Free Mermaid’s Diamonds slot
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Mermaid's Diamond slot is a first for this Swedish developer in that we get a multiway game based on IGT's format for Siberian Storm, Sumatran Storm and Hexbreaker 2 as we will soon discover. You won't be surprised to hear either, given the title, that we see our reels placed over a seabed alive with coral and ocean life and weirdly there is a doom-laden and dramatic musical soundtrack somewhat at odds with the banal cartoon style of the game symbols. It appears that we are facing the perils of the deep here so can we keep our balance afloat, or will it sink without a trace?
On the reels...
Immediately noticeable are the odd reels which sit in a 3-4-5-4-3 pattern but as mentioned in the introduction this is necessary as multiply those numbers together and you get 720 - yes, we have the classic 720-way format so loved by IGT and also seen in a few other developers' slots such as Netent's Wild Rockets and Microgaming's not-so-good game Pollen Party. Like those games the reels pay right-to-left too but aside from the Mermaid Wild on reel 3 no symbols are stacked, although on the middle three reels you can see two of one type of symbol in view sometimes.
With 720-way games the pays will never be huge and here the Wild or Diamond in an oyster shell (why not a pearl?) pays best at 10x our 20-coin bet for a full way of 5-of-a-kind. There is a steep drop after that to the Ruby at 2.5x, Sapphire at 1.5x, Emerald at 1x, Sting Ray or Starfish at 0.75x and finally the Squid or Whelk at 0.5x bet for the full way. We do have a nice random feature though, as the Mermaid can throw her Wilds onto any one or two reels during any spin. These will follow the actual reels, so if reel 3 is involved the Wild will be stacked whereas the other four reels all have single Wilds so if those are chosen the Wild will be single too. There is one more random in-play feature but as this involves the bonus trigger, we'll explain it there.
Treasure Chest spins
Like the IGT slots mentioned earlier, you need the scatter on every one of the 5 reels to trigger the free games bonus. In this instance we get a Treasure Chest similar to the one in Microgaming's Leagues of Fortune slot. If you land it on just four of the five reels necessary the Mermaid may magic the missing chest into view! Once you have all 5 scatters, you pick one and it reveals 10 to 25 free games. There's no retrigger but the highest symbol, the Diamond, has an effect here. There is a meter over the reels and every time 5 Diamonds have accumulated from appearing on the reels in the free spins, you will get a reel turn Wild just for that round and then the meter resets. You can get extra spins too with 3, 4 or 5 Treasure Chests awarding an extra spin per symbol and the random Wild feature occurs very frequently, sometimes on the same spin as when the Wild reel is triggered by the Diamond meter. You can win up to 5000x bet on one spin according to Play'n Go!
Mermaid's Diamond is a colourful and entertaining game which despite the possibility of a large return in the bonus has a very gentle base game with regular random Wilds and the feature isn't too rare either. The RTP is good at 96.50% too and while the graphics and animations are distinctly average I found the game highly playable although you won't see too many large base game hits. The name is rather odd as I think Play'n Go realized there was already a 'Mermaid's Pearl' slot so decided to improvise with a diamond in the oyster shell, but nevertheless you could net some big wins from this aquatic game...