StarQuest is a 6 reel, 7-row slot with respinning, multiplying wild columns. That in itself is a lot to take in but after a few spins you start to forget the size of the game window and it just sort of ‘clicks’. StarQuest also offers what Big Time Gaming call Megaways produced from the large game window and bidirectional paylines (you can win left-to-right and right-to-left on combinations starting on the outside reels); Altogether this gives the player up to 117649 different winning combinations! Yes, you read that correctly – 117649 different ways to win. I remember when 20 combination slots first appeared and many players were complaining about how impossible it would be to understand how to win!
In reality, the columns deliver a range of symbol sizes and players’ total potential combinations are displayed across the top of the game. A great design decision was made to not mess with paylines and credits or bets per line, and just aggregate the wager into one single toggle meaning your single ‘bet’ covers you for any number of winning combo opportunities. This is a feature I’ve seen in a few games but one that in my opinion just needs to be standard.
THE WILD SIDE OF SPACE
The full-column wilds are delivered by means of a retro-looking, redhead space girl who glides onto the screen in her obligatory skin-tight costume and bubble helmet. While she stood there nonchalantly as your respins kick in, I couldn’t help wishing that she would blink occasionally. That girl can sure stare!
Like its contemporaries, Space Quest respins can produce further wilds and watching her shoot up the multipliers is a nice way to see your winnings tally up.
Graphically, the game is great, Big Time Gaming cleverly extend the animated slot background on to the rest of the monitor, giving a ‘full screen’ experience, whilst still keeping the regular dimensions that you would see on most slot games. The symbols themselves are a combination of the regular 9 to Ace images, three unknown, but almost certainly intergalactic, precious gems and a higher paying Space Quest badge that really doesn’t bear any resemblance to any well known, boldly going TV space series at all – Honest Guv’nor!
Our space heroine is well rendered and animated flawlessly when she appears. It may be just me, but I felt a distinct Sigourney Weaver feel about the character – albeit more of a Galaxy Quest feeling than an Alien one, (more’s the pity – Ripley, I love you!) – but I was left feeling a little disappointed that she was not utilised more in some way, or that the game in general had had a little more animation about it. Sure, the speeding stars, comets or space junk that flew across the screen were nice, but I wanted a little more – an intro video or some other inplay movement, perhaps.
SOUNDS IN SPACE!
For the most part, the sounds and music work well. The main theme is suitably cheesy and contained enough electro-popping to keep even the greatest lover of 80s bands like Kraftwerk of Tubeway Army smiling. I found myself replicating the metallic ‘deoo, deoooo’ sounds for many hours afterwards.