Eastern themed slots are hugely popular, chiefly to appeal to customers based in this stunning part of the world, but also because they are just as popular with western slot players too.
There are many different to choose from but Pragmatic Play have released their own game, 8 Dragons, and the initial impressions are hugely positive.
So what is this slot about, how does it play and is it a game that you should be looking to play when you next visit an online casino? In this review we will find out but before we delve into it in more detail, we'll take you on a brief overview of what the 8 Dragons slot has to offer.
Where can I play the 8 Dragons slot?
If you are looking to play the 8 Dragons slot, or indeed any other Pragmatic Play game, or just want a choice of fantastic slot games to play, then look no further than the popular Black Diamond Casino for all your slot gaming needs.
The 8 Dragons slot is a clean and simple slot that is very easy to follow. There's no 3D parallax scrolling backgrounds here, instead what you have is an elegant red patterned backdrop (red being the color for good fortune in many eastern cultures) with the reels clearly delineated . The information about your game, including your bet size, the total credits you have at the current bet size, the spin button, current coin value and your cash balance are all clearly displayed at the foot of the screen.
There's a clearly labelled information symbol which brings up details on the pay lines and how you can win some of the higher value prizes in the game. The sound on the slot is a typically eastern sounding theme but it fits superbly with the slot and the tempo of the music is just about perfect to help keep spinning the reels.
What's on the reels?
On the reels you will find the lower value options are the playing card low symbols, which on the 8 Dragons slot range from 9 through to the Ace. I must admit, I don't really understand why an Eastern themed slot would have the playing card symbols when there are so many others they could use instead that would be more in keeping with the Asian theme. The main positive of these symbols are simply that they are familiar to slot players and thus instantly recognizable as the lower value options.
Low symbols offer payouts of between 5 coins and 50 coins, but the majority of these payouts are usually less than your 20 coin wager. So it is worth bearing that in mind when you see the reels flash up with a win.
Higher value symbols are those associated with eastern culture, there are some wicker pots. Some coins, a Koi Carp, a rather strange creature which we think is a dragon with a shell on its back, and a tiger, which is the highest paying symbol offering the 500 coin jackpot. To land bigger value wins with these symbols you do need to hit four on a pay line as most 3 symbol wins only pay 10 to 15 coins, again less than your 20 coin wager. It is worth noting that all symbols are stacked on the reels and you can trigger multiple pay line wins to increase the overall value of a single spin win.
However there is another way you can double up the value of any base game win and for that we need to investigate the Wild feature of the slot.
The 8 Dragon (so named because it has two heads and is in the shape of an 8) is the Wild symbol in the game and it can be used to substitute for all the low and high value symbols in the game to create winning pay lines. It appears on the middle three reels of the slot and is stacked two symbols high on these reels.
If you land the full 8 Dragon Wild symbol on any of the middle reels and it forms part of a pay line win, then the payout for that win is subject to a 2x multiplier. Given the lower value of most of the 3 symbol wins in this slot, this means that this symbol is hugely important to the slot in terms of offering the player better play value.
Free Spins Features
To access the Free Spins feature on the 8 Dragons slot, you need to land three or more of the Scatter symbol, a red envelope, anywhere across the reels. When you do, you trigger the Free Spins bonus game and the first thing you need to do here is select from one of five options. You can pick:
Obviously, the Mystery Free Spins can award you a better option than the other four options, but it could also award you a worse option than those four choices. The onus is on the player to decide whether they want to gamble or not at this point in the game.
Once you have selected your choice of bonus, the free spins will then begin on a slightly different set of reels to signify that you are playing the bonus round. You can re-trigger the same number of free spins you selected, plus the bonus you chose, by landing three or more scatter symbols during free spins. This can be re-triggered an unlimited number of times from the bonus game.
Other Bonus Features
The 8 Dragons slot doesn't have any other additional bonus features other than the Wild symbol and the Scatter Free Spins features outlined above.
Best Feature of the 8 Dragons slot
There's a lot of great features on the 8 Dragons slot but the Free Spins bonus is certainly the best. The fact you can choose from four predetermined spin and multiplier values is good, but the fact you can gamble and try and get a better option than the four offered is a nice addition and to be fair, you can hit some better value options from time to time if you select the Mystery option.
Free Spins is when you can land some massive wins. Personally, I tend to opt for the middle two of the predetermined options when I play, or I will go for the mystery option on occasion. Land a decent mystery option (such as 20 free spins with a 6x 8x or 10x multiplier) and you can land some superb value wins, well in excess of the 500 coin jackpot available on a single pay line in the base game.
What does the 8 Dragons slot lack?
The only thing I feel the 8 Dragons slot lacks is an additional bonus game of some form. I think the Free Spins bonus is fabulous, but it would have been nice if alongside the Wild symbol in the base game, there was a randomly triggered bonus that kept players more interested in the base game as at the moment, you do tend to spin with your only focus being on maintaining your bankroll until you can hit that free spins bonus.
I think 8 Dragons is a fantastic slot. Yes it is simple, yes it just has the key elements you would expect from any modern slot but I think the theme is interesting, the way the bonuses work together is excellent and the fact that it is neatly presented and packaged mean that this is certainly a slot that players will keep playing. It has the unusual ability to offer simplistic gaming, but to have a real appeal to players that will keep them spinning at the reels and better still, when they come back to the casino at a later date, want to play it all over again.
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