Dragon Shard Slot Game Review
The Dragon Shard is the gem of your wildest dreams multiplied by some mysterious fantasy magical powers that can either wow you or pique your interest. Picture a mixture of Game of Thrones meets some Merlin style magic storytelling. If you can see that, then you can almost picture the greatness of this pokie, but you cannot picture the full powerful graphic images that this game conjures up in its 3D visuals and animations. It is a top-notch slot game that was a real showcase of what studios who collaborate can create between them. The powerhouse giant studio Microgaming partnered up with the smaller, indie-like Stormcraft Studios who were the ones who created the same engine once before in the title Fortunium which was another visual masterpiece. It seems a theme of phenomenal game releases can be expected from this studio in the future, but for now, they have hit the nail on the head dead center of the bullseye with the target being an intense, visually appealing, engaging pokie with some storyline worth following along with.
The game meets all of these aspects and more in the future because if this, being their second game title release, is indicative of what this studio has to offer the marketplace of slot games. The Dragon Shard is not only one of the coolest symbols you will come across in any pokie, but it is also one of the highest paying, offering you 20 times your bet for a matching pay line with all five symbol places filled with the Dragon Shard, which after you hear about the special features, you will soon realize is not that far out of the realm of possibilities.
The symbols of the game include the lower-paying card suits of clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds. Then, you have the character symbols which pay higher and include the Dragon Shard, the Ice King, Fire Queen, Dragons Eye, Ice Dragon, and the Fire Dragon. You play along as the Ice King and Fire Queen battle it out in a Game Of Thrones-Esque battle for the kingdom with the dragons often fighting for them. The king and queen appear on the reels 5 symbols high of the 5-reel by 5-row playing field while all the rest of the symbols appear 2 symbols tall. The other symbols trigger some interesting special features.
Software – Microgaming Studios in collaboration with Stormcraft Studios
Pay lines – 40
Reels – 5
Min Bet = $0.05
Max Bet – $200
Jackpot – 800 times your wager
RTP – 96.37%
Slot Game Features
The two main special features of this game are the Win Booster and the Mystery Symbol. First, is the Win Booster which you need to activate before you press the spin button to take a turn. To activate you simply click the Win Booster button on the screen to the right near the Spin button. It will cost you double your original wager to turn on and use for each spin you leave it activated. Although, it is very lucrative to do so and you go from a medium variance slot to a low variance due to the increase in payouts because not only do you get the original 20 left to right pay lines the game limits you to but instead you get 40 pay lines because they count right to left with the Win Booster turned into the on position. You also get to have the Mystery Symbol feature do some cool things as well.
The Mystery Symbol feature of Dragon Shard happens when you get a question mark symbol on the screen with exchanges for only high paying symbols when the win booster is activated. You can get any symbol except the to scatter from a mystery symbol and with the booster turned on you will only get high-paying character symbols and the wild Dragon Shard symbol too. You will not get the all-seeing Dragon’s Eye symbol that is the scatter symbol of the game, but if you had the booster on then you can get the full reel tall king or a queen which often creates some decent pay lines. Plus, with the lower volatility of the Win Booster, you will encounter wins more often of higher-paying payouts, which increases the entertainment value of the game and also decreases your overall risk of losing any money. So, the Win Booster coupled with the Mystery Symbol feature creates a wonderful gameplay action that is engaging and fun. The stunning visuals of the game are a sheer bonus that is a magnificent touch.
To activate the bonus game of Free Spins, you simply need to land 3, 4, or 5 of the Dragon’s Eye scatter symbols anywhere on the reels from a spin. It is best to have had the Win Booster feature activated win you win this extra because during your free spins you will encounter either 1, 2, or 3 Mystery Symbols on every spin and they will be appearing on reels 2, 3, or 4. The number of Mystery Symbols you will see on every spin directly relates to the number of Scatter symbols you landed to trigger the extra Free Spins feature. For 3 scatter you get 1 Mystery, for 4 scatter you get 2, and for 5 you get 3 Mystery Symbols on every single spin.
You start off with a total of 10 free spins to work with, but this number can increase. It will go up by 1 spin for every scatter symbol you land during the 10 free spins. This means you will typically end up with at least 12 or 13 free spins during a Free Spins round. Couple that with the constant Mystery symbols and even the Dragon’s Shard wild Symbol that can stand for any other symbol but the scatter and you have a top-of-the-line pokie with the potential to win up to 800 times your wager per spin during this free spins bonus round with the Win Booster engaged.
A visual masterpiece with plenty of attention to detail when it comes to appearance and colorfulness. You will have a hard time looking away because of the way everything flows so smoothly yet pops out so visually stunning at the same time. It is a great little paradox that is a great aspect to have for any game. Then add the features that give you so much control over your gameplay and that let you interact with the game more than most other slot games allow you to do.
With the Win Booster engaged, you have a low volatility slot that allows you to win more often than not, it is just not for very much at a time because the second highest paying symbol only give you 8 times your wager and those are the king and queen who at least stand 5 symbols tall so when you land one or more of them you will typically hit more than one pay line due to their sheer size and taking up the whole reel.
Overall, a great little game if you like the lower volatility where you win more often but smaller amounts and you lower your risk of losing any major amount of cash, even over extra-long gaming sessions where you spin away at the reels for a couple of hours. Plus, with the special features inside, the free spins, and the visual effects included in the basic gameplay on every single spin, you end up with a slot deserving of a try, even though it will only become the favorite of a few select players who have very specific tastes.