NetEnt delivers its second major slot of the year with Aloha Cluster Pays, set for a March 22nd release. It's certainly not a name that necessarily rolls of the tongue, but the name is the least important thing when it comes to a NetEnt launch.
The real point of interest is the gameplay and Aloha Cluster Pays looks set to deliver on that front. The slot is a cluster based slot, that rewards players not on paylines, but on whether symbols are grouped or not. It's an intriguing premise, so let's break down Aloha Cluster Pays to see if we can get to the bottom of it.
Aloha Cluster Pays: What We Know
- March 22nd release
- Simultaneous release for touch & desktop version
- 6×5 reel slot
- No bet lines – only Cluster Wins
- Sticky Win Re-spins
- Free Spins mode
Cluster Wins – No Bet Lines
This is arguably the stand-out feature of the slot. NetEnt have only dabbled with no bet lines a few times before, but it looks like they're going whole hog with it in Aloha. How the slot works out wins is simple.
If symbols are clustered across 3 reels of the slot, then they count as a win. The more symbols that are connected to this cluster, the more points you win and the more symbols are tallied in the final cluster win. This is why the slot has a notably square looking reel layout, in order to fit in more symbols around one another, so they can cluster.
Aloha Cluster Pays Symbols
There are 3 different types of symbol that can be involved in a cluster:
- Masks – similar to their previous slot, Spinata Grande, the mask symbols are worth the most and take up multiple spots on the reels. If you cluster masks together, you will win significantly more than clustering fruit;
- Fruit – fruit symbols are the standard symbols on the slot and worth the least, but are much more common to land on;
- Wilds – wilds are similar to the masks, in that they cover multiple slots on the reels. They substitute for other symbols and will always cluster with the highest potential win.
Sticky Win Respins
Sticky Wins have made an appearance in NetEnt slots before with King of Slots and they make a return here in Aloha. Sticky Win Respins are simple: if a significant cluster of a certain symbol is spun, then they will remain stuck to the reels and the slot will continue to spin.
If further symbols of the same kind are spun onto the reels, then they are also left stuck to the slot and the reels respins again. This continues until the slot no longer spins any of that particular symbol. Your win is then counted up and then the game continues on as normal.
Free Spins Mode
The free spins mode in Aloha is accumulative depending on how many free spin symbols you land. The free spins symbols are two symbols high, so landing one complete free spins symbol on screen counts as two symbols.
Free spins mode is activated once you spin three free spins symbols, which triggers nine free spins. The number of free spins available can go higher if you land on 4, 5 or 6 free spin symbols, which can reward you with 10, 11 or 12 free spins.
Free spins can be retriggered during free spins mode, by once again spinning 3 free spins symbols. This will only grant you one additional spin each time however.
Symbol Drop Mechanic
With every free spin, the symbol drop takes place. As we mentioned earlier, fruit symbols are worth much less than mask symbols. Every time you take one of your free spins, any fruit on the slot are dropped.
The slot will then cluster together any mask symbols that are near one another, to hopefully give you a big win. In this way, free spins are not only good because you get free spins, but they also are designed to maximise your winnings.
Aloha Cluster Pays Available In March
We have a good overview of what to expect from Aloha Cluster Pays and it seems like an interesting concept. It's treading in the same ground that NetEnt have covered before, but has mixed up enough different ideas to create something that could be something special.
We'll just have to wait until it releases before we can get a better feel for its RTP and how often the wins actually come. You can expect it to be released at all the major NetEnt partnered casinos.