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Astronomical Magic Slot Review
Players looking to add a dash of magic to their lucky streaks may enjoy the Astronomical Magic slot machine, a fantasy-themed game with a wizard. This Konami slot game is exquisitely designed and its action-stacked symbols add a little excitement to every spin.
While fans of more involved bonus games may be disappointed, the chance at 88 free spins is quite the draw. Will the old wizard cast a spell on players or will the magic fizzle?
The first thing that players will notice is that Astronomical Magic is an absolutely beautiful slot machine game. The simple starry night sky and clockwork background serve up lovely symbols and reels. Each reel is not only a nice shade of red for easy contrast, but the background of repeating diamonds helps frame the symbols for easy reading.
Each symbol is sharply designed, even the standard card symbols of A K, Q, J, 10 and nine have bright colors and thick borders. The four magic-inspired picture symbols are bright and glittery, and the main wizard has a detailed 3D-style design that animates when it’s on a winning payline.
The bonus game symbol also spins and flips in place, and there’s a nice fireworks display to celebrate big wins. Unfortunately, the rest of the spaces don’t animate; they simply flash to indicate a win with little dashes connecting the lines.
Given the attention to detail in the art, players may be a little disappointed in the sound design. There’s no background music for the standard game, just a few small bells and chimes to indicate wilds and lucky frames, along with a nice click as the reels lock into place. The free spin round does provide a layer of lively background music that makes the player feel like they’re in a fantastical workshop.
Astronomical Magic: Core Gameplay
The free slot Astronomical Magic is a fairly standard three-row and a five-reel slot machine with 30 paylines. There is no option to reduce the number of paylines that are in play, and players may want to check the list of paylines before playing. It’s not as simple as matching spaces left-to-right. There is also a 15 credit bet for the additional features. This is not optional either.
The Wild system for this game is unique, with the only Wild space being the three-row high wizard. While it doesn’t always land fully in play, it does do a nice job of bridging the rows for some nice simple combinations. Matching wizards can also pay out well, with five reels of wizard spaces paying out 500x the line bet.
The big action is the lucky frames feature, which is a version of Konami’s action-packed-symbol system. On each spin, a number of spaces on the reels are surrounded by a lucky frame, which is noted with a gold border.
All lucky frames are set to have the same symbol within them, and it can be any symbol except for the wizard space. Lucky frames are spawned in batches, so two or three may appear on the same reel.
Acting almost like a reverse wild, this potentially helps load the board up with batches of the same space for easier wins.
Getting Lucky with Free Spins
The lucky frames come into their own when players manage to get them on three or more separate reels. In that case, after any wins are paid out the frames are adjusted so that each reel that had at least one lucky frame now has a full set of three.
Adding to that, any reel with a wizard space on it is nudged until the wizard fills all three rows. The lucky frames pick a new shared symbol, which can now include even the wizard space, and the game pays out again.
This also acts as the potential trigger for the free spin bonus game. When picking a new symbol, the lucky frame reels can settle on the special bonus set. This pays out a guaranteed scatter win bonus and awards free spins. Three, four and five bonus spaces respectively reward eight, 18 and 88 free spins and 150x, 450x and 1,500x the line bet.
During these free spins, one reel is guaranteed to be completely made of lucky frames. The lucky frame feature can still trigger during the free spins, and it’s possible to retrigger the bonus round for an additional payout and more bonus spins.
In general, playing Astronomical Magic slots comes down to hoping for some good lucky frames. The payout on the standard symbols are fairly low, and the winnings tend to be devoured by the line bets and feature bet.
The only three-match combination that pays above break even is the wizard. Even getting four of the card symbols is still a loss on the pull, so the game hinges on big swings when the wizards and lucky frames fall in your favor.
The one disappointing fact is that lucky frames are not guaranteed even to pay out. If your three lucky reels aren’t in the right place, it can be rather anticlimatic. Although experienced players ready to ride out the swings will enjoy the high 96.05 percent RTP.
In a way, this game nails the feeling of the old wizard performing for the king. Small tricks and spells can give way to really splendid magic when everything lines up, but sometimes it just fizzles into nothing.
The game feels like it’s missing the last bit of polish. The artwork is great, but only features a little animation. The soundtrack that’s there is nice, but no general background music can make the stretches between bonus rounds a little boring.
The free spins are fun, but tying them into the main bonus feature leaves the dry spells feeling really dry. Overall, it’s a fun game when the magic’s with you, but a little lacking when it’s not.