Siberian Storm one of most popular slots in Vegas
July 30, 2013 3:00 AM
by David Newstead
Siberian Storm is one of the most popular IGT slots to feature in the casino halls of Las Vegas. We take a closer look at the evolution of the game, its theme and game mechanism, to see if we can unlock its secrets.
Siberian Storm was first unveiled to Las Vegas gaming audiences in 2010. After a year where it wowed millions of avid slots fans, IGT – the development house behind the game – revealed it was their most successful game in 2010, beating its other hugely popular titles, such as Sex and the City, Cleopatra and the Megabucks machines.
This slot machine uses an intriguing system of reels, set out in a roughly hexagonal arrangement. It offers players an unbelievable 720 different ways to win, paying out for any combination of consecutive adjacent symbols reading from left to right, and from right to left.
What’s more, it also uses a special winning system known as Multi-Way Xtra, which pays you a multiplier on any specific combination’s prize equal to the number of permutations of the said combination on the reels. This sounds a lot more complex than it actually is – after all, the Las Vegas slots audience wouldn’t have warmed to Siberian Storm in such a big way if there was even the merest hint of inaccessibility in its base-game.
The Multi-Way Xtra system featured on Siberian Storm was first featured on another popular IGT game, Treasures of Troy. This machine is themed around Homer’s epic Iliad, and comes complete with a free spin round that’s activated by hitting Trojan Horse scatters. However, the reel arrangement in this game, which uses a conventional five grid with an equal number of stop spaces on each one, didn’t really seem to lend itself to the Multi-Way Xtra system.
In our opinion, the spin cost was disproportionally high when compared to the amount of winnings you could take from the machine. We believe this was a big factor that IGT considered when creating the innovative hexagonal reel arrangement that’s part of the Siberian Storm signature look.
One of the questions we’re often asked about Siberian Storm is whether or not the Multi-Way Xtra system is as truly innovative as IGT claims. The short answer to this is, when compared to many other slot machines that offer what’s known in the trade as ways to win systems, it’s not really that different, as these tend to pay out multiple prizes for each instance of a combination that appears on the reels.
Where Siberian Storm does stand out, however, is in the fact players can win on the reels for combinations reading in both directions, which is quite a rare mechanic on any slot machine.
We believe one of the big reasons for the success of Siberian Storm is the use of white and Bengal tigers as some of the main symbols on the reels, forming the central point of this game’s theme.
These large cats will always be associated with a unique magic act in Las Vegas – the famous Siegfried and Roy. Gamblers in Las Vegas have come to associate these magnificent animals with the high art of stage-show magic. Players who are looking to conjure some wins off the reels of the many slots in Vegas are always going to choose a theme with which they feel an affinity. They are also well known for liking games suggestive of fate and fortune, which are ideas that go hand-in-hand with magic.
It’s our opinion that IGT has cleverly chosen this theme to hit these notes with the gambling public. Siberian Storm is one of the most successful slots of the last few years to feature in the IGT catalogue. While their new standard reel games like Kitty Glitter and Cats attracted quite a large interest in Las Vegas on their release, they failed to really offer players a new and exciting twist on the slot concept. Instead, they relied on free spin and wild mechanics, which are commonplace within the industry.
But Siberian Storm has been so well received over the past few years that IGT remade it a number of times.
The first re-skinning is known as Fire Opals. This gem-inspired game also gives you more free spins in the bonus round, although in order to accommodate this we believe the mathematical model behind the reels must have been trimmed to offer less cash in the base-game.
Star Trek: Against All Odds uses IGT’s tie-in license with the latest generation of J.J. Abrams-directed films to bend this formula around the USS Enterprise and her well-known crew.
Finally, the most recent slot to be based on Siberian Storm is the Mexican-themed machine, Day of the Dead. This has received a very good reception in Las Vegas, mainly due to the extremely colorful and distinct graphics and animations, which feature dancing skeletons blended with a fiesta feeling.
The final part of the Siberian Storm picture is the free spin round bonus. Players need to hit at least one scatter on every reel to access this feature, receiving eight free spins for every permutation of this combination they hit on the reels.
This means players can hit a maximum of 96 free spins in the initial reel blast with a chance to add even more with re-triggers during the feature.
When you put together all the component parts of this fantastic slot machine, it’s not hard to see how it became such an overnight Las Vegas gaming sensation.
AUTHOR BIO: If you’re looking for expert opinion on top Las Vegas slots like Siberian Storm, then David Newstead is your man. You can read more of his critical reviews and thoughts on the slot industry on his specialist site, www.slotsonline.co.uk.
Contact us at Publisher@GamingToday.com.