Ice and Fire (Dreamtech Gaming): Overview
Ice and Fire is a fantasy slot powered by Yggdrasil Gaming and the first ever title from Dreamtech Gaming to be released on the Yggdrasil platform. Owned by Nebula Gaming, a Maltese based company licensed by the MGA, Dreamtech Gaming is a software developing studio with Asian roots established in 2017 and the latest independent studio to join Yggdrasil’s YGS Masters program. Dreamtech claim to be a multicultural company, yet many of the titles in the catalogue have a graphic style with a heavy Asian/Anime influence and a Final Fantasy look about them. Having been more geared toward the Asian market in the past, this new partnership with Yggdrasil could very well turn out to be Dreamtech’s springboard into the European slot scene.
Ice and Fire is not to be confused with A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin. The two are completely unrelated, though there are obvious similarities. Both feature dragons, dragon eggs, and the Khalessi style heroines. Also, don’t confuse this Ice and Fire with an earlier version that can be found at the Dreamtech website. Looks-wise, they are similar though the Yggdrasil partnership has tightened up the UI and the animation. What they do share is a setup that has two 5×5 grids side by side. It’s not entirely new, NextGen Gaming used a similar dual set up in Foxin Twins, but it is unusual all the same. Each reel set has 60 paylines, bringing the total to 120 paylines altogether. The left-hand side of the screen is the domain of ice, while the right-hand side is the fire kingdom. Two queens rule these domains, and both have a chesty, doe-eyed ‘babe’ look common in other Dreamtech games.
Players alter the coin value which is multiplied by 40 to calculate the stake, allowing for bets ranging from as low as 0.12 p/c up to a maximum of €/£30. Winners come in combinations of three or more on either 5×5 grid. Due to the double game areas, there are 20 base game pay symbols. The low pays are 9-A royals in red or blue on either side of the screen. The high pay ice symbols are a ring, owl, tiger, dragon, and the ice lady. On the other side are an orb, horse, wolf, dragon, and the fire lady. The queens are worth the most at around 26 times the stake. This incarnation of Ice and Fire sees a few key stat changes too. RTP has dropped slightly from 97.29% to 96.64% and the volatility has increased from low to medium/high, along with a substantial increase in potential.
Ice and Fire (Dreamtech Gaming): Features
The dual 5×5 setup comes with a Cascade win system. Winning combinations are removed from the reels to let new symbols fall into place. This process repeats until no more winners land and means multiple hits from one spin are possible.
The book symbol is wild and can substitute for any of the pay symbols. It also has an interesting property. Known as the Shared Wilds feature, when wilds land on one reel setup, they are automatically copied into the same position on the other reel setup. They replace any symbol in that position except for scatters. If the new wilds are used to form a winning combination, they are removed from the reels, but the original will shoot another copy over to replace them.
There are two bonus games included in Ice and Fire. The first one is the Multiplier feature which is triggered when you land 3 dragon egg scatter symbols anywhere in view. As long as they are in view anywhere it’s fine; you don’t need three on the ice or the fire side to do so. Three scatters award 10 Free Spins, and any additional scatter provides 5 extra spins. During this round, additional wilds are added, but even better is the introduction of the Win Multiplier. This starts at x1 and increases by +1 after every cascade. All wins are subject to the Win Multiplier, and the feature can be retriggered.
The second bonus game is the Free Games feature. Should you land 4 cascade wins in a row during the base game, then the Free Games feature is awarded. Players choose either the ice or fire dragon to kick off the feature which reveals 8, 10, or 15 free spins with 100 or 150 extra wilds tossed in. The Free Game Feature can be retriggered, but the Multiplier Feature cannot be launched from here.
Ice and Fire (Dreamtech Gaming): Verdict
Developers looking to crack the Asian market would do well to take a look over the Dreamtech back catalogue. Many appear custom-built for Asian players, and it is interesting to see what makes them tick. Dreamtech might be only two years old, but they have cranked out a substantial number of slots already. With exceptions, the majority look aimed at the recreational end of the Asian gambling market. This version of Ice and Fire, on the other hand, is an edgier slot with a rougher ride than usual from this maker. An Asian slot rebranded for the European market if you will.
As mentioned, the update has led to an increase in volatility and potential. Dreamtech claims the game has a maximum payout capacity of €574,170. At max bet that equates to 19,139 times the stake which seems optimistically high. Though it does have that unlimited multiplier, and a grid full of premiums is worth around 1,500 times the stake, so potential is there.
So does it all work? For the most part, it’s not too bad. Despite being solidly put together the game does lack a certain x-factor that might have made it great. Perhaps it’s a little too serious, an injection of humour to lighten the mood would not have gone amiss? Anyway, minor critiques, and on the whole it works pretty well. For one, Ice and Fire covers the basics which is important. Then there is the high volatility and potential, and fantasy fans will enjoy the scenery. It’s not a title that will turn Dreamtech into a household name, but it’s a solid first entry into the highly competitive European market.