Back in 2018, Pragmatic Play released a slot called 5 Lions, which was a relatively decent higher variance slot game based on an Oriental theme. Well fast forward around 12 months and we now have the next slot in that sequence of games with the release of 5 Lions Gold.
What is the main difference between the two slots? Well on the surface, it appears very little. The games look rather similar and they also offer similar pays on the same 5x3 reel set up. There is one big difference in this newer slot though and that is that the lowest bet price has been decreased from 0.50 down to just 0.18 per spin.
Also, this newer version of the game isn't quite so volatile as the first, but it is still very much a higher variance slot and as such, it should be treated with respect as if you bet too much on each spin, you can work your way through a pretty hefty bankroll in very little time at all.
The main difference between the two slots is that the Gold version of the game features three jackpot prizes. These are the Minor, Major and Grand Prizes but they are not progressive amounts, but instead are based on a multiplier of your total bet.
Let's take a closer look at how the 5 Lions Gold slot shapes up.
Where can I play the 5 Lions Gold slot?
If you want to try your hand at the 5 Lions Gold slot from Pragmatic Play, then the place to head is Spartan Slots Casino. One of the best reasons for doing so is a great value new player offer, which begins when you simply register with the site as you will then receive 25 Free Spins, no deposit required, which you can use to trial a couple of games at Spartan Slots.
After that, you can stop playing if you like, but if you enjoy the games on offer and want to play more then you can deposit some cash into your new account to get started. When you do, you will qualify for a generous 200% Matched Deposit Bonus on that first deposit, which will help you get started on site with a bit of extra bonus cash to spend.
If you have played the original 5 Lions slot then the look of the 5 Lions Gold slot will be entirely familiar to you. We have the same blank black backdrop and an array of different symbols on the reels that, although not all uniquely oriental in theme, have been designed to at least look that way.
You will notice that on some spins, one or more of the reels will turn gold either in full, or partly and this linked in with the Golden Reels Jackpot bonus, which we will explain more about later in the review.
The sound is somewhat generically oriental sounding music and while it isn't too bad, it also isn't the most inspiring but things do kick up a notch in tempo once you get the reels spinning and land a few wins or trigger some of the bonus features.
Overall the presentation of the slot is bright and colorful, but not particularly inspiring and it is very similar indeed to the first 5 Lions game.
What's on the reels?
There are a fair few symbols on the reels, which does help explain why the slot is such a high variance game. The lower value symbols are the playing card lows. I always think any oriental themed slot that uses playing card lows is missing a trick as there are so many different options they could use for these symbols that better fit in with the theme of the game.
The symbols range from the nine through to the ace and wins range from just 1/9 of your total bet, up to 2x your total bet for five of the Aces across the reels. So this is not big money winning we are talking about with these lower value symbols.
Better value can be found with the five higher value symbols on the reels and these are all colored differently and feature an animal that has a special place in eastern mythology. There is the turtle (purple), the Koi carp (blue), the frog (green), the phoenix (pink) and lastly the dragon (orange).
The latter is the highest paying symbol, offering small pays for just 2 symbols across the reels and a top value pay out of 5x your bet. Symbols can be stacked two high in the game which means it is possible to win across multiple lines.
The main Wild feature is the Lion head symbol and this is the Wild which substitutes for any of the standard symbols in the game outlined above. It appears on the middle three reels only, but it can appear several times across these reel sand when it does, it offers you a better chance at a larger pay out in the base game.
As it is only present on the middle three reels, there is no individual pay out for the Wild symbols being landed.
Free Spins features
To trigger the Free Spins bonus on the 5 Lions Gold slot you will need to land three or more of the yin and yang themed Scatter symbol. This symbol, like the Wild, only appears on the middle three reels of the slot and you need to land it on all three reels on the same spin to trigger the Free Spins bonus game.
When you trigger Free Spins your first task is to select which of the bonus games you would like to play. There are seven options available to you which each combines a number of Free Spins alongside a selection of possible Wild multipliers available during the bonus. These are:
The seventh option is a randomly selected mystery number of Free Spins selected from the options above, together with a Wild Multiplier range selected from the options above. The fewer Free Spins you select, the more volatile the potential pay out of that round will be, but also the more you could potentially win.
You can re-trigger Free Spins by landing three more Scatter symbols during the bonus round and you can do this any number of times. If you do land a re-trigger, you are able to select a different bonus game for the next set of spins you have triggered.
Other bonus features
The other main bonus feature of the 5 Lions Gold slot is the three Golden Reels jackpots that are available. These are not progressives but are instead a jackpot based on the size of your bet and a multiplier amount.
The jackpots are triggered when you turn three or more of the reels Golden on any spin. You will notice when you spin either part or full reels will turn Gold in color. When you can turn three or more of these reels completely gold, then you will trigger one of the jackpots.
Three Golden Reels earns you the Minor jackpot of 15x your total bet. Four sees you land the Major jackpot of 150x your total bet, while if you manage to get all five reels golden, then you win the massive Grand Jackpot, which is a massive 2,000x your total bet.
You can win this bonus prize in the base game and also during Free Spins.
Best feature of the 5 Lions Gold slot
Although there is a fair amount packed into the 5 Lions Gold slot, I still feel that the Free Spins bonus is the most entertaining and exciting part of the game. The fact you have such a range of options you can select from, as well as the enticing random mystery option, means that you don't get the same bonus each time but can trial different ones to see which one seems to pay best for you. Higher rollers will love the higher variance, fewer Free Spins options, while others can play it safe and take a greater number of Free Spins with correspondingly smaller multipliers. That choice is a really good thing as it appeals to all players.
What does the 5 Lions Gold slot lack?
I'd have liked to have seen maybe one more feature on the 5 Lions Gold slot, perhaps a randomly triggered bonus feature in the base game, or maybe another bonus feature that celebrated a little more of the oriental heritage that is the theme of the game. I also feel it is perhaps too similar to the original 5 Lions slot in terms of looks and sounds. You can tell they are different but not different enough in my view and a little more originality with the design would have been better.
This is a difficult one to call. On the one hand, I feel that some of the prizes on the 5 Lions Gold slot are so small, it is almost baffling as to why anyone would want to play. But then the bonus features have the potential to be hugely rewarding. The game is not the most original, but does have a good selection of bonuses and the ability to select which one you want to play. I'd class 5 Lions Gold as a slot that you'll either love it, or you'll never want to play it again. I don't think it is a bad slot at all per se - I just feel it is one that is going to divide opinion.
Next Offer: Cherry Blossoms