Rarely does a game manage to combine a popular theme with graphics that are unlike anything that we have seen before within the genre, but that was definitely the first impression to cross our minds when we first lay eyes on Ariana. The game slots comfortably into the underwater category, which is undoubtedly one of the most popular themes in all of gaming, and manages to make something stunning out of it too. It is packed with some great features and offers an all-round pleasurable mobile gaming experience that will thrill Microgaming fans in particular.
What to Expect
You will be able to tell that this game looks the part from the moment that it loads up, and much of that comes down to the effort that has gone in to the design of the symbols. The likes of the starfish and Ariana herself are two of the best-looking symbols that we have ever seen, and they are ably supported by some other excellent themed symbols too. Sure, the playing card icons have somehow managed to wedge themselves into proceedings, and they stick out like a sore thumb, but even they cannot hope to sabotage the overall atmosphere on display here on this game.
In gameplay terms, Ariana is easy to get in to, with 25 lines of action being the order of the day, along with the standard selection of coin bets that players have undoubtedly come to expect from this developer. The Ariana logo is a pivotal symbol on the board, filling in as a wild card, and in something of a surprising twist given the name behind the game, there is a base game bonus too. Ariana herself is the most valuable symbol on the board and comes stacked on every reel as standard, but all of the other symbols, from playing card ranks up, can also land as a stack, but only on the first reel. If you do land a full stack there, every other instance of the same symbol across the board will expand in order to cover its own reel. It can often lead to nothing, but if your luck is in then this will trigger quite the set of winning combinations.
Moving on to the main feature, we have a free spin round to look forward to. The starfish is not only a great-looking symbol, but also serves as the scatter here. Three or more of them in any position on the board will immediately trigger fifteen free games. Rather than a multiplier, players can instead benefit from the fact that the wild card is now added to the pool of symbols that can land as a stack on the first reel, with the same effect as in the base game. Theoretically you could cover the whole board with wilds in this manner, although we have to admit to never having seen it for ourselves!
The MobileCasino.net Verdict
Deep down, Ariana is basically just what players would expect from Microgaming, with a subtle addition to the base action and some great visuals to truly make it feel like a complete package. There is nothing truly out of the ordinary here, but there does not need to be and we still consider this to be a truly above average mobile slot game that anyone that enjoys Microgaming action will want to try.