Peter & Sons is a promising new studio that is based in Armenia, a place that you would not immediately connect with slot development. Despite being a new studio, it seems to take an interesting approach. There aren’t very many of them, yet they each have their own unique cartoonish style. This style is present in Johnan Legendarian’s oddball artwork and soundtrack, although the gameplay isn’t quite as creative. The title gives nothing away, but we are indeed launching yet another entry in our ever-expanding ‘Book of’ series. Not only is it not situated in Egypt, but it also has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Johnan Legendarian is a 5-reel, 10-payline slot machine released by Yggdrasil as part of the YGS Masters program, apparently named after Conan the Barbarian. He emerges next to the grid and is a perfect representation of our hero, complete with six packs, a square jaw, and rippling muscles. There’s a little secondary plot included as well. Something interesting happens when heroes, villains, and history are all combined in a book of Algroth. The gods have predicted that a new warrior would overcome Johnan at the fight of Super Free Spins, despite the fact that Johnan’s fame rests on his victories over fantastic beasts.
Bets ranging from 10 cents to $50 may be placed every spin on any device, so players can find out whether they are that warrior. Peter & Sons’ openness with their game sheets is a definite plus, since it gives us a sense of what to anticipate from them. The first is return to player (RTP), which is about par at 96% but is very volatile. Patience is rewarded in Johnan Legendarian’s Super Free Spins, yet the game still keeps moving along thanks to a hit frequency of 34.68%.
Three identical symbols are required for low-paying combinations, while two or more are required for premium payouts. The 10-ace royals have the lowest payout, followed by the bow and arrows, swords, warthog, and dragon. The highest payouts for a full house on a Ra slot machine are between fifty and two hundred times the initial wager. Johnan is noticeably absent from the compensation structure.
Slot Machines Inspired by the Legendary Johnan
Johnan carries on the work of the otherworldly Ra guy from a long time ago, therefore we may expect growing symbols during free spins and a few more elements that revolve around this central mechanic.
If you get three of the guy who looks like a possessed scarecrow anywhere on the reels, you’ll trigger 10 free games. During the bonus games, one of the standard pay symbols will be transformed into an expanding symbol. After standard line wins are paid, if enough of these symbols land to make a win, they will grow to fill the whole corresponding reel. A pair of expanding symbols does not have to be contiguous for payment to be made.
Similar to the ‘Book of’ sequels, players are given an additional expanding symbol anytime the round is retriggered in Magic Mirror Deluxe II, Book of Ra Magic, and Rise of Merlin. If enough retriggers occur, then technically all pay symbols might be expanders. However, the number of bonus spins resets to 10, and you do not receive an additional 10.
Even if it’s not a huge change, the scatter collector mechanism is novel for games like this. When exactly 2 scatters appear, they are added to a tally bar located under the reels. When 385 matching symbols are gathered, you will receive 10 Super Free Spins. Super in the title doesn’t guarantee anything, so don’t get your hopes up. Instead of starting again when the feature is retriggered, you will receive 10 more free spins. Otherwise, standard free spins rules apply. On average, the test progress bar advanced by 4.5 percent per 100 iterations. This agrees with the stated hit frequency of 1 in 2,115 for Super Free Spins.
Slot Verdict: A Legendary Johnan
While nothing here is particularly groundbreaking, it is refreshing that Peter & Sons has avoided the easy route of producing a carbon copy set in ancient Egypt, as a less ambitious company would have. Johnan Legendarian seems to embody the spirit of Peter & Sons. Surprisingly high-quality production values; impressive sound design and lush, velvety graphics. It’s obvious that Peter & Sons employs a team of talented artists and designers to produce their signature style. They might have followed in the footsteps of numerous other development teams and thrown out a generic “Book of” release that would have added nothing to the history of video games. The evidence points to the studio using a familiar template and departing from it in order to create something fresh.
There are a few things to keep in mind. One, single-spin winnings aren’t as high as they are in some other games in this genre since symbols aren’t as important. The 20,000-times-bet potential is considerable, even for games of this nature. Johnan Legendarian, despite its numerical shortcomings, is a really engaging Ra slot game. Time was taken to create a charming setting for the game, the visual style is unique, and the gameplay is enjoyable.
Free spins do raise a potential problem, though. Even if more symbols are unlocked, having to reset them instead of gaining a complete +10 is irritating. However, this may be a dealbreaker for others when compared to the equivalent positions discussed in the introduction. Super Free Spins do modify this, but they are extremely rare.
Peter & Sons’ exposure to a larger audience is all but certain now that they’ve made it into the YGS Masters Program lineup. Will they be able to find their own version of Avatar UX’s PopWins success? What Peter & Sons do next with this bizarre use of a ‘Book of’ position remains to be seen.