The South African software company Hammertime has partnered with Games Global (previously known as Microgaming), a giant in the online slot industry. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Golden Dragons, an Asian-themed slot machine and Hammertime’s second release. To state the obvious, several of Golden Dragons’ wild symbols are depictions of dragons. In fact, each of the five types of free spins bonuses has its own unique, beautifully rendered wild dragon. The only other feature of Golden Dragons outside free spins is a scatter bonus that can award a cash reward. It is time to mount the dragon.
Slot machines with an Asian theme can take place in a variety of environments, some of which are elaborately created and feature elements like mountains, pagodas, and expansive natural surroundings. The only real atmosphere in Golden Dragons is the red background, which is covered with simplistic line-drawn designs. The game also features a classical music. Depending on your point of view, you might see it as either boringly plain or stunningly simple. Given how often we’ve seen this aesthetic before and how little Golden Dragons adds to the audiovisual foundation of the genre, our first impression was not a positive one.
The mathematical heart of Golden Dragons beats beneath the Asian-inspired exterior. There are four different RTP settings for this game, ranging from 96% to 86.89% with two other options in between. The 96% version’s mathematical model is rather unpredictable, with a strike rate of 32.87%—roughly one-third of spins result in a win. The game is played on a grid matrix that consists of 5 reels and 3 rows of symbols, and the betting ranges from 30 p/c to £/€42 a spin.
There are 243 possible winning combinations (3-of-a-kind to 5-of-a-kind) that may be made along the grid. All winning combinations on neighboring reels must be played from left to right. Royals from 9 to A pay out between 3.33 and 6.67 times the wager, while 2 lion statues, 1 turtle statue, and 1 treasure chest pay out between 10 and 26.67 times the wager. The dragon wild symbol occurs in the basic game. When 5 wilds contribute to a winning line, the payout is 40 times the initial wager. Free spins with wilds trigger additional wild multipliers at random.
Slot Machine Features, Golden Dragons
Hammertime added a bonus scatter element to Golden Dragons’ standard gameplay, and the primary attraction is a free spins round in which players may select from one of five different bonuses.
A Scatter Bonus
Bonus scatters are awarded when the red envelope appears on reels 1 and 5. In the base game, you can win up to 88 times your wager if red envelopes appear on both reels.
No Risk Turns
Any reel can be hit by the gold sycee scatter symbol. Scatter symbols reward 5, 10, or 50 times the wager for landing 3, 4, or 5, and also start the free spins bonus round. Once activated, participants can select their desired outcome from several options.
You’ll get 18 bonus spins with wild multipliers of x2 to x5.
You’ll get 12 bonus spins with wild multipliers of x3 to x6.
You will receive 10 free games with a wild multiplier of between 3 and 8.
Eight bonus games with a multiplier of five to ten wilds.
5 bonus spins with a multiplier of between 8 and 18 wilds.
The free spins bonus round and all its elements are fully retriggerable.
Slot Machine Review: Golden Dragons
If you’re unfamiliar with the Asian online slot industry, Golden Dragons may seem particularly foreign. Even if the images aren’t very carefully developed, they do a good job of evoking the subject and the six dragon wilds seem cool. However, those who have already played their fill of Asian-themed slot machines may find Golden Dragons to be, well, dull. The artwork, except from a few icons, is dull and uninspired, and the background seems like a copyright-free PNG image used in dozens of Asian-themed slots designed to evoke the experience of gaming at a posh Macau club.
Gameplay-wise, Golden Dragons is also a bit simplistic. The immediate cash reward function is there and occasionally throws out a few coins, while the main game benefits from the 243 ways to pay system. Given that 8 is considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture, this latter characteristic allowed Hammertime to strategically include a few more ‘8s’ in the mix. You can choose the amount of free spins and the available multiplier values, which is a great touch, and the free spins feature may ratchet up the pace because that’s when the wilds earn their multipliers. However, the concept of offering players a number of different methods to win free spins and multipliers is nothing new in Asian-themed slots. Games like the original Eastern Emeralds and its sequel, Eastern Emerald Megaways, both included this feature.
If you’re searching for a game like Golden Dragons with a little more oomph, go no further than the two Quickspin slots, where the system is excellent for winnings of up to 5,230x the stake. The end result was an average game that catered to a certain demographic called Golden Dragons. Golden Dragons is enjoyable in its own way, like a good pub band playing a cover song, but it doesn’t exactly rock audiences over with its radical creativity.