Starburst's theme is incredibly bright and colorful – the slot definitely lives up to its name – and the game itself is a lot of fun to play but, with no bonus round, can it really compete with other NetEnt titles? Let's find out!
The gameplay of the slot is very simple, though there are a few nifty little features that kick things up a gear and make the game a break from the norm. For example, there's the fantastic Starburst Wild. When you trigger a Starburst Wild, it expands to fill the whole reel and stays like that for as many as 3 free re-spins.
The slot has just 10 lines, but wins occur both ways – players can win from right to left as well as the usual left to right – which is pretty rare in slot machines and makes for some pleasant surprises. You'll love it if you've ever been frustrated that you lined up matching symbols in reels 2-5 and were only missing one in reel 1. As a result, the slot actually has the equivalent of 20+ lines thanks to this feature.
It's a very good thing that the game has these extra features because there's no dedicated bonus round to speak off. The Starburst Wild sort of acts as a type of free spin bonus but, with a maximum of three free spins and no guarantee that you'll win anything extra at all, it's hardly the most lucrative out there.
Starburst is fun to play and looks great. It has a simple 5x3 layout and 10 paylines, but pays out from right to left as well as left to right. It doesn't offer much in the way of bonus features, but is still one of the most popular titles in NetEnt's library.
That shouldn't be surprising given its similarity to mobile games like Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga. Starburst is no relation to these games, but comparable gameplay and graphics mean that it holds a certain sense of familiarity for players of this type of game. It has a very respectable, though not enormous, jackpot of 50,000 coins.
The graphics and sounds are very slick, though there's nothing wildly astonishing here. The slot looks very modern, and we can't imagine it looking dated for many years to come. The sound effects are crisp and clear, though they won't exactly leave you in awe, but you can always mute them if you start to find them annoying.
The simplicity of Starburst's gameplay means that it's well suited to new slots players – there are no complex bonus rounds or extra features to get to grips with; all you need to do is spin the reels and you're rolling (pun intended).
Thanks largely to its beautiful visuals, Starburst is one of NetEnt's most popular games and probably occupies a spot in their current top five. As a result, you'll be able to find it in the vast majority of online casinos powered by NetEnt without any trouble.
As you'd expect from a game of this type, there is also a mobile version if you want to play Starburst while you're out and about. As we mentioned above, the lack of a dedicated bonus round makes this a great game if you're just filling time for a few minutes while you're, say, on the bus or waiting for a friend to arrive.
The lack of a bonus round in its most traditional sense might not be such a bad thing for some players; in most games the temptation is always there to just keep playing and playing until you hit a bonus round, which can make it hard to tear yourself away from a gambling session. Starburst's more linear nature means it's easier to pick up and stop when you need to move onto other things.
Players who've grown tired of the free spin rounds, mini-games and cinematics that feature in so many games might also find the simple nature of Starburst very refreshing. In other words, this is a slot that more or less anyone can enjoy.
However, you might find the lack of a dedicated bonus round more than a little frustrating should you run into a drought of wins and be hoping for something that will replenish your bankroll.
With a jackpot of 50,000 coins, Starburst probably isn't a game for jackpot hunters who usually spend their time on progressive titles or slots with jackpots worth hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of coins.
A jackpot that's lower than many other NetEnt titles does, however, mean that the game has a relatively low variance. It's possible to land some nice wins if you get lucky, and you don't necessarily need to land the jackpot or even one of the larger prizes to come out of a session on top.
Starburst is a bit of a rare gem in that it's actually quite fun to play; we can't imagine that many of you are here looking specifically for games that you can enjoy in free play mode, but this is actually one of those games.
Depending on how you like to play, you might find yourself wishing for a dedicated bonus round – that would certainly be an interesting addition if NetEnt decided to produce a Starburst 2 – to break up the gameplay, which can get repetitive after playing for long periods of time.
Still, overall, we think that Starburst is a fun and fresh slot that has lots to offer both new and well-established players.