Old school fruit machine action is on the menu in Grand Jester, a 5 reel, 40 payline slot from Novomatic. As well as a bonus feature that awards up to 24 free spins, this retro-flavoured game also offers a shot at winning a bumper progressive jackpot. Play on your desktop, tablet or mobile from 40p to £15 per spin.

Grand Jester has the look of a classic one-armed bandit – the plain black reels include a collection of classic fruit machine symbols. They include cherries, oranges, lemons and plums which offer awards of up to 5 times your total stake per payline. They’re followed by bells, melons and grapes which pay up to 10 times your stake per payline.

More rewarding still are the double and treble bars which pay 15 or 20 times your stake if you land 5 on a payline. As usual, the most lucrative symbol is the lucky 7 which will get you 4, 10 or 50 times your total stake if you land 3, 4 or 5 in combination.

The smiling figure of the jester is the wild – he replaces all other symbols apart from the scatter and offers payouts of 0.5, 5, 20 or 200 times your stake if you land 2, 3, 4 or 5 on a line. The jester is also the key to unlocking the game’s progressive jackpot. Fill all 5 reels with stacked wilds during the Bonus feature and you’ll trigger the jackpot prize.

That Bonus feature is triggered by landing 3, 4 or 5 of the diamond scatter – as well as a payout equal to 3, 30 or 300 times your total stake, you’ll also receive 12 free spins. The jester develops some magical properties during these free spins.

When a jester lands during a free spin, it expands to fill the whole reel. And that’s not all as the stacked wild remains locked in place for the free spin that follows. Landing 3 or more diamond scatters on the same spin will get you another round of free spins giving you 24 in total.

There’s nothing too flash about the design of Grand Jester. This is one of Novomatic’s more primitive efforts as far as sound and visuals go. The looks are certainly a little dated. There’s nothing especially fresh on the features front either.

This is a Novomatic slot though and you can usually expect volatile, fast-paced action. That’s true of Grand Jester. The variance isn’t as stratospheric as some of the developer’s games but it’s high enough. There’s nothing novel about Grand Jester but for simple, volatile fruit machine action it does the trick. If you like the jester, Novomatic have plenty of alternatives such as Jester’s Crown.