We produced a follow-up story describing how the initial version of Crystal Sun (then called Starblast) was so close to Starburst that NetEnt sent a cease-and-desist order to Play’n GO. As a result, Starblast vanished without a trace after being removed off the release schedule. Neither NetEnt nor Play’n GO has issued a formal comment about the case, but we know that it was NetEnt’s show of strength that caused Play’n GO to back down.
Some 3 weeks later, Starblast has suddenly emerged under the new moniker Crystal Sun, and instead of stars, we get planets. The features and mathematical design are the same, however the logo and symbols have been updated. Check out these screenshots of the main game and the free spins bonus if you’re interested in seeing how the original looked. Starblast is also available in video form.
Evaluation of Crystal Sun by Play’n GO
In response to NetEnt’s massively popular Starburst slot machine comes Crystal Sun. As the primary free spins slot for the vast majority of casinos, it’s no surprise that the 2012 release, Starburst, is still one of the most popular online slots available. Starburst, however, is a dead ringer of Novomatic’s Power Stars, which was published in 2008, as one of our readers pointed out in the comments area. This means that NetEnt can’t really claim originality.
There are still the same fundamentals at play, including 5 reels, 3 rows, and 10 paylines (which pay both ways). The minimum spin wager is 0.10 EUR, while the maximum is 100 EUR. The RTP is 96.6% by default when sent to casinos, but can be adjusted down to 94.5% to account for the costs of operating in regulated markets.
Nebulae, interstellar clouds of dust, planets, and stars provide the backdrop of this science fiction story set in deep space. The story follows a similar vein as Moon Princess, highlighting features like the “Double Respin” and other gameplay elements. The majority of the spaces on the reels are occupied by 5 planets of varying colors. You’ll also see diamonds, which are the most profitable of the regular symbols, paying out 16 times your wager for 5 on a full payline. The wild symbol is a star, and it comes in three different forms: x1, x2, and x3 multiplier wilds.
In Crystal Sun (by Play’n GO), you’ll find:
The game play of Crystal Sun is easy. The three middle reels are where you want to see the wild symbols. If you get one, the wilds will grow to cover the entire reel, and you’ll get a respin with the wild reel still in place.
The second wild that lands also grows in size, and the Respin continues with both wilds held in place. A maximum win of 4000 times your stake is possible with a combination of three completely stacked wilds and multipliers of up to x9.
Conclusion: Crystal Sun (Play’n GO)
Important information: we are standing by our initial review score.
Play’n GO has some serious balls to release a game that is virtually identical to Starburst, even down to the name. We’re not trying to sound like attorneys here, but if this isn’t trademark infringement, we don’t know what is.
Even if there is a lengthy tradition of “borrowing” in the industry, the practice is morally dubious. However, most gamers couldn’t care less, and we hate to admit it, but Crystal Sun is the superior game. It’s basically perfect in every way that Starburst was lacking. Although the NetEnt original is more visually beautiful, the larger win possibility of Crystal Sun makes it a far more compelling option.