Why Have Cluster Pays Slots Caught On?
We can thank NetEnt for introducing us to the wonderful world of cluster pays slots. The game that introduced this prize-winning formula was Aloha! Cluster Pays. It has since expanded to include other titles in the Cluster Pays series, including the popular The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays title.
But why are these games such a success? What do they offer the eager slot player looking for something entertaining to play?
They provide a different way to win prize
The idea here is not to create winning lines of matching icons. Instead, cluster pays slots give us greater versatility. The task here is to create matching groups of icons. Oftentimes, you'll need more to trigger a prize - the minimum is often nine in a group. These must be touching each other either horizontally, vertically, or a combination of the two. If a matching icon is positioned diagonally to other grouped icons, it doesn't count. The more matches you can create to trigger a winning group, the bigger the associated prize will be.
They require a larger game screen
If you thought every slot had five reels and three rows of symbols in play, think again. You will always see a much bigger screen presentation when you play a cluster pays slot game. It will be a 5 x 5 design at least, and some games give you more than that. Aloha! uses a 6 x 5 format to give us ample room to find nine or more matching icons to win prizes.
They still have many familiar features
Even though the reels don't spin as you would expect them to - the icons usually drop into place from above - cluster pays slots still deliver many of the familiar features you expect to see in slot games. There are still wilds in play in most cases, and you might also see an avalanche or symbol crushing feature. This may be named in different ways, but it essentially gives us a chance to watch all matching symbols in a win disappear from the reels. These are replaced by new ones from above to give the chance of additional wins.
Bonuses and free 'spins' can also be on offer, so there is a lot of familiarity coupled with the traditional elements seen in many other slots. That is one of the main reasons we think these games are doing so well today.