Imperial Riches is another one of NetEnt’s slots that is meant to appeal mostly to the Asian market. The developer recently released a number of Asian-themed slot to expand their reach in the Asian countries, where people apparently prefer a vastly different set of themes with a more tranquil pace.
Set at a pond in a garden, Imperial Riches is certainly very beautiful. Lotus flowers float on the pond, lanterns are hanging around, glow worms swarm around. It’s all very pretty. Accompanied by calm Asian tunes, this slot is well-suited if you wish to slow down. Honestly, you could run it on auto-play whilst doing some meditations. You’ll know when your interference is required, which won’t be the case for a long while.
On the reels we find a golden fish that pays out 100x our stake. The next valuable symbol in the paytable (gold ingots) pay out 75x our stake for 5 on a payline. The gold coins are still worth 25x our stake. There’s also bamboo among the higher value symbols. The low-value symbols are A, K and Q.
This game uses NetEnt’s famed avalanche feature, meaning symbols that form a winning combination disappear off the reels to make room for new symbols falling in from above, hopefully adding to your wins. A multiplier is not in play, however.
You can play this game from 0.15 per spin to 30.00 per spin, which makes it more suitable for budget conscious players.
If you sit down to play Imperial Riches, be aware that you might fall asleep. The slow pace and the tranquil background music will make it difficult to stay awake, especially if you play late at night. So, perhaps set it to auto-play and read a book whilst the reels are spinning.
There’s absolutely nothing exciting happening in the base game. You’ll be waiting to hit 3, 4 or 5 scatters to receive 10, 15 or 20 free falls (which is what they call the free spins here). During the free spins, all symbols that are part of a winning combination are collected on the left-hand side where they turn into jewels.
You need at least one win to move onto the Lucky Pond Bonus game. The more wins you have, however, the more jewels you will collect, which is beneficial in the Lucky Pond Bonus game.
Now 2 koi fish appear. One swallows all the coins that are falling in from above. The other will swallow the jewels that fall into the pond. The more jewels you collected during the free spins, the more of them will be available to the two koi. Mind you, the jewels/coins drop randomly into the pond and only those landing right at the mouth of each fish will be swallowed.
The coins are added to your wins, by the way. And if you manage to collect three jewels, the Jackpot Game is activated next.
Now, we’re looking at another pond with six fish. These correspond in colour to the 5 jackpots that are part of the game. One is another coin fish, which awards you 20 or 40 coins for each coin it swallows.
Once again, we’re hoping for one of the fish to swallow three jewels that match it in colour. If that happens, you will receive the corresponding jackpot:
Most of the time, the fish will swallow no more than two jewels, however, and you’ll be left with only your collected coin wins.
The theoretical RTP (Return to Player) for Imperial Riches is an amazing 96.88% (incidentally 88 is a lucky number in China). This and the five jackpots are the only thing that make this slot worthwhile. In fact, it’s not that difficult to trigger the free spins. In a way, though, the free spins are quite a pointless endeavour and it really is just about getting into the jackpot game eventually. NetEnt could have just done away with the free spins and made this a simpler jackpot game that may have benefited from some sort of feature during the base game.
But alas, it is not to be, and we’re stuck with this. Of course, we’re also not exactly the target audience for this slot. So, let’s hope, Asian slot fans will love this game more than we do. It might be quite pretty, but it is likely going to put you to sleep within 50 spins of playing it.
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