Cash Noire: Overview
Hear the word Noire, and it’s hard not to think of crime, seedy parts of town, dames; a world where all is not what it seems. At its heart is the jaded, cynical detective who always gets slapped in the face by the dame, right before she falls for him. Such is the game world of Cash Noire, the crime-ridden slot from Swedish developer NetEnt where players get a chance to crack a sinister case.
Possibly inspired by the 2011 video game L.A. Noire from Rockstar Games, Cash Noire is all about helping Detective Tom Flint solve the Green Ace murders. No need to look that up, it’s purely fictional. How players do this is by collecting the right evidence in the Crime Zone (one of the features covered below). Doing so activates a clue list, revealing the murderer, and a prize for doing so. Like a good detective story, we’ll build a bit of suspense to hit you with what exactly that is.
You have to admit, NetEnt has nailed the look, setting the 5-reel, 1,024 payline game area in a dimly lit room, illuminated by a dash of neon. Despite the pleasing visuals, whether players will want be part of this world depends almost exclusively on the stats Cash Noire produces.
High stakes, high adrenaline gaming this is not, nor is it trying to be. Thanks to Cash Noire’s low volatility/low potential combo, this is easier going gaming than hardcore gamblers will be excited by. RTP will please a wider range of players though thanks to a solid 96.06% RTP, along with a hit frequency of 21.87%. That’s not bad, considering each win sets in motion the Avalanche feature, originally crafted by NetEnt in the classic Gonzo’s Quest slot.
A large array of bankroll types are catered for. Players can select bets starting at 20 p/c, rising as high as £/€200 per spin. Cash Noire does not use paylines as such, but a number of fixed bet ways instead. Winning combinations need at least three matching symbols landing consecutively from the first reel. These symbols may appear in any row which produces 1,024 ways to win.
All of the classic Noire characters have made it to the paytable, starting with detective paraphernalia such as a magnifying glass, matches, a card (ace of spades of course), whisky (on the rocks, natch), a dagger, and a handgun. Characters make up the premiums including a dame, Detective Flint, the shady Pit Viper, and a femme fatale.
Symbols offer some low values right across the board, the lowest we’ve seen for a while. For example, five of the most valuable premium is worth just 0.80 times the stake. There is also no wild symbol helping pull things together. So it is to the features that players rely almost exclusively on to make any kind headway in Cash Noire.
Cash Noire: Features
Fortunately there are a few features on hand to look out for – Avalanches, Mystery Symbols, the Crime Zone + Clue List, and Free spins. The Avalanche feature is up first, which removes winning symbols from the reels when they land, to make space for new symbols to fall into the empty positions. This can lead to more chances of winning since Avalanches continue to rumble on as long as winning combinations continue to hit.
You will see a red pattern of hotspots activating on every spin. At first, this zone is just 3 spots on the reels, yet it increases when certain clues from the Clue List are activated. Winning symbols in the Crime Zone activate items from the Clue List. When all 13 clues on the Clue list have been activated, then players are awarded free spins.
The bank vault is the Mystery Symbol which can appear anywhere in the game during regular or free spins. When the Mystery Symbol lands outside the Crime Zone, it morphs into a random symbol from the paytable. If it lands inside the Crime Zone, on the other hand, the Mystery Symbol clones itself onto all positions in the pattern. Each clone then morphs into the same random symbol from the paytable, to potentially provide bigger wins.
Free spins ramp up the action by including a City Chase Map with a Multiplier starting at x1. Now, symbols in the Crime Zone light up locations on the Chase Map. Every 7 locations activated, increases the Multiplier by +1 for the next spin. If all locations on the Chase Map are lit, the case is closed, the Multiplier maxes out at x10, and 3 extra free spins are awarded. Free spins technically hit once every 238 spins on average.
Cash Noire: Verdict
Well, all this crime solving malarkey is bound to be fun for some, while seriously turning off others. If you’re not completely sold on the dark ambience, then there is not much else left to win you over. The game is rather long and lean, the emphasis on the lean when it comes to rewards. Crack the case to get the 10x multiplier cranking where wins of over 5,000 times the bet are possible. Keep in mind the 10x multiplier has a hit frequency of 1 in 1,111 so don’t hold your breath detective.
The math model and winning possibilities rule out the dedicated crowd though due to the rather low volatility and since even wins of over 500x statistically rare. Small change symbol values and meagre paying features simply won’t satisfy those looking for big wins to prop up their gumshoe fantasies.
It is well made though, pleasing to the eye while boasting interesting features. Still, never mind San Cayetano, the real mystery for some will be why NetEnt went so lite in Cash Noire. However, those happy to kick back in low variance surrounds while having a stab at being PIs will no doubt have a ball.
Cash Noire’s absorbing atmosphere and intoxicating sense of style is great, but the math model will leave some wanting more.