Queen Isabella Slot Game
High 5 Games released the Queen Isabella slots game in 2010. It makes use of stacked wilds, a pick bonus, and a collection bonus. The game takes its name from the most famous of Spanish queens, Isabella I, who more than anyone else was responsible for the formation of the modern Spanish state.
Isabella was born into the royal house of Castile, one of the five Iberian kingdoms (the other four were Portugal, Leon, Aragon, and Granada) of her time. Isabella's older brother was Henry IV, sometimes known as "The Impotent". Henry wanted to marry his sister for his own political advantage but she negotiated with the King of Aragorn for a marriage to his son Ferdinand. The shifting loyalties of the various groups of Spanish nobles forced Isabella and Ferdinand to fight for their right to rule and to be wed but in the end they were victorious over all their enemies.
High 5 Games uses very stylized portraits of Isabella, Ferdinand, Christopher Colombus, and her confessor and close advisor Hernando de Talavera. Not only did Isabella and Ferdinand unite four of the five Iberian kingdoms under one crown, they also financed Columbus' expeditions to the Americas and launched the worldwide Spanish Empire, which lasted until the Spanish-American War some 300 years later.
The game is available in land-based casinos, on the Internet, on mobile apps, and via RMG Online.
Gameplay Features and Mechanics
Queen Isabella is a 5-reel, 3-row video slot game with 40 pay lines. The game combines a Free Spins bonus with a unique combination Collection and Pick bonus feature. All prizes are paid from left to right on the pay lines and if two or more prizes could be awarded on any individual pay line, only the highest value prize per pay line is paid to you. Tiles can be stacked, especially the Wilds.
The game's logo serves as the Wild symbol, which substitutes for all other symbols except the Free Games Scatter.
Each of the high value symbols in the game plays a familiar riff from Spanish dance music.
- The Wild Symbol pays 500 times the bet per line for 5-of-a-kind.
- The Scatter symbol pays 30,000 if you can spin up 5 of
- Three of these will also trigger the bonus game.
- Queen Isabella pays 400 times the bet per line for 5-of-a-kind.
- Ferdinand also pays 400 for 5-of-a-kind.
- His prizes for 3- and 4-of-a-kind are not as good as Isabella's.
- Christopher Columbus and de Talavera both pay 250
times bet per line for 5-of-a-kind
- Columbus pays slightly better for 3 and 4-tile combinations.
- The three mid-value symbols are Ferdinand's crown, Isabella's crown, and the Spanish Cross.
- The remaining three symbols, all low value, are the traditional "A", "K", and "Q".
The game's controls are standard for a High 5 Games production. They are positioned at the bottom of the screen and from left to right control your betting options, report your most recent prize and available credits, handle game functions, and control spins.
The betting controls adjust the number of active pay lines by scrolling through options of 1, 10, 20, 30, and 40. Use the up and down arrows to change how many pay lines are active. Your total bet will be adjusted up or down for you.
The "Per Line" control works the same way: use the up and down arrows to scroll through the following 8 options:
Always check to see what the betting controls are set on before clicking the Spin button, especially if you just sat down at a machine in a casino. You never know what the last person to play that machine was betting.
The Replay button is one of High 5 Game's hallmark features. It literally replays the last spin for you (this is not available during the Auto Play feature). If you want to take pictures of the bonus rounds, for example, you can use Replay to go through it again.
The Auto Play button allows you to choose from 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 spins. The total bet will be deducted from your balance just before each spin and if there is not enough money the Auto Play stops. You can also stop it at any time.
The Spin button initiates a single game but also acts as a Stop button if you don't want the animations to play through. This can be a great time saver when you win prizes on multiple pay lines. Using the Stop button does not alter the game's outcome in any way. Whether you win a prize and how much is determined the moment you click on Spin.
Triggering the Bonus Round
The bonus game is pretty cool for a couple of reasons. First, the music is fantastic (if you like Latin music). It's not easy to identify the song although it is reminiscent of some songs used in Zorro movies. For example, the dance scene in "The Mask of Zorro" features a similar song that some people identify as a variation on the traditional Mexican song "El Sombrero Blanco" or a Paso Doble song called "Concion del Mariachi". Regardless of what the song is, most players should enjoy hearing it.
The Free Games bonus round begins when three Free Games scatter symbols appear on the screen during regular play. You win 7 free spins. The game cannot be retriggered.
The Bonus game uses a new set of reels, and every now and then a new letter is spun up. These special letters spell out the word "C R O W N". If you collect them all you'll get an additional bonus.
The same letter may turn up two or more times, which is worth a little bit of a prize. You want the word to be spelled out in the collection.
The "C" only occurs on reel 1, the "R" only occurs on reel 2, etc.
Assuming you collect all five letters, after the free spins complete you are prompted to pick one of five crowns. The crown contains a multiplier that is used to increase your total bonus winnings. The multipliers are as follows.
How likely are you to get Isabella's crown in the collection game? Not very. But it's fun to win those bonus rounds and see what happens. This is a very playable game and it reminds us of our history. Virtually every country on Earth has been affected by Isabella's life and career as monarch in some way. Whole nations would not exist but for her.
High 5 Games' more recent offerings have better animations and video clips but you probably won't miss them by playing this game. Also, the combination bonus round is a pleasant change from the "just do it this way" bonus features so many slot games rely on. This game keeps you guessing, and that makes it more interesting.
There are many nice little touches in the artwork. The game uses a very elegant theme evocative of Spanish architecture. Each of the portraits has 2 to 4 adornments in the corners. Isabella's are purple gems. Ferdinand has four green stones. Columbus and de Talavera each probably have four but they cover up the bottom corners of their portraits. Columbus' corner markers are compasses. And it looks like de Talavera is graced with a scientific emblem.
The stacked Wilds are a nice touch, too. In fact, this game does not use so-called Super Stacks, which can pay great prizes or come annoyingly close to doing so. With limited stacking as in a game like Queen Isabella you feel like there are more opportunities to win prizes, even if they are smaller.