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Elk Studios release Dreamzone, their second Outer Space themed slot in as many months on July 7th, 2020. Unlike June’s IO, however, Dreamzone isn’t a reboot of last year’s Cygnus but a cluster pays slot with win multipliers up to a huge 512x. So, will Dreamzone take us to infinity and beyond? Or will its turn out to be a cosmic failure? Let’s take a look.
Dreamzone uses a 5x5 grid and has 10 unique symbols. Elk have gone for a cluster pays mechanic for Dreamzone, and on this occasion, just 3 clustered symbols are required for a win. Clusters consist of 3 or more matching, adjacent symbols anywhere on the grid. These symbols may be adjacent horizontally or vertically, and a cluster may consist of both. An Avalanche mechanic is also in place, which we’ll discuss further below.
This slot comes with an RTP of 96% and is capable of delivering a maximum win per spin of 2,500x the bet size up to €250,000. Those kinds of wins are reserved for the game’s big feature, ‘Bonus Drops’, in which grids can be played for wins multiplied by up to 512x. A number of reel modifiers are vital in assisting to both reach Bonus Drops, and then again to benefit from Bonus Drops.
You can play Dreamzone at participating casinos from €0.20 up to €100 per spin.
Community Big Wins
- Dream Features
- Bonus Drops
Avalanche, cascades, tumbles – call them what you will, all competent slot players should be aware of this type of mechanic by now. A winning cluster explodes, with the gaps then filled by an ‘Avalanche’ of symbols from directly above. New wins created by the Avalanche react in the same way, prompting further Avalanches. One difference from most slots using this mechanic, however, is that no new symbols enter the grid during Avalanche wins in Dreamzone. The reason for this is that the aim of the game is to clear the board of symbols from a single, initial credit. If an Avalanche fails to produce a winning cluster, the spin ends.
Now, clearing the entire grid with just a single spin is a tough ask, which is where the game’s ‘Dream Features’ play their part. A cluster win not only removes the winning symbols from the grid, it also awards one Dream Feature to be used at the end of the spin. It is possible to collect up to 5 Dream Features per spin. The Dream Features appear as small, swirling galaxies and are collected to the right of the gameboard. When the current spin ends, the Dream Features are used, one by one, to help you clear the board. Any clusters assisted by a Dream Feature are not rewarded with additional Dream Features.
There are 4 different Dream Features which are chosen at random and are described below:
- Wilds: Adds up to 5 wilds to the grid
- Symbol explode: Up to four symbols are removed from the grid
- Symbol upgrade: Upgrades a low paying symbol to its high paying counterpart
- Symbol scatter: A symbol is chosen at random to pay as a scatter, meaning that three or more of that symbol anywhere on the board represents a win.
Clearing the grid of symbols triggers 3 Bonus Drops. Bonus Drops work in the same way as regular spins except that you start with a 2x win multiplier. The win multiplier doubles with each grid cleared during Bonus Drops up to a maximum of 512x. Each time a grid is cleared the Bonus Drops are reset to 3. The bonus round ends when you fail to clear a grid within 3 consecutive drops.
Design & Symbols
At first glance, you can’t help but draw a comparison to NetEnt’s all-time classic, Starburst. It is a simple design, set in deep space with floating reels of coloured jewel symbols. Thin, triangular patterns of red and purple lasers shoot towards the screen during play which gives the impression that you are hurtling through space. The gameplay is accompanied by an intense, fast-paced, electronic soundtrack which once again, occasionally gives a nod to Starburst.
Low value symbols are purple, blue, green, orange, and red gems.
High value symbols mirror the low value symbols in terms of colour and increasing value but are more elaborate gems. The highest paying symbol is the elaborate red gem which pays from 1x the bet size for a cluster of 3 to 100x the bet size for clusters of 11 or more. At the other end of the scale, the bottom paying gems award only 0.1x the bet size for a cluster of 3. Up to 4.8x the bet size for a cluster of 11 or more.
Our Thoughts on Dreamzone
Dreamzone is a simple slot with a simple premise; hit clusters of more than three in order to clear the grid of symbols, then continue in the same vein with increasingly profitable grids. With wins of up to 512x the bet size up for grabs, on paper, this looks like it could be a monster slot. However, that maximum win of 2,500x the bet somewhat puts paid to that. It’s a little disheartening to realise that even if you did traverse 9 grids to reach 3 Bonus Drops on a 512x grid, it would only take a couple of averagely sized wins before you MAX’ed out. Also, considering you’ll have already cleared grids with 128x and 256x win multipliers, it is unlikely you’d even need that.
The other problem with Dreamzone is that the pays are incredibly low until you reach Bonus Drops – and even then, you’ll need to get to the 4x drops at the very least to win any more than around 10x the bet size. Clearing the first grid often takes quite some time, and you’re unlikely to win more than 4x your bet size in doing so.
That’s not to say this is a terrible slot by any means. Play it at a stake you can afford to play quite a large number of spins, stick on the auto spin to 100, and let it do its thing. It can even be quite therapeutic. There will be enough small wins along the way that you won’t lose your cash at a, particularly alarming rate. Also, when get on a run to your 3rd or 4th consecutive grid, it actually gets quite exciting.