Chinese slots are kind of cool. They’re colorful, cheerful, give away the feel of certain tradition which is reshaped and resized to fit the modern age. And these titles do not only target the Chinese part of operators’ player pools, they’re perfectly fit for everyone who likes to have a good time.
Now, with 2012 being perfect for releasing online slots with Chinese theme, thanks to the fact that it’s the year of the dragon - one of the best known and most impressive Chinese zodiac signs, Microgaming has decided to launch a new online slot - “House of Dragons”, whose looks may appeal to your finer senses, but whose contents do not do justice to the glorious theme it represents.
“House of Dragons” Characteristics
If you want to play just to have fun, this game will be a good choice. However, if you’re even remotely considering playing to win something, “House of Dragons” is best avoided. The problem does not lie in the base game payouts, although these are a bit on the stingy side, as well; it’s the features that will cause you distress, however good your mood may initially be.
Namely, there’s nothing wrong with the game at first sight - 5 reels and 20 paylines, lots of typical Chinese items, such as fans, lanterns, dragons, etc. and special features (two wilds, scatters, bonus symbols and rounds, multipliers), set in a traditional Chinese theatre. Even the betting range is great - coins go from 1 to 50 cents, and it enables you to boost your bet by placing up to 10 coins per payline. But once you start playing, you’ll realize the irony of it all - this normal-looking slot doesn’t actually pay as well as it could, and what’s more, it may even deprive you of your winnings in the bonus round! Sounds impossible? Just read on.
We all know - special features serve to help you win more in a slot, right? Well, “House of Dragons” doesn’t feel that way, obviously.
Let’s start at the bonus round: it’s triggered when three or more bonus symbols appear from left to right on an active payline, which makes it pretty difficult to get. However, even when you do get it, you’ll get a prize in coins (160 for three, 480 for four and 1600 for five triggering bonus symbols, which is not bad, except for the lousy chances to hit more than three bonus symbols on a payline), and enter the archery bonus round, which is actually a gamble feature, where you’re more likely to lose than to win. There you’ll get a chance to collect, bank 50 percent of your winnings and a see the choice of four targets with different winning odds/multipliers. It’s essential to bank or collect your winnings, because if you choose to gamble, and pick a wrong target, you may very easily be left with nothing, but bitter regret.
Then, the other disappointing feature is the scatter, which pays any, and is supposed to multiply your bet, but may instead bring you very little in return for a long wait, as it doesn’t appear often. The point of the feature, embodied in beautifully decorated Chinese fans, is that each fan may award you with a multiplier when three or more of them appear anywhere. The problem is that you may get three fans that don’t pay anything, and end up with the basic feature pay of 2x bet. And this is just not satisfying, considering that you keep your hopes up, invest money in the game and in the end feel like you get nothing out of it.
On a more positive note, the two features that are paying are the two wilds - one with a 2 multiplier and a regular one. Both appear very often and it is only thanks to them and the good graphics and sounds that this slot cannot be called a failure whose features you don’t look forward to as you usually would, knowing that you can’t get much out of them.
It’s strange that, while releasing a host of great new titles, Microgaming’s decided to present us a slot with such a negative connotation brought by its features. It’s like it wasn’t well thought through and based on what we experienced while playing it, the slot is hardly a title we’d recommend. Unless they drastically change something about its payouts, it’s better to turn to so many other good releases and neglect “House of Dragons” as a title that will just fail at making you happy.
Slot data and features
- 20Pay lines
- $50,000.00Max cash jackpot
- YesWild Symbol
- $0.01 - $100Betting Range
- 0.01 - 0.5Coin bet range
- 10Coins per line
- 100000Max coins jackpot
- 200Max coins
- YesScatter Symbol
- NoFree spins available
- YesBonus Game
- NoBuy feature