This past weekend was the start of the Chinese New Year and this year it is the dog. There are different varieties of each of the 12 Chinese symbols of the year and this year it is the year of the Earth Dog and people born under this sign are said to be somewhat serious, yet reliable and responsible, especially in the workplace.
It doesn't say that people born in the year of the dog will enjoy a great deal more slots success than players born under other signs but there's a good way to find out and that is by enjoying a few spins on the latest Pragmatic Play slot release, which just so happens to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The slot is called Lucky New Year and it is a 25-line slot with the usual five reels with three symbols on each and you can get the reels spinning from as little as $0.25 per spin. There are also three big Jackpot prizes that can be won as well as a host of other bonus features on the slot too.
Let's take a look at how the new Lucky New Year slot from Pragmatic Play is shaping up.
Where can I play the Lucky New Year slot?
If you are looking for somewhere to play the new Lucky New Year slot from Pragmatic Play then take a look at the current deal available at Spartan Slots. All new players signing up with the company can enjoy 25 Free Spins, no deposit required, as a welcome from the casino. That is 25 chances to earn yourself some cash before you have even deposited a single cent at the casino.
Then if you decide to deposit your own cash with Spartan Slots then you can also qualify for a fantastic Starter Bonus of 200% on top of your deposit, with up to $2,000 in bonus cash available. That means if you deposit $1,000 to play at the casino, then you will have an additional $2,000 in bonus cash ready to play with at the site.
With a host of other top games to play at the casino including hundreds of other slots from many top different slot developers, card games, table games plus video poker and much more, Spartan Slots offers its customers a fully rounded casino experience that will ensure they always have plenty of options to pick from when they want to wager a bit of cash.
With the theme of this slot being one of renewal, celebration and fortune, it is unsurprising to see that the main colors of the slot are red and gold, the two colors that Chinese culture traditionally associates with good luck and fortune. You can't really see where the reels are supposed to be set, but the five reels are clearly displayed in the center of the screen and they dominate the action.
At the top of the reels are the three randomly awarded jackpot prizes, the Minor, Major and Grand Prize, which increase in size from smallest to largest. The main controls of the slot are at the foot of the screen and the musical accompaniment is a rather tuneful Chinese-influenced soundtrack which perfectly fits the styling of the slot.
What's on the reels?
There are a number of different symbols on the reels and the lower value symbols are the playing card symbols from the jack through to the ace. These pay very similar amounts ranging from 5 coins for a three symbol win, up to 50 coins for a five symbol win on a single line with one coin wagered.
It is a bit disappointing to see these symbols on the reels though as while they are familiar to western eyes, they don't really fit in that well with the Chinese theme in my view.
The higher value symbols are a different story however and they are the Oranges, the drum, the firecrackers and the Chinese Dragon and these offer wins that range from 10 coins up to 500 coins. All prizes outlined above are based on one coin being wagered and if you wager more than one coin then the size of the prize increases in proportion to the number of coins wagered.
There are a couple of other symbols on the reels too, including the Wild and Scatter but these will be dealt with more fully in the sections below.
The Golden Dog is the in game Wild and it serves a number of purposes. Firstly, it can substitute for any of the higher or lower value symbols outlined above to help create additional winning lines or to increase the value of a winning line on the reels. The more of these Wilds you land on any spin, then the better your chances of a big value win.
The Wild also pays out cash prizes of between 25 coins to 500 coins for 3, 4 or 5 on a line (again, for a.1 coin per line wager). There is no multiplier attached to any Wild win however which is a bit of a disappointment.
Free Spins features
The Scatter symbol is the large pile of coins on the money tree and this symbol only appears on the first, third and fifth reels. You need to land three of the Scatters across those three reels on a single spin in order to trigger the Free Spins bonus game.
If you do, then three or more of the Scatter symbols will also see you land a pay out of 1x your total bet and you will also receive five Free Spins.
When Free Spins starts however, the reels change and you will find that you have the middle three reels spinning as one giant symbol covering all three reels. This can of course lead to some big wins as multiple lines will be triggered if you can match the giant symbol with one or more other symbols on the first reel.
The giant symbol on Free Spins can also be the Scatter symbol and if you can land three of these symbols during your Free Spins round, then you will trigger an additional three free spins to be added to your total.
Other bonus features
The other big bonus feature of the slot is the Lantern Symbol which is the key to activating the Money Re-spin feature and it is this feature which can see players land some massive wins on the game. To trigger the bonus, you need to land six or more of the Lantern Symbols on the reels during the base game.
When you do, you'll notice that the Lantern symbols carry a monetary value. These symbols are held on the reels and the remaining positions on the reels are spun again but this time, the reels only contain blank spaces or another Lantern symbol with a cash amount on it.
Each time you land a Lantern symbol on one of the re-spins, the amount of re-spins you get is reset to three and the Lantern and cash prize it holds is held in position. You keep spinning the reels until you either run out of re-spins, in which case the total amount held by all the Lantern symbols is added together and awarded to you, or you fill all the positions on the reels with Lanterns, which will see you win the Grand Jackpot prize of 1,000 times your total stake.
Best feature of the Lucky New Year slot
There's a number of nice features in the Lucky New Year slot. The music is particularly good and the design of the slot, while simple, is effective and catches the eye. It's the features though that make the slot what it is and of the features available on the slot it is definitely the Money Re-spin feature which is the best option of the lot offering some potentially massive wins, plus a chance to win the three jackpots available in the game.
What does the Lucky New Year slot lack?
There's so much to the Lucky New Year slot that it seems a bit unfair to criticize it for lacking something, but if there is one thing I would certainly add to the slot it would be a base game bonus that can be triggered at random. Playing through the base game at times to trigger the bonuses is a bit repetitive and that is one of the biggest drawbacks of the game. Having a bonus feature that would trigger to alleviate this would have made the slot more enjoyable to play and given the game play on it greater variation.
I think the Lucky New Year slot is one of the better Chinese New Year slots you can play. It's a slightly slower pace than some other slots and the presentation won't win any awards for innovation, but it offers a very decent few spins and the bonuses on offer are excellent, with the potential to win some sizeable amounts of cash at the end of it. A few small tweaks here and there would have improved the slot slightly but even so, it is still a hugely fun game to enjoy for a few spins and can produce some big wins for the player.
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