There are a lot of games out there built around different kinds of Asian themes, and the Chinese motif of Huolong Valley, a video slot by NextGen, is a good example of how that can work. This game is driven completely by these motifs in a way that makes complete and total sense, and it has a decent visual appeal as well. We're not sure that it stands out enough to really get a ton of recognition among the other dozens of games with similar themes, but it's solid in both the graphics and gameplay departments, making it worth a try for players who enjoy these types of titles.
The format here uses five reels, three rows and 20 paylines. This is about as standard of a video slot layout that you'll find anywhere, and it's great to use because of the solid foundation it provides for an experience for players. They've made betting in this game fairly simple as well, so you don't have to deal with coin sizes and multiple coins on different lines. Instead, you just pick a wager for how much you want on each of the paylines, and you'll multiply that by 20 to get your total bet size since the number of paylines is static.
The available payline wagers start at $0.01 and go up to $5 apiece, and the betting range overall is $0.20 to $100 per spin.
Wild Mask Symbols
In a lot of games in this genre, the wild is the most important symbol because of the features it's tied up in and the large wins it helps you to earn. That's the case here as well, and you'll find that the 5,000x top payout for five of the wild mask is the top win in the whole game. The secondary payout of 1,000x for four wilds isn't bad either. You can also pick up 100x for three or 5x for just two of a kind of this symbol, provided that they wouldn't give you a better-paying four-of-a-kind or three-of-a-kind combination, respectively.
This wild substitutes for anything but the bonus symbol and the scatter symbol, each of which we'll mention below. The wild, however, does give you a 2x multiplier on any regular payline win as long as at least one wild is present in the combination.
Scattered Fans Win
The scatter symbol is the fan in this game, and it also says the word "scatter" in red letters in case you forget. This scatter pays based on multiples of your entire wager, and you can win with this symbol anywhere on the game's reels. Five of a kind pays 200 times your total bet size, which is like a 4,000x line bet win, making it the second-largest payout in the regular mode of the game. Two of a kind or more pays out with this symbol.
Bonus Symbols and Free Spins
Unlike most slots, the scatter doesn't activate a feature in this game. Instead, there's a separate bonus symbol, which is the red and orange lantern. If you get three or more anywhere on the game board, you get between four and seven free spins at random. You can trigger extra free spins by getting three or more lanterns during the feature, and you're also given a random multiplier of between 3x and 6x on all of your wins that stacks with the wild multiplier to give total multipliers of up to 12x.
The dragon and panda each pay for two of a kind or more. Five of the dragon earns 300x, and you can get five of the panda for a 250x win. The same 250x payout is yours for five of the bird, and five of the koi fish pays 200x. The rest of the symbols are different lucky eights with dragons tied into them. The green pays 150x for five, and five of the blue gets you 120x. A win of 100x is yours for five of the red or yellow, and five of the purple one pays 60x.
With the Huolong Valley slot, NextGen has done a good job of tying together solid gameplay and a number of Chinese motifs and concepts. With that having been said, it doesn't really jump out and grab you the way it would need to in order to really stand out, and a lot of that has to do with the motif itself being oversaturated. Taken in a vacuum, the game has a fair amount to offer players, and it's a decent enough part of a strong overall slot offering from NextGen.