10 years on, why everyone still loves Starburst


Ask 10 people who have a passing knowledge of casino gaming to mention a video slot game and there’s a good chance that at least half of them will say Starburst. Despite the fact that it is celebrating its 10th birthday this year and new games are released every month, Starburst remains the highest rated of them all. Why is it so popular? 

You can often play for free

Before we get too poetic about Starburst, let’s start with a completely prosaic reason for its popularity. Many casinos offer a free bonus with no deposit for new members. That bonus often takes the form of free spins on – you guessed it – the game that everyone has heard of. The chance to win thousands without laying down any money of your own is too good for most people to turn down – even if the wagering requirements make the probability of walking away with huge cash minimal.

A classic design

Human beings are shallow creatures at heart, and first impressions count. Starburst has a colorful appearance and smooth design that is immediately pleasing to the eye. Stars against the blackness of space is an idea that is stunning in its simplicity, but has certainly withstood the test of time. 

Simple gameplay

Slot games have evolved significantly over the years. Today, you’ll find they are often jam packed with special symbols, exploding wilds, bonus mini games and all manner of other things. That’s great if you enjoy games with additional complexity, but it can just as often deter players who want a simpler gaming experience. Starburst has just seven symbols in play plus one wild. With five reels and 10 paylines, it’s definitely a case of “less is more” and that appeals to a lot of players. 

High RTP

RTP stands for “Return to Player” and is the average amount that a game is programmed to pay out in winnings. Starburst has a 96.1 percent RTP meaning it pays out an average 96.1 coins for every 100 coins wagered. That’s a highly respectable figure and it means players tend to come back time and again.

Low volatility

As well as RTP, games are characterized by volatility. High volatility games pay out large prizes but only occasionally. Low volatility means regular smaller payouts. Casual players tend to prefer low volatility games, as they are more rewarding when you are on a limited bankroll. Playing high volatility games means hanging in longer waiting for that big win, and that’s generally a less appealing proposition. 

A trusted name

Starburst is probably the most famous game from the NetEnt stable. Now NetEnt has been around since the 1990s and was one of the pioneers of the iGaming industry. It is probably the best known slot game developer of them all, and has a reputation for creating good quality games that are fun to play and have fair payouts. In the casino industry, trust counts for a lot!

The future of Starburst  

The popularity of NetEnt’s Starburst slot shows no sign of diminishing, and it is as popular as ever 10 years after its initial release. But the game’s developers do not believe in standing still. A few months ago, they released Starburst Xxxtreme, a new game but based on a very familiar model. 

Visually, there is very little difference between the two games. The newer update is a little sharper, which is to be expected, but otherwise the developers have been careful to retain the overall look and feel of Starburst. 

It’s when you get into the gameplay that you notice the differences. Starburst Xxxtreme features expanding Wilds that respin with a random multiplier plus multiplier Wilds that can appear at any time. The latter can accumulate for what you might call “multiple multipliers,” so there is the potential for some serious rewards.

These extra features come at a cost, which is much higher volatility than the original game. Some players believe Starburst Xxxtreme has made a classic game even better. Others prefer the simplicity and lower volatility of the original. Ultimately, Starburst Xxxtreme is designed to compliment Starburst, not to replace it, so why not try out both versions and see which you prefer?



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