One thing is for sure: the designer of this MicroGaming slot was a genuine fan of cricket! The moments captured in the symbols cover key aspects of the game. The diving catch, straight-bat drive and even the umpire raising a finger to say ‘out’ are all included. Fans of cricket will immediately spot that the ball is white. This means the focus is on the faster version of the game. 20/20 or one-day internationals spring to mind.
Other than the lively theme, there are plenty of ways you can win big on Cricket Star. These start with a random ‘wicket’ feature in the base game. There are stacked wilds, tumbling reels and a free spins bonus game which includes growing win multipliers.
This slot uses all-ways wins, which are quickly replacing win-lines as the best setup. 3 or more symbols on consecutive reels triggers a win. You can bet the full 243 possible winning combinations for just 50 coins. Your coin size can be as little as 1c, and you can use up to 10x multiplier for these. As usual, auto-play is on offer.
Prizes on the pay-table update dynamically as you change your bet size. The wins I have listed here are for $1 stakes.
A batsman with a green and gold shirt is the highest paying regular symbol. This is worth $10 for 5 of a kind, $2.50c for 4 and 60c for 3. Remember, you can win up to 243 of these prizes in a single spin – making up for the smaller single win prizes. A bowler comes next at $5 for 5, followed by a wicket-keeper, batsman completing a sweep-shot and fielder catching a ball high over his head. The final symbol involving players is two green-kitted players crossing for a run.
Smaller wins are via some fielders celebrating, the red-shirted umpire and a mixed crowd shot. I like the fact that no playing card filler symbols are used for this game.
Wild symbols show the Cricket Star logo. These are stacked in long strips on the reels and will often cover all 3 positions on a reel. Wilds substitute for all the player symbols and crowd shots – and can create multiple wins from a single spin.
Tumbling reels describes a system where your wins explode (after they are counted). In the case of Cricket Star, you see a firework type explosion. The symbols disappear, leaving a gap. This is filled by the symbols above moving down, and new symbols filling the gaps at the top. It is possible to hit several wins in a row, as the new symbols create different winning combinations. When you have strips of 40 wild symbols in a row, tumbling reels can lead to a lot of wins.
The other on-reel feature is a sequence with random wild reels. You’ll see an animation, and a wicket! This wicket will fill one or more reels entirely.
Tumbling wickets might make for an exciting cricket match – though on this slot, you’ll want to see tumbling reels during the free spins game. You need 3 or more scatter symbols (the white cricket balls) to trigger this. These scatters also have cash prizes, up to 250x your spin amount if you hit 5 of a kind.
During the free spins, you’ll get a multiplier for each tumbling win. The first one pays at the regular amount, then 2x, 3x, 5x and 10x. You’ll also get a lively tune while you spin.
This slot surprised me in how well it captures the excitement of a short-format cricket match. From the start you will hear crowd noises in the background. This crowd can be seen lining a flood lit stadium around the reels. The reels have a crowded look, as many symbols are detailed. It is the colours of the cricketer’s shirts which you will ‘tune in’ to.
Animations are also detailed. All the symbols have them. I particularly like the umpire raising his finger to say ‘out’.
For me this is one of those slots which will divide people. If you love cricket, then this is an excellent game. If you do not know the game, then you’ll probably be left scratching your head as to the different references. The all-ways wins, tumbling reels and random wilds certainly make for a lively base game. When you add in stacked wilds and multiplied wins for the free spins – the game gets even better.