You may be thinking that Grand Monarch must have to do with some king or queen of some real or fictional kingdom. Nope, not at all. This online slot game by software manufacturer IGT actually focuses on a beautiful butterfly. Sadly, the title is quite dated, so the graphics don’t enjoy the same vividness and vibrancy they may have if this were a more recent offering.
Nevertheless, the developers have created a very serene and peaceful atmosphere thanks to the lovely backing track and the floral imagery. What little you can see of the backdrop also helps set the zen mood. There are trees, shrubs, and more flowers visible in the distance. And if you head over to the paytable, a whole other world opens up right away. We should also point out that besides the graphics quality being noticeably dated, there are also no animated sequences or fancy visual attractions here. The setup is quite simplistic as well, but more on that further on in this review.
How Well Do You Know Your Flowers?
Though we may have made this offering sound almost a little too generic, it’s not all like that. For one, the layout in Grand Monarch isn’t quite as it is in most other slot games. It has an additional row, making for a grid of 5 reels and 4 rows in total.
There’s also a total of 50 paylines available for you to bet on, which is pretty high. However, you don’t have to use them all if you don’t want to. The paylines in this offering are flexible, and you can play with 1, 5, 10, 20, 30, or 40 paylines. The controls will also allow you to adjust the bet size per line. And this, in turn, makes for a rather flexible betting range. The minimum stake here would be only 1c per spin. And the maximum bet you can make on these reels will set you back a hefty $500 per single spin. Players can also adjust the graphics quality and sound and check with the game rules just below the reels.
As far as the symbols in this game go, they start with the lower-paying playing card additions. Their design doesn’t go beyond the common font and difference in colors for every separate symbol. And the icons in question are 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A. This brings us over to the higher-value symbols on these reels. Most of these are all different flower species, and you will probably be able to recognize them all.
First in line are the pretty daisies, following which we have a couple of sunflowers. Next, we have a lovely orchid, and in that same value, there’s a large water lily. And last but not least, we have the monarch butterfly as the game’s most lucrative symbol. With its help, players can pocket up to 1,000 coins from a single combo. More importantly, however, the monarch butterfly also doubles as the slot’s Wild symbol here. As such, it has the ability to substitute for most of the game’s other symbols upon the reels. The only exception to that rule is for the Scatter symbol. It can also appear in any position, anywhere on the five reels.
The Metamorphosis from Base Game to Bonus Round
Grand Monarch actually features a total of only 2 special symbols. One of them is the Wild icon, which we already described. And the other is the game’s Scatter symbol. It, in turn, pictures not a butterfly, but a caterpillar. And unlike its Wild counterpart, the Scatter cannot land just anywhere on the screen. It can only appear on the middle reels 2, 3, and 4. And in order for you to actually gain from it, you will need to land all three Scatter symbols at the same time during a spin.
As a result, you instantly get a cash prize of 2x your total bet. And in addition to that, you will trigger the game’s single special feature – the free spins bonus round. Initially, you will receive a total of 5 free spins. And during this bonus round, you will notice all the symbols on the screen will slightly change in the way they appear, though nothing too dramatic.
Throughout the duration of the free spins bonus feature, players will have the opportunity to gain more free spins as they go. For this to happen, the requirement is the same as for the initial trigger of the bonus. In other words, you will need to once again land a Scatter symbol on each of the three middle reels (2, 3, and 4) simultaneously. This will award you another 5 free spins on top of the ones you still have remaining. And just like with the first trigger, any further ones will also award you a cash prize of 2x your total bet.
Thus, we have now covered all that Grand Monarch has to offer in terms of its special features. There are no other extras, meaning no pick-me games or a gamble feature, for example. And though this simplicity may bore some players, it might make for a good start for new players.
Grand Monarch – Conclusion
If you happen to be looking for a very tranquil and peaceful setting and a game that lacks all the common jumpiness and loud chaos of most slots, Grand Monarch is the way to go. It has a beautiful soundtrack, as we have already pointed out, and the representation of nature on and around the reels is simply gorgeous. On the other hand, though, this isn’t the latest release by IGT, and you can tell by having one look at the graphics. In addition, there’s just that one single special feature to count on. And that just may not fit everyone’s preferences. Either way, you can decide for yourself by giving the free playable version a spin on this page.