John Hunter and the Mayan Gods Slot Review

John Hunter, the video-slot Indiana Jones, is back for Pragmatic Play in another installment of this adventure-game series. We are in high variance territory, on a simple 5 reel and 3 row set with 20 fixed paylines and a top payout of 2,500x. All the good things here are driven by expanding wilds and free spins with a level-up system in which low value symbols are upgraded in the bonus round. It’s a thrilling slot with great visuals and an RTP of 96.51%.

John Hunter and the Mayan Gods Slot Review

About John Hunter and the Mayan Gods Slot Review

After exploring Ancient Egypt and the Aztecs, John Hunter is back to hit the Mayan civilization. Of course, this is by no means the first video slot to tread this ground, though Pragmatic Play do it with more style than most and with some excellent visuals and compelling gameplay. This is the fourth in this series and the star of the show is similar to Play’n Go’s Rich Wilde, so anyone who has played their awesome Book of Dead will be in familiar territory. If you are into your high risk games then you’ll love this too – it has all the hallmarks of a top highly volatile slot with action deep in the free spins round driven by expanding wilds and a progressive bonus gameplay that can escalate payouts pretty quickly.

The setting here is the remains of an ancient Mayan temple which can be seen in the background, overgrown with jungle plants that have displaced the Mayan civilization that came before. There is also a powerful soundtrack in the background that seems to be performed on native instruments. It’s all very atmospheric and sets us up for some excellent slots action. 

RTP, Variance and Top Payout

There can be no question that this is a high variance game. That means the win distribution is pretty unstable – you could be waiting it out on a long spell with little or no wins before breaking into that bonus round and stacking up the expanding wilds and extra spins. Just bear in mind that that kind of things is a rarity so don’t go chasing your losses if things aren’t working out. The top payout is advertised as 2,500x but most of us won’t see payouts of much more than 100x to 500x. And the RTP is at 96.51% which makes it a fairly standard payout model for Pragamatic’s high variance series.

Symbols and Paytable

The low value symbols here are represented by the playing card icons, the spades, clubs, diamonds and hearts. They pay up to 10x for five of a kind. The premium symbols are represented by the tribal leader, the fire-breathing serpent Quetzalcoatl, the ring, the knife, and the golden goblet. The highest value icon of all is John Hunter himself, who can payout 50x for five on a line.

Look out as well for the Wild, which is represented by the Golden Statue, and will sub in for all other symbols except for the scatter. The scatter itself is the ancient temple and is needed to set up the free spins round.

Gameplay and Features

Like all good high variance games, John Hunter and the Mayan Gods comes with an interesting set of features. If you land the right combination of these then you can land a really good payout. Here’s how they work: 

Expanding Wild Feature

Wilds are crucial in both the base game and the free spins round. They are the Golden Statue and only land on reels 2, 3 and 4 which are the middle three reels. If a wild forms part of a winline then it also expand to fill the entire reel it lands on. That way, it can lead to more wins.

Free Spins Feature

So, the important free spins round is where the good stuff happens. You’ll need to land three scatters on a single spin to trigger the bonus. The scatters are shown as Temples icons and the round has six levels that you can pass and unlimited free spins re-triggers.

It all starts with 12 spins, and every time a Wild lands, so an extra free spin is credited, and a level-up occurs. If two or three Wilds land on the same spin, the game moves up 2 or 3 levels at once, and more free spins are awarded.

There are six levels in total, and critically, the higher the level, the better the paytable because low value symbols are upgraded with each level-up. It works like this:

  • Level 2: All goblets are turned into knives
  • Level 3: Knives are turned into rings
  • Level 4: Rings turn into Quetzalcoatl.
  • Level 5: Serpents are turned into the tribal leader.
  • Level 6: Only John Hunter icons appear on the reels.

At all times, three or more Scatters on the reels will retrigger the feature with no limit to how many times this can happen.

As you can see, this is where all the potential lies – keep re-triggering the free spins and upgrading symbols and bigger and better payouts can be achieved. They mythical event of a screen of John Hunters is unlikely to happen any time soon, if at all, but still we can all dream! 

Our Verdict 

The Mayan Gods slot from the John Hunter series is an exciting looking game with some thrilling potential in the bonus round. Fans of high variance action are going to enjoy this slot. It is not as feature-packed as some of other volatile games currently on the market but is still delivers some top notch gameplay if you can unlock those free spins.  Symbol upgrades tied to free spins events are not uncommon – Pink Elephants by Thunderkick does something similar – but Pragmatic Play have taken things further still by making this an unlimited bonus round and giving the potential to finish up with all top paying premium symbols on the reels. Expect thrills, spills and frustration in equal measures. Just the way we like it!

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