A Rugged Landscape
The aesthetic here is a high definition 3D display from an advanced development team; the tiles breathe life into this misty section of China. Each detail of the imagery looks as if you can reach through your screen and touch the various textures of the land all around you. Very few real cash slots deliver such tangible graphics, and so take the time to appreciate them in full.
As is customary with most slots, the matrix is in the center of the screen, though here the 5-reels are surrounded by strong, time worn columns covered in climbing vines. It looks like we’ve stumbled upon an abandoned building, but one clearly engulfed by mystical energy. To try and keep the controls as integrated into the design as possible, the brand has made them part of the foundations of the building. The result is an immersive theme that transports us.
A Dragon’s Might
There’s a couple of dragon symbols upon the reels that function as a substitute icon each, moving about all the other icons in an attempt to make a win. However, what is most unusual is that these two icons can come together to form one larger symbol, which does the same job. So essentially you have three icons that are wilds.
As if that wasn’t curious enough, the same tiles can launch the free games, provided they land in the correct order: the dragon/bird hybrid tile must be upon the first reel, while the head of the dragon needs to land on the fifth. Talk about tricky, but wait, it gets even more complicated because the bird moves right across the reels while the other moves left; only when none are in sight will the rounds end.
Despite the fact that we appreciate variance, this seems like an unnecessarily complicated paytable, where a specific set of symbols have been given too many functions for one title.
Fenghuang has given us a mixed array of feelings so far, and the volatility of the game looks set to continue those emotions. This is due to the medium to high difficulty of the grid. Don’t misunderstand us, plenty of wins can be made, but they tend to be on the small side, as low as 0.05. Thereafter, there’s few and far high level prizes to take home, and definitely not any free games easily in sight, unless you’re willing to go the distance.
You’ll always be aware of when a winning line has been formed because the tiles that contribute to the success become framed by lightning, and will then shake in their place. It’s very dramatic, but it doesn’t help us feel any better about the measly rewards we keep getting.
Keep on Moving
Just as when you’re within any unknown land, you have to keep on moving to survive, and Fenghuang is no different. It’s a breathtaking game to behold, arguably one of the finest you’ll find currently available, but the complexity and poorly thought out paytable hinders the enjoyment you glean from it. Nevertheless, Habanero deserves credit for bringing this slot to life, and so we’ll award this game with four stars.