The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays Slots
It’s almost certain that you’re familiar with the concept of Shangri-La, a hidden paradise filled with mythical wonders. But fewer people are familiar with the origin of this legend, which comes from the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton. In his story, this valley was a mystical location where the people aged incredibly slowly, living well beyond the normal lifespans of human beings.
That fantastic paradise on Earth is brought to life in The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays by NetEnt, a brand new online slot machine with a gorgeous presentation and some very unique gameplay concepts. Rather than worrying about paylines, players will instead be focused on making clusters of symbols, grouping together icons in order to develop prize winning rounds. This is an exciting way to play, as it means your payouts can continue growing up to the point right up until the entire screen is filled with one massive match.
The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot is one of the latest releases from NetEnt, and can be found at most online casinos where their software is in use. The game features a brilliantly designed environment, meant to evoke the utopian vision of the forgotten valley. You’ll see lovely trees, green pastures, ancient temples, and cascading waterfalls, all designed with an Asian motif that is appropriate given the theme. Elegant sound design and an animated character (a serene, anthropomorphic red panda) standing beside the reels serve to complete the scene.
As with all new NetEnt games, this machine is fully mobile-optimized, with touch screen versions existing that make it even easier to play on a tablet, iPhone, or Android smartphone. Gamblers can choose from a variety of different denominations for their coins, and 10 different bet levels, allowing plenty of room for both low limit casual players and high rollers to enjoy this machine equally. Not surprisingly, there is also a free Legend of Shangri-La slot you can test first if you want to see how it plays before risking any real cash.
Finding Your Clusters
On the Legend of Shangri-La video: Cluster Pays slot, gameplay takes place over a 5×6 grid. However, we’re reluctant to talk about reels and paylines on this machine, because there aren’t really any as such. You do not have to make left to right matches, or worry about the exact patterns your symbols make. Instead, the goal is to have as many of the same icon adjacent to one another as possible, with a symbol being considered “adjacent” if it is next to a matching one either horizontally or vertically. In order to score wins, players must find clusters of at least nine identical icons together on the board, with larger groups offering bigger payouts.
Smaller wins come from finding groups of thematic icons like fish, dragonflies, butterflies, and flower petals. For bigger wins, you’ll want to find the three praying animals – the monkey, elephant, and a cat that looks to be a Himalayan lynx – who can come in extended, two-space versions to more quickly build towards winning groups. To give you an idea of how the prizes scale, finding a cluster of nine cats will earn you 30 credits; the payouts increase with every single additional icon you add to the winning group, up to a maximum of 10,000 credits for covering all 30 spots with that symbol.
A Special Place
The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays also includes a wide range of special features that add a lot of depth to this already unique gameplay style. First, while there are not traditional wild symbols to be found on the grid, you can hit substitutions. When these question marks appear, they will turn into whatever symbol will give you the biggest possible win for that spin. This means they can only take part in a single winning combination, but they’re still a very valuable find when they show up.
If you finish a spin with two clusters of the same icon (even if they aren’t big enough to win prizes), the sticky re-spins feature could potentially be activated. When this occurs, you’ll get a free re-spin, with those groups being locked into place. If at least one more of that icon appears, you’ll get another re-spin, and this will keep happening until you finish a spin without adding to your total. Only then will the feature come to an end. A similar bonus comes from the random substitutions feature, in which you’ll get added substitutions symbols that will add to existing clusters, guaranteeing a win.
Like most slots, this machine also has a free spins feature, which is activated if you hit three or more free spins symbols anywhere on the reels. Depending on how many of these icons you find, you could receive anywhere from five to eight free plays, all of which come with additional substitution symbols being added to and removed from the reels after every spin. The adding happens faster than the removals, however, so over time, you’ll see more and more of these wilds on the reels. And if you win less than 10 times your spin bet during this feature, you may get an additional bonus spin to help you get a little bit more out of this round.