Suncatcher Gigablox: Slot Overview
Suncatcher Gigablox is Yggdrasil Gaming's fourth slot to use their dynamic reel system, and they've gone back to basics to do so. It's far from being the biggest Gigablox slot out there, but the premise is a good one, and Yggdrasil sells it well. Suncatcher Gigablox is billed as a 'solar spectacular' where you can 'catch your cut of the cosmos'. It sounds impressive, and other Gigablox slots have laid on the entertainment, so why not ride the solar wind to see where it takes us?
We said basic in the previous paragraph, and there is no other word to describe the way Suncatcher Gigablox looks. Yggdrasil usually fills its slots with intricate sights and sounds, so Suncatcher Gigablox is the very antithesis of their typical approach. The studio might have taken one or two cues from Starburst, such as the color palette combined with the atmospheric ambiance, but takes Suncatcher in a more futuristic direction. Suncatcher Gigablox is a bit like Star Clusters Megaclusters if Big Time Gaming had used a plain black background instead of swirling technicolour. Accompanying the frugal visuals are some unobtrusive ambient sounds that even manage to lower the energy levels further. If minimalism is your thing, Suncatcher Gigablox will rock your world like nothing else, otherwise, it comes over a tad unexciting.
On each spin, at least one set of synced reels creates big blocks of symbols on the 5-reel, 10-payline game grid. There will be a 2x2 reel at minimum, yet there can be up to 3x3 sized blocks, and it is possible to have more than one set of synced reels at once – a 2x2 reel and a 3x3 reel, for example. These Gigablox's divide after landing on the reels to reveal individual matching 1x1 sized symbols. Like its famous forebear, winning combinations are formed both ways. Wins hit every four to five spins or so, producing a precise hit frequency of 22.26%. The RTP is a nicely average figure of 96%, while volatility comes in at a medium setting.
Stake range is as massive as the blocks, starting at 10 p/c to the lower end, rising to £/€500 per spin at the upper. If that wasn't enough for the deep-pocketed crowd, players can activate a Golden Bet option if they so choose. Doing so doubles the bet (yet leaves symbol values unchanged), and the benefit for doing so is 3 times more wild symbols are added to the base game. Since wilds lead to the game's only extra feature, it is worth contemplating and did make a noticeably positive difference during the review.
As for the paytable, it is completely dominated by gems in pink, purple, blue, turquoise, green, yellow, and red colours. Landing a line of five regular gem symbols is worth a payout of 2 to 20 times the base stake.
Suncatcher Gigablox: Slot Features
One more symbol completes Suncatcher Gigablox, which is the big sparkly diamond that does a couple of neat things. It's basically the equivalent of the star symbol in Starbust, so when it lands, a wild symbol expands to cover all positions on its reel, then becomes sticky, and triggers a respin. If another wild lands on a respin, it in turn expands too, locks, and awards another respin. Expanding wilds appear on any reel and are worth a payout of 50x the bet for five of a kind.
Suncatcher's best case scenario is filling the grid with wild symbols. In this case, a respin is not awarded, but an additional 500x the base bet is awarded on top of the regular win.
Suncatcher Gigablox: Slot Verdict
The Gigablox franchise started with a bang; well, Hades banged it at least, where the device came across as a chaotically unpredictable reel modifier. It still is in Suncatcher Gigablox, though on a much smaller scale. Everything is reduced this time around, including winning potential that tops out at 1,430x the stake. Basic is the name of the game in Suncatcher Gigablox from graphics, effects, features, and rules. It picks up the baton from Starburst, to give players looking for undemanding gaming something to fritter away a few spins on.
Suncatcher Gigablox occupies a definite niche, and while it's the most simplistic of the Gigablox range, it presents a distinctive experience compared to those that came before it. For one, the Gigablox mechanic steps out of the spotlight to a degree, not dominating the reels as it has done in the past. One reason is because Suncatcher only has 2x2 or 3x3 sized blocks, so there is none of the 4, 5, or 6-reel mega tiles seen elsewhere.
The pay-both-ways system continues to work well with sticky wild respins, though, after a while, the lack of extra features weighs down the action – a situation amplified by the sparse visuals. There isn't much stimulation a lot of the time, and outside of full grid wilds not many big wins either.
So far, the Gigablox range has used a wildly diverse range of themes, so you really cannot predict where Yggdrasil will take it next. Suncatcher surprised too, as the previous three were graphic-rich and packed an assortment of additional features. Who would have guessed after the dangerous river lands of Gator Gold, Yggdrasil would have muted the mechanic to design Starburst 2.0? If you look at Suncatcher Gigablox as a game in the same vein as Starburst rather than a high performance, big win slot, you won't be disappointed, or, less likely to at least. It has the same uncomplicated, free-flowing vibe that fans of the NetEnt classic can get down and relax with.
Despite the simplistic nature of the game and sheer mediocrity of the elements, Suncatcher is a somewhat interesting modernistic take on the iconic Starburst slot.