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Starlight Christmas [Pragmatic Play]


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Title: Starlight Christmas
Developer: Pragmatic Play
Reels: 6
Rows: 5
Paylines: Scatter Pays
RTP: 96.5%
Free Spins Freq: 1 in 448
Max Win: 5,000x
Max Win Probability: 1 in 697,350
Volatility: High (5/5)
Min/Max Bet: 0.20/100
Release Date: December 16, 2022

Now playing:  https://k8.io/games/slots/vs20schristmas

Starlight Christmas: Slot Overview

Why don't we start off with a dash of hyperbole? Do you ever go shopping around Christmas time, and it seems like every store has the same gosh darn festive playlist running over and over and over on an endlessly repeating loop? Reviewing slots this year has felt a little like that, as the stream of Christmas-related options has been impressively steady. Making another addition to the considerable line-up of gaming options is Pragmatic Play, with a contribution called Starlight Christmas. If you've played the studio's earlier game, Starlight Princess, you'll know the drill, as Starlight Christmas is a straight Xmas reskin, with very little altered outside of the cosmetics.

The anime quality has remained; however, the main character, the princess presumably, has moved from the castle-y cloudy domain of the previous game to a snowing mountainous one for Starlight Christmas. Makes sense since Christmas is often associated with snow, making the time spent around the tree opening presents that much cosier. A few baubles and gifts lie about the place, some jingling has been added to the soundtrack, and the princess wears a Santa hat, but it's not the most Christmassy slot on the market. Not that this is a requirement, but no Santa Claus appeared during the review, either.



Stats are the same, meaning players get a highly volatile math model, churning out a maximum RTP of 96.5%, whether playing normally, using the Ante Bet, or buying free spins. Regular bets start at 20 p/c and go as high as £/€100 per spin, increasing by 25% when activating the Ante Bet. Doing so doubles the chance of triggering free spins. The game is played on a 6x5 panel and is available on any device.

Few studios have made such extensive use of scatter-paying win systems as Pragmatic Play, and Starlight Christmas has one of those. How it works is that when at least 8 identical symbols are in view, anywhere on the reels, a win is created. Winning scatters are removed from the grid whenever they hit by the Tumble feature, allowing symbols to drop down into the gaps. For low-paying symbols, Starlight Christmas has five variously coloured gemstones and four random objects displaying stars, moons, hearts, and suns on them as the high pays. Landing an 8-9 of a kind scatter win pays 0.25 to 10 times the bet, increasing to 2 to 50 times the bet for a 12-30 of a kind win. One last rule, for now, is Starlight Christmas does not land wilds on its reels at any time.


Starlight Christmas: Slot Features



So, no wilds, but there are scatters and multiplier symbols. Multiplier symbols appear on all reels during spins or tumbles in the base game and free spins. When multiplier symbols hit, they have a multiplier value of x2 to x500. At the end of a tumbling sequence, the values of all multipliers in view are added up and applied to the total win before it is awarded.

Free Spins
One new bit is the Santa Hat wearing kitty scatter symbol. Landing 3, 4, or 5 scatters anywhere on the board awards 15 free spins plus a payout of 3, 5, or 100 times the bet, respectively. In free spins, whenever a multiplier symbol hits, its value is added to a total multiplier. For the full round, whenever a new multiplier symbol lands and a win results, the total multiplier is added to the multiplier symbol values before being applied to the win from the tumble sequence. If 3 or more scatters land during the bonus, +5 additional free spins are awarded.

Lastly, if applicable, players can buy free spins for 100x the bet rather than triggering it organically. Ante Bet must be disabled in order to buy free spins.



Starlight Christmas: Slot Verdict

As with all lot of clone jobs, if you liked the original, there's a bankable chance you'll like the new one too. Or be repelled by the presumably lower-than-normal amount of effort required to accomplish a remake. Then again, the middle ground third option runs along the lines of ambivalent meh. Starlight Christmas kind of felt closer to that last one. The real irony is that Starlight Princess was already a clone of Gate of  Olympus, where does it end? Fortunately, we live in a digital age. Back in the day, copies of copies of, say, audio tapes could result in a steady decline in sound quality the more the tracks were reproduced.

What we are trying to allude to, in a roundabout way, is the degradation of quality that can result when something has been copied on several occasions. If you were around for the original Gates of Olympus, seeing the same thing roll out again kind of loses its initial impact. There are caveats, of course, and players into anime might well have approved of Starlight Princess and, by extension, Starlight Christmas as well if Christmas is also a personal fav. The game certainly functions as well as its predecessors, it'd be odd if it didn't, and the scatter win/tumble/multiplier combo can be a good one when it produces something impressive. If it all sounds pretty nifty and would like to know what the winning potential might be, Starlight Christmas comes with a win cap of 5,000 times the stake set in place.

So yeah, the game's stats and features are respectable enough, but the mould slot, Starlight Princess, wasn't a major draw, and neither is its spawn. Never mind, the world of entertainment is peppered with specific niches catering to various desires, so there are possibilities here for players enamoured by the thought of an anime-styled Christmas slot; it isn't something you don't see every day, after all.



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