Released in December 2015, StarDust video slot has clearly been inspired by the concept of space travel as the background resembles a glorious view from a spaceship, although the actual gameplay that happens on the reels leaves a lot to be desired.
Apart from the Milky Way symbol that nicely fits the prevailing theme, remaining icons seem completely out of place, as four gemstones and high cards Ace through Ten have nothing in common with our solar system.
Microgaming has been quite busy churning out new games almost each month, but they should have probably focused on quality rather than quantity, due to the fact that all their new released tend to resemble each other in more ways than one.
For example, StarDust is an obvious clone of Peek-a-Boo in terms of playing format and extra features and this is not the first time the once highly regarded software developer has done this, so no wonder online gamers no longer have such an affinity towards Microgaming.
How to Play
StarDust is played at fixed 40 paylines, meaning that default wager is 40 coins, whereas you can stake up to 400 credits per spin. Meanwhile, coin size ranges from $0.01 to $0.25, which should prove sufficient to cater for most casino gamers.
As that is usually the case, all the selections can be made in the bottom panel that also contains Win, Auto Play, Spin and Menu buttons. And while the background photo, game title and all the buttons look quite appealing, the same cannot be said of the main game screen and symbols populating the reels.
Each Milky Way icon appearing anywhere on reel III will collect one gem symbol per reel and at it to the Stardust Meter. Once 10 gems are collected, the Free Spins round begins, and the player is awarded up to 13 free games.
During the feature, the playing format changes from 40 paylines to 1,024 winning ways, whereas reels IV and V can respin to boost your winnings. This will happen when a three of a kind win occurs on first three reels. Meanwhile, Sturdust Wild is Stacked on all reels during base play and Super Stacked on reels IV and V during Free Spins.
Even if the maximum theoretical payout per single spin stands at $100,000, StarDust is not a game that normally awards substantial payouts. You are more likely to receive wins in the range of 1x to 3x total bet on every three or four spins.
That will not be enough to turn a profit most of the time, and while the highly rewarding Free Spins round sounds quite easy to trigger, we have failed to collect a single gem let alone the required ten on first 100 or so spins.
StarDust has clearly been modelled on Peek-a-Boo, the ghost inspired slot game launched a couple of months earlier, but while its predecessor features an engaging storyline and aptly designed symbols, the December 2015 comes short in said departments.
Taking also into account that base play payouts are far from impressive and that main bonus round is quite difficult to trigger, StarDust doesn’t even come close to winning our seal of approval.