Dangerous Beauty Slots
High 5 Games introduced the Dangerous Beauty slot machine game in 2011 to land-based casinos. The game went online in 2012.
This highly stylized game follows an Asian theme familiar to fans of Hong Kong movies, especially the classic "Bride with White Hair" starring Brigitte Lin. The main character in the game is a Chinese princess who, according to High 5's release, grew up in the martial arts. She is joined by heroines from foreign lands to defend her people against an enemy.
The game symbols reflect Asian culture, either through the dress of the characters or the intricate designs on the low-value symbols. The game uses super stacks and briefly animates the character tiles when they form parts of winning combinations.
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Gameplay Features and Mechanics
Dangerous Beauty is a 5-reel, 4-row video slot game with 40 pay lines. Here are some details on the features and mechanics of the game.
There are five high-value tiles consisting of the three women warriors, the black panther, and the leopard. The remaining tiles are the usual 10, J, Q, K, and A found in many video games. Prizes are paid from left to right (so your winning combination must start in reel 1 regardless of which pay line it is on).
The game's logo serves as the Wild symbol and it substitutes for all other symbols except the scatter symbol.
The scatter symbol is a jade dragon statue that only appears on reels 2, 3, and 4. Twelve of these tiles must appear in order to trigger the bonus game.
The game controls are all at the bottom of the screen. The first control on the left manages the number of active pay lines. You use the up and down arrows beside the display to choose between 1 line, 10 lines, 20 lines, 30 lines, and 40 lines.
To the right of the Pay lines control is the Bet-per-line control. This control uses up and down arrows to allow the player to choose from 8 values:
The maximum bet is $400 (40 pay lines times $10). The online game defaults to 40 pay lines with a bet per line of 0.01 but in land-based casinos the physical machines will be set for whatever bet the previous player was making.
To the right of the Bet amount display in a separate window is the last win amount and the available credits (your balance).
To the right of that window you find five other controls: Replay, Help (pay table), Sound on/off, Auto Play, and Spin.
The Replay button is a standard feature on High 5 Games' slot machines. It allows you to watch your last spin play out, which is a nice feature for people who like to record their big wins. You cannot replay a bonus round, though.
The question mark brings up the help interface with the pay table and rules of the game.
The Auto Play button allows you to choose from 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 paid spins. You can interrupt the Auto Play at any time, so you are not committed to making 25 bets if you choose the maximum number of Auto Play spins.
The Spin button also acts as a stop button. The pay table explicitly states that stopping the spin does not change the outcome of the game, so it's only there to let you skip over the animations if you become tired of watching them play out.
During Auto Play the Spin button counts down the number of spins you have remaining. Clicking on the Spin button to stop animations when a large number of prizes is awarded does not interrupt the Auto Play. You will have to click the Spin button twice.
When high value tiles stack up on 3 or more adjacent reels a mini movie quickly plays, taking up a large part of the screen. The lady in red winks at you. The Wild symbol treats you to a fireworks show. All the mini movies have some special touch.
Regardless of how large a win is, all the tiles light up with brilliant sparks like little fireworks going off around them when they contribute to a prize.
Triggering the Bonus Round
You will know right away when the bonus game is triggered because the three middle reels fill up with jade statues. Once the game starts you are awarded 7 free spins.
The background turns red and the music changes tone, becoming darker and more martial. Ambient sounds mixed in with the new music make it sound like you are listening to a battle scene in a movie or television show that is in the next room.
Normal game tiles have a blue (peaceful) outline and a black background for the low-value symbols. Bonus game tiles have an orange-red (warlike) outline and and orange background for the low-value symbols. The characters are facing in the opposite direction for the bonus games.
The free spins bonus cannot be retriggered.
This is not a complicated game. The music is nice and the graphics are well done. It holds up well after several years. The super stacks are still popular with players despite the occasional frustration one experiences when seeing 4 out of 5 reels covered by the same symbol, but a different stack fills up reel 2. In fact, that "near miss" effect makes the game more interesting, feeling more like a challenge even though you have no control over what happens once you click Spin.
The marked change in color and musical styles is a nice touch. High 5 Games invests a lot of subtle touches in their games, and in Dangerous Beauty they do a superb job of keeping you in the mood of their back story.
The three ladies pay better than the two cats. You can win prizes with only two consecutive princess warriors on a pay line but you need at least 3 of the cats (or 2 cats and a Wild symbol). The neatest thing about the princess prizes is that they are the highest value symbols in the game, so two stacks of the blue princess with the sword pay on all 40 lines.
Even with the low-value symbols you'll enjoy a nice prize when the super stacks line up in 3 or more columns.
You'll also spend a little time picking out details from the pictures, especially the large animations for big wins. The game designers really paid a lot of attention to detail with this one. You'll appreciate the visual aspects of Dangerous Beauty as well as the style of play.