Drago - Jewels of Fortune: Overview
For anyone with some experience playing Pragmatic Play slots, booting up Drago - Jewels of Fortune will surely offer a surprise or two. Visually, it looks strikingly different from their usual stuff, almost as if produced by a different studio altogether. After a line of somewhat mediocre games, this step up in quality is a welcomed one.
Drago - Jewels of Fortune is a fantasy slot that offers a couple of interesting features alongside impressive potential. There are dragons involved, but not Asian inspired as you might expect from this provider, but with more of a cartoonish touch. Drago also manages to keep the intrigue rolling due to its unusual reel formation and gameplay that can work well to generate some uncommonly large payouts - provided you aren’t incinerated by a mouthful of dragon fire.
The game takes place in a dimly lit cavern, littered with treasure while a dragon watches over his coins to the side. This purple dragon, presumably Drago, though it’s not made explicitly clear, sways like he’s under the influence of something. Then again, it would be creepy if he just stood, staring motionless at you. It’s a classic dragon sitting over his riches scene, capped with a powerful fantasy infused soundtrack adding extra atmosphere.
The game grid is an interesting one, made up of 5 reels, in a 5-4-4-4-5 configuration. The first and fifth reels possess an extra row, with a golden frame around each corner position. These special corner positions are the key to triggering the features - more on this later. Along with the larger than usual reel format is a larger than usual number of win ways. Winning combinations are formed of three or more matching symbols, from the first reel, left to right. Winning symbols can land in any row, which provides 1,600 ways to win, but are easy enough to follow along with.
The home screen brings up Pragmatic’s ever-helpful volatility meter that lets players know exactly what they are getting in to before pressing play. In Drago’s case, it scores 4.5/5 which might not be as volatile as it gets, but is still a high rating all the same. A figure that will find universal appeal is the default RTP, which at 96.5% is comfortably above average.
Playable from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin, the symbols are made up of 9 regulars, a wild and a bonus symbol. The regulars are five brightly coloured 10 - A royals, decorated with a scaled pattern to give them a dash of personality. They are not as personable as the premiums though which include 4 dragons, with our purple pal as the most valuable. Premium payouts range from 2x for the first dragon up to 10 times the stake for five Dragos. The wild symbol slots in nicely here, appearing only on reels 2, 3, or 4 to substitute for all symbols except the bonus.
Drago - Jewels of Fortune: Features
As mentioned, the 4 corner positions of the grid are the keys to glory in Drago. Depending on the symbols that land in them players can trigger Dragon Super Spins, or Free Spins. If players hit 4 matching dragon symbols in all 4 corners of the screen, then the Dragon Super Spin feature is triggered.
During this feature, only the triggering symbol may appear on the reels. Each time it does, it is locked and remains in place for the duration. The round ends when no more new Dragon symbols hit, then the number of collected symbols results in a prize. On top of this, up to one upgrade symbol may land during the feature. If it does, then all pays on the paytable are doubled. The more symbols, the bigger the prize:
- Yellow dragons award 2x – 100x the bet.
- Green dragons award 4x – 250x the bet.
- Red dragons award 5x – 500x the bet.
- Pink dragons award 10x – 5,000x the bet.
The white crystal icon is the bonus symbol, appearing only on reels 1 and 5. Hit 4 bonus symbols in all corners of the reels to trigger the Free Spins feature. Before the round starts, a special respin game is played which starts with 3 respins and resets whenever a symbol lands. Players collect the following special symbols to build up the free spins feature, making each free spins round more or less unique:
- Green crystals add a random number of 1 to 10 free spins.
- Red crystals add from 1 to 5 sticky wilds.
- Purple crystals add a random number of 5 to 50 mystery symbols.
- Blue crystals add 1x or 2x to the win multiplier.
Once respins end, whatever has been collected gets transferred to the free spins feature and highlighted in each of the four corners. You better make the best of what you've been awarded as there are no retriggers to benefit from. On a final note, Drago may come with bonus buy option. Where available, this option costs 100 times the bet to trigger the free spins. As is otherwise typically the case, you don't get to benefit from a RTP advantage here when you use the bonus buy option.
Drago - Jewels of Fortune: Verdict
Drago - Jewels of Fortune turned out to be quite a good game, something a little different from Pragmatic Play. Going off the math model, it might appear geared towards more dedicated gamblers with its high volatility/high potential, but its looks and features may also appeal to a wider range of player types.
Speaking of features, it did take a while for the first one to hit, and up until that point, it was a grind. Then four matching dragons appeared in the corner positions for a tidy, if not amazing win, which sort of got the ball rolling. From there, features appeared fairly regularly which kept the game flowing nicely while the bankroll seesawed more or less around its original value. Of course, the game is highly volatile, so anything is possible.
Something we observed during testing is that the predetermination factor can be a bit too obvious at times. For example, during the respin collection feature, if you get 10 free spins you almost certainly won't get more than a x1 multiplier. Moreover, when wilds are to be distributed across the reels, they always seem to settle in the worst possible positions. Mystery symbols are interesting too. It doesn't seem to matter whether you're awarded 10 or 50, the chance of landing mystery symbols almost appears to be the same.
When it comes to wins, Drago - Jewels of Fortune can reach some pretty high heights. For one, there’s up to 10,000x available during Dragon Free Spins should you score 20 or more Dragos with the upgrade symbol doubling wins. Even more is possible during free spins where Pragmatic has cited potential in the region of 48,000 times the stake. Some insane collecting will need to take place in the respin round before hitting the magic during free spins. Unfortunately, it's a well known fact that Pragmatic Play potential can be a bit...aggrandized.
Overall, however, Drago - Jewels of Fortune proved to be a thoroughly entertaining slot. It’s got a good look, a stirring soundtrack, and a couple of exciting features that can technically dazzle. The result is good for some high volatility gaming with remarkable rewards should you manage a bold raid on the dragon’s treasure chamber.
Drago Jewels of Fortune puts forth a far more enjoyable effort than your average Pragmatic Play game.