Updated: August 28, 2019Asgardian StonesAsgardian Stones is the new slot game from Net Entertainment, set in the land of Viking mythology and no doubt looking to capitalize on the popularity of recent fantasy media like Game of Thrones or the Thor movies. At an average RTP of exactly 96%, Asgardian Stones is towards the higher end of Net Entertainment slot games, with many falling as low as 74.9% and only rising up to comparable levels when their bonus bet is activated. In this regard, players should be able to expect a fairly decent amount of value for their time and money if they keep playing over time.For the uninitiated, RTP is the ‘Return To Player’ rate of coins put into any given slot over a period of one hundred games, meaning that the higher the rate, the more games can be played without spending more money and therefore the higher the chance of winning a significant jackpot. At 96% the Asgardian Stones RTP is pretty well balanced compared to the competition. But is Asgardian Stones worthy of entrance into Valhalla, or should it best be left to face the wrath of Thor’s hammer?DesignThe game is designed to work in a browser – running on HTML 5 – so a decent internet connection is mandatory, though even older smartphones should be able to handle the simple but pretty artwork-based graphics that so many of Net Entertainment’s other products feature. The desktop and mobile versions are practically identical in playstyle, meaning that a player can easily swap between both. Plus, given the casual nature of the no deposit Asgardian Stones slots, a gamer can withdraw from the slot anytime they like, making it perfect for a quick and satisfying bit of fun. The game has 20 paylines in all. Some people may find this to be a bit of a double-edged sword, as whilst it means that there is less chance of consistently losing out (keeping your bankroll well protected), it doesn’t offer quite the same opportunities for more winnings that higher-payline games may offer. However, the attendant level of risk with 30 payline slots might make Asgardian Stones more attractive to more cautious gamblers. The slot has 5 reels, offering plenty of scope for winning paylines whilst also providing just enough space to make some of the game’s more distinctive bonus mechanics to work.The betting amounts are well sized, going from 0.01 all the way up to a maximum bet of 200. This also scales with the difficulty levels, meaning that players can reap greater rewards as risk increases. The difficulty levels can be adjusted on the fly, allowing a player to up the stakes in real time as they gain more experience and become more confident with the game’s quirks.Mechanics Thankfully, the actual gameplay is less convoluted, using a simple waterfall cascade of symbols down onto the reels as one would expect from any other slot game. Simply line up a winning combination and watch as the winners are removed and new symbols tumble down to take their place, potentially setting up another payline. If multiple, jackpots are won in the same game, this can trigger an ‘avalanche’, whereby the player earns higher and higher bonuses as their winnings increase within the same game. The Asgardian Stones bonus features are quite dramatic in this regard and lead to a real chance of multiplying any winnings.The user interface is also very straightforward, with a clearly marked button to set the reels in motion and controls to alter the difficulty and bet level set to either side. There are also non-intrusive stats to keep track of your winnings, along with a bonus multiplier indicator cleverly disguised as an ancient rune stone on the left of the screen.In total, there are eight different symbols in the game, each offering slightly higher or lower winnings than the others. The normal suite of ‘card’ symbols denoting the King, Queen and Ace are still present in the game, albeit written as ‘K’, ‘Q’, and ‘A’ in a fairly Scandinavian looking font. These three give a top prize of 30 times the player’s line bet if they manage to grab a five of a kind. The other symbols are fairly distinct stone carvings of Norse deities, in keeping with the theme.All of them offer the chance to earn (when the max jackpot is reached) as much as 500 times the player’s line bet. The largest jackpots offered by the basic ‘god’ symbols come from Odin, recognizable by his appropriately golden tint, so be sure to be on the lookout for him when playing. There is also the ‘Wild’ symbol (recognizable as a lightning bolt letter ‘W’), that will substitute for any other symbol on a given payline, giving a greater chance of winning whenever it appears on the reels.Asgardian Stones also has a feature called ‘Colossal Symbols’. These are basically enlarged versions of the eight basic symbols that drop down on the reels, taking up multiple spaces (typically four at once) and increasing your chances of landing a win. The larger ones, however, are a bit more exciting. If triggered, these ‘Super Colossal Symbols’ will not only take up more space but if activated after an avalanche they will start moving downwards, eliminating any symbols below as your score increases. This also goes for the Wild symbol, which can oftentimes pretty much guarantee a win if it shows up in the middle reels where it will give maximum coverage.One of the most exciting gameplay options offered by the game is the inclusion of the ‘Bonus Wheel’, a popular feature from many of Net Entertainment’s other products. The way it works is simple: the bonus wheel symbol (taking up as much space as one of the Colossal Symbols) will appear from time to time, but in order to activate, it will have to land so that it covers one of the bottom three rows.Once activated, it will spin a wheel of fortune, giving players a potential instant bonus to their winnings. However, the best part is that if it lands on all three required reels, then the player will get three separate spins of the wheel, potentially more than quadrupling the original bet, giving more spins of the wheel or even giving up to 25 free games in a row. The Asgardian Stones free spins often lead to more bonuses, so this is by no means just a gimmick feature.Advice For New PlayersDespite the simplicity of the game’s overall design, some newer players may find themselves overwhelmed by the flashy visuals and unfamiliar new symbols. Happily, Net Entertainment has taken steps to explicitly combat this issue by including a comprehensive information tab. By clicking the ‘I’ button on the left of the screen, players will open up a very handy visual guide to the game. This provides the main game mechanics, basic instructions and also includes a paytable that can quickly get a newbie up to speed with the various symbols and their associated bonuses and payouts.However, new players should be prepared to be patient, as it can be a long time between jackpots when there aren’t Colossal Symbols on the reels. However, bonuses tend to come thick and fast, meaning that when it rains it pours.In terms of tactics to ensure success, there are a couple of tips that players can use to get the hang of the game. The first is to make the most of free spins of the Bonus Wheel. These can lead to even bigger prizes and even free bets, so don’t be afraid to claw back all the advantages you can. Additionally, when Colossal Symbols activate, it tends to be in clusters, with them making frequent appearances within several subsequent games, so this would be a prudent time to increase the line bet. This goes hand in hand with the earlier observation that losing games tend to group together into long streaks, meaning that gamers should play tactically and conserve their winnings by lowering their bets when there aren’t many paylines active.ConclusionOverall, Asgardian Stones offers a pretty solid gaming experience. The interface itself is well designed, offering a clear picture of what is going on and not obscuring the level of winnings whilst retaining the game’s slick art style. Speaking of which, the overall atmosphere provided by the design aesthetics is (minor accuracy quibbles aside) very consistent, with the music soundtrack just reinforcing the epic feel given by the art and visual effects. For a browser game with such good looks, it runs very well on both Chrome and Safari and even stays well optimized on older versions of iOS.The amount of bonus modifiers is also an attractive feature, adding some spice to the gameplay before things get stale. When it comes to downsides, the only real issue of note would be the occasional relatively long stretches of gameplay where few bets pay off. This is understandable due to the element of chance involved with any slot, but hopefully, this can be improved with further updates to the game. With a nice interface and a solid RTP, this would be a good fit for any player looking for a well-designed gaming experience.