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The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays™ is the stunning six-reel slot based around the mythical world of the same name. A peaceful pastime, this game has an RTP of 96.5% and can be played from as little as 10p. With plenty of fun features and bonuses to be enjoyed, it's no wonder Shangri La is supposedly such a magical place – hopefully we'll see you there soon.
As is the case with most NetEnt games, this is a beautiful looking slot brought to life not only by the high-end graphics but by the mysterious and sage red panda who watches on as you play.
A calming presence in contrast to the fast pace of the gameplay itself, this unnamed, monk-like character is generally quite relaxed, but he does let the excitement get to him every now and again, leaning into the board and jumping up and down when you win. In terms of symbols, you will be treated to animal-guru figures, such as the red cat, the blue elephant and green monkey, as well as smaller value koi, dragon and butterflies.
The backdrop of the slot is wonderfully presented, filled scenic waterfalls running over rolling hills and cherry blossom trees.
All this, as well the variety of anthropomorphic animals and their attire, not to mention the ornate carvings that surround the board itself, create a delicate Asian feel that runs throughout the entire slot. This is only driven home further by the tranquil lute and woodwind music that plays in the background, with uplifting sound effects accompanying every winning spin.
As well as it's highly impressive graphics, the Legend of Shangri-La also has hugely exciting and unpredictable gameplay, thanks to the Cluster Pays™ feature.
As seen in another NetEnt slot and one of our favourites, Aloha Cluster Pays™, this game mechanic basically does away with traditional paylines, favouring blocks or ‘clusters’ of symbols instead. This is one of the main reasons that the slot features five rows and six reels, as room is needed for the minimum nine symbols needed for a winning combination to be grouped together.
In addition to the unorthodox gameplay, The Legend of Shangri-La slot also has a good number of bonuses that add even more variety to an already standout slot.
Every good slot starts with free spins, don't you think? In The Legend of Shangri-La, you can earn them by landing the free spins symbol, represented as painted tiles. The minimum amount of tiles needed is three, which will give you five spins, with each additional symbol giving you one extra spin – the max being six symbols (worth eight).
This game also features a substitution symbol, represented by a green question mark in a golden frame, which will be replaced with whatever the adjacent symbol happens to be (except the free spins scatter tile).
This feature really gets interesting when the Random Substitution triggers. An event that occurs when two or more clusters of at least four identical symbols each appear on the reels – at which point, a substitution symbol will drop in to make up the total nine symbols needed for a winning combo.
Lastly, you have the Sticky Re-Spins feature, which gives you a second bite at the cherry, as it were. Should you land two clusters of the same symbol that are incomplete, these clusters will lock in place as the rest of the reels continue to spin. This will continue until no other sticky symbols land on the reels, meaning you can really bulk out your wins during these moments.
As opposed to a classic 3x5 set up, where the aim is to land as many matching symbols on a payline as possible, with Cluster Pays™ slots, here you are looking to group together nine or more symbols. As well as matching, they must be touching in order to complete the combination.
In terms of interface, NetEnt is always a reliable provider: all of your controls are located along the bottom of the screen and clearly displayed. To left, you have your buttons for adjusting your bet level; to the right, you will find the same for adjusting your coin value. Your main spin button is located in the centre and you will find your max bet and autoplay functions on either side.
Lastly, the only other icon you may need is the information button, which will provide you with a full paytable and a full list of rules should you need them. Other than that, once you are happy with your total stake, you should be about ready to play. So, forget meditation and tai chi – let's have some fun.
We hope you enjoyed The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays™ slot review, it’s a wondrous world that’s well worth giving a try. We have plenty more mythical slot games for you to try, such as Shaman Spirit, Temple of Iris and Temple of Ausar.
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