A Dragon's Story Slots
Australian slots development company Nextgen Gaming released A Dragon's Story in mid-2015 to rave reviews from players across the globe. This slot machine puts you in the dragon's seat to win riches and turn the tables on bumbling knight Brave Sir William.
A Dragon's Story is a colorful fantasy-based slot game using 3-D graphics and Nextgen's unique Superbet technology to make the gaming experience interesting and more rewarding on multiple levels. The 3-D animation-based slots market is becoming more competitive and each development company has to improve the quality of its graphics and video effects year over year. Nextgen brings state-of-the-art technology to the video slot gaming experience.
The Superbet feature improves the player's chances to win prizes and keep more money.
The game's ambient sound effects and soundtrack are even extended into the help screen system, providing audio cues to which part of the game software is currently active.
People who love minutiae will be tickled when they realize that this game pays homage to a number of dragon tropes, including some popular icons from the 1960s and 1970s. Sir William's foray into the dragon's lair to steal treasure is also reminiscent of the cup-thief incident in the ancient Anglo-Saxon poem "Beowulf".
Game Basics & Symbols
A Dragon's Story is a 5-reel, 3-row video slot machine game with 25 fixed pay lines (you cannot disable any of them). The game has two special symbols and two sets of 3-D characters that affect the game in some way. All prizes are paid from left to right and only the highest paid winning combination on any pay line is awarded a prize. All prizes based on winning tile combinations are calculated by multiplying the combination value times the coin value you have set.
The game's Wild symbol is a portrait of Ruff the Dragon, the game's protagonist. Ruff the Dragon substitutes for all other symbols except the Scatter. He laughs gleefully on any tile that contributes to a winning combination. Ruff's symbol is the only fully animated symbol in the game.
If 2 Wild symbols appear in a winning combination by themselves they pay 10 times your selected coin value. 3 dragons in a winning combination by themselves pay 200 times your selected coin value. 4 dragons pay 500 times and 5 dragons pay 2000 times your selected coin value.
You may be randomly awarded more Wilds than are spun up by the Little Dragon feature. See how the Superbet button controls this further down this page.
The dragon's Jewel (a reddish round stone embedded in a silver brooch) is the Scatter symbol and the highest value symbol in the game. You win 10 free spin when three or more Scatter symbols appear anywhere on the screen. By themselves the Scatter symbols pay 25 times your selected coin value for 2 symbols, 125 times your coin value for 3 symbols, 375 times your coin value for 4 symbols, and 2500 times your coin value for 5 symbols.
After the dragon Wild the highest value symbols in the game are as follows:
- The Pile of Treasure
- Sir William
- The Shield
- The Saboton (iron armor shoe)
The Pile of Treasure pays 3 times, 100 times, 300 times, and 1000 times your selected coin value for 2, 3, 4, and 5 symbols in a winning combination respectively.
Sir William pays 2 times, 50 times, 250 times, and 500 times your selected coin value for 2, 3, 4, and 5 symbols respectively in a winning combination.
The Shield and Sabaton both pay 20 times, 100 times, and 250 times your selected coin value for 3, 4, and 5 symbols in a winning combination.
Lower-value symbols include the "A", "K", "Q", "J", "10", and "9". In terms of prize values, these symbols are paired together. The "A" and "K" max out at 200 times coin value for 5-of-a-kind, the "Q" and "J" max out at 150 times coin value for 5-of-a-kind, and the "10" and "9" max out at 100 times coin value for 5-of-a-kind.
The game's information widgets and controls are positioned both above and below the playing area with the reels.
The Total Bet widget appears in the upper left-hand corner and this shows you exactly how much you pay for each spin. Total Bet is the product of 25 pay lines times your currently selected coin value.
The Balance widget appears in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and this shows you how much money you have left to play with.
The bottom of screen is covered with golden treasure but you should be able to see the small red circle with the musical notes in the far left corner. This toggles the game sounds on and off.
To the right of the sound control is the blue circle with an "i" in it. This is the control that brings up the help screen system. The music changes when you click on this control. You scroll through the 7 help screens using the left and right arrows below each screen. The red stone with a white "X" is the exit button.
The Coin Value widget is a small black window displaying the currently selected value. You use the red Down arrow and the blue Up arrow to adjust the value of your coins. You can go as low as 0.01 and as high as 2.00. Maximum coin value sets your Total Bet to 100.00 so be sure this is how much you want to pay for each spin.
