Games with atypical formats tend to get a lot of attention in the online slots world. However, most of the time, outside of the different format, the games tend to fall flat because the software developers often rely on the novelty of the game to carry it as far as players are concerned. With the Dragon Born game by Big Time Gaming, you don't have to worry about that. It does use an atypical format, but it also has an excellent dragon-based theme with lots of features and a high degree of action.
Basic Game Layout
The layout of this game is simple: six reels with seven rows. Betting starts at $0.20 per spin and goes up to $40 per spin, so there's a pretty huge range available there. The way the payout table works is that everything is based on a multiple of your total bet size per spin. For example, if there's a 3.50 payout for a certain combination, and your total bet size is $2 per spin, then you'll earn a win worth 3.5 * $2, which is $7 for the spin.
This is an atypical way of handling the pay table, but it's also extremely efficient, and it makes it very easy to understand how all of the pays stack up compared to each other regardless of the stakes you're playing.
Stacked wild symbols show up on every reel, and they're stacked in groups of seven, which is a cool feature Big Time Gaming (learn more) has used before. They also show up as a wild multiplier ranging from 1x to 7x. When you get multiple wilds in the same combination, then their values multiply together instead of adding together. For example, if you got a 3x multiplier and a 7x multiplier in the same winning combination, then it would be multiplied by a total of 21x instead of 10x like what you see with a lot of other slots. These wilds show up on the last five reels only.
Scatter Symbols and Free Spins
The diamond is the scatter in this game. Three earns six free spins, four earns 12 free spins, five earns 25 free spins and six earns 50 free spins. These do not have to be set up from left-to-right, like all of the other winning combinations in the game. During the free spins, you'll get extra wilds on the reels to boost the value of these turns and give you better chances of hitting winning combinations. Additionally, each diamond you collect during the free spins will give you an additional free spin, and you can add on an unlimited number of free turns as a result.
There are five symbols that make up the top payouts in the game. The first is the red dragon symbol. You only need to make two of a kind to win with this symbol, and it's the only symbol like that in this slot (read more). Six earns a 50x payout, and five will get you 25x. The red gem pays 5x for six of a kind and 2.5x for five of a kind as well.
For the blue gem, you'll get 4x for six of a kind. The green banner gives players 3x for six, and six of the purple A symbol with the dark queen on it will give you a 2.5x payout.
Five other symbols make up the lower pays. The king in red pays 2x for six of a kind, and his queen gives 1.5x for six. The jack, which is a knight in this game, pays 1.25x for six, and six of the 10 earns 1x. The 9 symbol will give you a 0.80x win for six of a kind.
A lot of players are going to have a bad first impression because of the way the payouts are structured in this game. It's hard to imagine that a payout worth less than the size of your bet for six of a kind is a good deal, but what players will miss is that a nine anywhere else on the reels will double your payout by giving you another six of a kind win. If you have one nine of the first, second, third and fourth reels with two on the fifth and three on the sixth, which is likely because of how many stacked symbols there are in the game, then you've scored six different winning combinations for six of a kind.
With this in mind, Dragon Born is a high-action slot with a lot to offer, especially in the free spins bonus round. It's definitely not the typical game with an atypical format that falls flat otherwise.