Aquanauts: Slot Overview
According to the NOAA Ocean Exploration site, scientists have estimated that the oceans could hold as much as 1 million species (excluding most microorganisms), and two-thirds of them, maybe more, have yet to be discovered or described officially. In other words, there is a lot going on beneath the briny we don't know about. Perhaps some ancient leviathan rests in the depths, inert until woken from aeons of slumber by curious humans with underwater flashlights, before rising to the surface to wreak havoc on humanity like Cthulhu or Godzilla. Or perhaps it's all benign down there?
One way of finding out is through the brave efforts of the sort of explorers we find in Alchemy Gaming's online slot Aquanauts. This is a deep-sea adventure that sends players beneath the waves in search of rewards. The base game appears to take place during the descent phase of the voyage, as there is little more than a blank blue screen behind the game's 5x5 grid matrix. At the ocean's deepest point, the Mariana Trench reaches nearly 11 km below the surface, where its dark, cold, pounding pressures make it one of the least hospitable places on Earth. Trigger free spins, and a shipwreck comes into view, so we're probably not quite so deep, but Aquanauts is a murky, mysterious place regardless.
It's also a highly volatile one and comes in four RTP settings, the highest one being 96.26%. Providing 3,125 ways to win, hits come at a rate of nearly 1 in 3 spins by matching symbols left to right, in any row from the leftmost side of the panel. Available on any device, players can select from a stake menu starting at 30 p/c and rising to $/€21 per spin.
Ten normal paying symbols appear across the reels. The lower four are animals of the seas, followed by submarines, treasure chests, and four premium character symbols. Landing a five of a kind winning way awards approximately 0.67 to 0.93 times the stake for the non-character tiles and 1.5 to 6.67 times the bet for five of the human symbols. Wilds pay more, up to 10x the bet for a five wild winning way, while they are also useful for substituting any normal paying symbols.
Aquanauts: Slot Features
Aquanauts has a couple of features common to the base and base game; these are Rolling Reels with a progressive multiplier and Echo Rolls. The other extras include a Bonus Wheel and an Upsizer feature, both available before free spins begin.
Rolling Reels is essentially a cascading win feature. When a winning combination hits, the corresponding symbols are removed from the reels. Existing symbols drop down into the gaps, and new symbols appear up above. If a new win occurs, the Rolling Reels feature triggers again. At the same time, each base game Roll increases a win multiplier by +1. In the base game, when no more wins are formed, the multiplier resets for the next spin.
After any win, there is a chance the Echo Roll feature will randomly trigger. Instead of dropping in arbitrary symbols, the Echo Roll drops in identical random high, low or wild symbols to create a guaranteed win.
Getting 3 scatter symbols awards 8 free spins, plus 2 free spins for each additional scatter in view. Before free spins begin, a couple of pre-bonus game events occur. The first is that players spin the Bonus Wheel to win +2 or +4 free spins, x2 or x3 Win Multiplier increments, wild symbols only on Echo Rolls, or no low symbols on Echo Rolls. Next is the Upsizer feature which gives players the chance to buy any of the modifiers they did not win from the Bonus Wheel. The game automatically calculates and displays the extra costs for doing so. The only other rule to mention is that each time a scatter symbol lands in the bonus round, +1 free spin is added to the remaining tally.
Aquanauts: Slot Verdict
One thing about Alchemy Gaming is the team does seem to like going large. Being connected with Microgaming means the studio has access to a wide range of popular features, but the good thing about Alchemy Gaming is they tend not to just bolt them to a 9 Masks of Fire style slot and call it a day. In Aquanauts, the team wasn't interested in sticking with the default options and has instead pushed things to a higher setting.
One example is Rolling Reels, Microgaming's version of cascades/reactions/avalanches, which is a popular device used by its associate studios. Where most max out the Win Multiplier after like four consecutive wins, Aquanauts not only does away with a ceiling value, but it also comes with the chance of increasing how much the Win Multiplier increments by.
It took some time to discover Aquanaut's finer moments, though. The descent stage was pretty uneventful. Few consecutive Rolls occurred, the Echo Roll was largely silent, and the plain, some might say dull, blue background meant that it took time to acclimate. However, when Aquanauts picks up momentum, the game can flip. Free spins might be where this is most likely to occur since the Win Multiplier doesn't reset, and players have the chance of juicing the round to full capacity with the Upsizer feature. The Upsizer is an interesting idea and has been seen before in Chronicles of Olympus X UP. Maxing everything means the bonus round can get hectic, though the addons can add up. In theory, wins of up to 50,000x the bet are possible in Aquanauts, so the temptation to buy everything in sight when free spins trigger could be high.
It takes a certain sort of person to brave the hazards that could be lurking far beneath the ocean's surface. In Aquanauts' depths, there are impressive rewards for fortunate players as well, and Alchemy has provided an exciting opportunity for those who'd appreciate the chance to go all-in once free spins trigger with a fistful of addons.
Aquanauts lifts the limit of its features and lets players boost them further for the chance to discover sizable potential lurking in the depths.