One of the most popular series of slots Microgaming has produced over the years has been their sporting "Star" series of games.
There are now a large number of these games covering a wide range of sports, Cricket, Rugby, and Basketball. But perhaps the most popular of all these slots, chiefly due to the worldwide popularity of the sport itself, is the Football Star slot.
Part of the appeal of this series of games is that if you play just one game, then you can play all the others as they are all build around the same game engine, with almost identical features and payouts. That's great because it means if you are not particularly au fait with one of the sports in question, you can still play the slot and enjoy it as much as any of the other games.
With that in mind what you have with Football Star is a 5x3 reel slot that operates 243 Ways to Win rather than paylines. The setting for the slot, as you would expect, is a football stadium with a baying crowd in the background cheering their favourites on. It's a perfect setting for the game and with a rather dramatic musical accompaniment to the chanting crowd, the presentation for the slot, as is the case on all other of the sporting star slots, is top notch.
Spins cost from 0.50 up to a maximum of 50.00 per spin, which means that this is a game aimed at the medium to lower stakes players in the main. You can win up to 105,000 coins if you strike it lucky with maximum multipliers and the top payouts in the bonus rounds.
There are none of the usual playing card low symbols on the reels, instead what you have are a large number of football themed symbols. These are split into four lower value symbols (the football boots, the football shirt, the overview of the pitch and the referee) which offer payouts of between 2 coins and 125 coins.
There are five higher value symbols on the reels too and these are all the players. The payouts on these symbols range from 15.00 coins up to the maximum standard symbol payout of 500 coins if you land five of the number 19 player wearing what looks like the Portuguese national kit across the reels.
The main feature of the slot however is the Rolling Reels feature. This is active in all facets of the game, including Free Spins and what this means is that every time you land a winning payline, the symbols that comprise that win will flash and disappear. They are then replaced with symbols falling down from above, with new symbols generated to replace any spaces on the reels.
This means that from a single winning spin you could potentially generate one or more additional wins using the Rolling Reels feature and of course, every time you win, the symbols that form part of that win disappear and further new symbols are generated.
There are a couple of other symbols on the reels that can help you land bigger wins and the first of these is the Scatter symbol, which is the football with a trail behind it. Land five of these symbols across the reels and you will land the biggest base game jackpot of 12,500 coins. Furthermore, when you land three or more of these symbols in addition to your payout, you will land 15, 20 or 25 free spins (depending on how many scatters you landed).
If you are fortunate enough to trigger the Free Spins bonus game then the great news is that in addition to the Rolling Reels feature being activated in this round, you also have a special Multiplier Trail available for the duration of your free spins.
What happens here is that each time you land a win and generate a Rolling Reels respin, for every Rolling Reels win you land following a successful spin, the multiplier will increase by one. Going from 1x, to 2x, to 3x, to 4x to 5x and then to 10x the standard win.
It is by landing this maximum multiplier with the biggest base game win across the reels on a spin that allows you to land some of the very biggest wins in the game.
To help you land wins in the base game, Football Star also features Stacked Wilds on the third, fourth and fifth reels. There's a total of 40 Wilds stacked on every spin across these reels with a Super Stack on the third and fourth reel in particular offering you the chance of triggering more wins and even multiple payline wins which will really help you increase the value of a win. These stacked Wilds prove especially useful during Rolling Reels when they can lead to you landing more wins.
The final feature to watch out for on this slot is the Striking Wild Bonus. This is a randomy triggered feature which occurs in the base game. When the bonus is activated a footballer will appear and shoot a football at either reel 2, 3 or 4 and depending on which reel the ball hits, that reel will turn completely Wild for that spin offering you a chance at a decent sized win.
What you have with Football Star is a tried and trusted game that offers medium level of variance but which is instantly recognisable if you have played any of the other games in this series of games from Microgaming. With a decent top prize (albeit one that is difficult to hit) and the chance of some decent sized wins, Football Star may not be the best slot in terms of graphics, but it certainly hits the mark in terms of fun and playability.