Game in Action
NetEnt’s still relatively new slot Aloha! Cluster Pays invites you to dream of exotic islands and provides just the right atmosphere. The background music may just be a tad cliché, but the slot exudes a certain charm nonetheless, especially the ever-present Tiki made us smile, if not outright grin, because that’s what the Tiki on the right-hand side of the reels is doing. Every now and then it will also whistle.
The slot comes with a somewhat unusual layout of 6 reels and 5 rows, bringing us a total of 30 symbols. Interestingly there are no paylines, instead all clusters of at least 9 matching symbols will count as winning combinations.
Since symbols always come stacked, there is certainly plenty of opportunity for clusters to form, but they don’t show up quite as frequent as we would have liked it.
Thankfully things do become a little bit more interesting with a number of bonus features that the slot has to offer. For instance, any winning cluster can randomly turn into a Sticky Win, which means the symbols forming the cluster will be held and a re-spin brings more matching symbols. If they are adjacent to the existing cluster, they will be added to it. The re-spins will continue as long as more matching symbols get added to the cluster.
Then there is a Wild or, in this case, a Substitution Symbol. You’ll see wooden boxes with a ‘?’ show up randomly and if they are attached to a cluster, they will then change into matching symbols, which will create a large cluster and a bigger win. Unlike normal Wild symbols, this one will not substitute more than one type of symbol at a time.
Finally you can also look forward to some free spins. The Free Spins Stamp needs to show up at least three times for the Free Spin Round to be triggered. You’ll get 9 free spins for three stamps, 10 free spins for four stamps, 11 free spins for five stamps and 12 free spins for six stamps. Indeed, it is possible to get up to 60 free spins during one Free Spin Round, because more Free Spins Stamps will add more free spins (between 1 and 4 at a time depending on how many stamps you get).
The Free Spin Round becomes reasonably interesting, because the low-paying fruit symbols start to give way for the higher paying Tiki symbols. During your last few spins you could be looking at large clusters of Tiki symbols only. Additionally, should your last spin not yield a win, you will get a re-spin until you have a win.
Other Slot Machines You Might Enjoy
Aloha! Cluster Pays has a few things up its sleeve and in theory that all sounds quite entertaining. The theme is charming, so are the Tikis and the slot is indeed quite well designed, offering a departure from the usual layouts. But we really would have liked to see more winning clusters during the many rounds we played this slot. Clusters are often formed by the low-paying flower symbols and those offer hardly more than 5 or 6 times your stake.
Still, the slot has a few things going for it and it is certainly a nice addition to NetEnt’s ever increasing portfolio of slots. Take Aloha! Cluster Pays for a spin and find out yourself.