The Emperor of the Sea is a mythical being from East Asian culture who rules over the seas and is also known as the Dragon Emperor. Microgaming have taken this legend and turned it into the focus of their brand new Emperor of the Sea slot, another in the legacy of East Asian-themed slots that the company have released in recent times.
So what does the Emperor of the Sea bring to the party? Is this a slot that will leave you paddling with delight as the big wins roll in, or does it have the potential to sweep you away in one big wave and leave your bankroll sunk without a trace? Let's take a closer look and find out.
At first glance the slot is a 5x4 reel game and there is a choice of pay lines available, you can either play 38, 68 or 88 pay lines (though we would recommend that you go with the largest number). Why are there this number of pay lines, well the answer to that is rather simple, in Asian culture, these numbers are thought to be numbers that bring good fortune.
You can increase or decrease the size of your bets by selecting coin size as whatever number of pay lines you select, all will be in play. That means that you can get the reels spinning for a minimum bet of 0.38 (0.88 if you play the largest number of pay lines) whereas the maximum bet is around the 44.00 mark.
The graphical style of the slot is very much a cartoon style, with the backdrop being a stylized sea. The symbols on the reels start with the usual playing card low symbols (from 9 through to ace), although why the designed could not use some more Asian themed symbols instead of these I don't know as there are plenty to choose from, Mah Jong tiles for example.
The higher value symbols are better designed and feature a number of key items from Chinese culture including Koi Carp, tortoises, ships, pots filled with coins and of course the Dragon Emperor himself who is the highest value standard symbol in the game offering you the chance to win a single line jackpot of 1,000 coins.
To help you land more wins there is a Wild symbol which is the Emperor of the Sea Logo and this has the benefit of being stacked across all the reels. This means that if you can land one or more of these symbols stacked across the reels, then you can trigger multiple pay line wins and that will increase the value of your cumulative win.
In truth the base game is generally very decent with a nice mix of wins, the bigger wins tending to come when you hit one or more of the stacked wild symbols across the reels, particularly when they are on the first two reels. This definitely feels like a medium variance game as alongside all the lower value base game wins, you can hit some very good value bigger wins without having to trigger the big bonus feature.
That feature is the Free Spins round and to land this, you need to land three or more of the Gold Ingot scatter symbols anywhere across the reels. When you do you will receive eight free spins, which sounds a little disappointing, but there are two bonus features that come into effect when you trigger the free spins round.
The first of these is that the Rolling Reels feature will be in play for all free spins. That means that when you land a winning pay line during the free spins round, the symbols will flash and disappear and be replaced by symbols dropping down from above. This can then trigger additional pay line wins from the same spin. This can continue until the Rolling Reels feature doesn't trigger any additional wins.
Growing Wilds is the second key feature of the Emperor of the Sea slot and what this bonus entails is that on every free spin, you will increase the size of the stacks of Wild symbol on each reel by one. So on your first free spin, you will have the usual four Wilds stacked high across the reels, on your second free spin that becomes five, on your third it increases to six symbols and so on.
The upshot of this is that by the end of the round you can have a maximum of 15 Wilds stacked high across the reels, which drastically increases your chances of landing them not just on one reel, but several on a single spin and when this happens, you can hit some of the biggest wins available on the slot, up to and including the 82,500 coin jackpot.
Emperor of the Sea is a hugely enjoyable and simple slot to play. It isn't the most involved game, despite having a bumper bonus-filled free spins round and beginner slot players will enjoy it every bit as much as more experienced.
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