The stories regarding mermaids have lived on through the ages with each new generation having its own take on the story.
Whether that is Patrick Duffy in the Man from Atlantis, Daryl Hannah in Splash or even Disney's The Little Mermaid, their mythology remains one of the most enduring.
It is therefore unsurprising that the Ariana slot from Microgaming has become so popular with slot players since its release. Part of its huge appeal is most definitely in how the game has been presented.
While some slots take a more restrained approach to how the game is presented, Ariana drags you beneath the waves and transports you to an otherworldly underwater realm. The graphics are sumptuous with deep azure water lapping above what looks like a beautiful reef.
On the reels you will find the usual mix of lower value playing card symbols (10 through to Ace) which offer the smaller wins in the game. However there are also four higher paying symbols, a coral reef, a treasure chest, a sea dragon that looks like a floating piece of seaweed and Ariana herself who is the highest paying symbol on the reels.
The three lowest value high symbols are all stacked on the first reel, while Ariana is stacked across the full range of reels, meaning that you can trigger multiple winning paylines when you hit stacked Ariana symbols across a number of reels.
This 5x3 slot boasts 25 paylines although these are not selectable, however you can increase or decrease the size of the bet in increments of 0.25, ranging from 0.25 as the lowest price bet up to a maximum bet value of 125.00. This means that Ariana is a slot that can be enjoyed by the lower stakes player right up to the higher rollers.
To help you land some of the bigger wins in the slot you have a couple of other symbols which perform a number of other features. The first of these is the Wild symbol, which is the Ariana logo, which replaces any high or low value symbol to create winning paylines.
One thing to note here that is a real feature of the slot is that the Expanding Symbol feature is in operation. What this means is that when you land a full complement of stacked symbols on the first reel, any other matching high value symbols you land on that spin (not including Wild symbols) will expand to cover their respective reels. This can lead to some of the biggest payouts in the base game.
That same feature is active in the Free Spins bonus round and this is accessed by landing three or more of the scatter symbols, the purple starfish, anywhere across the reels. When you do this you will trigger 15 free spins initially.
During free spins however, there are some small changes made to the reels. First off, the Ariana Wild symbol is now stacked on the first reel and secondly, if you land a full complement of any high value symbol on reel one during free spins, then not only do all symbols of the same type on other reels expand to fill the reels, but any Wild symbols also expand too. Both these features give you a great chance of landing a big win and a chance at taking home the top jackpot prize of 30,000 coins.
Best of all, if you can hit three or more Starfish during free spins, then you will re-trigger the free spin bonus round with an additional 15 free spins and if you can land the maximum 5 starfish at any point in free spins or the base game, then you can win 12,500 coins on top of your free spins award.
Ariana is a slot which does rely somewhat on its features to give it appeal. It is definitely a medium to higher variance game. Wins do not come readily too often but what wins there are tend to be a mix of lower value wins interspersed with larger wins which can, in a good session, keep the bank balance topped up, or even see you land a big win to give it a much bigger boost.
The Expanding Symbols feature in the base game can produce some excellent wins, but it is in the Free Spins round when Wilds are also expanded that you can land the biggest and best value wins in the game, which means you do need to be patient to trigger the free spins round by landing those three or more starfish scatters.
Ariana has been a smash hit since its release last year and you can play it right now with no deposit required free spins!
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