a pay line.
The three different types of Burrito, one, two or three burritos are the mid value symbols with up to 30 coin wins possible with these items. Higher value wins are available with the Sun, the home of Mr and Mrs Bean (Casa de Bean) and the Bandito bean symbol, which offers wins up to the 200 coin standard base game jackpot.
These three higher value symbols also offer small payouts for just two of the symbols on a line, from 2 coins up to 6 coins.
All those wins however assume that a Mr Bean substitute Wild has been used as part of the pay lines, otherwise the biggest pay outs are half that stated amount.
The Mr Bean Wild symbol can be used to substitute for all the other symbols apart from the scatter symbol. When he does substitute for another symbol on a winning pay line, then he will increase the value of the win thanks to a 2x multiplier. The more Mr Bean Wilds you can land on the reel on a single spin then the more chance you have of triggering a better value win.
The Mr Bean Wild is active both in the base game and also during free spins, where he also has another role to play in that bonus.
Free Spins features
To activate the Free Spins feature on the Jumping Beans slot you need to land three of the Mrs Beans Bonus symbol anywhere on the reels following a spin or if she lands on the reels thanks to the Auto Nudge feature (which we will explain in more detail below). When you land her, you receive 10 free games, with a special Bonus Beans Tally in operation.
Over the course of your 10 Free Spins, you will land wins on the reels. However, each time that either a Mr Bean Wild, the Mrs Bean Scatter or the highest standard symbol Bandito Bean appears on the reels. They will be added to the Bonus Bean tally. Over the course of your free spins, as your tally of beans collected grows, so will the size of the multiplier applied to your final free spin bonus.
Collect 3, 4 or 5 beans and you complete Level One to win 5x your bet, then for every three beans you collect on your free spins you will move up another level, increasing the value of your multiplier prize by 5, up until Level 4 which sees your multiplier go to 25x. Land 15, 16 or 17 beans to get a 50x multiplier at Level 5 and if you hit 18 beans you will reach Level 6 and get the full 100x multiplier.
You can re-trigger the free spins bonus once during the round and when you do you receive an additional five free spins added to the current feature and you can continue to collect bonus beans on these additional spins too.
Other bonus features
There are a couple of other features that you should be aware of on the Jumping Bean slot and the first of these is the Auto Nudge feature, which is triggered every time either a Mr Bean or Mrs Bean symbol lands just outside of the current viewable region. When this occurs, the reels will auto nudge to bring the symbol onto the reels and this can lead to some additional wins or additional beans being collected during the free spins bonus round. The Free Spins bonus can also be triggered using the Auto Nudge feature too.
The other key bonus is the progressive jackpots. The Minor and Major jackpots differ in size and either can be won at the conclusion of any real money spin. The jackpots are awarded entirely at random whether you win on a spin or lose.
Best feature of the Jumping Beans slot
All the features of the Jumping Bean slot are excellent and all have a role to play in making the game what it is, but I think the best feature is the Bean Tally in the free spins bonus. This is a novel way to land a potentially large multiplier and even if you don't land enough beans to hit the mega-sized multiplier wins, the ones you do hit more often still return you a good amount of cash for your bet. It also helps add an extra dimension to the free spins and also means that even a small winning free spins round can be turned around if you hit it big on that last multiplier spin.
What does the Jumping Beans slot lack?
It is very rare that I say this about any slot, but I cannot think of a single thing that I would add to the Jumping Bean slot. I think the slot works absolutely perfectly as it stands and the fact it is a lower variance game that offers regular wins makes this a hugely player-friendly slot too.
Jumping Beans is without doubt one of the best three-reel slots I have played in a long time. The attention to detail, game-play and comedy injected through the game is superb and added to that, it is a lower to medium variance game that really won't take too big a bite out of your bankroll, even if you catch it on a tighter than usual day.
The number of bonus features worked into the slot is excellent and the way it has been presented is first class. There is a feeling that 3-reel slots are the inferior brothers of 5-reel or more slot games, but Jumping Beans is a slot that disproves that theory entirely. This is beautifully realized and a fantastic game any slot player of any experience will enjoy.
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