Wed, Feb 27, 2:16am by Mia Chapman
Last Updated Mon, Oct 7, 11:28pm
Dramatic Tiger Action with an Unusual Reel Setup
There are now a lot of pokies with a broadly similar setup to this one – though Siberian Storm caught the imagination of players around the world. The pokie uses a diamond shaped reel configuration, together with wins in both directions. The theme is the frozen Siberian north. Here majestic tigers rule. You’ll see these tigers (and their eyes!) on many of the symbols.
Siberian Storm has been so popular that there is now a Dual Play version, plus one which includes IGT’s MegaJackpots progressive. You will also find a version set in the deep jungles or Borneo – called Sumatran Storm. This page reviews the dramatic original version – starting with a summary of the highlights.
Key Features Which Make Siberian Storm Well Worth a Spin
Most pokies have square reels. These days the 5 reels – with either 3 or 4 rows of symbols on each – is the standard configuration.
With Siberian Storm you get 5 reels, though of different sizes as you go from left to right. The overall effect is a diamond shape. The reels have 3, 4, 5, 4, and 3 symbols on each. Wins require a minimum of 3 symbols – though can start on either reel 1 or 5. If you are used to wins only starting on the left, you’ll be in for some surprise pay outs, at least until you tune in to the both directions system.
A variation of all-ways wins called ‘Multiway Xtra’ is used. This gives you 720 winning combinations for every spin. As long as matching symbols are on consecutive reels (starting on reels 1 or 5), then you have a winner.
If you get 2 symbols on one reel in a winning configuration, you now have 2 wins. Add 2 symbols on another reel, and you have 4 winning combinations – and so on. Your biggest wins on this type of pokie will come from multiple symbols on some of the winning reels.
To say this is an unusual bonus symbol is an understatement. A bright blue and black tiger eye stares at you, unblinking, from the reels. You need to hit this eye symbol on all 5 reels to trigger the free spins bonus. You get 8 free spins for every combination. One on each reel gets you 8 spins, add another eye on one of the reels and you have 16 and so on – up to 96 free spins in total.
These take place with a new background, and with an even more intensive music score than the base game. You can retrigger for more free spins too.
With 720 ways to win on every spin, the prizes for individual 5 of a kinds are smaller than on other pokies. Your biggest wins will come when you trigger multiple combinations of wins on a single spin. This is helped by wild symbols. These appear in stacks, and on the middle 3 reels only. They substitute for regular symbols, though not the scatters or eye (bonus) symbols.
Your biggest wins will come from the pokie logo symbols. These are worth 1000 coins for the maximum 5 (based on 50 coins per spin). Two tigers come next. The classic orange and black striped one is worth 400 coins, with the stunning white one worth 300 coins.
Jewels and horns make up the remaining symbols.
The background to the reels of Siberian Storm is hazy. This blue scene shows trees and snow, as if through a blizzard. Around the reels are ice shards, with a tiger design carved into the top right corner.
Detailed symbols give this pokie a majestic feel. The bonus symbol with the eye immediately stands out – though the pair of tigers are the most detailed. You’ll hear roars when you win with them and stirring music will play while you spin.
When you get to the free spins, things go dark. The symbols change (background and colouring), and the music gets even more dramatic.
With so many pokies with similar setups, why did Siberian Storm win the popular vote over Prowling Panther or Fire Opals (to pick just 2 examples)? For me this is all about the production. IGT has managed to add some real drama to the beautiful artwork of this game. There is plenty to like about the game-play too. With wins in both directions, wild symbols and a potentially huge free spins bonus.