Mermaid Queen Introduction
Novomatics is known to have produced some of the most classic online slots of all time, and as such their games are frequently cloned by other providers. The strong appeal seems to lie in the simple design of the mechanics and rhythmic gameplay in combination with high variance and excellent potential. But do we really need yet another Novomatic clone and why do providers keep churning out slots that play pretty much the same way with identical paytables?
The simple answer is that they do it because it's simple, effective and they get away with it. See, far from all casinos offer Novomatic slots, in fact, the majority don't at the time of writing. Hence the great demand for Novos leaves a gap to fill. SG Gaming, which has a wide reach with its portfolio of games available on a large number of casinos is clever to seize the opportunity. Play'n GO, for example, pulled of a clone of Book of Ra with its slot Book of Dead so well that it's almost as successful as the original. So, with a simple game like this, is it really possible to fail? Players are susceptible to how well slots are balanced and the rhythm of Novos, their clones in particular, are of great importance as you will see.
So without further ado, Mermaid Queen is an online slot powered by SG Gaming using 5 reels, 3 rows and 10 pay lines. Playable on all devices, players can bet between €0.10 to €500 per spin, making it suitable for the lowest of low-rollers and the whales alike. The Novomatic classics are known to have a somewhat lower RTP than preferred, but SG Gaming has decided to drop it even lower with a 94% RTP setting.
Visually, Mermaid Queen stays true to the classic look and feel of Novos, although we failed to get into that rhythmic trance you often get from playing Novos because of the choppy, slow gameplay found in this slot that seems to take ages between spins. In terms of mechanics, it's a mix between two of the most played Novos - Book of Ra and Lucky Lady's Charm. The paytable bears many similarities with the former while the bonus is identical to the latter. Interesting indeed.
Mermaid Queen Symbols & Paytable
13 symbols are in use in total here - 6 low to medium value symbols that include 9, 10, J, Q, K and A royals as well as 6 premiums represented by binoculars, pearls (a homage to Lucky Lady), treasure chests, ships, dolphins, and the sailor man, the latter being the most lucrative giving you 500 times the stake for 5 across a full pay line.
The scatter symbol comes in the form of a mermaid, and while 3 are sufficient to trigger the bonus, 5 of them in the main game will award a 500x win. Other than this, there's not much more going on as far as symbols are concerned.
Mermaid Queen Free Spins
To trigger the free spins feature, players need to land a minimum of 3 scatter symbols anywhere on the reel set. This will award 15 free spins with all wins multiplied by 3, which means the bonus has a max win potential of 1500 times the stake per single spin. The bonus is played similarly to Lucky Lady's Charm - at the start of each spin; all symbols are hidden and then uncovered symbol by symbol to reveal potential winning combinations.
As expected from a clone, the bonus is possible to re-trigger should you land 3 or more scatter symbols.
Mermaid Queen Conclusion
Being huge fans of Novomatic and their classic line of slots we're happy to try any new clone that pops up in our favourite casinos, many of which have positively surprised us. When it comes to Mermaid Queen, we have mixed emotions. The gameplay is just too slow and choppy, even more so than the Merkur clones in our opinion, something that is slightly annoying.
The low RTP is admittedly also a turn-off and quite frankly we cannot see any good reason to play this unless you specifically have a craving for Lucky Lady's Charm without the possibility to play it or a chance to still your urge with any other alternative.
Mermaid Queen is a semi-competent piece of work.