There have been a ton of Asian-themed online slots over the past two decades, and it's gotten to the point that they have to really be something special to stand out among the crowd. The Dragon Dance slot by Microgaming is definitely better than average as far as Asian-themed games go, but it's probably not going to win a hottest slot award either. It has solid graphics and a couple of valuable features, so the gameplay is good, but it has a somewhat generic feel after you play it for a while, and that hurts the game's replay value by quite a bit.
Layout and Format
The layout of this game uses a typical five-reel, three-row format. You'll have 243 ways to win in this game, and that means a high hit-rate is something you should come to expect. This is also influenced by the fairly balanced pay table to give this game a medium volatility overall. In terms of available stakes, bets run from $0.25 per spin to $125 per spin, and everything is set up around betting multiples of 25 coins. You can choose a variety of coin sizes and multiples of 25 coins to bet with, so there's a lot of precision involved in choosing specific wager amounts. This makes it easier for players to pick out the right bet size for them.
Reel Respin Feature
The Reel Respin feature is important to point out because it's available after every spin. If you want to get a respin of a particular reel before going on to the next spin, you can select the reel and then pay the displayed price to get that respin. The more valuable the respin, the higher the price, but this does add an atypical element of gameplay that other software providers haven't caught up with at the time of this writing. It's a good example of Microgaming (read more) setting yet another standard in the industry.
There are a few reasonably high payouts in this game. We're going to base everything off of $1 bet sizes (per spin), and you'll be able to scale the payouts appropriately if you want to look at the available wins for other sizes of wagers per spin.
For example, five of the golden dragon symbol pays $160. Based on $0.04 coin values for the $1 bet per spin, this is the equivalent of a 4,000x line bet style win, so it's on up there in relative size. Another payout of $100 is also up there for five of the red and white dragon, the equivalent of a 2,500x line bet win. Each of these symbols pay for as few as two of a kind as well.
The biggest payouts are rounded out by the two dancing figures for $80 when you get five of a kind, five of the man playing drums for $40, and five of the woman on the purple background for $20.
Smaller Wins and Scatter Pays
Smaller payouts are available for the A, K, Q, J, 10 and 9 symbols. The A and K both give you $8 for five, a $6 prize is up for grabs with the Q and J symbols, and the 10 and 9 symbols both pay out $4 apiece for five.
The scatter symbol in this slot (find more slots here) is the firecracker symbol. It awards a whooping $100 payout for five on the reels, tied for the second-largest regular win in the game. Two through four pay out $1, $2 and $10, respectively, and it's worth noting that this symbol does not have to be shown on reels going from left to right like the rest of the symbols in the game do.
Free Spins With Multipliers
The scatter is also the key to the bonus feature. When you pick up at least three located anywhere on the screen, you're awarded 15 free spins. The winnings you get from these free spins all have a 3x multiplier attached to them. Three or more scatters during the free spins adds another 15 free turns to your total as well, so there's definitely a lot of value packed into this bonus round.
Dragon Dance is par for the course as far as most Microgaming titles are concerned. This game offers sufficient gameplay with a pretty generic theme, though the theme is presented very well. The pay table is somewhat balanced for a medium volatility, though the hit-rate is pretty high thanks to the 243-ways format, the wilds that show up on the second and fourth reels and the fact that some symbols pay for just two of a kind. Overall, this is an above-average game that gives players a solid, though not outstanding, experience.