While luxuriating over a martini at my club, I stumbled upon some correspondence from NetEnt, those people behind the Colossal Pinatas Spinata Grande slot – that escapade in Mexico. Well, it turns out they have another game that they desperately need me to attend to. The Imperial Riches slot to be precise. Set in Japan it was just the ticket for this mission-hungry monkey, so I packed my bag and took the first flight to Kyoto.
NetEnt have crammed this slick title full of Far Eastern extras. I loved the advantageous avalanche reels mechanism as well as the series of bonus games on offer that lead you to 5 jackpots (yes, 5 of them).
Firstly, it’s bravo and hats off to NetEnt for producing such a nice-looking game. This really is a cut above more traditional games like the Inca’s Treasure slot machine – it looks like they have thrown some design budget at this one!
Prepare yourselves to enter a Zen bubble of gaming – because behind the reels you will find a vision of exotic calm; a lily pad and lotus flower covered pond, traditional wooden houses on stilts rising over the water and ethereal fireflies floating gently around the screen. Naturally, there are also the soothing tones of traditional flute and string music to transport you to this Oriental paradise.
This celebration of all things Japanese takes place over 5 reels, 3 rows and 15 pay-lines. So not as many as the Temple of Iris slot, but more then many- I would put this game down as average on the lines front. As it is modern game, you can expect a good experience on whichever device you play it on.
Topping the icon pay table is a golden carp, and 5 of these on a pay-line will give you 100x your stake. There are also a pair of golden bowls, traditional Japanese coins bound with ribbons and a planter of bamboo. Meanwhile, the lower value icons in this game are the Ace through Queen of the card deck in stylised Japanese font.
A golden gong and stick make up the game’s Wild symbol, which substitutes for all icons except the Scatter. However, it’s worth noting that the Wild is limited to reels 2, 3 and 4.
Finally, a red traditional paper lantern is the game’s Scatter and the route to the bonus extras.
This game has a Free Falls mechanic where winning combinations are replaced with an avalanche of new icons to fill in for those that generated the win. I really can’t resist generating never-ending wins with this clever feature!
Get 3x lantern Scatters in sight to activate the Free Spins – or Free Falls as this game calls them. First of all, you’ll be given 10 spins and, if you can land further Scatters, you will generate another 5 spins. Spiffing!
FYI: Each time you make a win in this bonus game your wins are recorded as a gemstone to the left of the screen.
Lucky Pond Bonus
Once you’ve had your free spins, any gemstones that you collected during that mode will be used to enter you into the Lucky Pond Bonus game.
Next a pair of traditional koi carp will try to eat your gems. Highly novel, isn’t it?
One of said carp is a Bonus fish while the other is a Coin fish.
First of all, the lucrative Coin fish will award you up to 15 coins with each jewel it eats and the number of coins is multiplied by your wager level at the end of the feature.
In contrast, you’ll gain entry into the highly lucrative Jackpot game if the Bonus fish gobbles up 3 gems.
Let’s hope our scaly friends are feeling peckish…
If you manage to qualify for the Jackpot (thanks to that greedy carp) you’ll find yourselves in a pond where there are yet more fish – each of which will award you a chance at one of the 4 jackpots or a cash prize.
There are 5 different coloured fish representing the Rapid, Mini, Midi, Major and Mega jackpots. To get your opposable thumbs any of the jackpots, a fish must nibble at least 3 of your jewels. Depending on which fish devours your gems, you will win the corresponding jackpot. Sadly, you can only scoop 1 jackpot per game.
And last but not least, the Coin fish makes another appearance; but this time it will award you up to 40 coins per gem eaten! And, as before, your wager level is multiplied by your coins wins to give you a cash prize.
This Jackpot game had me hook, line and sinker! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Imperial Riches slot lives up to its name with a cornucopia of riches on offer in the bonus features department. NetEnt really know how to reel us in with these linked games that ensnare players with the promise of the jackpot!
This is a visually stunning, lucrative slot and one I shall look forward to playing again.
Score: 4.5 out of 5 bananas
A compelling and highly profitable journey through Japanese themed gaming. A slot must.