Forest fantasy themes have been used in a variety of types of media with what can seem like an unless number of twists and turns. This same type of theme works out pretty well in Realtime Gaming's Stardust online slot. While the title might make you wonder if it's about outer space, it's actually about a forest fantasy type of scenario with lots of fairies, unicorns, magical crystals and other goodies on the reels.
There's a good balance in the gameplay for this title between the pay table's value and the value players get from the bonus features. The volatility ends up being on the lower end of the medium range as a result, and there are a number of ways to get paid with pretty good payouts.
Format and Layout
The layout for this game is a familiar one. You'll find five vertical reels, three horizontal rows and 243 ways to win. With this all ways format, players have most regular symbols acting as left-to-right scatters that pay no matter which positions they land on as long as they land from left to right on consecutive reels.
The betting centers around 40 coins per spin with no option to change that. Since coins go from $0.01 to $0.25 apiece, your overall range of available bet sizes starts at $0.40 and goes up to the $10 level. High rollers may not find the bet sizes that they are looking for here, but that will affect a very small minority of players.
Two Wild Fairy Symbols
There are two different wild fairy symbols, and they're both female. The green fairy is a regular wild symbol and looks to be more on the good and alluring side of things. The blue fairy, however, looks to be more on the evil and shady side. They both substitute for anything but the scatters.
The difference between these two lies in the multipliers. The green fairy symbol does not give a multiplier on your wins. However, the blue one gives a massive 4x multiplier on any winning combination that includes at least one of them. Aside from that, the green fairies have a chance to turn into blue ones when they appear on the reels normally.
Scattered Willow Symbols
The willow symbol is scattered, and it looks like a giant tree with a lighted tunnel through the bottom of it. Five of a kind pays 125x, and four gets players 10x. You can also win 3x for five of a kind. These payouts are based on multipliers of your entire wager. While all other symbols have to show up from left to right on the reels to give a payout, the scattered willow can appear anywhere on the grid of symbols.
Free Spins Feature
Three, four or five of the scattered willow symbols award players eight, 15 or 50 free spins, respectively. On each free spin, you'll get a random reel that's completely full of green fairies. What's more is that you can re-trigger this feature with more willow symbols for even more value.
Key Symbols and Payouts
The upper set of symbols all pay for two of a kind or more. It starts with the male warrior fairy, and he gives you 500x (2,000x with a blue wild) for five of a kind. The unicorn gets players 250x for five, or 1,000x with a blue fairy wild, and five of the set of small fairies over a saucer earns 125x (or 500x).
From there, the rest of the symbols require at least three of a kind for a win. The blue butterfly and yellow bug symbols both pay players 100x (or 400x) for five, and five of the toadstools or bag of magical dirty gets you 75x (or 300x). The lowest-paying symbols are the glowing purple crystal and the red berries. They both give you 50x for five or 200x with a blue fairy wild symbol in the combination.
The Stardust slot's gameplay centers largely around the dynamic between the two wild symbols. The multipliers give chances for some bigger wins in what is otherwise a title with a high hit-rate and a pretty tame volatility. Mix that in with the free spins, and you've got an exciting experience waiting to happen.
In terms of how this title looks, we think that it will appeal to a wide range of players because it goes a little outside of the box from what you'd typically expect with a forest fantasy theme.
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