Dragon Shard slot breathes fire at Microgaming casinos
Given that Game of Thrones has come to its conclusion on television over the last few weeks, there is no doubt that all things Dragon are rather hot at the moment, if you will excuse the pun, so it is not surprising that Microgaming have chosen to release the Dragon Shard slot at this particular moment in time.
This new game is something a little different to most other Microgaming slots and that is apparent from the very start with the 5x5 layout of the reels. We also have a mix of stacked symbols, some stacked two high, others stacked five high. There's also a Win Booster feature which you can choose to activate or not before you play and the chance to win 160,000 coins, which if you play for the maximum bet of 200.00 per spin, represents a very large amount of money to be won.
Let's take a closer look at the Dragon Shard slot and discover whether it is a game that roars to life, or whether this is one dragon that seems to be smouldering rather than burning bright.
- Game: Dragon Shard
- Developer: Microgaming
- Reels: 5x5
- Pay Lines: 40 (non-selectable)
- Minimum Bet: 0.10
- Maximum Bet: 200.00
- Jackpot: 160,000
- Free Spins Bonus: Yes
- Other Bonuses: Yes
- Progressive: No
- Volatility: Medium
There's no doubting that Microgaming have really improved the quality of their presentation in recent times and the Dragon Shard slot is further evidence of this. The mythical land where the Ice King and Fire Queen do battle is beautifully brought to life and the 5x5 reels are set in the middle of the screen. The main controls for the reel are off to the right.
The sound is dramatic and rather impressive, and you do get the feeling that this is a slot game on a different scale to some others. The animations on the reels when spinning are crisp and clean and the game runs smoothly on mobile devices as well as desktop. There is an epic scale to the slot which I like and which brings to mind fantasy stories such as Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings and if you enjoy stories such as those, then you are going to enjoy what the Dragon Shard slot has to offer too.
The first thing you need to do on the game is to decide whether to play with the Win Booster option in play. If you do not, then your cost per spin is the standard value and you have 40 pay lines in play from left to right across the reels and the standard Mystery Bonus symbols in play.
However, if you play with Win Booster selected, this doubles the price of your bet but for that you get to play with wins both ways across the reels, so right to left as well as left to right, furthermore the Mystery Symbol is boosted to only show Wilds or higher value symbols.
What is on the reels?
There are a mix of symbols on the reels, most are double-stacked on the reels which can produce multiple wins across the reels on a spin. The lowest value symbols are the four playing card suits, clubs, diamond, heart and space and these all pay the same amounts of 0.4x up to 2x your total bet for between 3 and 5 on a pay line.
The other double stacked symbols are the Dragon Shard gemstone (which pays between 0.6x and 4x your total bet) and the two dragons, one of fire and one of ice and these both pay an equal amount, the same 0.6x and 2x for three and four symbol wins but a slightly improved 5x your bet for five across the reels.
The two super-stacked symbols are five-symbols high and these are the Ice King and the Fire Queen and these offer wins ranging from 0.8x your bet up to 8x your bet for five across the reels. Although, with these symbols being stacked so high, it is possible to trigger multiple winning lines from the same spin which can increase the overall value of the win markedly.
There are two other symbols on the reels, and these are the Super Stacked Mystery symbols. These appear on any reel and can be stacked up to five symbols high. In the standard version of the game, the Mystery symbol will change to reveal a single high or low symbol. However, if you elect to play with the Win Booster feature, then the Mystery Symbol will only reveal Wild or High value symbols.
Alongside these symbols are the Scatter and Wild, which are linked in with the main features of the slot as we will explore below.
The Dragon Shard logo is the Wild symbol, and this serves two purposes. It can first substitute for all symbols apart from the Scatter symbol to help create winning lines and secondly, if you can land three, four or five Wilds in a row on a pay line then you can win from between 1x to 20x your total stake for doing so.
The Wild however is not stacked and appears singly on each of the five reels.
Free Spins features
To trigger the Free Spins bonus you need to land three or more Scatters across the reels on the middle three reels of the slot. When you do, you trigger the Free Spins bonus round but the number of Scatters you land will also decide the number of Mystery Reels in play for the bonus feature. Land three and you get one Mystery Reel, land four Scatters and you get two Mystery Reels and land five Scatters to hit the maximum three Mystery Reels.
During your 10 Free Spins, you will receive an additional Free Spin for every Scatter you land on the reels, which can prolong the life of the round considerably.
Best feature of the Dragon Shard slot
There is a real epic feel to the Dragon Shard slot which is immediately appealing but when you get into the game itself, you find that the game is as enjoyable as the presentation which is not always the case. The fact that Microgaming have made this slot very different to their usual offering with a different layout on the reels and some unusual bonuses, plus the option to use the Win Booster to win both ways, does give the game real appeal.
The size of the prizes in the slot too are also appealing but the game does suffer a little from too many lower value wins in the base game, however with patience you can often hit a bigger value win to offset those smaller wins and losses. I do feel the game is better played, though markedly more expensive, with the Win Booster option activated.
Dragon Shard is a very enjoyable release from Microgaming and ticks all the right boxes. It is a fun slot to play, packed with some unusual features and a well put together set of bonus features. It offers some sizeable rewards too which will make it appealing to higher rollers as well as those who want to play for significantly less. There's been a clutch of Microgaming releases of late but Dragon Shard is right up there with the best of them.
You can play this fantastic new slot at any of our Mega Moolah casinos.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.
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