There no play or theatrical piece in the entire world which is better-known than the tragedy of dear Romeo and the lovely Juliet. Shakespeare’s tale has inspired thousands of other stories, and has been reproduced in countless formats over the past few centuries.
Most recently, the story has become an online slot!
Usually it’s a big player like Playtech who specialises in pop culture-inspired games, but Blueprint Gaming has decided to dip its toe in here. Unfortunately, despite the exceptional raw materials available to the developers, the game falls woefully short of expectation.
We’ve just seen from Playson’s new games (Crystal Land) that online slots don’t require exceptional graphics and powerful animation to be a success – it’s the fundamentals which count. However, Blueprint has missed that particular boat, and the result is a game which lacks any real flair or excitement.
In a fairly glum interpretation of the story, the game is set under what appears to be a dark archway. The symbols are crammed onto the screen with large buttons overlapping the reels – it feels a bit messy for a 2018 creation.
It looks like the designers are trying to capture the tragic angle of the play, but instead, it just comes across as a bit weak.
Gameplay and Design
Romeo and Juliet features a very simple 5-reel setup, with 15 symbols in total. The symbols themselves have quite an arbitrary design, and feature a rose, dove, a coat of arms and the game’s logo. There are also low-value card symbols: 10 through ace.
Despite being such a small grid, the reels feel forced onto the screen, without even space for the large “spin” and “bet amount” buttons to either side. Unusually, the music stops completely between spins. So, during a spin there’s a sudden cacophony of noise, which abruptly stops mid-tune.
In terms of base game action, there’s very little to speak of. When we tested the game, we managed about 4 (small) wins in the first 40 spins. With the uninteresting symbols, the archaic “winning combination” animations and the jittery soundtrack, there really isn’t much to inspire players.
Despite the lack of regular activity during the base game, Romeo and Juliet does come with some interesting features built-in. If you land 3 bonus symbols during the base game, you can select one of the following bonus rounds:
- Free Spins – 10 free spins used across 2 different sets of reels! When “Star Crossed Lover” heart symbols land on the first set, it creates bonuses through the second set. It’s a pretty unique bonus system!
- Juliet’s Wheel of Fortune – By spinning Juliet’s wheel, you collect multipliers which are applied to your initial stake! If you manage to progress to the Big Money wheel, you can earn a truly gargantuan payout!
- Romeo’s Mystery Win – An array of shields appear on-screen. Behind one sits Juliet, and if you select her, you win a cash prize!
While the bonus rounds have potential, we felt underwhelmed by Romeo and Juliet from the outset. The design feels a bit neglected, and the irregular and low-value base game wins are disheartening. It’s far from the worst game we’ve ever seen, but disappointing when compared to the other new releases for 2018.