Miami Glow: Overview
Nordic developer Snowborn Games unleashes the neon in their second slot, Miami Glow. Partnered with giants Microgaming, the Stockholm/Helsinki based team’s last title The Vault was a somewhat mediocre game that received a bit of a mixed reaction from our test panel. Perhaps mediocre sounds a bit harsh, but at times it felt like the team tried to do too many things at once. Miami Glow, on the other hand, comes across as a more stripped-down simpler slot. However, it also possesses its fair share of features which turned out to be rather effective.
The warm city of Miami is synonymous with neon, largely thanks to the bright lights of South Beach. Combining the Miami Vice looks with a dash of synth and the sunny, futuristic (yet old school) vibe makes for an interesting slot theme. Snowborn has put it to good in use in Miami Glow with commendable restraint. The background is a minimalists dream, letting the 5 reel, 10 payline grid hog the limelight.
A retro soundtrack is mandatory on this style of game and Miami Glow doesn’t disappoint. The tune sounds like one you’d hear on a montage of Jean-Claude Van Damme training scenes before he gloves up for an epic showdown with the baddie that messed up his girl. Audio/visuals, on the whole, are sparse - there is little in the way of background imagery, yet it all fits together well. It’s a contrast to The Vault which tended to overload the cinematic quality.
The stats produced by the math model should please an array of players. Wins happen regularly with an official hit rate of 22.78%, or better than 1 in 5. By contrast, the volatility has been rated 4/5, which is quite high so expect dry runs interspersing the better moments. Testing sessions did alternate between hot and cold patches. It’s possibly not what you might expect from the unassuming look, though an RTP of 96.09% helps temper things out.
Setting bets is the first point of call where a selection from 20 p/c to £/€20 per spin is available. The main rule is to land winning combinations of at least three matching symbols from the first reel onwards. Players get a sweet wee blast of synth when that occurs. The paytable’ s eight regular symbols get the full florescent treatment, including clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades, hot lips, flamingos, cocktails and a diamond.
Values are solid too, starting at x4 for five of the clubs up to 50 times the stake for a line of five diamonds. The bright green wild is also worth the same as the diamond on its own, or it can substitute for all other symbols except Glow symbols.
Miami Glow: Features
Miami Glow comes with three features to dissect - Sticky Wilds, Multipliers, and the Glow Bonus. Sticky Wilds can substitute for any symbol except the Glow symbol and are worth the same as the premium diamond in combinations. Also, when any Sticky Wild lands in view, it triggers the Sticky Wild Respin feature.
Any Sticky Wilds to appear on the reels are held in position for the duration of the feature, and whenever a new one lands, another respin is awarded. This process continues until no new Sticky Wilds lands - then it’s back to the regular base game. Wins are paid on each successful respin, with any active Multiplier applied as well.
The Multiplier feature itself can trigger on any spin. A value of x2, x3, x5, or x10 is randomly selected for a single spin and is applied to any win that occurs. The Multiplier can appear at any time in the base game or during features.
Last up are Glow symbols which appear on reels 1, 3, and 5. When all 3 land in view simultaneously, 1 free spin is awarded where wilds are stacked and can cover up to all 5 reels at once.
Miami Glow: Verdict
Miami Glow, on the whole, turned out to be quite a decent game. In many ways, it’s an improvement over Snowborn’s first release. The official game blurb mentions ‘whisking the player away to a warmer place’, and darn it if Miami Glow doesn’t succeed in doing so, kind of. It might have been even warmer if the looks weren’t so much more function than form. Though when you factor in the sounds, there is a definite Miami club vibe going on.
It’s the features that save the day, particularly the frequency they appear. The modest presentation stands aside to let them do their thing more coherently than The Vault. Features come to life often, keeping the engagement up, while driving a frantic slot that is capable of dumping a solid win seemingly out of nowhere.
Multipliers are a boon as always, but the star has to be the respins feature. Getting a number of sticky wilds one after the other stacks up consecutive wins nicely, which can be pretty intense when it runs hot. If you manage to top respins up with multipliers in the process, the action heats up even further.
The caveat is the volatile math model which prevents an endless downpour of features. When it does go off though it’s great, and each element in Miami Glow integrates effortlessly to create an enjoyable game. There is just something about the way the sound effects amplify everything that makes playing so satisfying. Overall potential isn’t bad either, as a full grid of diamonds or wilds, boosted by the x10 multiplier, can result in wins of up to 12,500 times the stake.
To summarize, it's not the visual production that saves the day here. Whilst not bad, it's nothing to get overly excited about either. What make it worth while are the fun features, backed by solid stats and math model. It’s an enhancement on the debut, so if Miami Glow is a taste of things to come, then what Snowborn does next could be quite interesting.
Miami Glow looks basic, but the minimalist visuals are padded out with a few clever features that can produce surprisingly satisfying results.