Rio Stars Slot (Red Tiger): Overview
It feels like it was just yesterday that we took another Rio Carnival themed slot for a test run. Oh wait, it was literally just yesterday. Well never mind, we now have another one grace the desk from Red Tiger. The timing and theme might be similar, but little about the rest of them is the same. Red Tiger has grabbed the theme and rammed it with as much festive atmosphere as possible. Visuals, effects, features - it's all over the top in the way that Yggdrasil's Brazil Bomba kind of held back. Does all the theatricality work or is it a case of style over substance?
If flamboyance is your thing then Rio Stars will draw you in right away. The celebration takes place over 5 reels and 4 rows set against a feast of swirling designs and feathers that bob away in the background like a moving float. Music is suitably in theme and helps fuel the party atmosphere further. Players take a leap into the fest by selecting bets which range from 10 c/p to £/€40 per spin. Spread across the reels are 20 fixed paylines where three or more matching symbols on one results in a payout. The symbols are split between low pay generic 10 – A royals and in-theme premiums. The premiums start with a bowl of fruit and are followed up with a cocktail, shakers, and a parrot. All are tropically flavoured which fits the Brazilian holiday feel with the parrot being the most valuable. He will pay a small amount when just two land, and 5 in a line will win you a modest 15 times the stake.
Rio Stars revolves heavily around the wilds and this wild has one of those feathered dancers on it that you always see when they show the carnival on TV. It turns up quite frequently and 5 on a payline are worth double the parrot at 30 times the stake. It can also substitute for any other pay symbols. Looking at the stats and figures, RTP sits at slightly below average on 95.73%, and volatility appears to be somewhere on the medium side. When it comes to features, Rio Stars is full to the brim, let's take a look.
Rio Stars Slot (Red Tiger): Features
Carnival Drums are what you want to hear while playing Rio Stars as their beat heralds what could be a feature drop. It doesn't guarantee one will be triggered though; the drums can sometimes be a tease as well. Generally, they are a good sign, and one of several things can happen.
- Rio Multiplier: if the drums say go, then a multiplier of up to x20 is added to the game. This multiplier has a couple of cool features to it. For one, it applies on a next-win and not a next-spin basis. This means players hold onto it until a winning combination lands, so it is guaranteed to boost a payout. Also, if a player is holding a multiplier, the Drums can trigger another multiplier which is added to the first.
- Mega Wild: a 3x3 Mega Wild is added to the game and can land anywhere on the reels.
- Rio Dancers: feathers come swooping over the game and add a random number of wilds to the reels.
- Carnival Reels: all low pay symbols are removed from the current spin which guarantees a win.
Last but not least is Rio Spins Free Spins feature. These are triggered by three Rio Spins symbols which only appear on reels 1, 3, and 5. The number of spins you get is random, but to give you an idea, during testing they typically averaged at around ten or so. What makes them special is that Carnival Drums appear on every single free spin which can either trigger one of the modifiers or award Bonus Spins. If players finish free spins with a Rio Multiplier active, it is held until the next win during the base game.
Rio Stars Slot (Red Tiger): Verdict
When it comes to squeezing a carnival atmosphere into a slot Red Tiger has done a pretty good job with Rio Stars. It's bold, it's brash, loads of things happen, and it’s not a slot with tons of dead spins between features. The drums beat regularly and the modifiers come into play quite often. This all equates to a fun and pacey time – just the way the real-life carnival is meant to be. All up, Rio Stars offers something that certain players will be totally into.
So the question is then, which game wins the battle for best Rio themed slot of the two we have reviewed this month? The good thing for the wider gaming community is that both offer alternative experiences that can sit comfortably side by side. While both are two completely different games in terms of maths, mechanics and features, Rio Stars is the more flashy main street party whilst Brazil Bomba is a more intimate celebration with friends, or acquaintances at least. However, the key element that separates the two games is their potential. What exactly is waiting for lucky players to collect? Well, there is quite a difference. Rio Stars weighs in at 2,500 times the stake which is nearly a quarter of what Brazil Bomba is capable of tapping - the latter also offering a slightly higher RTP. Yes they are different kinds of slots, but those maximum payouts will tip the balance for a lot of hardcore gamers.
That's not to write Rio Stars off completely - it is an entertaining slot. And yet, while the features are fun, and do go well together, they aren't quite enough to make up the mathematical shortfalls.
Rio Stars is an unremarkable game that casual punters may enjoy, but it’s one that veteran gamers may want to think twice about.