THE DROP – PRODUCT TEST DRIVE: ARISTOCRAT’S GRAND STAR LINK

As the market leader in link product, Aristocrat has displayed their new link release, Grand Star, at the AGE Show which provides a new maths innovation designed to fit with a wide market of players. The Link will have four game titles, Wealth, Sapphire, Emerald and Platinum, available in the December quarter. The new link is specific to the new Helix X, or “Helix Black” as it has already become known, and features bright coloured art, symbols and animation that stand out in the classy matt black machine. The new link is aimed at players who are looking for time on device play with a high frequency hit rate, plus has added volatility in scalable prizes for the bigger players.

Denomination:

Grand Star: Wealth, Sapphire, Emerald and Platinum are available as multidenom games including 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, $1 and $2 selectable options. The combination of scalable prizes, (where players who are prepared to bet up get higher jackpots), and the $1 and $2 option, ensures that this game will work for large and small players alike. The smaller players get the advantage of a feature hit rate that is almost double the hit rate for Dragon games, but the bigger players can increase their chances for a large win by increasing their denomination option. Depending on the operator choice the RTP% ranges from 90-92%, for example the $15,000 grand jackpot is available at 91.4% which offers a good hold %.

Game Features:

The players are chasing a feature trigger of a pot or a star on all five reels. They can be in any combination which means players feel they have double the chance to trigger a win with two different symbols to look for when playing. When a player achieves the pots and stars across all five reels, it triggers their choice of free game features, including twin spins and reveal features. They are award cash credits on the reels, that are then added together for the players total win. A rainbow star in the win signals to the player that they will win one of the jackpots or bonuses displayed in the top screen.

Additionally, there are two maths models that have different features. The first is a “twin spins” feature where the first two and last two reels are spun together giving the player the perception of a greater chance at a three of a kind or five of a kind pay. The second feature game available is the “moon reveal” feature where the moon symbol is increased in numbers on the reels, providing stacked symbols that transform into any of the paying game symbols.

Jackpot Profile:

The Grand Star Jackpots are available at $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 start up.  These jackpots are high enough to interest the players, but not too costly for most clubs to afford. Overhead LCD signage is available and looks impressive, but venues can choose to have the jackpots displayed in the topper without the added expense of a sign.

Volatility: 

The Grand Star Link games are less volatile than the popular Dragon games, but with a hit rate that should hit almost twice as often, giving the smaller players an opportunity to have some longer play sessions and lots of fun. Extra volatility for the bigger players is provided by the scalable bonuses when they increase their bets. The players can win up to 250 times their bet which means there are good win opportunities available for players at any level.

Floor Position: 

This game would work effectively in many areas of the gaming floor depending on the player market a venue wants to attract. As a product suitable for smaller time on device players a front of floor position would give the link high visibility. A central floor position would be more appealing to regular bigger gamers, but it would still be an advantage to ensure the jackpot is visible to players entering the gaming area.

Performance:

Due for release in the December quarter there are no performance results available yet, but Aristocrat remains the market leader in Premium Link product across all Australian jurisdictions. The innovative game designs should ensure regular players, looking for a bit of game variety outside of hold and spin features, will be quick to try the new Grand Star Link. There will be many players talking about “pots and stars” in the coming months, in the same way they have become familiar with “gold disks”

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