Realtime Gaming have been on something of a roll of late releasing a number of Asian themed slots such as Cai Hong, Fu Chi, Shanghai Lights, Zhanshi and Fucanglong, and their latest release continues that theme.
The slot is called Tian Di Yuan Su, which translates roughly into Gods of Nature. What do Realtime Gaming mean by that? Well according to the Chinese legend, there are five elements of nature, Water, Fire, Wood, Earth and Metal and it is how they interact with the two other key forces of nature, the Sun and the Moon, that will determine your success on the slot.
The Sun and the Moon play a key role in the two key bonus elements of the slot, which we will explore in more detail below, but what you essentially have here is a typical 5-reel slot, with a Free Spins bonus round, a Wild symbol and not a great deal else.
Having said that, some of the best slots around have precisely those ingredients. It is all about how they work together and what they offer as a top prize that makes the slot intriguing. So let's take a closer look at how the Tian Di Yuan Su slot shapes up.
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As you would expect from a Realtime Gaming slot, the presentation of the Tian Di Yuan Su slot is very nicely done. As befits the mystical, ethereal theme, the backdrop to the slot is somewhat fantastical, with billowing clouds and mountains providing the backdrop to the five reels. It does look very spectacular and is somewhat eye-catching to say the least.
Also playing as you spin is a rather pleasant and gentle Chinese-themed musical accompaniment. These can be very hit and miss in my books, they can either fit the game perfectly, or they can just be a cacophony of noise which has you reaching for the mute button in record time. However, on the Tian Di Yuan Su slot, I feel the musical accompaniment works well with the sound effects when you spin the reels.
Overall, this is a gentle slot to play, rather than an assault on the senses and it works far better that way in my view.
What's on the reels?
On the reels there is a nice mix of higher and lower value symbols and one positive is that Realtime Gaming have done away with the annoyingly ubiquitous playing card symbols as the lower value symbols. So instead what you have are essentially two types of symbols.
The first are the element symbols and these represent the five different elements in the legend, Earth, Fire, Water, Wood and Metal and these tend to offer the smaller value wins in the base game (and also during Free Spins).
Higher value symbols are the five characters that are part of the mythology and each of these characters represents one of the five elements of legend. These are higher value symbols and tend to offer better value wins, although there's a nice increase in pays throughout the slot which gives the game a somewhat pleasing aesthetic.
The Wild feature of the slot is the Spirit of the Sun symbol and this is one of the two elements that interacts with the five earthly elements to provide you with bigger value wins. The Wild can substitute for any of the symbols in the game (except the Scatter symbol) and when it is used in a winning line it also applies a 2x multiplier bonus on that win.
Those double value wins do soon mount up, especially during the Free Spins bonus game and we will explore more about that in the section below.
Free Spins features
The second key symbol on the reels to note is the Spirit of the Moon Scatter symbol. When you land three or more of these symbols across the reels then you will trigger a Free Spins bonus game which will award you with a total of eight Free Spins and a 2x multiplier on all wins during the bonus.
However, that isn't where the bonus features end as during your Free Spins you can earn yourself a number of other bonuses which can increase the number of Free Spins you play through (up to a maximum of 33 spins) as well as potentially increasing the size of the multiplier from 2x up to a maximum of 15x the standard win.
Obviously, with such a big increase in the multiplier, this means that it is possible to land a fantastic 50,000-coin jackpot win playing the slot.
Other bonus features
There are no other bonus features in the Tian Di Yuan Su slot.
Best feature of the Tian Di Yuan Su slot
Realtime Gaming are well known in the industry for developing slick slot games and some of them have some really unusual features. Tian Di Yuan Su isn't a slot that goes that way however, but what it does do is take the basic elements of the slot and present them very nicely. Undoubtedly the best aspect is the bonus features you can trigger in Free Spins and the fact you can massively increase not just the number of Free Spins, but also the size of the multiplier, does make this slot hugely appealing to play.
What does the Tian Di Yuan Su slot lack?
For me, I'd have liked to have seen Realtime Gaming offer something in the base game for the Tian Di Yuan Su slot. The base game can get a little dull to play after a while, especially if you don't trigger the bonus features for a good few spins. A randomly triggered bonus feature in the base game, or even just the addition of some random multiplier wins in the base game, would have helped give the game added appeal.
Tian Di Yuan Su is a decent addition to the ever-expanding range of Oriental-themed slots offered by Realtime Gaming. In truth, it is a rather basic offering on first appearance, a fun but not particularly imaginative 5-reel slot with medium variance. However, when you trigger the bonus Free Spins feature, then the game does pick up especially if you can increase the number of spins you win or the size of the multiplier. It is when this occurs that the game really does begin to offer the punter a very enjoyable game and the chance of a sizeable win.
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