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Divine Empress by Atomic Slot Lab: the hero of the empire


They say history is made by those who show up, and this young and ambitious ruler of a vast empire in distress is more than willing to step up to save her ancestors' legacy, restore order, and reestablish prosperity and happiness to her imperial subjects. Following the trope of an awe-inspiring warrior queen, she will overcome all obstacles and richly reward her loyal subjects for assisting in her glorious mission. All hail our cherished Divine Empress, the newest slot game by Atomic Slot Lab from Bragg Studios, that lets players rise to the occasion, enter the fray and receive lavish rewards bestowed by the beloved supreme ruler of the empire. Long live the empress!

General overview
The game is played on a 5x3 grid with medium volatility and 243 ways to win. The symbols roster features items in the style of historical Chinese empires: golden ingots, square-holed coins, yin & yang symbols, red imperial missives, Eastern-style golden palace gates, etc. The low-paying royals are wonderfully drawn to resemble Chinese kanji characters while mid-paying symbols depict typical objects such as plum blossoms, chests of gold and traditional ingots. Wilds are represented with coin symbols, scatters with yin & yang symbols, and there are three more special symbols to look forward to. The golden palace gate symbols reveal coin wilds and envelopes in base game, and in free games reel expansion symbols and multipliers as well. Red imperial envelopes start the pick feature and reveal multiplier wilds in base game and, in free games only, reel expansion symbols, bet multipliers and extra free games too. And finally, the third symbol is the reel expansion symbol that adds another position on top of the reel it lands on. Sounds complicated? It's not really, and in-game it all works like a charm: most of the time, you chase these special symbols to trigger mini-events (such as reveals) and improve this way your chances of starting one of the main features.



The color palette is vivid and extremely eye-catching, dominated by pink and purple hues, and contrasted by the soothing natural green of the slot face background. The main character is gorgeously drawn and animated, follows the slot action on the grid, and responds to it by wielding her magic staff around. The gameplay feels dynamic thanks to many minor events: gates reveal special symbols, red envelopes collect orbs and so on. As the action heats up, visuals reflect that and support the change of pace and flow: enter the free games feature and the play area changes to a nocturnal dream-like scenery with plum blossom leaves flying about: a delightful, almost mystical visual clue that something special is going on.

Features and mechanics

Golden palace gate symbols are your friends: they reveal coin wilds and red envelopes in base game, and in free games reel expansion symbols as well. However, your best friends are red envelope symbols: in base game, they reveal coin wilds with a random multiplier of up to 25x attached to them, while in free games, they reveal up to 200 free games, massive bet multiplier wins, and reel expansion symbols. Revealed multipliers apply to ALL wins from the spin they were revealed in, so imagine the payouts resulting from the combination of said reveals. You could land coin wilds carrying a total of 15x multipliers and a 10? credit win on a different win way in the same spin. The multiplier will boost your credit win even if it's from another win way and take it to a very satisfying amount of 150?!



On top of all that, red envelopes may also trigger the pick feature at any time. When that happens, you get to pick an orb to see your reward: it could be 10 free games, the credits feature or even the bonus feature. If you pick the latter, a match 3 game begins with 12 positions. You pick the orbs until you find three matching ones and win the corresponding prize: one of the four jackpots that could be worth up to 5000x your bet. There are also sizable jackpot value-boosting orbs among them and they can count for a lot, too. Secondly, you could hit the credits orb and win a random number of instant value orbs, each worth a hefty multiplier of your current bet, and thirdly, you could trigger the free games feature.



In free games, as mentioned earlier, coin wilds from red envelopes and golden palace gate symbols reveal multipliers that boost that spin's payout, but the best part about the feature is that gates and envelopes may reveal reel expansion symbols as well. Each of the latter expands the reel it lands on for one position upward, and with a 5x6 fully expanded grid, this amounts to a whopping 7776 win ways!



On top of that, red envelopes may drop additional free games for prolonged slot action and even more chances at considerable wins. What if those red envelopes simply fail to materialize or trigger the features? There's a way out: buy the bonus for 100x your current bet to receive ten to fifteen free games. To add joy to the excitement, the buy bonus feature lets you start with a 5x4 grid instead of 5x3, which is a very nice start compared to the naturally triggered free games grid. Does that price sound too steep? It depends. We don't mind it and we are even glad studios provide them at all. After all, you can still play without using them, and those who like them are often grateful they exist in the first place. Sometimes luck just needs a little nudge in the right direction.



With two different reveal symbols, the base game flow is quite strong and eventful. The golden palace gate and red envelope symbol reveals may feel a bit random at first, but you quickly stop trying to guess their possible outcomes: the game does everything for you while you simply relax and watch the show. Furthermore, these reveals also help break empty spin streaks and maintain constant expectations. The game is at its most enjoyable when you simply go with the flow and forget about chasing the features. Reveals are an important part of this diversion of attention and when a feature is eventually triggered, it feels like a true cherry on top of all the fun you already had. Not to discount the features themselves, of course: with a bit of luck, they can be massively thrilling and lucrative as well.

Our final verdict

We appreciate games like this that entertain throughout a game session - decent payouts occur often enough and in between, reveals keep you on your toes as they can trigger a feature at any time. Thanks to its enjoyable visuals that delight with splendidly executed animations, this game can both attract player attention and maintain it for a good amount of time. You can feel the potential for great outcomes with every spin and there's always something going on, like in the free games, when the expanding reels considerably build up suspense. It looks really nice, it plays very nicely too and it inspires hope like few other games do. With an empress like this, it's good to be a servant of the empire, and with a game like this, it's easy to rise to the occasion, enjoy the action, and be rewarded for playing. History is still in the making: show up, step up, and become all the richer for it.
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