Slingo Rainbow Riches was revolutionary when it first came out as it added a whole new dimension to Slingo. Until then, all Slingo games awarded fixed prizes based on the number of completed lines (Slingos). Slingo Rainbow Riches was the first such game to have no fixed prizes at all. Instead, you win bonus rounds from or inspired by Rainbow Riches slot games and the more Slingos you complete, the higher the potential of the bonus round you win. Slingo Rainbow Riches is also notable in that you need to collect 5 or more Slingos to win anything at all – which you’re unlikely to do without buying extra spins. Essentially, it’s much higher variance than other Slingo games.
The other slot game themed Slingo games that followed, Slingo Fluffy Favourites and Slingo Centurion, worked on much the same model; win bonus rounds, 5 Slingos needed to win anything at all. So is this new Slingo game, themed on one of the best known and most popular NetEnt slot games of all time, in the same mould?
At first glance Slingo Starburst looks very similar to the earlier slots themed Slingo games, but when try it out you’ll soon realise that no, the playing experience is actually quite different. And when you think about it, there’s good reason for it to be different.
Starburst itself is a very different sort of game to Rainbow Riches and Fluffy Favourites. In those two games (and their sequels) it’s all about the high potential of the bonus round. Starburst doesn’t even HAVE a bonus round; its bonus feature (the Starburst expanding wild and respin) can pop up on any spin.
So the problems the developer had to address in making a Starburst themed Slingo game were threefold:
What to give as prizes given that there’s no bonus round in the original game?
How to incorporate the Starburst expanding wilds feature which is the slot game’s signature gimmick?
How to make the variance of Slingo Starburst relatively low in line with the variance of the slot game it’s themed on?
Looking at the solutions they came up with, we have to say we think they’ve done a pretty good job!
The prizes are guaranteed win spins on the slot game; the more Slingos you complete up to 8, the higher scoring symbol your win spin will use. The prizes for 9 or 10 symbols are enhanced win spins on high scoring symbols and the prize for completing the whole board is a guaranteed win spin on Starburst wilds. A win spin can be anything from 3 of a kind on one line all the way up to 5 of a kind on 10 lines (an entire grid full of the same symbol) and it’s lots of fun to play them and find out what you get. The paytable is exactly the same as in the slot game apart from the omission of one of the two lowest scoring symbols, the purple gem.
The Starburst expanding wilds feature can occur in the win spins in exactly the same way as in the original slot game, but that’s not the only way it’s been incorporated into Slingo Starburst. The Starburst symbol can also show up on the Slingo reels; when it does, it functions as a joker but stays in place for the next spin, so you get to mark off another space in the same column. The purple gem that’s missing from the win spins also shows up on the Slingo reels; if you turn up three or more of them on the same spin you’ll win a spot prize.
Slingo Starburst has been designed so that players who don’t like buying extra spins are much more likely to win something than in the other slot themed Slingo games:
The prizes start at 3 Slingos not 5.
The Extra Spin spinner appears when you run out of spins, giving the chance to win an extra spin with which to try and complete Slingos. The first time it appears the Extra Spin segment takes up 50% of the wheel; if you win the extra spin it appears again after you’ve taken the spin, but this time the Extra Spin segment is smaller, so the more extra spins you win, the harder it gets to win any more. The maximum number of Extra Spins you can win per game is 5. Only after losing on the Extra Spin spinner will you be offered the opportunity to pay for a spin (and only then if it would create or improve a win).
Slingo Starburst has RTP of 96.66% which is the highest yet seen in a Slingo game (this doesn’t extend to pay spins, though – they each have RTP of 95.47%). Despite the (slightly) higher RTP, the flipside of winning more often is, of course, smaller prizes, and you’re not going to get any really spectacular wins playing this game.
Where Slingo Starburst definitely gets it right – and previous Slingo games never really have – is entertainment value for money. It’s possible to have a really enjoyable time playing Slingo Starburst at the minimum stake of 10p a game and without ever using any pay spins (indeed, if you aren’t comfortable with the idea of paying for extra spins you can use the game settings to disable them).
A great addition to the Slingo canon, then, that successfully captures the essence and mirrors the appeal of the original slot game.
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