Dragons have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent times. The success of films such as The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings franchises, plus the universal popularity of the TV series Game of Thrones has once again put dragons at the forefront of popular culture.
It's therefore unsurprising that in the past few months there have been a number of slot releases that feature dragons as their main theme, especially when you consider they are a crucial part of the mythology of the Far East too.
Realtime Gaming have come up with their own dragon-themed slot called Dragon Orb. This recent release is based on Chinese Dragons and their role in the local culture. The story goes that Dragon Orbs were powerful artifacts created by ancient wizards which brought the holder prosperity and good luck.
So will the Dragon Orb slot bring you a little good fortune and a few wins when you are playing? Let's take a closer look and find out.
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I really like what Realtime Gaming have done with the presentation of the Dragon Orb slot. It would have been easy to set this in a dragon's cave or similar, but instead, they have set it against a picturesque wooded glade, where fireflies dance in the trees against a sky laden with hues of blue and green and the occasional shooting star whizzing by.
It's all rather beautifully done and with Koi Carp in the pool at the foot of the screen, it looks fantastic, especially on the higher quality screens you get on modern devices nowadays.
The progressive jackpots are displayed in the top right of the screen and scroll through the Mini and Major options while all the key buttons are at the foot of the reels with the line selection button, the Speed button, the Bet button and the Spin button all located there. There is also a win panel which displays how much you win on each spin when you land a winner.
The pay lines and game information are located in the Help and Rules banner which is down the right hand side of the reels. This is a slot which pays left to right and right to left across the screen.
What is on the reels?
When it comes to the symbols then everything on the reels is taken direct from Chinese culture. There are five lower value symbols on the reels and two higher value. The lower value symbols include candles, a scroll, a vase and what appears to be a huge amount of gold coins outside a Chinese pagoda. Lower value symbols offer payouts from 5 coins up to 60 coins per spin.
The two higher value symbols on the reels are the water lily, which offers a payout of 25 coins up to 120 coins per spin and the Chinese Dragon statue, which offers a payout from 50 coins up to the jackpot 250 coins for five on a pay line. All wins in this game require three symbols on a pay line in succession starting from the first reel.
There is one other symbol on the reel which is the key aspect of the game and this is the Dragon Orb symbol which acts as the in game Wild.
The Dragon Orb symbol is the wild and this serves two features in the game. Firstly, it can replace any of the lower value or higher value symbols to create winning pay lines and when it does, it will expand across the reel to completely cover the reel.
When this happens and the Dragon Orb expands you also then receive one free re-spin of the reels. If you land another Dragon Orb on a different reel, then you will receive another free re-spin and if you can land a third Dragon Orb on a reel, then you will trigger another re-spin but this time with the three middle reels all Wild which can lead to some of the massive wins in the game.
Free Spins features
The Dragon Orb slot doesn't have a dedicated free spins round with the only free spins in the game being the re-spins you get when playing through the Dragon Orb wild feature outlined above.
Other bonus features
The main other bonus feature on the Dragon Orb slot is that it has two progressive jackpots available to be won. These are the Major (which has a prize usually of thousands of dollars) and the Minor (which has a prize usually in the hundreds).
The progressive jackpots are triggered entirely at random at the conclusion of any spin in the game and for any player, regardless of what happens on the reels. Any wins are added to the progressive jackpot win when it is triggered.
Best feature of the Dragon Orb slot
The main feature of the Dragon Orb slot is the Wild Re-spin feature which can be the key to unlocking some of the bigger wins in the game. When a single orb lands and you get one re-spin, then the wins tend to be smaller, but if you can land two or even three Dragon Orbs then the wins can mount up a great deal and you can trigger wins across all the available pay lines and that is when the game really starts to pay out nicely. The presentation of the slot also deserves a mention as it is a game that really looks superb when you play it, especially on the higher quality screens.
What does the Dragon Orb slot lack?
The Dragon Orb slot lacks a free spins game but I am not too sure that this game needs one. While the lack of a free spins bonus round may put some people off, the fact that you get free re-spins each time you trigger a Dragon Orb bonus and can land some massive wins using these orbs in conjunction with each other, does diminish the loss of the free spins bonus. And the fact that you get a nice mix of lower value, medium value and occasional high value wins, also helps keep the slot entertaining.
Dragon Orb is fun and the fact that the Wild Re-spins trigger relatively frequently means that you always feel like you get a bit of an extra bonus and when they trigger multiple times across the reels, that is when you will land the bigger wins.
This is a fun to play slot which is simple to understand, pays both ways across the reels (which increases the play value of the slot) and which has equally enjoyable game-play as any similar slot.
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