It was around mid-March 2019 when news first surfaced that Play’n GO will release a new slot called Starblast. Slotting connoisseurs will know right away which game would have been cloned. Yes, it would have been indeed the gazillionth copy of Starburst from NetEnt, which was released in 2012 and went on to become one of the most played online slots ever. While the honours for the pay mechanic go to Novomatic with their 2008 Power Stars slot, it was NetEnt who made it popular.
Well, after Netent served Play’n GO what seems to have been a so-called ‘cease and desist’ order, they hastily pulled Starblast from their roadmap and rebranded it under the name Crystal Sun. Still the same slot and pay mechanic but with new symbols. Planet-like icons have replaced the previously used gem-shaped pay symbols.
Crystal Sun is a video slot with five reels, three rows and 10 fixed pay lines. Wins are awarded both ways for three to five symbols on a line from left to right and from right to left. Thanks to the HTML5 format, you can spin the reels on desktop, mobile and tablet from as little as 0.10 up to 100 credits per spin. The RTP of this high variance game is set at 96.60%.
Little has been changed on the graphics. An interstellar Nebula scene with planets and stars features in the background of the frameless game window. Planets and the sun feature prominently on the reels while generic soundtrack tries to heighten the suspense of a mostly lull game. Although, an excited male voice will wake you up once in a while when it announces the respins.
To be honest, I spent quite some time thinking on how I should describe the low-value symbols, dismissing gems and planets at some point and settling for crystals, after all, it is in the name. You have five of those on the low level in purple, yellow, orange, green and red colours, paying 2x to 4x your bet for a five of a kind. They are followed by the two top symbols – triple 7s and triple diamonds, awarding a win of 8x and 16x your bet respectively when five land on a pay line. A burning sun crystal held in a pentagram star is the wild symbol, appearing on reels two to four only and substituting for all pay symbols.
Most will know what the feature is and how it plays out in a spin sequence. Whenever a wild lands anywhere on the three centre reels on a spin, it will expand to cover the entire reel and take on a wild win multiplier of x1, x2 or x3. Only the winning combos containing a wild will be multiplied, while more than one on a line are added, providing the potential for a maximum win multiplier of x9.
The wild will then turn into a stick wild reel after any potential wins are paid and a respin is awarded. The procedure repeats when more wilds hit on the respin until either no new land or all three centre reels are wild. Wins are paid after every respin.
As a five of a kind is also paid both ways, the maximum win in a single spin or respin peaks at 2,880x bet when you hit x3 wild multipliers on each reel and a full screen of diamonds. The overall win potential is up to 4,000x your stake.
Well, Play’n GO was clearly not prepared to drop their clone completely and launched it with a different name and new pay symbols to appease NetEnt. Whether it will please players, is another question as the game is mostly boring and on top highly volatile.