Dragon Shard 908 x 624

Stormcraft Studios and Microgaming have teamed up once again to bring fantasy-loving slot players a taste of life in a mythical land. What can you expect? As the slot name suggest there are definitely dragons involved, but it remains unclear whether these are friend or foe.

The magic-riddled slot comes with 5×3 reels, medium volatility and some really interesting special features. Game of Thrones may have left our screens for good, but the desire for fantasy lingers strongly among us. So does Dragon Shard fill this void and then some? Let’s find out.

  • The graphics are strikingly beautiful. Fantasy fans will really enjoy this.
  • There are plenty of special features to keep you occupied.
  • Frequent payouts to keep you hooked spin after spin.
  • The Free Spin feature is difficult to activate.
  • The top payouts will be unimpressive to many players.
  • In general, the special features are complicated and tricky to understand.
TYPEVideo Slot
REELS AND PAYLINES5 reels, 40 paylines
GAME FEATURESFree Spins, Wilds, Mystery Symbols, Win Booster
VOLATILITYMedium
RANGE OF BET0.05 to 200
COIN VALUES0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.25, 0.50, 1.00, 2.00, 10.00, 50.00, 90.00, 130.00, 170.00, 200.00
MAXIMUM WIN800 x your bet
PAYOUT96.37% to 96.47%
SOFTWARE PROVIDERMicrogaming

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Theme and Background

Set in a lush green landscape, backed by crumbling fortifications and several majestic trees, Dragon Shard is taking players on an adventure through the rolling hills, supposedly riddled by dragons. Several types of these make their appearance across the reels, together with our two main protagonists. I couldn’t work out if our heroes work in tandem with the dragons, or seek to destroy them. It wasn’t clear but I’m not sure it matters.

The female warrior (Fire Queen) is red-headed, clad in uncomfortably tight armor and a dead-on stare. The male (Ice King) looks part White Walker, with silver locks and a look of great determination. Across the reels are two types of dragons, naturally of both the fire and ice varieties.

Other interesting symbols are the girl and boy natives of this faraway land, a dragon eye and an emblem spelling out ‘dragon shard’. The rest of the symbols are dolled-up low-value card suits. I guess they ran out of dragon-themed concepts.

The soundtrack is very well-appointed. Orchestral music together with ethereal singing accompanies each spin of the reels. I found this background noise incredibly enjoyable, and it possibly kept me playing longer than I intended.

Gameplay

Dragon Shard comes with a fairly healthy selection of special features, some of which are about as common as dragons themselves. They’re not the easiest to explain, so bear with me while I work my way through them.

Dragon Shard Mystery Symbol 1

Mystery Symbols

This feature is triggered randomly, so there’s nothing to look out for. The feature can also be triggered during the Free Spins (discussed below) so it really is an opportunity to get as close as possible to that maximum win.

The amount of Mystery reels will depend on the amount of scatters that are present when the feature is activated. 3 scatters is 1 reel, 4 scatters is 2 reels and 5 scatters is 3 reels. The Mystery symbols also have a double function, and when they appear across the reels they will combine into a single symbol to further boost your chances at a win.

Dragon Shard Mystery Symbol 2

Win Booster

This extra feature is perhaps the most unusual of the bunch. It’s activated in exchange for an extra bet, but the trade off is that this will also double the amount used per spin.

If you choose to go ahead, the feature will offer you the ability to make combinations from left to right and right to left. You’ll also have the added bonus of the mystery symbols transforming into Wilds or other high-paying symbols.

Dragon Shard Mystery Symbol 3

Wilds

The Dragon Shard logo symbol acts as a wild in this slot and it can substitute for all symbols within its radius. The only exception to this is the scatter symbol (represented by a very intense dragon eye).

During most spins the wild’s only benefit is to act as a substitute, but if several wilds form on a single payline you could find your rewards boosted up to 20 x your bet.

Dragon Shard Symbol 4

Free Spins

To activate this very lucrative feature you have to land 3 or more scatters (the aforementioned dragon eye) on any of the reels. Despite this being possible across all 5 reels, it does take some doing and it was a while until I was duly rewarded with my 10 free spins.

And to make it all extra fiery, each time you land a scatter during one of the free spins, you’ll be awarded another spin on top.

Payouts and Wagering Limits

Dragon Shard allows for an RTP that’s not exactly static. It can range from anywhere between 96.37% and 96.47%. It will increase once you activate the Win Booster feature, but it means your average bet will also double.

You can start placing bets at just C$0.05 per spin, climbing all the way up to C$100. When you activate the Win Booster feature then you’re also given the opportunity to increase your bet up to as much as C$200.

There’s the chance to cash in at 20 x your bet when your get five Dragon Shard logos to cover the positions of the same line, but this won’t happen easily. All the symbols in the slot are double stacked, except the Ice King and Fire Queen which are stacked an impressive 5 symbols high. This format does mean frequent wins, if not massive ones.

Dragon Shard - Final Verdict

Dragon Shard 150 x 150

Final Verdict

Dragon Shard

81%

I enjoyed this slot, despite not personally being a big fan of dragons and mythical lands. The medium volatility means that the wins aren’t huge but they come quite frequently, so you’ll be kept well entertained if not padded out in cash.

There were special features aplenty, but not all of them were particularly easy to trigger or understand. I fumbled around for several minutes too long before I could comprehend where the wins were coming from.

Despite lots of activity, in about twenty minutes of spinning I didn’t hit on all the possible bonus features which was frustrating. I would suggest giving Dragon Shard a shot, not for the big money but for the tidy little wins, fantastical dragons and beautiful music.

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