The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays Review

With 6 reels and cluster pays, it’s clear that Shangri-La: Cluster Pays is anything but straightforward! As the next in NetEnt’s highly respected Cluster Pays series, the extra features alone are well worth your time.

Highlights

  • Slot type: Video Slot
  • Reels: 6
  • Scatter: Yes
  • Theme: Asian
  • Bonus Game: yes
  • Wild Symbol: Green dome with question mark
  • Free Spins: Yes
  • Software: NetEnt

How to Play

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays is a bit different to your usual straightforward slot: for one thing, there are no traditional paylines, and the game is played instead on ‘Cluster Pays’ – that is, you win on a cluster, not a payline.

The game itself is pretty straightforward to play: simply:

  • Choose the level of bet you’d like to make – between 1 and 10,
  • Choose the coin value – between 0.1 and 2,
  • Click on the central, Ying-Yang symbol to start spinning.

Here’s where it gets weird. There are six rows and several different symbols, which take up several of each row’s space.

Important symbols in The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays:

Wild: or, as they’re known, ‘Substitution symbols’: green dome with a question mark

Scatter: Mountain scene with dragon

High value symbols:

  • Cat Guru across two rows,
  • Elephant Guru across two rows,
  • Monkey Guru across two rows,

Lower value symbols:

  • Lotus flower
  • Green butterfly
  • Purple dragonfly,
  • Orange carp fish

Jackpots

In this slot, the larger the cluster, the bigger the win. A cluster qualifies as 9 or more symbols banded together – and don’t forget, those 2-row Guru animals count as 2 symbols each!

If you get really lucky you’ll spin 9+ of the Cat Guru, which is worth up to 10,000 coins. Not bad at all. With a payout of 96.59%, this is a medium variance game – and one which looks exciting (but you know, chill) to play.

Special Features and Bonuses

This is one of the most feature-packed online slots we’ve ever seen: if you’re a fan of special features, The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays will definitely not disappoint you!

  • Random Substitutions feature: you’ll see this come into play when at least 2 clusters of the same symbol land on the reels, but be warned – they need to have at least 4 symbols each! You’ll see a Substitution symbol added to the four middle reels, next to the clusters….and more will keep being added until there’s a win.
  • Sticky Respins: even if you don’t spin a winning cluster, you can still be rewarded. Spin at least two non-winning clusters containing between 5-8 of the same symbols to see the Sticky Respins feature – the lowest paying symbol will be used, with all other symbols blanked out as the reels are respun. If there are any winning symbols landing next to the chosen symbol’s cluster, they will become sticky, and more spins will happen – until no more symbols stick to the cluster on any given spin. Your total win is counted as the number of clustered symbols on the reels. It’s a nice little potential payout.
  • Nudge reel: if you’re lucky enough to spin 2 Free Spins symbols on the reels, and then another one lands somewhere else on the reels, you can nudge that third symbol towards the others to create a cluster, and activate the Free Spins round.
  • Shangri-La Free Spins Feature: spin three, four, five or six scatter symbols to activate five, six, seven or eight Free Spins. When the Free Spins are in play, Substitution symbols will randomly will add and disappear to the clusters, and can trigger more winning cluster combinations.

Graphics and Sounds

One thing you’ll instantly notice about The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays slot is how stunning the background is – beautifully rendered scenes of Asian-style palaces, sun-dappled and snow-drenched hills (depending on the game in play) will amaze you. The cherry blossom tree is a lovely little touch too.

Soundtrack-wise, it’s all bells and jingles, similar to a Far-Eastern fight movie. The music is actually a little tense – but the Monk standing on the sidelines will interject some interesting noises of encouragement. You’re also likely to enjoy the jingling noises of when you land a cluster, as well as the fiery ball engulfing the screen and accompanying triumphant music as you win in any given extra feature.

Conclusion

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays is a funny, but very exciting little slot. Yes, it’s just a bit different to what you may be used to, but trust us – you’ll want to try this one out for yourself. It’s probably ore suited to slightly more regular slots players, as all of the bells, whistles and, well, cluster pays, will certainly confuse a newbie player.