As much as we love the slots, when you play as many different ones as we do, you start to feel like many of them kind of merge into one. Whereas once a few extra lines and some great symbols were more than enough to impress, nowadays we want the biggest and best features and every new release to present something new. Fortunately, one of the reasons for NetEnt being one of our favourite developers is that they are just as happy to tinker with the base game board as the bonus rounds and that is what they have done here on Aloha Cluster Pays, where win lines no longer matter and it is bunches of symbols that make a difference! It looks great and is a new option for jaded players, so let’s see exactly what it is all about.
What to Expect
When you fire up Aloha Cluster Pays, you will be greeted by a relatively large game board to kick things off, but you will soon see why it is necessary. With six reels and five rows, there is plenty of space for players to put together their winning combinations in this unique format where rather than aligning symbols across lines, you are instead trying to get them to touch each other! Specifically, you need nine symbols to be touching either horizontally or vertically – or a mix of both – in order to create any kind of win. The symbols are mostly in line with the Hawaiian theme, although some stand out more than others, not least the box with a question mark. It is like a wild card, although the box contains one of the other symbols, and it will turn in to whichever one will be the most valuable rather than serving as a number of different symbols at the same time.
There are respins on offer here on this game, but they can be tricky to predict, not least because the game itself will decide at random whether you receive one or not. Landing a win is the first step, and the game may then decide to kick the respins off, with the main goal being to enhance the cluster that is already present on the board, with the spins ending when no more improvements are made.
There is no chance of missing the free spins symbol, partly because it is stacked two high and partly because it actually says ‘free spins’ on it. The goal is to have between three and six in view, with nine free games on offer for three and then one more for every other scatter in view. The scatters will continue to appear and will bump up the number of available free games when they land, even if there are only one or two and the round benefits hugely from improving as it plays out. As you get further, the lower value fruit symbols will be removed from the board, leaving only the more valuable masks behind and making it easier to put them together. Also, if you have got really unlucky with the round and have won nothing at all, you will at least be able to continue spinning until a win does land.
The MobileCasino.net Verdict
Aloha Cluster Pays is inspired by a great idea, but we have to admit that it feels like it could do with some more fleshing out. NetEnt settled on a minimum of nine symbols to match a cluster and that feels a bit on the high side to us – although we’re sure that they have the maths to back it up. The free spins do admittedly come around pretty often and they can be very rewarding indeed, although you can tell from the fact that there is a failsafe in the round that it is also possible to get a complete dud of a round. In some good news, just as we are putting this review together, we are awaiting the imminent arrival of Shangri-La Cluster Pays at NetEnt mobile casinos, and we remain hopeful that the ‘sequel’ can take an inspired start and iron out the kinks that prevent Aloha Cluster Pays from being a true top-tier game.