There is a small pile of silver coins just about the Coin Value widget. Click on this to set your wager to Max Bet.
Be careful to check the Total Bet window to make sure you did not click on Max Bet by accident.
A larger information display sits just to the right of the Coin Value widget. This window shows you the total amount of your last win (all prizes combined).
When you win a prize on a spin the round shield with the red heart and black club to the right of the Win window becomes active. This is the Gamble button. See the next section for details on how this works.
The Autoplay button is an elliptical green gem with "recycle" arrows on it. Click on this control to bring up a dialog box that allows you to set the number of spins that will play automatically for you. The game deducts the amount of your bet from your balance at the beginning of each spin and will stop if you run out of money. You can stop the Autoplay feature at any time.
Move the slider button from left to right or back to set the number of spins. Then click on Start. Or just click on Last Setting.
The green treasure chest is the Spin control. Click on this to initiate a single spin game. The chest becomes dark and you cannot click on it while the reels are spinning.
Finally, in the far right corner is the Superbet control. Use this control to choose from 1, 3, or 5 Little Dragons. The Little Dragons are animated characters that sit below the reels. The game defaults to 1 Little Dragon sitting under reel 3. Every time you spin the reels the game determines randomly if the Little Dragon will turn one of the tiles on the reel into a Wild symbol (this will only happen if the Wild can help form a winning combination).
You can increase your wager to add more Little Dragons to the game. 1 Little Dragon costs you nothing. The game gives you that for free. Superbet 1 gives you two more Little Dragons (on reels 2 and 4). This increases your bet by 40%, so if you were betting 0.25 before (0.01 times 25 pay lines) now you are betting 0.35. Superbet 2 gives you all five Little Dragons but doubles the cost of your bet.
Why use the Little Dragons?
They increase the theoretical Return to Player.
Nextgen games estimates that playing without a Superbet gives you a 95.223% RTP, which is pretty good compare to other slot games. Playing with Superbet 1 gives you a theoretical 85.330% RTP and playing with Superbet 2 gives you a theoretical 95.618% RTP.
Return to Player is an estimate of the probable return of money to players over a long period of time. Your actual return could be nothing or a huge amount during any single game session.
After any paid spin awards you a prize the Gamble button becomes active. Click on this control to make an extra bet.
You can double your winnings (or lose them all) by guessing the color of the next card to be turned up. You can quadruple your winnings (or lose them) by guessing which suit the next card will belong to.
There is a "Card History" control just below the playing card.
If you win the bet you can click on Take Win to end the game or you can choose another card. This is a double/quadruple-or-nothing game. You have to risk your entire prize to play the game.
This is a randomly awarded bonus. After any spin Brave Sir William may come charging across the treasure hoard at the bottom of the screen to steal some of Ruff's gold. You are prompted to choose a colored flame from one of three. Ruff then blasts Sir William and he runs around, dropping coins (that you win). The game may prompt you to choose a flame more than once.
When three or more of the dragon jewels turn up in a spin you win 10 Free Spin games. All prizes are doubled and the feature may be retriggered. The Little Dragons also turn more tiles into Wild symbols during the Free Spins game than during normal play, so it really helps if you have Superbet 1 or Superbet 2 active. You just don't know when you will win a Free Games bonus.
Without question, A Dragon's Story is a fun game to play. The in-tile animations may be minimal and the soundtrack may be a little too repetitive but there are enough random factors in the game to make it both interesting and pleasantly surprising. The theoretical Return to Player numbers are also nice. Some slot games pay 1% less or even worse compared to this one.
The quality of the graphics is nonetheless very good. Everything has a 3-D aspect and you can see through the semi-transparent screen area to the background, which is Ruff's cave. The visual effect is kind of cool.
You not only have some control over how much you wager in this game, you actually increase your chances of winning a prize. Of course, the downside is that the prizes are calculated by multiplying prize values times coin value, not total bet. You'll make more money if you risk more money, but that does kind of improve the gambling experience if you have the available balance to manage the risk.
If you're not satisfied with how much you are winning you can always use the Gamble button.
A Dragon's Story is a definite "must play" slots game. It's fun, complex, and yet deceptively simple-like in both its interface design and play style. Most slots enthusiasts should enjoy this one.