Aurora Beast Hunter: Overview
Don shades for this one players, because Microgaming partner Just For The Win has dialled up the fluro for the wild 90s themed trip Aurora Beast Hunter. The story is little left field, but gels with the rest of the game perfectly.
Basically, the hero of the tale, Aurora, hunts what appear to be giant mutant worms in the baking US desert. On the way, these tardigrade looking beasts lay all sorts of modifiers over the reels, while three free spins options give you something to look forward to.
Anyone who remembers the 90s, prepare for a flood of nostalgia when the game loads. For one, Aurora looks like a VGA video game from the era - the 256 colour mode, in the best way possible. Second, give it a spin to let the movie references start pouring in.
Where to begin? It’s kind of like a mix between Tremors starring Kevin Bacon and the futuristic sass of Cherry 2000 (the late 80s, but okay). All up, Just For The Win has melded animations, imagery, and sound to create an entertaining homage to the 1990s.
With betting options ranging from 10 p/c to £/€50 per spin, Aurora Beast Hunter is played over 5 reels, using a 3-4-3-4-3 configuration. With this, players make use of 40 paylines zagging their way across the grid to land winners on. The math model involved is of high volatility with a calculated RTP of 96.27% and 20.58% hit rate. Solid numbers and nothing to be overly concerned about.
Looking at the paytable, there's a riot of ever-increasingly dangerous weapons and characters. In ascending order we get J-A royals, nunchucks (supposedly pretty useless in a fight but a quintessential 90s weapon), ninja stars, handguns, a freaking Gatling gun, and Aurora.
Our heroine can land stacked while offering the best returns at 12.50 times the stake for five. Wilds are always helpful, which is good since you will encounter 4 different kinds when playing Aurora Beast Hunter – regular, stacked, expanding, and sticky. All can substitute for any other pay symbol as well as provide special abilities mentioned below.
Aurora Beast Hunter: Features
Features are plentiful and might seem more confusing in writing than they actually are in action, so bare with us. As mentioned earlier, the game comes with an assortment of modifiers, each represented by one of the alien beasts. On any base game spin, there is a chance of being awarded a random cash prize, a random wild, or a sticky wild stack.
If it’s the cash prize, then at least one expanding wild or stacked wild is guaranteed as well as an extra payout of 1.5x or 2x. The random wild feature sprinkles 1 to 5 wilds on reels 1, 3, or 5. Lastly, the sticky wild stack feature awards expanded wilds with respins.
Things heat up during the free spins which comes into play when 3 monster truck scatter symbols appear on reels 1, 3, or 5. Once triggered, players get to choose one of three options - The Sub, Danger Zone, and Sandstorm.
- Sandstorm comes with 12 low volatile free spins. Here, expanding wilds and stacked wilds award a cash prize of 1.5x or 2x respectively. Maximum wins from Sandstorm is 2,000x.
- Danger Zone comes with 8 medium volatile free spins. On every spin, 1 to 5 wilds are sprinkled over the reels in random positions. The most you can win from the Danger Zone is 3,000x.
- The Sub starts with 5 highly volatile free spins. On each spin, one reel is randomly marked. If there is stacked wild or an expanding wild on that reel, it becomes a sticky wild stack for the remainder of the feature. When a sticky wild stack appears, one more free spin is awarded. Payouts from The Sub max out at 5,000x.
Aurora Beast Hunter: Verdict
Sometimes a developer busts out of their regular pattern to come up with something which may surprise a lot of players. The retro vibe and effects play a big role in making Aurora Beast Hunter one of Just For The Win’s better productions.
Sure, the look won’t please everyone, it is an acquired taste perhaps. Those not into bright, silly sci-fi, dipped in nostalgic veneer may find it hard to stomach. For anyone into classic video games though, or the 1990s, or a slot that doesn’t take itself too seriously will have a ball.
Like a lot of action movies, it pays to suspend disbelief and buckle in for the ride. Just For The Win has nailed the trip back in time well via bright graphics, heroic symbols, heavy metal sounds, and animations. In a pleasant twist, the gameplay and potential complement the looks. The three variable volatile free spins, along with the rest of the features broaden the game’s appeal, making Aurora Beast Hunter one of Just For The Win’s more likeable slots.
For some old school styling, Aurora and her bevvy of beasts are well able to serve up some wholesome fun. On a side note, if you dig the era, it might pay to check out the chunkily rendered Hellcatraz from Relax Gaming.
Aurora Beast Hunter is a nicely designed, feature-filled, 90s bonanza of a slot, bang on retro point.