Asian mythology is a particularly rich and fruitful ground for slot games and the Four Divine Beasts slot is no different. Habanero are the latest company to explore the fecund breeding ground of Asian culture and history as the inspiration behind one of their 2018 release slots.
The slot is based on the Four Symbols of Chinese astrology. These symbols are the Azure Dragon of the east, the Vermilion Bird of the south, the White Tiger of the West and the Black Turtle of the North. As you can see, each one represents not just a direction but also a season and their role in not just Chinese but Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese cultures, cannot be overstated.
However, they also provide slots developers Habanero with a rather grand idea for a slot game that not only boasts 243 ways to win, but which also has a large maximum bet size of 6,000 coins and a massive selection of bonus features (eight in all, including four different Free Spins bonus games).
So how does the Four Divine Beasts slot shape up? Well we're guessing pretty well considering it has been one of the most popular Habanero slots since its release back in January 2018. Let's take a closer look now at what the game has to offer.
Where can I play the Four Divine Beasts slot?
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The presentation of the Four Divine Beasts slot is somewhat unusual. The graphics on the reels are excellent, but the rocky backdrop is rather plain and dull to be quite honest and isn't as spectacular as what you can see on the reels, which is a bit of a shame as Asian themed slots do tend to have a rather good selection of background.
The sound however is better with a gentle-sounding theme playing as you spin the reels and wait between spins and then when you hit a win you hear a jaunty tune play to signify that you have landed a cash prize. It's simple but is effective.
A nice touch is the way the symbols on the reels animate when you hit a win with them, which adds a bit of excitement on screen as otherwise things are all rather static and not that exciting to look at.
What's on the reels?
On the reels there are a number of different symbols. The higher value symbols are the four divine beasts named in the title, the Dragon, the Bird, the Tiger and the Turtle. These symbols can expand across all of the reel and they also offer the highest value pays ranging in size from 15 coins for 3 of the turtle symbols across a line to 500 coins for five of the dragon symbols on a line.
It is worth remembering too that with these symbols being stacked, you can win on multiple lines with these symbols, which increases the value of these wins considerably.
There are also four lower value win symbols and these are four playing card symbols, Jack, Queen, King and Ace. The cash prizes range from 5 coins up to 100 coins for these lower symbols.
There is only one Wild symbol on the reels and that is rather easy to spot as it is the word Wild written across a red backdrop. The Wild is only on the reels in the base game and in addition to substituting for any of the standard symbols, you can also earn either 50, 200 or 500 coin wins if you land three, four or five in sequence across the reels.
However, when you trigger Free Spins, the Wild is removed from the reels for the duration of any Free Spins bonus game.
Free Spins features
The Free Spins bonuses are accessed via the Yin and Yang Scatter symbol. This symbol only appears during the base game and only on the second, third, fourth and fifth reels. You can earn a cash prize of 1 coin for landing three Scatters or 4 coins if you manage to land all four Scatters on the reel.
In addition to landing three or more Scatters to trigger Free Spins, you have to land one of the Expanded Beast symbols on the first reel in order to trigger the bonus. Whichever creature that you land on the first reel will determine which of the four bonus games you will play.
Other bonus features
In addition to the Free Spins bonuses, each of the four creatures has their own randomly triggered base game bonus. These are the Re-Spins bonuses and essentially what you receive here is two free re-spins during the base game, with the same types of bonus symbols on the reels for each creature as you get during the Free Spins bonus round outlined above.
There's also four progressive jackpots you can go after, the Mini, Minor, Major and Grand and although the prizes on these progressives isn't massive, they are still a tidy sum of money available to be won at random on any spin of the game.
Best feature of the Four Divine Beasts slot
Without doubt the best feature of the Four Divine Beasts slot is the fact that the game has so many different bonus features. What in essence you have are four different bonuses, one of which sees you have 2 re-spins during the base game at random and the other seeing you have seven spins of the same bonus during the Free Spins bonus. Some may feel cheated that the base game random bonus isn't different but I think the four bonus games work so well on the Four Divine Beasts slot that any opportunity to play them again is well worth taking.
What does the Four Divine Beasts slot lack?
My one gripe with the Four Divine Beasts slot isn't anything to do with bonuses or game-play as such, but I just think that the game doesn't portray itself as exciting as it actually is to play. It is rare that I call a slot understated and hiding its light under a bushel, but I think in terms of the Four Divine Beasts slot, that is very much the case. When you start playing you don't think it's going to be a great game, but once you get into it, the bonus features and the size and frequency of the wins, you soon realize that you have got an absolute cracker on your hands.
I have to say that my opinion of this slot changed radically after I began to play it. Initially, I was unimpressed with how it looked and sounded and felt that it was all rather generic and uninspiring. However once you get into the game, you discover a slot that offers you fabulous game play, a fair chance at some sizeable wins, a massive selection of bonus features (that are different enough not to simply replicate each other) and a game that really captures your imagination. Well done Habanero, this is a cracking effort and one of the best slots I've played this year.
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