Fri, May 24, 10:04pm by Ethan Anderson
Last Updated Mon, Oct 7, 11:23pm
You’ll spin the reels of Jewel of the Dragon over a complex cave. This is the lair of the fantasy style dragon whose riches you are playing for. While you spin, you’ll see shapes similar to Tetris pieces flying over the reels. These can stop on the reels, creating extra wild symbols. Look out for the dragon coming to life and breathing fire onto this pokie – that is when things start to get very interesting!
The features of this game are based on the ‘Hot Zone’ Tetris pieces. There are different ways these are added to the reels. The best is during the free spins bonus, though random features can give you good coverage of wild symbols during the base game too. Here are the highlights of Jewel of the Dragon:
While the Hot Zones will remind you of Tetris, there are more shapes and sizes available than on this game. You’ll see these are translucent shapes, coming from the top of the screen, flying over the reels and then disappearing below them. The biggest are 3×3 blocks, with smaller ones covering 2 spaces also possible (along with different shapes in T or L configurations).
When these land on the reels, either fully or partially, the spaces they cover become wild. With a big block, this will often trigger multiple win-lines from the same spin. It is possible to get more than one in place from a single spin.
Two smaller features give you extra Hot Zone wilds. Nudges are random. You will see the green (almost cartoon-like) dragon come to life. When this happens the ‘zone’ which landed just above the reels will nudge into place – giving you extra wins.
Some symbols have small gems attached to them. If you get 3 of these in the same spin, you get to pick one. This will reveal a Hot Zone shape which gets added to the reels.
The best feature involves free spins. You need 3 of the green dragon symbols to trigger this bonus. There are only 8 spins, though you’ll get a big benefit along with them.
Any wilds which come in via Hot Zone symbols lock into place for the entire free spins bonus. If you get some good coverage in the first couple of spins, you could be looking at a significant number of wins. It is possible to cover the entire 5×4 grid of reels with wild symbols during this bonus.
No retrigger this time – though 8 spins are plenty enough to get some huge hits with the Hot Zone symbols in the right place!
While the random shapes adding wilds is new, the base of this pokie uses a Bally standard setup. There are 40 win-lines crossing the 5×4 grid, with bets from 40c and up from there.
Considering the quality of the overall design, fantasy themed symbols are rare. Only a shield and the dragon bonus symbols are in-play, with the shield having the biggest win. You will also find bells, a crown and a lot of playing card symbols (which do have a Celtic pattern on them).
The reels are transparent, which gives you a great view of the rocky path leading to the Dragon’s cave whenever you hit the spin button. Bally make the most of the tall cabinet, with excellent flaming and dragon animations. The shapes coming from the top of the screen might confuse players at first (if they did not read my review!). When these land on the reels and add the golden wild symbols, things become clear quickly.
Add an epic soundtrack worthy of any fantasy movie, and you have a beautifully designed pokie.
Hot Zone game-play is also used to great effect in the Sumo Kitty pokies from Bally. This adds a new angle to your gambling, without straying too far from regular pokie games. All 3 features use these shapes. Nudges and picks in the base game can add significant one-off wins. It is the free spins bonus that you’ll want to see. Locking wilds, especially if you get them early in the bonus, give you a great shot at relieving the dragon of some of its gold.