Digital real money games developer Microgaming finally reached out to Australian punters with the 2015 release of Rugby Star Pokies. The game is part of the brand’s ‘Star Series‘ of sports-themed games, and is loaded with features, sure to appeal to all fans of the Rugby World Cup.
Microgaming kicked off the series with Break Away, a hockey themed game that was so successful, they continued with a complete line-up of ‘Sports Star’ themed pokies. Following the 2012 launch of Break Away, the company cranked out Football Star, Cricket Star, Rugby Star, and the most recent 2016 addition, Basketball Star.
Rugby Star Review
Like all of Microgaming’s Sports Star pokies, Rugby Star is infused with 243 ways to win across 5 reels. Every possible payline, from left to right, is active. This means punters can wager a set price in multiple increments of $0.50, rather than paying per line. All wins paid out based on the total bet, divided by all ways.
Rugby Star Pokies isn’t exactly a graphical powerhouse of stellar animation, but for fans of the sport, it’s got everything you need. Symbols include 5 rugby payer images with, with the first four in their regional uniforms (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England), along with trophies, stadiums, helmets and shoes.
The Rugby Star logo is the Wild, and does the usual job of replacing other symbols (except scatters) to make winning combos. Unfortunately, Wilds don’t line up for payouts of their own, although they can randomly trigger the Wild Pass Feature in the base game, where all wilds on reels 3, 4 and 5 can appear stacked.
What you’ll really want to see on the reels are Rugby Balls, and lots of them.
The Rugby Ball is the Scatter, and awards free spins any time 3 or more appear anywhere on the reels. Players will earn 10, 15 or 20 free spins for landing 3, 4 or 5 scatters, respectively. They also deliver scatter pays of 50x, 500x or 2,500x the total bet.
Free spins come with two additional features, plus the Wild Pass, which guarantees that all wilds landing on reels 3, 4 and 5 will be stacked during free spins. Another is Rolling Reels, wherein all symbols involved in a winning combination will fall from the reels, to be replaced by new ones, possibly creating a barrage of consecutive wins. Last but not least, free spins can achieve up to 10x Multipliers for consecutive wins. If the Rolling Reels feature results in 5 simultaneous wins, the max 10x multiplier is awarded.
Rugby Star Review – Overall
While it all sounds great, there is one thing distinctly missing from Rugby Star Pokies, and that’s the paytable. Yes, it does have one, but the pays are pretty lousy.
Aside from scatter pays, the highest paying symbol is the English baller. His 600x payout for 5 on a line looks nice enough, but when you divide the wager by 243 ways, he’s only worth about 12x your total bet.
This game only becomes profitable in the free spins feature, and even then you’ll need some luck to cash in for a decent profit.