Aurora Wilds (Microgaming): Overview
As most of you are probably aware of by now, Microgaming's focus has shifted quite drastically since its glory days, a time when it used to dominate the market with immensely popular titles such as Immortal Romance and Jurassic Park. Instead of evolving and adjusting to the new trends on the market, Microgaming has seemed perfectly fine with taking a step back to allow for a new generation of independent studios to prove themselves. From Microgaming's perspective, things appear to progress exactly as they want. New studios are regularly added to the rooster and the Quickfire platform is now home to countless of providers. Looking at it from our viewpoint, and the perspective of the casino community, Microgaming ceased being a relevant provider many years ago.
Featuring a layout of 5 reels, 3 rows and 10 paylines, Aurora Wilds comes with expanding wilds that also trigger respins. If it sounds familiar, it's because the game is based on one of the most popular video slots ever created - Starburst. Designed using the HTML5 framework, Aurora Wilds is compatible with most modern devices, including mobiles and tablets - you can play it from 0.10 to €/£60 per spin.
Heading north, we get to experience the celestial phenomenon known as the Aurora through the eyes of the developers at Atom Spin. In the backdrop, you'll see scenic mountain peaks and a lake illuminated by the bright northern lights dancing in the night sky. It's simple in design, but in combination with the somewhat mysterious soundtrack, it makes for quite a pleasant experience. On the reels you will see 5 lower-value symbols in a sort of tribal style design which are represented by rabbits, fish, turtles, horses, and eagles. More rewarding are the lucky sevens and bar-symbols, the latter being the most lucrative, giving you 25 times your stake for five on a full payline.
Aurora Wilds (Microgaming): Features
There's really only one feature in this game and it comes into play each time you land a wild symbol. Appearing on the three middle reels only, the wild will Expand to fully cover the reel and lock into place while also granting you a Respin. If a new wild lands during the respin feature, it expands and locks along with any previously expanded wilds for another respin. The respin feature ends when no new wild symbols appear during the respin.
There's also a separate Jackpot Wheel that activates when you land 3 gold wheel jackpot symbols on reels 2, 3, and 4. The jackpot wheel guarantees one of four fixed jackpots; Mini (15x), Minor (50x), Major (100x), and Grand (2000x).
Aurora Wilds (Microgaming): Verdict
While Aurora Wilds falls short in the originality department, it has something that NetEnt's Starburst doesn't have - a jackpot feature. Being low-paying games with max wins of 500 times your stake per spin (which rarely ever happens), that 2000 times your stake jackpot adds some extra flavour to a well-proven game. Unfortunately, the odds of triggering the Grand jackpot are not stated anywhere, so don't count on it to happen anytime soon.
Aurora Wilds is not a terrible game but fails completely at offering anything of value to an already over-saturated market. With so many options to choose from and with limited money to spend (for most anyway), almost any other game will offer more excitement than Aurora Wilds.
Experienced gamblers will be underwhelmed by Aurora Wilds because it plays and feels like a watered-down Starburst clone.