Niagara Falls is heartwarmingly charming but lacks the bang to form a truly substantial slot
Lucky Coin Drop Bonus & Cash Fall Bonus
The first game to come out of the YGS Master concept
Niagara Falls (Yggdrasil Gaming): Review
Powered by Yggdrasil Gaming and developed by independent studio Northern Lights Gaming, Niagara falls is the first game to come out of the Yggdrasil's studio partnership initiative YGS Masters. Based in Stockholm and Manchester, Northern Lights Gaming was formed in 2017 by ex-Barcrest and WMS executives with team members behind popular titles such as Rainbow Riches. From what we've seen in the past, collaborative efforts of this kind have not been overly successful, something Microgaming serves as a good example of.
Niagara Falls could be described as a rendition of the old classic coin slots, but with a modern twist. Playable from 20 cents to 400 Euros per spin across all devices, it comes with 5 reels, 3 rows and 20 paylines. With a 1930s feel, you'll benefit from 3 different bonus games that give you multipliers up to x5, respins with stacked symbols and coin wilds to give you a trail of wilds.
The visual design might appear basic at first, but if you take some time to appreciate the level of detail and fine distinctions, you'll soon realise it's exceptionally artsy. We have to say that Northern Lights have done an outstanding job in capturing the feel of the pre-war era. With a wooden piano loop and a stylish art deco design, symbols on the reels include cherries, oranges, plums, bells, bars as well as blue and red lucky 7s. The Niagara Falls logo is the most rewarding of the bunch and will give you 10 times your stake for a 5 of a kind. There's also a wild that is of the same value as the top paying standard symbol.
Niagara Falls (Yggdrasil Gaming): Features
Don't let the aged look and basic setup have you fooled. This slot machine is nowhere near as simplistic as it appears to be. All in all, there are 3 bonus features included in the game. The first one is the Coin Drop Bonus feature which triggers when a gold coin appears on the 5th reel on a base game spin. You will then see a coin tumble down the reels while leaving a trail as it finally drops into one of the 5 bonus slots positioned just below the reels. If it drops into an empty one, you're out of luck, but if it falls into a slot that displays a bonus you will benefit from one of the following:
- Wild - the trail symbols that the coin left behind are replaced by wilds
- Free Spins - activates the Niagara Falls free spins feature with 5 spins
- Shake - you get 1 Shake added to the counter which comes to use in the Cash Fall bonus
- Stacked Spin - a respin is awarded with stacked symbols
- Multiplier Bonus - your current win is multiplied by either 2x, 3x, 4x, or a 5x multiplier
You can also find a way into the Niagara Falls Free Spins feature by landing the Whiskey barrel symbol on reels 1, 3 and 5. Starting with 5 spins, the 5 bonus slots positioned below the reels will now only contain either empty slots or wilds. If a wild comes up, the reel above it is transformed into a fully stacked wild which remains locked in place for the remainder of the feature.
Lastly, there is also the Cash Fall feature that can trigger randomly on any spin the base game. This feature is based on the classic coin pusher arcade machine - you'll see coins fall and land into either empty slots or slots with set cash values. If a coin drops into a slot with a set cash value, that value is added to a meter and paid out when the feature has ended. You can also see Super Coins which doubles the cash value of the slots.
Niagara Falls (Yggdrasil Gaming): Verdict
Niagara Falls will not be to everyone's liking, but we have to say that we were positively surprised by it. In terms of visual presentation, it's executed with meticulous attention to detail and has a feelgood kind of vibe to it along with a bundle of features that leaves you with a lot to explore. In a sense, Niagara Falls is like a carnival built into one game.
The downside is the low potential which, along with the somewhat sluggish gameplay, might be a turn-off for those seeking more thrill and action. With a max win of 200 times your stake per spin in the free spins feature, it's not exactly enough to get your heart racing. There's loads of charm in Niagara Falls, but not enough to make it a substantial slot machine.
Niagara Falls (Yggdrasil Gaming)
● Reels: 5
● Rows: 3
● Paylines: 20
● Default RTP: 96.2%
● Max Payout: 1000x / Spin
● Variance: M
● Bets: 0.20 - 10 EUR
● Features: Lucky Coin Drop Bonus, Cash Fall Bonus, Sticky Wilds
● Release Date: May 9, 2019
Bigwinboard Rating - 51%