A medium/high-variance version of NetEnt's hit slot Starburst, Lightning Gems by NextGen is a gem-themed slot machine with both-ways mechanics that adds more than just a wild bonus to its list of extra features. Featuring 10 fixed paylines, an RTP of 96.483%, and high betting limits, this slot can speak to both budget players and high rollers who want to reap some bigger returns. Play it for real money on any mobile device or computer and you'll get a chance to win up to 100,000 credits with a single bet.
Just like Starburst, the Lightning Gems slot machine lets you bank prizes in both directions but also enjoy a special wild feature as you play. And to make things even more exciting, the slot also adds a random wild shower and a free spins bonus game to give you more than one opportunity to collect some extra payouts. If you're interested in finding out more about the special features, limits, and prizes, just keep reading for our full Lightning Gems slot review.
Before you can begin playing with real cash, you'll first need to set up your bet. Luckily, the slot makes it really easy to choose your wager, giving you only one control that determines the size of your coins. However, even though there are only 10 paylines available, the slot charges a fixed bet of 15 coins per spin for giving you both-ways prizes, which raises the betting limits a bit. So, with a minimum coin size, you get a bet of 0.15 credits (0.01 per coin) while the max bet is set at 150 credits per round.
Once you select your stake, it's a good idea to press the settings button in your bottom-left corner and access the paytable before you begin your session. The paytable offers you explanations of all of the available bonus features but also the prizes for each symbol, which are shown to you in coins. For small wins, you have the four card symbols which give you payouts of 2-25 coins per sequence. Higher rewards are given by the rest of the gem symbols, which pay between 4 and 125 coins, but also the bonus symbols, which can pay up to 2,000 coins per sequence. And thanks to the unusual both-ways mechanics, you'll get a special opportunity to win double from every five-of-a-kind sequence you collect.
If you prefer playing on your smartphone or tablet, NextGen provides you with a compact version of the Lightning Gems slot, one that you can enjoy seamlessly on any iPhone, iPad, or Android device. The mobile slot game features the same on-screen controls as the desktop slot machine, making it really easy to switch between devices.
Like the majority of slot machines you'll find online, Lightning Gems by NextGen pays you money when you collect three, four, or five of the same symbols on one or more paylines. But what's special about this game is that it lets you trigger prizes from both directions, giving you bigger wins and a better hit ratio during every session you play. No matter whether your matching sequences begin at the leftmost reel, the rightmost one, or both, you'll still get paid by the Lightning Gems slot.
Giving you more rewards while you play with real money are the slot's bonus features, starting with the Wild Nudge feature. This special bonus can randomly nudge any wild symbols that have failed to get you paid into a position that can trigger a win. The slot also has a Wild Wins feature that can randomly add wild symbols on your reels, helping you trigger one or multiple prizes where there aren't any. And best of all, when the wilds aren't substituting for other symbols to get you paid, they can also pay prizes on their own, ones that go up to 500 coins per sequence.
As a final special feature, the slot also has a scatter symbol which can trigger a free spins bonus and pay prizes of up to 2,000 coins in any position, without relying on paylines. End up with three or more of these symbols scattered on your reels during a single round and you'll get a special payout from the game plus a bonus of 10 free spins. For maximum winning potential, the slot will also randomly add 10 wild symbols to each reel during the free spins bonus game, guaranteeing that you'll get at least 50 wilds throughout the entire feature.
If you liked Starburst but felt you needed more out of the game, the Lightning Gems slot machine is definitely worth trying. This medium/high-variance casino game will speak to all high rollers looking to bank some bigger wins, offering them bonuses and payout limits that can take them to prizes of up to 100,000 credits per bet. But even if you want to bet small, this slot will still be worth checking out, giving you both-ways mechanics, an attractive hit rate, and bets as small as 0.15 credits. With all this and its impeccable design, Lightning Gems is bound to become a NextGen evergreen.
On the other hand, if you're not really into riskier machines, you can instead check out our collection of online slots to find other games with a lower variance that may be more suited to your taste. Like said, NetEnt's Starburst is a very popular alternative to this game, one that offers you less volatile gameplay, both ways mechanics, and special wilds that expand and trigger respins. You can also browse NextGen's own catalogue and check out the Wild Plunder slot machine, which gives you a pirate theme, 25 paylines, and several wild bonus features that'll help you bank some extra wins at a top online casino.
Senior content operations specialist at gambling.com
With over 12 years of experience in online gaming, Adam has seen, played, reviewed, and tested hundreds of slot games. He is always keeping an eye out for new features, themes, and potential jackpots by testing slot games even before they are released to the market.