Wed, Feb 27, 4:43am by Charlotte Lee
Last Updated Mon, Oct 7, 11:26pm
You’ll see the vivid Northern lights set against a starry sky and pine tree forests as the background this IGT pokie. That only tells you half the story. A mystical angle is added by including a beautiful princess on the reels. She is joined by some native animals, a crown and sparkling gems. A musical score with a bubbling magical feel completes the picture.
Icy Wilds includes an interesting new feature. Wild reels are nothing new, though this game lets you know when they are coming on the next spin! There is also a free spins bonus, this is triggered by polar bears. Here are the highlights:
This pokie lets you know when there will be one or more completely wild reels on the next (paid) spin. There is an unusual way in which they appear. Three animals (a big cat, owl and weasel) and 3 jewels appearing stacked on any reel will make that reel wild next time around.
The most common format is that one reel will be wild, though it is possible to get all 5 wild on the same spin. If you are about to stop spinning – and see that next spin reels 1 and 3 (for example) will be wild – it would make sense to spin one more time, as your chances of a big win will shoot up.
There are special bonus symbols showing a polar bear stacked on every reel. To trigger this feature, you need to see them on 3 separate reels. At that point, the number of bears visible comes into consideration to show how many free spins you have.
With the smallest number at 10 (for 3 bears) and the biggest 45 (for 20 bears), there is a wide-range of possible outcomes. Other than a change in the music and background colour for the reels, these free spins are the same as the base game. You can retrigger with 3+ bears on separate reels, and the wild reels bonus from the base game is active during this feature.
With 50 win-lines crossing the 5-reel, 4 row grid, this pokie is at the bigger end of the standard formats. You can’t change the number of win-lines, with only the coin size flexible. Spins start at 50c and go up very high online – live versions will top out at $5 in most casinos.
Stacked symbols mean that it is possible to cover all 50 win-lines from a single spin. The biggest paying symbol is the princess. 5 of these will get you 500 coins, with this symbol paying all the way down to 2 of a kind from the left.
A crown, ring and broach come next at 150 and 125 coins for the maximum. 3 animals (including the snow leopard which looks like it is stuffed) make up the mix-range prizes, while frosty playing card symbols are in their usual role as the lower paying / filler type symbols.
Keep in mind that those wild reels will drop in regularly. This more than made up for the smaller line prizes when I played Icy Wilds.
This pokie has a similar feel to many in the myths or mystical categories. It is designed for relaxation, rather than immersive or intensive gambling sessions. The backdrop with the Northern Lights over a frozen north vista is beautifully drawn.
On the reels the princess stands out – looking almost too prefect. She wears a silver tiara and holds a jewel which looks like a lotus flower. My pick of the animals is the polar bear wild. This is animated, even those times you don’t trigger the bonus – and does look fierce. The music is electronic and ambient. This does manage to add to the magical feel of the game.
For fans of mystical pokies and those that like to unwind while they spin, I’d rate Icy Wilds very highly. This is beautifully produced with excellent graphics and smooth animations. I like the wild reels coming in after a stacked reel system. This adds some strategy to the game. If you are lucky enough to cover the reels in stacked symbols – you know they will all be wild next time for a double big-win!