Crystal Caverns

Review of IGT’s Dungeons and Dragons Slot Machine

Dungeons & Dragons slots were probably inevitable. Wizards of the Coast, who owns the trademark to the traditional tabletop role-playing game, has never been shy about cashing in on the name. Since the early 1980s, the property has been translated into other media, including books, comic books, an animated TV series, and at least 3 feature films.

Dungeons and Dragons: Crystal Caverns Slot Machines from IGT

IGT (International Game Technology) has made a name for themselves as specialists in adapting intellectual property from other media into slot machine formats. They’re responsible for many of the most famous of such adaptations, including Wheel of Fortune slots, Monopoly slots, Elvis slots, and Michael Jackson slots.

Dungeons and Dragons: Crystal Caverns slot machines are just another in a long line of licensed intellectual properties for the company.

Reels and Symbols

The game features 5 reels and 20 paylines. It’s available in the following denominations: $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20, and $30. Since you’re placing that bet per line per spin, this adds up quickly. (You can play just 1 line at a time, but everyone I know always bets on all lines.) The top wager per spin is $600, making this an ideal slot machine game for high rollers.

The symbols consist of various colored crystals that you might find in a fantasy cavern setting. But the symbols aren’t limited to just those crystals; you also have archetypes from the original game, including a fighter, an elf, and the D&D logo.

I would have liked to have seen more characters as symbols. When I played, there only seemed to be 3 characters, which doesn’t seem to be true to the original game, which features 4 character archetypes and at least 3 different races they can belong to (elves, dwarfs, and Halflings).

The music and sound effects are what you might expect from a game based on Dungeons & Dragons. It’s vaguely medieval-sounding, like the soundtrack of one of the lower-budget fantasy films from the 1980s It was pleasant enough, but not too exciting.

Tumbling Reels

One aspect of D&D slots that I enjoyed was the “Tumbling Reels” feature. You can see 3 symbols in each reel at a time. When you get a horizontal win, you collect your winnings, then those symbols disappear, and the reels “fall” randomly, giving you additional opportunities to win.

Bonus Game Content

As you play the game, you also collect free spins and multipliers in the forms of weapons with which you can fight dragons and other monsters. This gives the game a combination atmosphere similar to a video game RPG and/or an action based video game. It’s a nice nod to the origins of the slot machine.

A Little Background on Dungeons & Dragons

The original Dungeons & Dragons game was published by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. It began as an attempt to convert a traditional miniatures war game into a fantasy game focused on individual characters instead of masses of troops. It was a huge success, and in less than a few years, it had spawned a host of other games in the same category.

Since 1974, the game has been published in 5 editions, which is a little bit misleading, since the original edition was actually split into 2 game lines (“Advanced” Dungeons & Dragons and the “Basic” and “Expert” sets). The most recent edition (5th edition) has received almost unanimous critical acclaim among hobbyists.

One of the most interesting aspects of Dungeons & Dragons history was the “moral panic” surrounding the game in the 1980s. Fundamentalist Christian groups attacked the game for promoting witchcraft and Satanism. They also claimed that the game was responsible for multiple suicides and murders.

Of course, none of these allegations were true, but that didn’t slow them down. One of the more popular urban legends surrounding the game focused on players who could no longer distinguish fantasy from reality. A television movie starring Tom Hanks called Mazes & Monsters offered an entertaining but entirely unrealistic depiction of the game’s dangers in that respect.

Dungeons & Dragons is well-known in popular culture. Not only have there been dozens of licensed adaptations in various media, but the game is mentioned or referred to in books and movies as well. Multiple celebrities are known to have played, including Stephen Colbert, Vin Diesel, and Robin Williams.

Conclusion

People who grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons in the 1980s but are now old enough to gamble when they play games will probably love IGT’s D& D slot machine games. But it’s only appropriate, really, for gamblers with reasonably large bankrolls. The gameplay is fun and interesting, even if the graphics and sound effects are a little less stunning than those of other games.  It’s an unusual theme for a slot machine game.

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