“Bowen, look to the stars… look to the stars.” Famous Scottish actor Sean Connery said this around the year 2000 in the film Dragonheart.

Dreamzone, a slot machine by ELK Studios that is related to the Starburst series, likewise looks to the heavens for inspiration. Despite sharing a similar cosmic theme, Dreamzone’s cluster pays, galaxy of Dream features, cascades, and Bonus Drops set it apart from its rival.

There is no consolation prize for guessing where Dreamzone is. Yes, it’s true; somewhere in the vastness of space, out of the oceans of random particles, stars are born. The massive creative and random forces that came together to construct the world we all walk on at this very moment are absolutely mind-boggling. The game looks quite retro, like something you may have played as a kid on your Atari, yet it’s presented in a thoroughly modern way. Anyway, let’s set aside the mental gymnastics, alluring as they may be, and shift the attention back to Dreamzone.

ELK Studios has opted for a slot with a 5×5 grid, and wins will come in clusters. The clusters themselves are relatively compact. Cascades are triggered if a cluster of at least three identical symbols appears. Since cascades are so intertwined with the other characteristics, we’ll be delving deeper into this procedure down below.

You can join the action by placing drops (Dreamzone’s term for wagers) ranging from 20 percent to $100 every spin. Players get a great RTP of 96.0% coupled with medium/high volatility evaluated by ELK as 7 out of 10. Due to a theoretical hit rate of 27.7%, which keeps the game moving and the features accumulating, winning clusters land on a better than 1 in 4 basis. The regularity with which ELK used to issue free spins is one metric that isn’t shown here. Evident in its absence and always welcome, but such is life.

Do we have any astrologers in the house who can tell us if space really is as strewn with treasures as we’ve been led to think by software engineers? If that’s the case, then ELK Studios has made a realistic paytable full with shiny things. There are a lot of regular symbols (10 total), perhaps to make up for the limited space in clusters. The low-priced stones come in a rainbow of hues, while the higher-priced ones are simply fancier and pointier. The three purples have the lowest premium (0.4x), whereas eleven or more red gems get the highest (100x).

Features of the Dream Zone

Developer ELK Studios is fond of cascading mechanics, which can be found in various games by the studio. One obvious place where it has been put to good use is in the Gold series. It’s also how things like Dream Modifiers and Dream Drops are introduced to Dreamzone.

The first thing to know is how cascades function. When a winning cluster lands, the symbols in it are removed and replaced by others, giving you another chance to win. As long as new winning clusters arise, the cascades will continue to explode, revealing and replacing symbols.

In addition to forming continuous chains of clusters, successful spins also amass additional resources in the form of “Dream features.” You can collect up to four Dream features on a winning spin, and utilize them on future spins where you don’t win. The four effects included in Dream are as follows:

There can be as many as five more wilds added to the board. Wilds can stand in for any other winning icon.

One low-paying symbol is randomly selected and upgraded to the high-paying form. The red low wages, for instance, are now the red high pays.

To get rid of up to four symbols in the grid, use the Symbol Explode ability.

Scatter symbols provide for payouts with as few as a single occurrence, eliminating the necessity for a dense cluster of symbols.

If you can get cascades to go on a hot streak, you can wipe the board clean. When you do this, you’ll enter the Bonus Drop mode, which grants you three free drops and multiplies your wins by two. If the grid is cleared during this period, the player advances to the next level, where they are given three additional free drops and their win multiplier is increased by a factor of two. Clearing the grid is made easier with the aid of Dream features that persist through Bonus Drops. Insanely, players can level up to a maximum win multiplier of x512.

Verdict in the Dreamworld

Dreamzone is an effective grid slot with few serious flaws. On the other side, once you’ve devoured the facts and data, it is hard to get extremely thrilled about it too. The 512x multiplier is the main attraction, yet it turns out to be nothing more than a tease and a denial.

The huge multiplier can do some major damage, but the overall potential of 2,500 times the stake cancels it out. One hand giveth, the other hand taketh away, so they say. Meanwhile, the gameplay hints at Play’n GO’s Moon Princess with her modifiers and everything, but falls short of the personality and intensity of that slot due to its lack of unique features.

Even if a payout of 2.500x isn’t horrible for a grid slot, it still sends a chill of disappointment down your spine when you do the math. The game’s description, in which you enter “zones of limitless rewards,” stands in stark contrast to the actual experience.

Dreamzone may therefore fall short of your expectations. In terms of volatility or large payouts, it is clearly in a different league from hard-hitting grid slots like Mega Clusters. In almost every way, Dreamzone is more in line with a different type of gambler, possibly one who is less concerned with reaching their full potential. It would be foolish to try for the maximum win multiplier of 512, but not insanely so.

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