Empress of the Jade Sword is a 5 reel, 20 payline slot which has been produced by Microgaming in association with Bla Bla Bla Studios. Playable from 20p to £20 a spin on all devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones, there’s a free spins feature with up to 40 free spins available as well as a Pick Bonus feature where you pick from ninjas to win cash prizes or multipliers. There’s also a wild which gives you a free spin with the wild remaining in place.

First impressions of Empress of the Jade Sword are good – it’s based on an epic and magical story of 2 warring sisters (Princess Ming the Elder and Princess Yin the Younger). With a ninja theme, symbols include Asian style A, K, Q and J playing cards, scrolls, fans, spears as well as a female hero, male hero and evil sister/sorceress characters. The female hero character is the most valuable giving you 25 times your stake for 5 across a payline. There’s also a wild symbol which replaces all symbols, bar the scatter, and gives you 25 times your stake for 5 in combination.

When it comes to bonus features, Empress of the Jade Sword has 3. First up is the Jade Wilds feature – this is triggered when a wild symbol is involved in a win. You will then get a free spin with the wild being sticky. During that free spin, the wild can become contagious meaning all adjacent scroll, spear and fan symbols can transform into wilds.

Then you have the Ninja Bonus feature which is played when 3 ninja bonus symbols land simultaneously in the base game – you then get to pick from a selection of 12 ninjas to win cash prizes or multipliers.

The main attraction is the Free Spins feature which is played when 3 or more temple scatters appear on the same base game spin – 3, 4 or 5 scatters will give you 8, 12 or 20 free spins respectively. You can also retrigger the feature giving you up to 40 free spins in total.

More importantly, 11 symbols are in play during the free spins with no bonus symbol (so no chance to trigger the Ninja Bonus feature). The male hero, female hero and evil sister/sorceress symbols become 1×3 vertical symbols meaning they will occupy a full reel – this increases your chances of winning big.

Empress of the Jade Sword is an entertaining slot and it looks good I must say – I found it to be a medium variance game with maximum wins of 500 times your stake on each spin/free spin. If you like the theme, Microgaming’s Ninja Magic is recommended.