Aristocrat has taken the interest level up a notch with this Australian-themed game. With 6 different bonus games, and a progressive jackpot which is triggered at random – Outback Jack is designed for entertainment as well as the hallmark Aristocrat gameplay. The theme of this slot is distinctly Australian, with kangaroos, Koalas and a boomerang making up the symbols. The most popular game by this slots maker in this genre is Big Red. For me, Outback Jack is even better, with the different features keeping the game fresh for longer and the progressive jackpots giving you the chance of a significant windfall.
In addition to the new features, you’ll find the regular features of Aristocrat slots in this game. The distinctive clicks as the reels stop, beeping tunes when you win and the chance to double-up any wins with the draw of a card are all included. The colors and graphics are better than many other slots by this company – the use of muted colors suits the desolation of the outback, and the cartoony graphics look great too. This slot does not use the reel power setup, instead opting for 20 win lines.
The layout of this slot will be familiar to those who enjoy the Aristocrat titles. The options for selecting the number of lines and the amount bet per line are underneath the reels. You can see the total bet amount above the reels. I always recommend double checking this before you spin. There is an auto-play option and the totals of the minor and major jackpot amounts are displayed too.
Wild symbols in this slot are the boomerang, which as usual substitute for anything except for the scatters. Big paying symbols are the Australian icons, with cartoon crocodiles, kangaroos and koala’s what you want to see on your win-lines. Jack himself can win you some big payouts, and the scattered map of Australia which will get you the choice of bonus features as well as some payouts of its own.
Playing cards ace down to nine make up the standard symbols in this game. The payouts are smaller for these, though they do add up as you spin – keeping your bankroll in play longer while you wait for the features to start.
There is no combination of symbols for the progressive jackpot in Outback Jack. This is randomly triggered. You are taken to a second screen where you get to choose from cards. You are trying to get 5 pictures of Outback Jack, though there are consolation prizes for 4 or 5 other symbols as well. This jackpot can sometimes offer 5-figure sums.
Every time you trigger the feature (by getting 3+ scatter symbols), you’ll see a list of 6 possible bonus rounds. This is unusual for Aristocrat slots, where you’ll usually find just one bonus game – usually a free spins round. Hopefully this is the start of many more interactive games from Aristocrat.
The bonuses all have quirky names. These are the Gold Mine Bonus, Nippy Surf Bonus, Big Rock Bonus, Winding River Bonus, Fishing Spot Bonus and Great Sandy Desert Bonus. Some of these are free spins bonuses which include different symbols on the reels (for example fish with the Fishing Spot bonus round). Others are games, which are essentially ‘pick em’ rounds, where you have to guide jack over rocks or help him get to shore on his surf board. While all the games are simple, having several different ones helps to stop this slot from getting stale.
I’m hoping that this is the start of a new direction for Aristocrat slots. Their titles have always been simple, yet entertaining to play. Many other slots software houses have gone down the route of interactive games with some very ‘involved’ bonus rounds, while Aristocrat has started to look dated in comparison. By bringing in some entertaining bonus features along with their solid slot action, Outback Jack is bound to appeal to a wider audience. Hopefully, it will not be too long before we see this slot online.