Dragon Match Megaways: Overview
iSoftBet move away from the African savannah of Majestic Megaways and back onto familiar ground with their third Megaways powered slot, Dragon Match Megaways. If there is one theme shining persistently through the iSoftBet line-up, it's the exotic Far East. As you might have gathered from the title, Dragon Match is an Asian flavoured slot, which iSoftBet appears to have a certain soft spot for. Dragon Match Megaways might seem old-fashioned at first, but it takes a surprisingly fresh look at old conventions using an altered version of Big Time Gaming's popular engine.
Aesthetically, Dragon Match is Asian through and through. It starts with the location which is one of those dreamy landscapes where rock mountain piles push skyward through misty air. The middle ground has one of those ornate red bridges that don’t go anywhere in a manicured Chinese garden but are excellent for taking couple’s snaps on. The reels are set in a pagoda-like structure with golden dragons entwined around the supporting frames. It’s an easy target for Asian style haters, but iSoftBet has done some nice work indeed and the job is capped off with a chilled Chinese soundtrack. Players who go for Asian slots can enjoy a real buffet for the senses.
When moving focus from the decor to the grid, you notice iSoftBet has lopped off 2 reels from the usual Megaways setup. So, Dragon Match Megaways makes do with just 4 reels in the main game area. Above the main reels is the extra horizontal reel which has also been trimmed down to 2 symbols, half of what there usually is in that position. The 4 main reels can hold between 2 and 7 symbols each and produce up to 3,136 winning ways in total. A lot less than the usual in other words.
Combinations are formed by 3 or 4 matching symbols on consecutive reels, left to right, on any row. The grid might have changed size, but the cascade feature is still triggered when a winning combination lands. This feature clears winning symbols from the reels to let new ones cascade into the gaps. Get it rolling, and multiple winners are able to link together on a single spin.
Less reels means fewer symbols in play, but there are no less than 10 on the paytable. A bunch of 10-A royals, decorated with neat wee Asian ornaments lead off the regular symbols. Next are the premiums - a drum, a blue ornament, a flower, some gold, and a dragon as the highest paying tile. There can only be combinations of three or four, and the difference in value is quite significant. For example, the dragon pays out 20 times the stake for four for a kind, yet just 2 times the stake for three. The dragon is the wild - this useful symbol can substitute for any of the pay symbols, except the Dragon Match scatter that we will look at in a second.
Dragon Match Megaways: Features
Dragons Match Megaways isn’t exactly brimming with extras with just two main features to be aware of. Named after the Dragon Match feature, it comes into play randomly when the same two symbols land on the horizontal bonus reel. When this happens, they become wild and turn all instances of the triggering symbol in the two hot spot reels below wild as well.
The second feature is a round of Free Spins which is triggered when 2 Dragon Match scatter symbols land on the bonus reel. When launched, players get to choose the rules and the volatility for the bonus game in true Blueprint Gaming fashion. There are 4 options in total and if you’ve played Buffalo Rising Megaways, for example, they will feel totally familiar. The options are:
- 12 free spins with the multiplier starting at x1.
- 8 free spins with the multiplier starting at x3.
- 5 free spins with the multiplier starting at x5.
- Mystery choice randomly generated combination.
The fourth is a lucky dip option, if you want to live on the edge, which awards a random number of spins from 5-12 and a starting multiplier of x1-x5. It can work out well, or be super annoying when you’re left with 5 spins and the x1 multiplier.
Once in, you'll find that the bonus plays pretty much the same as the majority of other Megaways games with each winning cascade increasing the win multiplier by +1. Also, 2 Dragon Match scatter symbols in view in the horizontal reel add 5 additional free spins.
Dragon Match Megaways: Verdict
iSoftBet has racked up a large number of frequent flyer miles to the Far East, but they still manage to mix up their latest Megaways slot to a degree. The bonus round isn’t exactly super fresh, but it is still fun to have a few different free spin options to choose from. The Dragon Match feature is also a welcome touch, though not super effective a lot of the time. And on that subject, premium symbols are a tad shy as well. Despite all that, Dragon Match Megaways offers something a little different. You don’t come across too many 4 reel slots which aren’t choking on fruit symbols, so a Megaways option might appeal to certain players.
Where Majestic Megaways was a textbook example of a standard Megaways slot, Dragon Match Megaways changes up the format so it gains a point or two for trying something diverse. At the end of the day, one of the biggest winners here is Megaways itself. By dropping a couple of reels and changing up combo lengths and values, Dragon Match Megaways is another example of how versatile the famed engine can be.
Then again, Megaways purists may judge iSoftBet guilty of underutilising its capabilities, while players not smitten with the engine in general, still won’t be convinced. Although, packing potential in the region of 10,000x+ will help plead its case with the general slots playing public. All up, Dragon Match Megaways isn’t a bad game and we can't help but feel somewhat impressed by iSoftBet's new change in direction as of late.
Dragon Match Megaways features superb visuals and some interesting ideas, but it’s also saddled with some old clichés.