Do Norse godly warriors and icicles go well together? According to the Reno, Nevada-based Crazy Tooth Studio they are as they presented us with a 6-reel slot developed exclusively for Microgaming’s Quickfire platform. The 2011-founded provider is the latest addition to the growing portfolio of independent game studios that supply online video slots for Microgaming.
Prepare for frozen warriors and icy wins on Arctic Valor with an Any-Adjacent-Pays mechanic, the random Icicle feature and a free spins round that can lead to wins of up to 2,700 times your stake.
Arctic Valor is a video slot with six reels, four rows and 4,096 ways to win, available for play on desktop and mobile devices across all OS platforms. Bet sizes range from just 0.15 credits up to a sizable 150 credits. The RTP of this medium variance (unconfirmed) game is set at 96.70%. First views of the slot indicate that it will have an Autoplay function.
The setting is what seems to be an ice cave or temple with icicles growing on top of the game window before they randomly drop when the feature is triggered. Changing lighting is supposedly imitating the Aurora Borealis, the famed Northern lights. Calm snowfall is emphasizing the cold Nordic theme. An electronic soundtrack accompanied by ice cracking noises is the main audio.
Expect the low paying symbols, all icons are actually items and characters from Norse mythology. At the low end, you will find three ice crystals in red, blue and purple colours while the medium level includes shields, helmets, crossbows and swords. Four Norse female warriors with blue, red, purple and turquoise-coloured decorum and backgrounds are the premium symbols, each paying 0.66x your stake for a single six of a kind. There is also a wild icon substituting for all other symbols bar scatters, which are a rotating ice crystal with the word ‘bonus’ across.
Wins on the Arctic Valor slot do not depend on starting from the left like on any ordinary slot or from both sides on a pay-both-ways slot. Instead, the Any-Adjacent-Pays mechanic awards wins for adjacent symbols regardless of where and on which reels they land as long as you hit minimum three on consecutive reels. For example, matching symbols on reel two, three and four would pay a three of a kind win.
Throughout the gameplay, icicles grow from the top of the screen, waiting to fall randomly on any spin and crash onto the reels to cover maximum three reel positions, awarding both wild transformations and coins wins. And this is where the slot might start to annoy you, especially if you have the game on Autoplay, as you will have to click on one of the fallen icicles to uncover your rewards. All reel positions covered by the icicles will then flip to reveal either a wild symbol or a coin win.
Hitting three or more scatters anywhere on the reels in one spin will award seven free spins, which cannot be retriggered (unconfirmed). During the feature, the random icicle feature will trigger on every free spin. Time for annoyance number two on the game as high-paying warriors can appear in frozen tubes to transform into 4-symbol high stacks and for some reason, the developer arranged the icicles in such way that they target the warriors.
In essence, replacing the high-paying symbols with a wild, thus not really increasing the win potential as now you will have multiple wins with just low and medium-value symbols. Utterly annoying actually as it takes the suspense out of the gameplay when you know that you won’t be able to score a win with the top symbols.
We highlighted this a few times but Microgaming seems to be taking a back seat when it comes to developing new games. Instead, they are employing scores of small independent studios to do the hard work for them. Well, seeing the latest mediocre releases, it actually can’t be hard work. Arctic Valor impressed us with the intro and that is where the fun stopped. It doesn’t run very smooth and the annoying interruption of Autoplay when the random feature triggers just adds to our negative outlook for this game. The question remains, how long will Microgaming stand on the side to see their reputation for thrilling, high-quality games diminishing.