Microgaming love a good Chinese themed slot, and let’s be honest, there are plenty around already. So, why is it that top gaming developers keep going with such a tired and frankly boring theme? Maybe it’s the mystery of the Chinese culture, the emphasis on superstition and luck, or maybe it’s just the fact that everybody knows the Chinese are the ones with all the money right now.
House of Dragons is presented over a predictable 5 x 3 setup with an uninspiring 20 paylines, this slot takes its inspiration from the nuances of Chinese Culture. Set into a dark mysterious background, framed with the stereotypical columns - that’s right, the picture in your head is spot on - talong with a dragon sitting on top of the whole scene.
Get your bets set
Click on "Stake +/-" to set your coin size, ranging from 0.01 to 0.05, set the number of coins per line you want to bet using "Coins". Hit "Lines" to adjust the number of lines you want to bet. To set the maximum bet available tap on "Max Bet", and to activate reels automatically. To get the game going once ready, hit "Spin". You can take things further by hitting "Expert", that’ll give you the option to spin the reels as many times as you choose without interruption.
Scatter you wilds to prosper, my son
There are two wilds here,the Golden Dragon and the Emperor. Both of these wilds will substitute all other symbols, as well as the bonus symbol and also each other. They can both form their own winning combinations too, making them pretty versatile and a welcome addition. Five Emperor Wilds can bring 5000 credits over an active payline, and five Dragon symbols bring 10000 credits. Get the Golden Dragon Wild in a combo and double your win.
The scatter comes in the form of a Chinese hand fan, although visually yet another lazy stereotype, it does activate a bonus game when you get three or more across the reels. This bonus trigger fairly often, and during said bonus game the fans flip over to reveal your potential prize and multiplier.
This game also had a bonus symbol, quite a rarity and a breath of fresh air within such a predictable slot game. The Archer gives you the choice to gamble your win or to collect it, a similar format to the gamble features often seen in slots. Trigger this feature by getting three or more Archer symbols across an active payline. Pick one out of four targets shown on the screen, each offering a different reward, the archer will then take aim. If he manages to hit you chosen target you get your prize, if he misses you lose everything gained during this feature and previous winning spin.
There is always a collective yawn around the reviewing team when we get yet another Chinese themed game, and we have to be honest it happened again today with House of Dragons. However, there are some tidy little features here that redeem the game. In fact, we think that developers often make better games when the themes are dull, in order to make up for their poor creativity. Maybe in the future, Chinese themes should be for work in progress only, and then switched at the last minute to something else with all the great features it inspired retained. Just a thought.
Words: David Bailey-Lauring