Northern Sky by Quickspin might just be the most aesthetically pleasing video slot in history. Every aspect of the game, from its soft piano soundtrack, to the resonating sound of wins and its soft and beautiful visual design, is just perfect.
But slots are about more than just looks: what does Northern Sky have under its hood? Well, in typical Quickspin fashion, this game is a volatile powder keg that could explode at any moment. With a maximum single-spin win of 3,111x stake and almost endless respins, the beautiful Northern Sky is also a good old-fashioned money printing machine!
As with most games involving automatic respins and cumulative wins, it can be a bit hard to understand Northern Sky at first – we’ll try to break it down.
Northern Sky is a 5×3 cascading symbols game. This means symbols fall from the sky, rather than spinning in reels. Winning combinations are formed when 3+ matching symbols fall on the same payline. The contributing symbols are then highlighted and locked in place for a respin. If any more matching symbols fall onto the payline, another payout is made, and that symbol is also highlighted, and we spin again – this continues until either there’s a screenful of matching symbols, the bonus round is triggered (explained below) or no more winning spins occur.
After a failed spin occurs, the player is paid again for all winning symbols on the reels. These respins make it possible to win huge sums even with low-value symbols.
There are all the usual buttons lining the bottom of the screen to assist players:
All the symbols are beautiful crystal-cut animals and jewels, including sapphire owls, emerald wolves, golden stags, and ruby bears.
For us personally, despite the crazy-high win potential, it’s the audio and visuals that steal the show. The soundtrack is a beautiful combination of soft piano, chimes, and even softer strings. There is a bright ringing sound when wins come in, which is exciting but not overwhelming.
Visually, the game is a masterpiece. The symbols actually look like expertly crafted jewels, the quality is so high. There are no unsightly lines shooting across the screen during wins, just shining circles highlighting the relevant symbols. The background is like something an artist would hang on their wall and even after hours (and we mean hours) of continuous play, we never got bored.
The user experience is just through the roof. Quickspin will do well to ever create another online slots that nails its design as well as Northern Sky.
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With all low-value symbols eliminated from the free spins round, players there have the potential to unleash devastating payouts. Respins offer the chance to earn up to 3,111x stake on every single spin, which at $100 a pop would be $311,000!
The first time we triggered the free spins round in testing, we generated an 80x return – and that’s with 6 of the spins producing no payout at all!
The game boasts two special features which we’ve mentioned a couple of times: Respins and a Free Spins Round!
Following every winning combination, all non-contributing symbols are wiped from the screen and replaced with fresh ones. If the winning pattern is extended, the respins keep coming and keep paying.
What’s really cool is that it takes 3 “BONUS” tiles to trigger the free spins round – but they don’t need to come at once! If players can amass three of these symbols throughout their respins, the bonus round starts!
The round continues exactly the same as the base game, with one crucial difference: no low-value symbols! This not only increases the likelihood of wins, but massively increases the chance of building big respin payouts.
Players should hope to isolate the golden Stag symbol, since a screenful of those produces the game’s biggest payout.
Quickspin is exceptional at two things: producing games which are beautiful, and producing games which are highly volatile. Northern Sky offers players the absolute best of both worlds, with monster payouts and an incredibly pleasing player experience.
The game doesn’t do anything fancy and hits the other nails 100% on the head. The end result, as we’ve seen, is about as close to perfection for a high-volatility game as we could ever expect!