The record busting video slots title from NetEnt is fast approaching its tenth birthday but it remains a firm favourite with the fans, regularly topping out monthly most popular slots title charts. This article will take a look at what’s kept slots aficionados loyal to the gargantuan cosmic five reeler.
Slots games are popular all over the world. They occupy the most floor space in brick-and-mortar casinos and often the most screen real estate at the online counterparts too. Their addictive nature taps into our reward systems and keeps us spinning away.
Because slots sims are as ubiquitous and lucrative as they are, themes have been developed to suit every taste and niche. Casino software developers have been able to attract top game designer talent from the industry to produce games that range from official movie and video game collaborations to retro titles, alongside the more traditional casino themes. The quality of video slots has been improving year on year.
One of the most popular themed games is Starburst, which follows an outer space motif, complete with futuristic soundtrack and crisp colourful graphics and animations. The game has some unique features which set it apart from its competitors. A combination of two-win directions and an exciting respin game mode have garnered favour among critics and players alike.
The aesthetic of Starburst is strongly reminiscent of the seminal 2001 flash browser game Bejeweled—which has since gone on to have several full releases and apps, as well as an arcade machine. There are obvious similarities between the gems in both games, particularly the animation and interplay between them when chains are achieved. It could be argued the match three style game borrowed initially from the one arm bandit concept in the first place so maybe it’s a case of reciprocity.
Starburst is made up of various brightly coloured jewels.
The gameplay basics—like many slots—are quick to learn with some more advanced features that keep it exciting for slots veterans:
- Starburst is a five-reel slot game with symbols consisting of different coloured gems of increasing value, lucky 7s and the ‘Bar’ icon which represents the jackpot. Purple and blue gems have the lowest value, followed by red, green and finally yellow.
- Win lines range from one to ten—the more that are chosen to be active, the higher your bet will be. Essentially each win line multiplies your selected bet amount. A win line is the order across the reels of visible symbols which will award a payout. The initial and simplest win line is usually the centre symbol on each reel but they become more complex, the more you have selected.
- Win lines in Starburst are labelled as ‘levels’. The first three are all horizontal through neighbouring symbols but higher levels zig zag their way across the reels. On top of win lines come the game’s first trump card—two-win directions.
- Ordinarily slot machines wins are awarded from left to right. Starburst, however, pays out from left to right and from right to left. In a single direction slot if you were to have symbols on the four right most reels matching, but the first reel did not, there would be no payout. In this instance, Starburst would pay out for four in a row.
- Furthermore, a successful five reel payout is awarded double because the win can essentially be read in both directions. This is also true of the jackpot so prizes really can grow exponentially.
- Where things really get interesting and perhaps what gives Starburst its personality is the introduction of the ‘Wild’ symbol and how it’s utilised. A Wild symbol is a placeholder for any other symbols. Whenever a Wild lands, the pace of the music picks up (as does your heart rate), all symbols on its reel transform into Wilds and any resulting payouts are banked.
- But that’s not all, oh no—all reels excluding the Wild reel respin for more chances to win. If you’re lucky enough to encounter a further Wild symbol on one of the respun reels, the process continues up to three times. This is the combination of events that will pay out the highest.
- Bets per spin range from 10p to £100 so you can play it safe or really go to town.
Even though winning spins occur less often but when they do occur, the rewarding feeling gets you even more hooked.
We played for a while—maybe a bit longer than we originally intended because we got hooked—and we noticed that more often than not, reels are populated by similar symbols. This means while it might make winning spins happen slightly less often, when they do occur, it’s usually something big and exciting.
Starburst—and other NetEnt titles are free to play, which means you can get good before putting down any of your hard-earned cash. You’re probably also more likely not to waste money on spins where you’re trying to work out what’s going on.
Themed slots are so well liked because their target market is so broad. There are different titles for everyone and every play-through, every win streak is unique and offers a slightly different experience. Starburst is certainly one of the best and we enjoyed it as much as a casual game than as an ordinary video slot.