Emperor of the Sea Slots

Microgaming enters 2017 with a Chinese slot that will probably leave fans buzzing from excitement. It is a very odd thing to try it out, seeing a more retro feel added to the game in order to make it feel like Chinese paper theatre on one hand, while embracing some of the things which have become a bogged down standard in nearly any slot with a similar theme. Still, with 5 reel and 88 variable paylines, Emperor of the Sea has its fair share of good and bad. Let’s dive in and see what we can find in the dragon’s domain.

How to Play

When you first start the title, you might be taken back by the look of the reels, as it does graphically different than what most of us expected, especially in the day and age where developers seem to have an arm’s race in how many visual effects they can put in without overloading the devices on which gamblers play their games. But it helps flesh out the title, making it stand out in the crowd. But looks are somewhat bland, and so is the base slot. This Microgaming release, like many others, really relies on special features to carry it through, because even with stacked Wilds appearing on the reels, wins just come rarely. As with the Autoplay option, it is decent, but when you compare it to what other companies put in their games. There is a win limit, but no loss limit, and no option to make the game stop spinning when you win a special feature. Furthermore, it suffers from Microgaming’s user interface in general, with things such as Quick Spin being hidden away without easy access.

Betting Options and Payout

You can’t have a Chinese slot without the number 8 making an appearance. The symbol of fortune has made its way across every similar themed release, and here, you can find it in the variable paylines you can keep. The player can choose to have 38, 68 or 88 paylines active alongside changing coin size and value. This means that gamblers can play for $0.88 up to $44, a nice and balanced spread that will likely appease both high and low rollers looking to play Emperor of the Sea. Meanwhile, the wins in this game will usually come from stacked Wilds or during the free spins. While you can get decent sized wins during normal gameplay, it feels rare.

Symbols and Extra Features

While the appearance of the reels was relatively unique and we liked it, what is on the reels is less impressive. You can find gambling symbols such as 9, 10, J, Q, K and A, bright, colorful, and with only minor edits to make them appear somewhat fitting. We think Microgaming could have done a lot better with this. The rest of the icons are nicely drawn and have neat animations, but we have seen them in just about every other Chinese slot as well. Oriental ships, koi carp, tortoises, coin pots and dragons form the higher paying symbols, but they fail to really stand out. Finally, be on the lookout for golden hats, which act as Scatters and activate the free spins bonus feature. It awards 8 extra rounds, during which Rolling Reels and Growing Wilds are active. All symbols in a winning combination will crumble away and new ones will fall down to replace them, essentially acting like a limited re-spin special. Meanwhile, Growing Wilds will slowly increase how many Wilds are present on the reels, up to a maximum of fifteen at a time. Considering Wilds come stacked in both the base game and during free spins, this means reaching 15 isn’t as distant as it looks.

Our Verdict

Emperor of the Sea is unquestionably fun, but it repeats a lot of the clichés we have come to expect out of Chinese slots. It is a shame, as the paper theatre approached could have done a lot to help the game stand out, but the rest of it was so horribly samey to other titles with a similar theme. Still, if you have a fondness in your heart for these sort of themes, we recommend giving this game a try.
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Game Details
Release Date:
Scatter Symbol:
Wild Symbol:
Bonus Game:
Free Spins:
Coin Range:
$0.01 - $0.05
Max Bet:
82,500 coins