Esmeralda is a dynamic slot developed by Playtech, with fantastic visuals and a central character that radiates an unmistakable charm. The five reel slot has 25 pay lines and an abundance of special features, which keep players at the edge of their seats. Behind the fancy graphics and the charming lady whose presence brings the reels to life, hides a slot that carries a progressive jackpot. Triggering this huge amount isn’t a walk in the park, but the size of the jackpot pooled among several casinos makes the effort worthwhile.
Playtech designers wanted to bring into the spotlight the charming lady that will bring fond memories to those who have read the novel. Many of the central characters from the novel have found their way to the reels, but the hunchback is missing. Instead, the slot radiates positive vibes and in a way, it manages to create a romantic atmosphere that will appeal to both male and female players. Red is the dominant color and roses adorn the reels, while also being at the cornerstone of the special features.
The regular playing cards symbols are also present and even though they don’t leave a long-lasting impression, they are the ones triggering most of the winning combinations. Esmeralda is not surprisingly the most beautiful of all the figures on the reels and she serves the role of wild symbol. As stated above, the red rose makes a frequent appearance and it is also a sought-after symbol because in the right sequence, it unlocks the main feature of the game.
The charming visuals provide the motivation to start spinning the reels, but it is the solid gameplay and the easy to trigger features that keep players hungry for more. Esmeralda acts as the wild symbol and it can replace any other signs except for the scatter, to produce more winning combinations. Each time players succeed in triggering a payout after the reels start spinning, they have the option of using the gamble feature. Its name speaks for itself and those who choose to activate it can risk their winnings for the chance to win twice as much. What makes this feature special is that players can venture the entire amount or just a portion of it, based on their appetite for risk.
The autoplay feature is also available, for players who would rather sit back and watch the reels in motion. Players set the amount they want to wager and once they do so, they can instruct the autoplay feature to spin the reels for up to 99 times. During regular gameplay, players can bet one coin or 10% of it and they can make use of the max bet and turbo mode features. Overall, the return to player revolves around 92%, which is slightly below the industry average.
The special features come in handy in bumping these numbers, and the most effective way to thrive when playing Esmeralda is by claiming free spins. In order to secure these bonus rounds, players would have to find a relatively high number of red rose scatter symbols. They can appear anywhere on the reels and also stacked, with the higher the number of roses, the more free spins to be awarded. A minimum of 15 free spins will be credited to players who discover eight roses and their number increases to 17, 19 and 2 for each additional rose. The best case scenario is to unveil 15 roses and claim the maximum of 70 free spins. As players spin the reels for free during the special feature, they can unlock additional bonus rounds.
The gamble feature, the autoplay and the free spins awarded to those who discover a high enough number of scatter symbols keep players interested in this slot. It is, however, the Esmeralda progressive jackpot that has the merit for bringing this game into the spotlight. There is no upper limit, so the prize can grow indefinitely and it is randomly awarded so players can hit the jackpot at any time. Players should know that the game has four jackpots and they have a chance of winning one or the other depending on the amount wagered. The bottom line is that one has to bet the maximum amount to win the big jackpot.
The key to unlocking the progressive jackpot is not surprisingly the wild, symbol itself, appearing in a sequence of five on the active pay line. At this point, players are guaranteed to claim a payout worth 15,000 times the stakes, but they also have the chance of triggering one of the four jackpots. Missing out on the chance of winning the biggest Esmeralda progressive jackpot is a frightening thought for those who choose to bet smaller sums. If you need the motivation, Jackpots Finder provides you with all sorts of interesting statistics regarding the current and past jackpots and the frequency at which they are won.
The Bottom Line
Esmeralda is a beautiful slot with an intriguing theme and enough special features to keep players happy throughout the entire duration of their gaming session. The four progressive jackpots provide the impetus to spin its reels even more often and they differ based on the amounts players choose to bet. For a themed online slot, it also has a pretty solid narrative, which provides the backdrop for the game itself. The return to player should be higher, but with plenty of free spins that can be re-triggered, Esmeralda compensates for this shortcoming.