Dragon Stone (iSoftBet): Overview
Irrespective of how well-received their creations are by casual players, many game developer dream of having a hit with the casino community; to win over the hearts of those picky hard-core gamblers and experience the pleasure of seeing their game age like a fine wine, slowly morphing from hit to classic. To be able to accomplish something like that, developers need to be tuned in to the desires of that demographic and be up to date with all the latest trends. If you get them to like your game, you can be sure that you have something special on your hands.
iSoftBet is not quite there yet. Aside from the rare exception (Paranormal Activity to name one), they've never really resonated all that well with this particular audience. But that could very well change soon. Not only have they recruited new producers, they've also acquired a Megaways license, something that is almost guaranteed to increase stock value.
Dragon Stone is the name of a new slot from iSoftBet, and also the first one from this provider to be featured on Bigwinboard. Played on a 5-reel, 20-payline game engine, it wears its Game of Thrones inspiration on its sleeve. Dragons will roar, breath fire and ice and deliver loads of extras that include four randomly triggered base game features as well as four different free spins modes. Get yourself involved from as little as 0.20 to €/£20 per spin on all devices.
Visually, Dragon Stone is highly detailed and looks absolutely fantastic. Set in the ancient homeland of the dragons, the reels are positioned inside a dragon's nest overlooking a gorgeous mountain view. The soundtrack, which is provided by a majestic orchestral score, gives the game a truly epic feel that is further enhanced by occasional mighty dragon roars. On the dragon-scale reels you'll see 10, J, Q, K and A royals alongside four different high-paying dragons. The most rewarding of these is the fire-dragon, giving you 25 times your stake for five on a full payline. There's also a wild symbol that is of the same value as the fire-dragon - it substitutes for all symbols except the scatter.
Dragon Stone (iSoftBet): Features
Dragon Stone comes with four randomly triggered base game modifiers - this is known as the Elemental Power Spins feature. When activated, the "O" in the logo directly above the reels will start to flash and eventually stop on one of the four colours representing the four dragons. This is what's on offer:
- Flaming Wilds (red) - the fire dragon will breathe fireballs to give you a random amount of fire wilds.
- Ice Storm Spins (blue) - the ice dragon will freeze winning symbols into place and reward re-spins as long as new winning symbols are added.
- Earthquake Reels (green) - the earth dragon will raise rocks from the earth that will turn entire reels wild.
- Winds of Winnings (purple) - the wind dragon will blow in a random number of mystery symbols to replace 3 - 15 symbols.
The tension increases even more when you trigger the Free Spins which is accomplished by landing 3, 4 or 5 dragon stone scatter symbols anywhere on the reels (giving you 10, 15 or 20 free spins respectively). Once in, one of the four elemental powers mentioned above will be randomly selected and trigger with an increased frequency.
Dragon Stone (iSoftBet): Verdict
There is a lot to like about Dragon Stone. In the base game, you have all the modifiers adding some extra flavour to the action while making sure things don't get too monotonous. There are also some psychological tricks implemented as well, such as the giant dragon shadow passing over the reels or the dragon stone "O" that will occasionally trick you into thinking it's about to activate. None of these things actually lead to anything, but they make the game appear busier than it is - and it works.
The most impressive part of Dragon Stone, however, is undoubtedly what you see on the surface. The game is incredibly well designed and the sounds are just outstanding. Mathematically, on the other hand, we're not quite as impressed. Medium variance, you can win up to 698 times your stake on each spin, although you'd be happy to hit it even once in your lifetime. We found the game to be quite brutal at times, behaving more like a high variance game than anything else. Moreover, the randomly triggered modifiers mostly seem to involve lower-value symbols, which gets a bit tedious after a while and will make you stop hoping for any win over 20x.
In spite of its flaws, Dragon Stone is a fascinating slot that manages to come out on top. While the volatility and potential is too low to appeal to hard-core gamblers who generally love the thrill of chasing massive hits, it will gain lots of fans among those who are looking for something new and fresh to keep them entertained.
For all that Dragon Stone misses on, the slot gets enough of it right to tip the scales in its favour.