Some slot machines offer jackpots that are specific to them, which tend to be fairly small but reasonably possible to win. In other cases, there are wide area progressives that are spread over countless slots, offering players millions of dollars – but, of course, they are very rarely hit. Because neither of these situations is fully satisfying, some developers have tried to find a middle ground between these extremes.
One example of an intermediate approach can be seen in Dragon Link by Aristocrat. This series of games includes four different casino slot machines, all of which can be found in the same slot banks in live venues. While the games play similarly, they offer different themes. What links them, so to speak, is a progressive jackpot that is shared by all of these machines, allowing the top prize on this series to grow larger than in most machines that only offer standalone jackpots.
Slaying the Dragons
The Dragon Link video slot bank can be made up of varying numbers of machines, mixed between four different titles. The included games are Panda Magic, Golden Century, Happy & Prosperous, and Autumn Moon. Each of these titles uses a traditional five reel, 5×3 setup, with 25 to 50 paylines in play on each spin. The games use relatively light theming, but it is still very simple to tell them apart from one another, and the various ideas do come through, meaning every player is likely to have their personal favorite among the bunch. At the moment, these are only available to play for real money in live Aristocrat casinos; no online casino versions have been released.
As you’d expect, these titles follow most of the standard features found in most Aristocrat slots. That means that on all of the games, you’ll see the standard mix of card game ranks (kings, queens, and so on) taking up the lower-value symbol positions. The high-paying icons are distinctive to each of these games, however: for instance, in Panda Magic, you’ll see bears, tigers and boats, while Happy & Prosperous features bowls, flowers, and golden Buddha icons.
Hold Your Horses
One of the most exciting bonus rounds in the Dragon Link video slot machines is the Hold and Spin feature. Each game in this series offers this special feature, as it is not only a way to win some instant credits, but it could also be your ticket to a large jackpot payout.
Here’s how it works. Along with all of the normal symbols on the reels, coins can also appear bearing various numbers, or the names of one of the attached jackpots. Hit six or more of these on the screen at once, and you’ll activate the Hold & Spin feature. Once you’re in this round, you’ll get a number of free spins, in which more coins could appear in other spots. If new coins continue to appear, you’ll be able to collect more and more spins.
Once all of your spins have been used, players will be awarded all of the credit payouts, as well as any jackpots they have collected. These can range from the relatively small mini and minor bonuses (which typically offer up $10 and $50 rewards) to the local major jackpot, which could be worth several hundred dollars or more. Finally, if you manage to cover all 15 symbol positions with coins, you’ll additionally win the Grand Jackpot, a linked prize shared between the entire bank of slots that can award well over $10,000.
A Link to the Past
Slots fans might recognize that this series of games is very similar to the previously released Lightning Link concept that Aristocrat is well known for. This new version takes much of the same conceptual design and attaches it to new games, offering the same great linked jackpots and gameplay variety that have made designs of this type so popular in the past. If you’re the type of gambler who likes the shot at a big jackpot, but doesn’t want that top prize to feel too unobtainable, then we think you might want to play Dragon Link.