Best Microgaming Sports Slots
In November 2012 Microgaming released Break Away. Little did we know that this was the beginning of something bigger. This gave rise to four more sports themed online slots, including Football Star, Cricket Star, Rugby Star and Basketball Star.
Check out the Microgaming slots infographic first and read the full review on them right below for more useful info.
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Now the Full Story
Here’s something you may not know.
All 5 titles are practically identical, with 243 ways to win.
So instead of reviewing them one by one, I’m going to treat them as one game.
Note: The two latest games — Basketball Star and Rugby Star — are slightly different in terms of payouts. More about that in the full overview below.
The 3 Features You are Guaranteed in These 5 Slots
Now here are the 3 bread and butter features that you’ll come across in these 5 Microgaming slots.
243 Ways to Win — Win from Left to Right Anywhere on the Reel
Like I mentioned above, there are 243 bet-lines in these slots.
This still means that wins are awarded from left to right and on adjacent reels. It’s just that now you don’t really have to care about any pay-lines but get the symbols on adjacent reels.
In addition to the 243 Ways game engine, the ice hockey, football, cricket, rugby and basketball slots stand out with the Rolling Reels feature.
Rolling Reels — Multiple Consecutive Wins
In short, it’s a feature that allows you to create consecutive wins, for free.
That is not that unique since pretty much every big developer has a slot with something similar but with a different name. For example, IGT calls it Free Falls – see Transformers Battle for Cybertron, Masques of San Marco, and the Natural Powers slots. NetEnt also has a feature like that called Avalanches, which is available in its Premium slots like Gonzo’s Quest and the October 2015 released Pyramid: Quest for Immortality.
So what does the Rolling Reels feature do exactly? Whenever you hit a win, the winning symbols explode. The existing and new symbols fill the empty spaces from above. Here’s the official Basketball Star video to show you what I mean:
In a way, you get a free re-spin and a chance to win at least one more time, automatically. Such Rolling Reels rounds continue until there are no more wins. But it gets even better in the bonus as you’ll see next.
40+ Symbols to Boost Your Wins
You will get more than 40 Wild symbols on the reels in all 5 of the games.
Not only that, but they also appear stacked on reels 3, 4 and 5. And that’s huge, because oftentimes it’s the Stacked Wilds that are the main source of big wins. And just to clarify, Wilds can substitute for all symbols except Scatters.
So that’s pretty much all that you are going to get in the Break Away, Football Star, Cricket Star, Rugby Star and Basketball Star slots for sure, without even trying.
Below is something you have to be lucky enough to win.
Win up to 120,000 Coins with More Bonuses
So now that you know that there are 3 guaranteed features that come with the sports slots, let see what else they have to offer.
Up to 25 Free Spins Up for Grabs
You can win 15, 20 or 25 free games in exchange for 3, 4 or 5 Scatters.
And this is where it gets really interesting because the Free Spins feature also comes with enhanced Rolling Reels.
More specifically, during the bonus, you not only win free re-spins but 2x-10x multipliers as well.
Thanks to the Multiplier Trail above the reels, you get a magnifier of 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x and 10x for each consecutive win.
So if it’s your lucky day and you’re on a roll with 5 consecutive wins, the magnifier will stay at 10x till the end of the freebies or the first miss. From my experience, it’s difficult to trigger multiple wins at once, but if you manage to do that with Stacked Wilds, then there will be some Big Win celebrations to enjoy.
Note: The paytable doesn’t say anything about it, but Stacked Wilds don’t really want to disappear once you get them on the reels. So a re-spin after re-spin they usually reappear right where you triggered them.
Random Wild Shot Feature for Two Wild Reels
The bonus spree continues with a random feature called differently in each game.
- Football Star – Striking Wild Feature
- Cricket Star – Wild Wickets Feature
- Rugby Star – Wild Pass Feature
- Basketball Star – Wild Shot Feature
- Break Away – Smashing Wild Feature.
In the Basketball Star, it’s the basketball player who appears from nowhere. In the Cricket Star, it’s the ice hockey players who smash against the reels and break them apart turning them wild.
In the end, they all mean exactly the same – you can win up to two Wild Reels in the base game completely at random.
Note that only reels 2, 3 or 4 are part of this bonus. Plus, you are guaranteed a win, no matter what happens.
Although this is a big one, it’s pretty much the same as getting one or two Wild reels without the bonus. It’s just that you don’t get a re-spin after the trigger.
Why are Basketball and Rugby Star Different from the Rest?
Like I mentioned above, the rugby and basketball-themed slots are slightly different from the cricket, ice hockey and football ones. The difference is substantial because there are 15,000 coins more to win in the Basketball Star and Rugby Star Slots (105,000 coins vs 120,000 coins).
Also, the highest paying symbol in two of the sports slots pays up to 12x the total stake vs 10x that you get in the other three slots. The drawback is that you win less for the low-pay icons. See the screeners below:
What’s Next? Greco-Roman Wrestling Star?
The 5 Microgaming sports mobile slots were all released within one and a half years.
Even though Break Away was published in November 2012, the mobile version came out on the 6th of May 2015. The latest release as of 2016 is the Basketball Star, which came out on the 4th of November.
Realistically, what could be the next sports theme for this series?
I’d say it’s one of these four:
- Volleyball Star
- American Football Star
- Baseball Star
- Tennis Star.
But it wouldn’t hurt to do something unusual and focus on say something like Greco-Roman wrestling or why not even figure skating. Oh, what the hell, it could well be about synchronised swimming too (pun intended).
These 5 Microgaming Sports Games Are a Must-Try
Thanks to the Rolling Reels and over 40 Wild symbols that appear stacked, you can expect to see some very impressive payouts. The Free Spins bonus and the random feature are two of the bonuses you wouldn’t want to underestimate too.
If you’re into 243 Way slots then I recommend you these two Microgaming classics too: the Game of Thrones online slot and Thunderstruck 2. Click on each one of them to read my full reviews.
Also, be sure to check the 2020-released Football Star Deluxe which an even bigger max win than the original!