5 Lions Dance is a slot game from Pragmatic Play, which has lions and other Asian-themed symbols, but is otherwise a more modest affair. Set in what appears to be the middle of a Chinese celebration, 5 Lions Dance is a slot game played over 5 reels and 1,024 chances to win. The reels are located atop one of the typical tiled roofs found in these games, and the surrounding architecture is also typical of the genre. Slot machine fans must be surprised to see steel and glass towers when they finally make it to Asia. A plinky guzheng score isn’t unexpected but works wonderfully here.
5 Lions Dance may be played on any device, with wagers ranging from 20 cents to $100 each spin. Pragmatic has reduced the mathematical model’s potential and advertised earnings to be lower than normal. Players are informed of the game’s mild volatility and strong default RTP rating of 96.5% upon entering the paytable. However, the actual RTP may be much lower depending on the player’s geographical location. Tests suggested that 5 Lions Dance is one of those games where the equilibrium tends to be restored over time, even after long stretches with few or no victories.
Instead than relying on traditional paylines, Pragmatic Play opted for a more flexible 1,024-way approach. From the very first reel onwards, any row can provide winning combinations of three or more of a kind. This method not only improves the overall flow of 5 Lions Dances, but it also works in tandem with the symbol transformation function discussed below.
There are two sorts of symbols: the low-paying royals and the high-paying lion heads. Five of a kind of any of the five distinct colored lion heads pay up between 4 and 20 times the wager. The last feature is a wild symbol represented by a golden ball that appears on all reels and may be used in place of any other symbol save the bonus scatters.
Functions of the Five Lion Dance
The Lion Reel bonus and free spins are the game’s main attractions. When 3 or more Lion Reels symbols appear on the same spin, the first feature is triggered. In this case, the first two reels will combine into a single Lion Reel. Multipliers of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, or 200 appear on this unique reel. The reel only spins once, thus the winnings are determined by the value it lands on.
When three drum scatter symbols land on reels 1, 3, and 5, you’ll trigger ten free spins. After a win has been computed during a free spin, all lion heads that appear on the reels are replaced with the same lion symbol for an additional reward. Some of the game’s most memorable hits have been credited to this feature. Three scatters anywhere in view will once again provide 10 free games. The number of times this may happen is unlimited.
Five Lions Dance: The Result
At first look, 5 Lions Dance may seem like any other Asian-themed slot machine. A video game that doesn’t get much attention when it’s first released and is largely forgotten a week or two later. This is a reasonable summary of the situation. On the other hand, there are times when it’s a decent game. 5 Lions Dance is neither a high-stakes gamble, nor is it a game you play for the chance to become immortal. Much more restrained, it might find favor with players who prefer not to risk all.
One of its strengths is that it is based on a mathematical model with a lot of momentum. During play, the equilibrium swung back and forth like a yo-yo around the point of entrance; after testing, it was back where it had begun. A long run of dead or low-value spins would be mitigated by a sudden victory of about 100x or more, thanks to the pay mechanism.
The frequency with which 5 Lions triggered free games was unpredictable. Occasionally they would activate in a decent length of time, but once it took more than 1,100 turns in the main game before they did so. As expected, free spins arrived at the right frequency to reset the scales.
In terms of mechanics, 5 Lions Dance’s 1,024 win methods are what keep it from being a complete bust. It complements the bonus round’s morphing symbols and keeps the main game from becoming a snoozefest. It would be far more challenging to connect up winnings and less enjoyable if changing symbols were mixed with, say, 20 paylines. Using all 1,024 possible combinations increases the power of this feature, increasing the likelihood of a good victory happening. The total payout isn’t very high, but at 2,700 times the initial investment, it seems realistic for a strategy based on games and mathematics.
Players looking for a more laid-back slot where the goal is just to break even, or those who need a break from the brutal, Darwinian battle for existence that characterizes many Asian-themed games like Jin Chan’s Pond of Riches, may find 5 Lions Dance to their liking. It’s not a particularly compelling slot machine, but it may be a fun diversion in between more substantial gaming sessions.