GONG Gaming Technologies, an innovative software provider, taps into the fantasy realm with its stunning production, Empire Shields. It takes casino enthusiasts on an exhilarating adventure to a fictional kingdom, set in the medieval era where the top rewards are as high as 12,150x the stake.
The epic action unfolds across 5 reels and 3 rows producing 243 ways to win. There is an additional horizontal reel on top of the main grid reserved exclusively for shield icons. Once they are activated, the reels expand to a 5×6 configuration, yielding a total of 7,776 paylines.
With exciting gaming mechanics working at full capacity, this slot is guaranteed to bring a fun and rewarding experience. The stakes range from 0.20 to 20.00, thus meeting all gaming budgets.
Empire Shields Theme, Graphics, and Sounds
In terms of design and graphics, GONG Gaming Technologies has already ascertained its proficiency, and the Empire Shields title is no exception. The release belongs to the fantasy gaming genre, so those thrilled by epic adventures back in the medieval ages will certainly appreciate it. A look beyond the standard 5/3 grid configuration reveals a bleak, mist-clad castle with large statutes of warriors shielding it at the gate. The animated lightning-slashed sky above adds to the gloomy overall vibe.
As far as the slot’s playing symbols are concerned, they are crisp and masterfully rendered, in line with the overall epic atmosphere. The 12 regular symbols can be subdivided into three different categories – 6 Royals, 2 richly adorned pieces of jewelry, and 4 charismatic character figures.
Additionally, the soundtrack captures the overall dramatic feel and contributes to an immersive gaming experience.
Empire Shields Symbols and Payouts
Players must align at least three adjacent matching images starting from the leftmost to receive a reward.
The lowest-paying symbols in Empire Shields are represented by Royals, ranging from 9s to Aces. The following card symbols – 9s, 10s, and Jacks pay at a rate of 5x, 15x, and 30x for matching combinations of 3, 4, and respectively 5 symbols. Queens, Kings, and Aces multiply players’ bets with 5x, 20x, and 40x when they manage to land combos of 3, 4, or 5 identical adjacent symbols on a payline.
The medium range of Empire Shields’ paytable includes two richly adorned pieces of jewelry. The first one is a golden pendant decorated with a green emerald, delivering casino fans with awards amounting to 10x, 40x, and 80x their stakes for aligning from 3 to 5 identical symbols. A gorgeous amethyst ring delivers payouts ranging from 15x to 90x the stake value, when slot mavens form combinations of 3, 4, or 5 matching symbols.
Now that we have covered the lowest and the medium range of Empire Shields’ paytable, we can turn our attention to the highest-paying character symbols. All of them are depicted clad in tight-fitting armor, with attention to the smallest details. While the first two character figures are reminiscent of an angel and a demon, the others are represented by the magnificent Empress and Emperor of the fantasy realm. The angel-like woman warrior returns prizes ranging from 15x to 100x for 3-, 4-, and 5-of-a-kind combos. The devilish male warrior brings higher returns of 20x, 70x, and 150x the stake for 3, 4, and 5 matching symbols. Three, four, or five images of the beautiful blonde Empress produce payouts as high as 20x, 80x, and 200x. The Emperor himself is the most generously paying symbol bringing winnings as high as 300x the bet value.
Moving on to the Wild symbol in Empire Shields, it is represented by an image of the letter W. Besides its regular function to substitute for all other symbols from the slot except for the Scatter symbol, five adjacent Wilds can produce a payout.
The Scatter’s function in this slot is performed by a Lion, as matching images can form winning combinations regardless of their positioning on the reels.
Empire Shields Bonus Mechanics
GONG Gaming Technologies have put a lot of effort and creativity when developing the slot’s features.
We start our examination of Empire Shields’ bonus mechanics with the most distinctive one, namely the so-called Toppers, or reel modifiers. A total of five toppers are located directly above the main grid, having the capacity to modify the reels and increase the number of possible paylines. They shift one position to the left on each spin of the reels and charge with energies at random. When their energies are fully replenished, four different features become available – Double Reel, Multiplier, Wild, and Expanding Wild. They activate once a certain energy threshold is met.
First of all, players should note that the Double Reel feature charges with 4 energies. Once this feature is triggered, the number of symbols appearing on the reel beneath it is raised to 6, with the number of paylines running across the reels increasing to 7,776.
The Multiplier feature shields charge with 5 energies and they can award different multipliers ranging from 2x to 10x. When a Multiplier feature shifts one position to the left, its value also changes.
As far as the Wild feature is concerned, it charges with 6 energies, and once activated, the Wild symbol finds its place on the reel beneath the shield.
The last feature, the Expanding Wild charges with 7 energies and transforms the whole reel below into a Wild reel.
To initiate the Free Spins Feature, players are supposed to land at least three Lion Scatter symbols anywhere on the reels in the base game. The free spin rounds are preceded by a mini Bonus game. Casino enthusiasts are provided with 20 shields, each one revealing Double Reel Feature, Multiplier Feature, Wild Feature, or Expanding Wild feature. Once they pick 5 shields, they will remain till the end of the feature and players will start with 10 rounds of free spins. Landing 3 or more Scatters anywhere on the reels during the bonus game rewards players with 10 extra spins.
Empire Shields is a gorgeous outcome of the cooperation between GONG Gaming Technologies and the pioneer of online slots, Microgaming. The game is appealing both on the surface and within. Players keen on the fantasy genre will certainly appreciate the stunning artwork, while the variety of implemented gaming mechanics and grid expansions will produce an enthralling and rewarding gaming experience. Available for play on mobile and desktop devices, this slot has made it to the lobbies of various top casinos.