Game: Dragon Lanterns
Manufacturer: Gimmie Games
Advantage play potential: Medium
What Makes it Special: Persistent state lanterns mean the chance for bigger hits. Lanterns with progressives or bonuses on them offer an even bigger AP opportunity. 10 bet options per denomination, and usually multiple denomination, opens up a lot of opportunities for advantage play.
Dragon Lanterns is another persistent state game by Gimmie Games, who also designed Ocean Song, which we reviewed here earlier. Dragon Lanterns is very reminiscent of the IGT game Ocean Magic, with a similar mechanic for symbols overlaying and wilds expanding (that game will be reviewed here soon). But Dragon Lanterns uses different mechanisms to offer progressives, which potentially offers more Advantage Play potential, so we’re reviewing it first.
Understanding the Game
Dragon Lanterns, like Ocean Song, is a 5×4 reel game, but unlike Ocean Song there are only 40 lines evaluated, so the pays calculate a bit differently. Lanterns can appear on any spin, and will float up one position each spin a player initiates. Lanterns have a specific role, which will be explained shortly.
Each denomination (and most of the time this game is a multi-denomination game) has five line bet levels. There is also a More Lanterns bet, which is double the base bet, but provides more Lanterns, and with it more opportunity for special stuff to happen. Line pays remain identical, so this only enhances the features surrounding the lanterns.
Lanterns are persistent state, meaning lanterns will remain on the screen until they scroll off from enough bets. Each bet level has its own persistent state for the lanterns, as well as the More Lanterns and non-more lanterns levels at each bet level.
Lanterns Wild Feature
Lanterns are where the action lies in this game. Lanterns themselves are wild and that is the core role they play. But based on their interactivity, additional features can happen.
If a Dragon Lanterns symbol appears on the same space a lantern is living, the wilds will extend outward in all directions of the lantern, including diagonally, yielding potentially a 3×3 grid of wild spaces. If you get multiple lanterns in the right spaces, with Dragon Lanterns symbols behind them, you can get a sizable screen of wilds. Remember though with the 40 line limitation it will only get you so much, and Gimmie Games tend to be lower volatility games so the pays, while nice, are generally not massive.
Winning a Progressive
Some lanterns will have the word “Wild +” and the name of a progressive. If a Dragon Lanterns symbol happens to land behind it while it is on the board, you’ll instantly win that progressive. This is where the More Lanterns bet can start to really provide some additional weight, as you get more chances at a progressive.
Free Spins Bonus
The game offers a free spins bonus, triggered when the Dragon Lanterns symbol lands behind where a lantern that says “Wild + Bonus” is on the screen. You will trigger 8 free games, and can retrigger if the same line-up happens in the bonus. You can also win the progressive.
One thing to note is the progressive state reels are also maintained for the bonus; if there are lanterns left in play at the end of the bonus, they will still be there if you trigger the bonus again.
Understanding the Advantage
The persistent state arrangement of the lanterns is the key. Most machines have three denominations and 10 bet levels (5 More Lanterns levels and 5 regular lanterns levels) so you’ve got 30 tries to find a lantern arrangement that could be advantageous.
Since it’s not a guarantee a Dragon Lanterns symbol will fall behind a given lantern, you want to look for:
- Lanterns closer to the left: The 3×3 wild arrangement if a lantern lands in, say, reels 2 or 3, could really improve the pays over just a single wild lantern. Reel 5 is less interesting and more likely to be a dud.
- Lanterns with words: If you’ve got a lantern with a + Bonus or + Progressive wording, that might be worth taking a few spins to see if you can get it.
- Lanterns closer to the bottom of the screen: Since a lantern floats up one square each spin, screens where there’s more lanterns in the bottom half of the screen is more advantageous, as there’s more spins before the lanterns go away. There is no advantage if the lantern is in the top row because the next spin it will go away.
The other nice benefit of a game like Dragon Lanterns is there’s a maximum of four spins before a given lantern is gone, sandboxing how long you have to try to make something happen and it’s a predictable amount to spend. If more lanterns appear, that may change the calculation, but sitting down at a given bet level you have a general idea of what you’re working with.
Watch and Learn
RandomSlots did a video walkthrough of the game that offers a lot of great information, shows screens including the pay table information, and more if you wish to dive even deeper:
Have you played Dragon Lanterns? Share your thoughts about the game in the comments!
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