From the moment the intro video kicks in with a t-rex and raptors, the production of this 888 Games online slot is dramatic. The drama continues with cinematic background music, the screech of dinosaurs and animations when you hit wins.
There are some unique features. A break out bonus game lets to take part in a raptor duel. You get to control a raptor, deciding on its next moves. You will also find a progressive element. Free spins are triggered after you collect 4 lumps of lava. These appear one at a time as you spin. Overall this dinosaur themed slot is good enough to give the higher profile Jurassic Park from MicroGaming a serious run for its money!
The reels are transparent, showing a lush forest behind. There are 5 reels, each with 3 rows of symbols and the standard 25 win-lines. You get bet from 1c per line (25c) though to $10 per line ($250 per spin). Auto-spin is offered.
Big wins come from the 4 different dinosaur symbols – or at least their heads. The green one with an open mouth revealing sharp teeth is the best paying. This is worth 1500 coins for 5 on a line, 300 for 4 and 50 for 3. Next is a triceratops, then a longer necked specimen – a blue one with expanding yellow skin flaps complete the set.
There are playing card symbols to make up the smaller wins. These have been carved into stone. Ace down to ten are in play.
Wilds show a dinosaur’s slatted eye. These will substitute for any of the regular symbols above – often creating extra wins. When you do win with one of these, you’ll see an animation where the eye bulges out and looks around.
If you hit 3 of the bonus symbols (showing teeth and the word Bonus) in a single spin, you’ll get to play an entertaining second-screen game. Here you take control of the left-hand raptor in a battle. Above each raptor is a heath gauge, just like in old school console games. Under the raptors are 3 symbols. One is for bite, one for claw and the other for hit with the tail. You select, and that is the move your raptor makes.
Each move gets you a multiplier of your total bet, with extra if you win the battle!
Instead of needing 3+ of a certain symbol in a single spin, the free spins need 4 lumps of lava which you collect over a longer session. Each time you hit one it will glow (a very effective animation) and move to a volcano on the left of the reels. When you get the 4th one, the volcano will erupt.
You will then see a message giving you a choice. You can have 12x free spins, or 6x free spins with a 2x multiplier on any wins. The long-term outcome will be the same, though the volatility of results is very different.
Many slots in the 888 Games range are static. Dawn of the Dinosaurs contrasts with these by having a lot of animations – big and small. There are some complex scenes. Examples are the volcano / lava lumps sequences and the raptor battle bonus game. There are some entertaining small animations too. The eyeball wild and roaring dinosaurs which are triggered by wins are great examples.
The cinematic music along with sound effects also works well. This adds a certain edginess to the game. While I am not sure if stone carvings were around at the time of the dinosaurs, small design touches like adding the playing card symbols to these are also welcomed.
Compared to some other 888 Slots, the reels and symbols take up more of the screen. These also contrast well with the background (transparent reels are used). This shows me that Dawn of the Dinosaurs will work well on mobile devices.
I enjoyed this slot, and really think it gives Jurassic Park a run for its money. The production quality is excellent, with some entertaining animations. There is plenty enough going on to keep you engaged too. The free spins game lets you choose your volatility level, and the raptor battle is great fun. I recommend Dawn of the Dinosaurs, check it out for yourself soon!