In the crowded Asian-themed slots niche, a game needs to be a bit different to capture the attention among the rows of slots in a typical live casino. Double Dragon by Bally manages to stand out in 2 different ways. First the graphics and design are very striking, with liberal use of gold and animations on the reels. Second there is a unique expanding wild followed by a respin sequence, which can add a lot of wins.
Bally knows a thing or two about creating engaging slots, having been involved in manufacturing these games since the 1930’s. As is usual for this slots maker, the individual wins are on the smaller side – you’ll get the big payouts from hitting several wins in combination or via the special bonus features.
You can pick up multiple wins via the standard play with 25 fixed win lines giving you plenty of opportunities. The main way that you will win on this game is by hitting the gold ‘Double Dragon’ wild symbol. This will expand each time you hit it, covering all 3 of the rows on the reel that it occupies. With all 3 rows wild, you will often find that many more winning combinations are instantly created.
It does not stop there – a double dragon logo will appear over the reels, announcing a respin. Now the 4 remaining reels which are not wild will spin again with your dragon wilds staying in place. This can create a brand new set of wins.
Really big wins come if you hit a second dragon symbol when you respin. Now you’ll have 2 completely wild reels, and yet another respin – during which it is possible to get a 3rd dragon, and so on until on very rare occasions you will cover the reels entirely for a maximum payout.
One of the factors which appeals with Bally slots is that they are always simple to play. There is no need to choose from different win-lines, as these are fixed at 25. You simply set up your bet amount per line (starts at 1c) and press the spin (or auto-play) buttons. For the high rollers, you can spin on double dragon for $20 per line or $500 per spin if you wish.
Payouts require 3 or more consecutive symbols from the left hand reel on one of the 25 win-lines. These prizes might seem on the small side compared to other slots when you first see the pay table. What you need to keep in mind is that these are multiples of your total bet (and not multiples of your coin size). You will find that the bigger wins from Bally slots come when you hit multiple wins at the same time (particularly with the Double Dragon expanding wild), rather than from a specific single combination.
As you would expect from a slots manufacturer of Bally’s pedigree, the graphics and symbols are beautifully drawn. These include a glowing jade jewel, traditional fan, lily, lantern and some Chinese writing. You will also find classic symbols including a fire cracker, lucky gold going and a gold ingot. It is to Bally’s credit with this game that they have not put playing card symbols on the reels.
The choice of sounds is interesting. To my ears spinning the reels triggers a cross between a traditional Chinese tune and a techno dance track – both of which are made very fast. It is not a disturbing noise, though it can certainly add to the general cacophony of a casino slots hall. There is a different (computer generated) sound when the dragon wilds come into play.
I think this game is good enough to stand out within that crowded Asian themed slots niche. This is not a game which will appeal to those seeking fancy features or complex break out bonus games – as all the action takes place within the same reels. If you like a solid game with the potential to have all 5 reels wild (and the big payout that would bring), then this slot should have some appeal.
Positives include the excellent design and graphics (particularly the golden dragon wilds), and the respin feature too. If you enjoy Asian slots then check out Double Dragon from Bally next time you visit a live casino.