Microgaming has just released the debut creation of one of its latest independent partners, Neon Valley Studios. The new game is called Aurora Wilds, and it takes its inspiration from the celestial lightshow known as the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. As you would expect, that means that the game has a strong visual appeal, but Aurora Wilds is much more than its good looks, and the game boasts a host of impressive features, including expanding wilds, two-way pay lines, respins and a Jackpot Wheel that could help you to win up to 2,000 times your bet!
Introducing Neon Valley Studios
Neon Valley Studios is one of the youngest game development companies around, and it is one that focuses on being able to deliver a ‘modern Vegas experience’ to players in non-US markets. We’re not quite sure if anyone would be properly able to see the Aurora Borealis from the light-polluted Las Vegas strip itself, so we’re assuming that this game delivers the kind of view that you would be able to enjoy after taking a quick drive to a more secluded spot. This is the first game that Neon Valley Studios has unleashed upon the world, and the team is already hard at work on future releases.
About the Aurora Borealis
Auroras are natural displays of light that are caused by solar winds triggering changes in the magnetosphere and the subsequent paths of charged particles in the atmosphere. This phenomenon can be seen in both the northern and southern hemispheres, and the lightshows visible from each are known as Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis, respectively. The Aurora Borealis is generally regarded as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but if you can’t get as close to the Arctic Circle as you would like to enjoy the view in person, playing Aurora Wilds could be the next best thing.
Aurora Wilds is All About Ambience
People go to great lengths to see the Northern Lights in person because it is said to be a deeply moving experience which is hard to describe. No online slot game could reasonably expect to deliver an experience which comes close to the real thing, of course, but Aurora Wilds does very well to focus on creating an atmosphere of natural simplicity and ambience – a less is more approach, if you will – that allows you as the player to read between the lines.
The game has five reels, three rows and ten pay lines. The five reels are transparent, and that gives you a full view of the natural landscape in the background, with the lights of the aurora putting even the grandeur of the lake and mountains below into their proper perspective.
The symbols used in this game include five spirit animals, a red 7, a BAR, an aurora wild and a jackpot wheel, which acts as a scatter symbol. All of the symbols have been carefully designed to stand out nicely against the night sky but not to steal the limelight from the aurora itself. All wins pay right to left as well as left to right, and if you have two wins on the same line, the win of greater value will pay.
The audio in this game was rather surprising. We expected that Aurora Wilds would have a gentle, natural soundtrack, but instead it has a much more active theme with elements that reminded us of eighties synth pop. That soundtrack works better than you might think, and the game has some great sound effects built in to help emphasise key events as and when they occur.
Expanding Wilds and Respins
Every time you get an aurora wild on a reel in the main game, it will expand to fill that reel. The five reels will then be assessed to identify any winning lines, and prizes due will be paid out. When that has been taken care of, the expanded wild (or wilds if there are more than one) will lock in place and the remaining reels will respin, giving you another chance to win. Should you get another wild, that too will expand and stick before giving you another respin.
Jackpot Wheel Feature
Aurora Wilds boasts not one but four different jackpots, which are referred to as the Mini, Minor, Major and Grand. To win one of these jackpots, you need to get three jackpot wheel symbols on the reels at the same time. This will give you access to the Jackpot Wheel feature, where you spin a large wheel to determine which prize you will receive. When you have triggered the Jackpot Wheel feature you are guaranteed a jackpot win of some kind, so the only question is how lucky you will be!
Fluid Gameplay and Big Jackpots
‘We’re delighted to see our first creation go live across Microgaming’s extensive operator network,’ said Brian Perego, who is Senior Creative Technical Designer at Neon Valley Studios. ‘Aurora Wilds pays homage to one of nature’s most amazing phenomena and is designed to captivate and reward players with fluid gameplay and big jackpots.’
James Buchanan, who is Director of Global Operations at Microgaming, said: ‘Aurora Wilds is an enchanting addition to the Microgaming portfolio that features exciting game mechanics with respins and jackpots. The team at Neon Valley have set themselves a high bar with this superb debut slot, which includes absorbing visuals and sounds and has excellent win potential.’
Experience the Wonder!
Aurora Wilds is a great slot, and a fantastic debut from Neon Valley Studios. If this title is anything to go by, the new studio looks set to make some stylish waves in the industry. Visit Rizk Casino to experience the celestial lightshow for yourself, and good luck with the jackpots!
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