You might be expecting this pokie to feature historical kings and queens. Instead you will find butterflies and flowers on the reels. This monarch is the most common North American species. It has several names. You might know it better as the ‘Common Tiger’ or ‘Black Veined Brown’. The setting is a garden, and what better symbol to trigger the bonus spins than a striped caterpillar.
I’d put this pokie in the simple and relaxing category. It only has a single bonus feature, which is a free spins game. You’ll enjoy bigger prizes for those spins, as the reels are significantly ‘richer’. The main butterfly symbols are wild in both the base game and the bonus feature. This makes it possible to trigger all of the 50 win-lines at once. Here is what is ‘Grand’ about this butterfly themed pokie:
From the first time you spin the reels you will notice long strips of butterfly symbols moving past the reels. These strips are on every reel and will sometimes land covering all 4 rows on one or more reels.
These strips are known as ‘stacks’, and they give you the opportunity to get all 20 symbols as the butterfly.
The good news is that this symbol is both wild (substituting the other regular symbols – though not the caterpillar). It is also the highest paying symbol. If you get 5 of a kind you win 1,000 coins. This means covering the entire grid is worth an amazing 50,000 coins – or 1000 times your total bet.
Grand Monarch butterflies start life as striped caterpillars. These green, yellow, white and black striped creatures can be found in symbols on the middle 3 reels of this poker machine.
You need all 3 of them to trigger the free spins bonus.
When you get this, the background turns from day to night, and the reels turn blue. Better still, the reels become a lot richer. What happens is the stacks of butterfly symbols become both more numerous and longer. You have a much better chance of covering one or more reels with these wild symbols. This in turn gives your chances of a big win a boost.
You only get 5 free spins, though it is possible to retrigger with 3 more of the caterpillar symbols.
I already mentioned the bigger than usual reel setup. This game uses the 5×4 setup, and 50 win-lines gives you plenty of opportunities to line up the winning symbols.
While the wild butterfly symbols top the list (at 1000 coins for 5), there are other high paying symbols too. Two of the flowers (a complex purple and yellow one and the big pink one) are worth 500 coins for the maximum 5. Sunflowers and daisies have a top prize of 250 coins. The remaining symbols are the regular playing cards – aces down to nines.
Bonus symbols only appear on the middle reels. This means no big prizes for 4 or 5 of them. You’ll get 2x your total bet when you get 3.
Behind the reels you’ll see a serene North American forest. Rocks can be seen in the foreground, with grass and sunshine peeking through trees above. The reels have some ground type plants on top, with a plain beige background to highlight the colourful flowers on the reels.
You can’t miss the stacked butterfly wilds. These have a contrasting deep red background and show the butterflies with wings spread. Animations are basic, with the focus being on a relaxing, natural setting.
While you spin some summery music plays with a hint of classical violin. This music gets more upbeat for the free spins bonus. At the same time the setting turns to night, and the reels get a bright light blue background.
This pokie has certainly stood the test of time. It is a great example of a category of IGT games where a natural setting and solid game-play are given preference over complex features. Many pokies of this type also have a mystic element – while Grand Monarch stays with nature. The stacked wilds make big wins possible on any spin. When you get the short free spins bonus, those stacks grow, making covering every reel in those high paying symbols much more likely.