A Sci-Fi Slot with a Deep Space Picks Bonus Game
As space themed slots go, Starscape from MicroGaming is on the ‘solid’ end of the spectrum. This is a playable slot, with planets, space ships and logos on the reels. While it not new, it has all the qualities that MicroGaming built their name on. 5 reels, 25 win-lines and plenty of opportunities for landing big line hits. You’ll find moons, ringed planets and a stunning comet with a twisted tail on the reels – and enjoy some sound effects which would fit well with any space movie in the last 20 years.
No free spins in this game. Instead the key bonus is a map of deep space. This not only looks great, you can snag some big wins from it. If you pick the hidden multiplier, these can be up to 3x the amounts advertised. As you will see below, wilds also give your wins a welcome boost.
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Ground Control to Major Tom: Here is How the Starscape Slot Works
There is a big contrast between the bright line makers at the side of the reels, and the star field in the background. Those makers start at the default (and maximum) of 25 lines. These cross a very down-to-earth 5 by 3 grid.
Below those reels the control panel gives you the following options: You can select the number of lines to play, choose a coin size and play up to 10 coins per line. This gives you a lot of flexibility. Your bet size can be from 25c (assuming you stick with all the lines) and up from there. As with all MicroGaming slots, an auto-play option is made available. The game is the same if you use this, only you don’t need to keep clicking the spin button. ’Max Bet’ simply sets the number of coins to 10 per line and spins all in one.
Space Chase: Winning Combinations in the Base Game
Wilds, which are the Starscape slot logo, have the biggest line prize. This is a full 7,000 coins for lining up 5. That is a decent prize for a 25-line slot. These symbols pay all the way down to just 2 of a kind (starting on the left-hand reel). As wilds, they substitute for all the regular symbols, though not the space-ship scatters. Any win created with a wild has double the prize listed on the pay table.
A sun, with interesting curling prominences, is the next highest paying symbol. This is worth 1000 coins for 5 of a kind. A green ringed planet follows at 500 for 5. With an orange planet, complete with a flare and moon circling next a 250. Completing the unique winning symbols, you’ll find a comet and a traditional grey moon.
Playing card symbols can dominate a little. These are old, primary colours, and make up the smaller (and hopefully very regular) wins.
Space Ship Scatters and Deep Space Picks
Scatters are worth hitting in the Starscape slot. There are two reasons for this. First, these symbols have prizes as multipliers of your total bet. You’ll get 100x the amount that you spin for if you hit 5 of these alien looking ships on a single spin. Second, they trigger the unique bonus game.
You’ll see a tiled deep space view, which includes a detailed nebula and stars. On the left is a pay table, which shows different designs and prizes. This is a simple picks game. You keep on clicking the tiles until you match 4 of a kind of one design. There is an extra boost if you get a hidden 3x multiplier. This will triple any of the prize, so you’ll be rooting for a big one especially when you get this symbol.
When the game is over, you’ll see another screen. This shows a planet eclipsing a sun, somewhere out there in the universe!
Design of the Starscape Slot
There are better games when it comes to graphics, though Starscape holds up well. The only real stand out symbol in the base game is the scatter space-ship. This has an alien design. It remains static until you get 3 or more. At that point it zooms forward with white light – possibly with some kind of ion drive. As I mentioned above, playing card symbols can dominate some spins. The planets, sun and comet are all smart without being exceptional.
Graphics certainly step up a level or two for the picks game. That tiled space view is almost too good to spoil by clicking. I am sure the lure of big prizes from matching those symbols will not stop you from clicking it for long!
Sound effects include a weird background pulse. There are plenty of sci-fi beeps and tunes. These are certainly on-theme, and they do give the slot an overall retro feel.
Should You Set Controls for the Stars with the Starscape Slot?
I rate this as a solid and enjoyable slot. It is the kind of game which works best on auto-play. The game-play is excellent, though the interactivity is low. Doubled wins with the (frequent) wild symbols give the game some appeal. The chance of hitting those picks wins with a 3x multiplier, or getting that 100x scatter win, both add the potential for excitement.
If you enjoy a spin on an old-fashioned space themed slot, then this could make for an entertaining session. Check out MicroGaming’s Starscape for yourself soon.
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