All41Studios, previously recognized for “Book of Atem”, seems to have shifted its approach drastically. The studio, which earlier paid homage to classic Book style games, now appears to be engaged in replicating popular slots, particularly evident in their latest offering, Solar Wilds. This game is a near mirror of NetEnt’s famous Starburst slot, marking a notable departure from All41Studios’ original creations.
Solar Wilds, initially branded as ‘Space Enigma’, follows a path similar to Book of Atem, which managed to diverge just enough from its inspiration to avoid controversy. However, Solar Wilds might not be as fortunate. A precedent was set in 2019 when Play’n GO’s Starblast, a game closely resembling Starburst, faced legal challenges from NetEnt and was rebranded as Crystal Sun.
Solar Wilds features a familiar 5-reel, 3-row setup against a deep space backdrop. The betting range is from 10 p/c to $/€100, and the game operates on a 10-payline system with combinations forming both ways. Unlike Starburst, Solar Wilds introduces slightly higher RTP (96.27% vs. 96.1%), medium volatility, and a reduced hit frequency of about 19.86%. Despite these tweaks, the core experience remains strikingly similar to Starburst.
The game’s main feature revolves around the star symbol, which acts as a wild. It appears on reels 2, 3, and 4, expanding to cover the reel and triggering a Respin. The simplicity of these features, with no additional bonuses, closely mimics the Starburst experience.
The decision to model Solar Wilds so closely after NetEnt’s Starburst could be seen as either a bold move or a lack of innovation. Given NetEnt’s history of protecting its intellectual property, as seen in the Starblast case, Solar Wilds may face similar challenges. While some might argue that Starburst itself drew inspiration from Novomatic’s Power Stars, the uniqueness and popularity of Starburst set it apart. Solar Wilds, in contrast, seems more like a reflection of All41Studios’ struggle to forge new paths in slot game design.