The Most Popular Gem Themed Slot Since da Vinci Diamonds?
There is little doubt that Starburst is a hugely popular online slot. This is a simple gems game, that somehow nails that elusive playability factor. Many casinos – including the high-class Mr Green Casino, now have special offers tied to this game, more on that below!
Mobile phone / smartphone use is key to the design – though Starburst works just fine on desktops too. The symbols are big, bold and sparkling coloured gems. There are also a couple of tributes to old traditional slot symbols. Examples include 7’s and bar symbols. I have to say that the bar symbols might say ‘bar’, though look nothing at all like those old slots!
While you play some atmospheric electronic music plays. You’ll be interrupted by more jarring, lively music when you hit wins.
As I mentioned, the game-play is simple. You have 10 win-lines, 2-way wins and wild symbols which expand and then stay in place for a respin. Somehow, this simple slot has captured the imagination of millions of online slot fans. Read on to find out why!
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Game Play Basics: How the Starburst Slot is Set Up
Almost all online slots pay prizes when you line up symbols from the left-hand side to the right. After a while, it becomes natural to follow the symbols in that direction. This makes both-ways wins a little harder to get used to.
There is a big benefit though – wins will drop in when you were not ready for them. Starburst has 10 win-lines and prizes which come from right to left as well as left to right. Before you ask; nope, you do not get paid twice for 5 of a kind wins!
10 win-lines is the default. You can lower this, though with wild reels in play, I prefer not to. You can switch up your coin value instead. 1c per line (10c per spin) is the start, you can bet up to $10 per spin if you wish. Auto play lets you sit back and enjoy the action without needing to press each time. The final option ‘level’ is simply a bet multiplier.
Wins and Winning Combos: A Look at the Starburst Slot Pay Table
Gems come stacked on the reels. This makes multiple wins possible from the same spin. Your chances of multiple wins are improved further by the Starburst special wilds (see below for more on those).
Single wins are smaller, you get the big prizes via these ‘Combo’ and ‘Super Combo’ wins.
Bar symbols, or rather the circle with the word Bar on it, gives you the biggest prize. This is worth 250 coins for 5 of a kind, 400 for 4 (from either direction) and 50 for just 3. Not bad for a 10-coin bet. Next comes the red 7’s in the blue circle, at 120 for the max 5.
The remaining symbols are all cut gems, in bold colours. They have effective sparkling designs. Of the gems, the yellow triangle ones are the best paying. These are worth 60 coins for the maximum 5. Hexagonal green gems follow at 50 coins for 5, then orange, blue and purple ones.
All symbols on Starburst require a minimum of 3 of a kind to trigger a win.
Key to getting big wins are the special ‘Starburst Wilds’
These look like flowers, with the petals made of sparkling coloured gems. They can only appear in the middle 3 reels, and when one does appear – the game kicks up a gear.
First, the wild will expand, covering all 3 positions on its reel. These are now all wild. If there are any additional wins created by the expanding wild, they are totalled up and banked. Next the remaining 4 reels will respin. You do not need to do anything, this happens quickly and automatically.
You’ll sometimes create more wins right away. The magic happens when this respin gives you another of the Starburst wilds. If so, then the original wild reel stays, the new one expands to cover a reel, and your wins are banked. Next the remaining 3 reels respin.
If you are really lucky, you’ll get the 3rd wild, and one final respin with all 3 reels wild. Keep in mind that with wins from both directions, you’ll be looking at multiple wins (minimum 4 of a kind x 10 x 2) from this.
In my experience, these wilds (at least one at a time) are frequent enough to keep the game play engaging.
Design and Compatibility of the Starburst Slot
Gems are not the most exciting or animated of symbols, and overall the design is simple. This makes it ideal for mobile phone use – where any details would be too small to spot. As you would expect from NetEnt, the game play is super smooth. This more than makes up for the ‘unexciting’ production.
There are some nice small touches. The stars behind the reels do swirl around. There is also a curved effect, which is highlighted by the line markers. Sparkling gems, bright lights when you win, and the cool electronic sound effects are all positives.
Should You Find Out What Makes Starburst So Popular?
For some people, one slot becoming a hit and another a miss is a mystery. I have played Starburst many times over the years, and now know why this became such a popular game.
It is not the graphics (though those are smart enough by anyone’s standards).
It is not the jackpots (there are no progressives for this game).
It is simply that NetEnt managed to nail the balance between solid game play and the occasional bonus game. Yep, really, its that simple and that good.
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More Popular NetEnt Slot Reviews:
- My NetEnt Slot Software Overview Page (lots more options!)