Dragon Ship

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The Swedish software developer known as Play’n’Go may not make a huge line-up of games for the Internet, but the ones they have been creating since 1997 are certainly fine examples of the type of innovation and attention to detail for which the Swedes have become famous. A fine example is “Dragon Ship,” a 5-reel, 15-payline with a Viking theme.

The reels of Dragon Ship are set against an incredibly realistic-looking seascape. The waves of the dark green waters rise and fall gently and seamlessly—more like a video clip than animation. Storm clouds on the far horizon seem to shimmer as rays of sunlight filter through, and the creaking caused by wood and ropes straining against the undulating water can be heard in the background.

To begin a game of Dragon Ship, the player must first choose a basic Stake for wagering. This is accomplished by adjusting the up/down arrows that flank the “Coin Value” indicator below the first reel from €0.01 to €0.25. Then, the number of “Coins” per line must be set from 1 to 5 and the number of “Lines” in play selected from 1 to 15 by using the toggles beneath the second and third reels. Lines can also be selected by clicking directly on the numbered line indicators adjacent to reels 1 and 5. The maximum possible bet is €18.75.

The basic reel symbols used on Dragon Ship are the standard playing cards—tens through Aces—which pay line multipliers from 10X to 150X whenever three or more matches appear on an active payline from left to right. Greater rewards are paid for catching three or more symbols for the Horn, Shield, Axe or Viking, from 25X up to 2500X. The Dragon Ship symbol is wild, substituting for any of the above symbols.

The game offers a Scatter Bonus that is triggered whenever three “Treasure Chests” appear in any position on the reels. The player will be asked to select one of the three chests and reveal the riches inside, which consist of cash credits of up to 150 times the Total Stake.

The primary bonus on Dragon Ship is “15 Free Spins.” It is activated only when the wild Dragon Ship symbols fill all six positions on the first and fifth reels. At that time, the main slot game is paused, the first and fifth reels become the bow and stern of the Dragon Ship, riding the waves of the high seas and frozen in place as wilds to match any other symbols. Only the middle three reels spin during the 15 Free Spins and the Treasure Chest symbols do not appear on the reels. Free spins may not be retriggered.

Another bonus aspect of the Dragon Ship game is its Gamble Feature. After each win, the player has the option to guess a card, red or black to double up the winnings, or to pick a suit—hearts, diamonds, spades or clubs—to quadruple the winnings. Choosing correctly allows gambling again and again, up to five times in succession, and up to a limit of 2,500 coins. Otherwise the “Take Win” button can used to collect the payout and return to the slot game mode. To make card selection a bit easier, a history of the suits of past cards drawn provides some useful information.

One other useful option on this slot is its “Auto Play” function. Clicking on the Auto Play button under the fifth reel will reveal a pop-up menu for selecting from 10 to 50 effortless respins. The game will only pause when the player clicks on “Stop Spin” or a Bonus Feature is activated. Note that the Gamble Feature is disabled during the Auto Play mode.

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