Cash Pandas

(Slotmill) Slot Review

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Cash Pandas: Slot Overview

On the scale of animal adorability, panda bears have to be up there in what, like the top 10, top 5, maybe? If you're someone who can't get enough of the gentle giants, prepare to gasp with disappointment. The reason why is Cash Pandas, an online slot from Slotmill, doesn't actually have any. Instead, 'Cash Pandas' is like a name given to a gang of raccoons who inhabit a back street alley in New York while they hunt around for riches. Any disappointment should quickly turn to enthusiasm, though, for players who like a good cluster pays game where entertainment levels have the ability to exponentially increase as a round progresses.

A cool blue alley is the setting for Cash Panda, somewhere in the built-up urban sprawl that is New York. An interesting thing about New York is that despite what is often portrayed in movies, New York apparently doesn't have a whole lot of alleys anymore. One of the most famous the city does have is Cortlandt Alley in lower Manhattan, which is a popular spot for filming. Indeed according to Wikipedia, film crews were working there 3 to 4 times a week as of 2019. Cash Pandas' location might be a far cry from the warm exoticism of Super Fruit Smash or Coin Quest 2, but it's an ideal spot for racoons to do a bit of garbage bin rummaging.

Cash Pandas slot
Cash Pandas slot by Slotmill

Cash Pandas is a cluster paying grid slot played on a 7x7 sized panel with the goal of landing five or more matching symbols next to each other in vertical or horizontal directions. A highly volatile game, players have numerous ways of gambling, from regular 20 p/c to $/€60 per spin wagers, to the Fast Track and Burst Mode. RTP varies, but when playing the default way, the return value comes in at 96.16%. Other methods are discussed below.

All symbols part of a win explode from the reels, leaving spaces for symbols left on the reel strips to fall down into. An Avalanche sequence will continue racking up repeat hits until no new win is formed. As for the paytable, the four low pay symbols are represented by a crushed can, a can of something, a bitten apple, and a nibbled doughnut. The high pays are single dollar bills, double dollar bills, triple dollar bills, and a raccoon. Hitting a cluster with five matching symbols pays 0.2 to 1 times the bet, while 25+ sized clusters are worth 25 to 500 times the bet. Three kinds of wilds land at various points – a regular wild, Raccoon Wilds, and a Giant Racoon Wild. All are able to substitute any regular pay symbol.

Cash Pandas: Slot Features

Cash Pandas slot
Cash Pandas slot by Slotmill

Cash Pandas' action, which can get rather lengthy, mainly begins with the giant symbols joined by Battery charge, a collect meter with modifiers, the Giant Racoon Wild Bonus Game, Fast Track, and Burst Mode.

Giant Symbols

At the start of a spin, 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4 sized giant symbols may appear randomly on the reels. When a giant symbol is removed after being used in a win, it leaves behind a wild symbol before the other symbols drop. Giant symbols count as the number of 1x1 sized symbols that fit inside them. Non-winning giant symbols are sticky until the end of a game round or when entering the Giant Racoon Wild Bonus Game.

Battery Charge

The Battery symbol adds 5 or 10 points to the collect meter. Once it has contributed its points, the Battery turns into a wild symbol.

Collect Meter

Each symbol removed by an Avalanche contributes 1 point to the collect meter. Each of the first three steps on the meter takes 25 points to fill, which then adds one of these power-ups to the queue. Power-ups in the queue are triggered when no more Avalanches occur:

  • Random Wilds – up to 7 wild symbols are added to the grid.
  • Symbol Conversion – a random symbol on the grid is picked, and all instances are transformed into another symbol.
  • Symbol Removal – removes all instances of a picked symbol from the grid.

Giant Racoon Wild Bonus Game

When the collect meter is charged four times (100 points in total) and all power-ups have played out, the Giant Raccoon Wild Bonus Game is triggered. A Giant Raccoon Wild is added to the grid, and an overall win multiplier is activated. Each Avalanche increases the multiplier by +1, which does not reset until the end of the round. The Giant Racoon Wild will be added to the reels a random number of times before it is broken down into 1x1 Racoon Wilds. Racoon Wilds are sticky until used in a win or when moving to the next stage of the bonus. Filling the meter with 100 points triggers the next stage of the round, like so:

  • Stage 1 – adds 2 to 5 2x2 Giant Raccoon Wilds, then adds 4 1x1 Raccoon Wilds at once.
  • Stage 2 – adds 1 to 4 3x3 Giant Raccoon Wilds, then adds 8 1x1 Raccoon Wilds at once.
  • Stage 3 – adds 1 to 4 4x4 Giant Raccoon Wilds, then adds 12 1x1 Raccoon Wilds at once.

Giant Raccoons are added to the grid one by one, and wins are evaluated before the next one is added. The collect meter cannot be filled more after stage 3.

Burst Mode & Fast Track

Aside from activating the Burst Mode, which allows players to take on Cash Pandas at high speed without graphics by picking a stake and a number of spins, the Fast Track feature buy menu gives players four different ways of playing Cash Pandas, which can be activated from the base game. All are highly volatile except the Giant Symbol, which is medium-high.

  • Giant symbol (RTP 96.35%) – 10x the bet buys a game round with a giant symbol.
  • Stage 1 Giant Racoon Wild Bonus Game (RTP 96.44%) – triggers stage 1 of the bonus round for 70x the bet.
  • Stage 2 Giant Raccoon Wild Bonus Game (96.55%) – triggers stage 2 of the bonus round with x1 starting multiplier for 200x the bet.
  • Stage 2+ Giant Racoon Wilds Bonus Game (96.68%) – triggers stage 2 of the bonus round with a starting multiplier of x1-x5 for 400x the bet.
Cash Pandas slot
Cash Pandas slot by Slotmill

Cash Pandas: Slot Verdict

Players who like a cluster-paying grid slot with a collect element that leads to ever greater features the deeper they get would do well to give Cash Pandas a whirl. As the studio puts it, Cash Pandas brings together tweaked bits from Coin Quest 2, such as the collect meter and power-ups, and Super Fruit Smash with the Giant symbols, Giant wilds, and rising win multiplier, meaning there is a lot here to enjoy. As will be obvious to most veteran players, however, Play'n GO's classic slot Reactoonz has left a major fingerprint on the game as well. Even the name Reactoonz – raccoons, is it cheekily intentional or delightful serendipity? Only Slotmill will be able to definitively answer that one.

Cash Pandas is filled with other delightful moments too. The raccoon gang in New York idea is neat, the tunes are ridiculously toe-tapping, and the overall vibe is playfully fun. As for the gaming, Slotmill has weaved together an excellent combination of features, where filling the collect meter gives Cash Panda a challenging mission to accomplish, helping boost the game's shelf life. If you can make it all the way to the endpoint, the Giant Racoon Wild Bonus Game (or buy it), then the Giant Raccoon Wilds, Raccoon Wilds, and increasing win multiplier can be a real thrill ride. Winning potential is respectable, too, at 10,000 times the bet, and players get an excellently designed grid slot in which to attempt hitting it.

To sum up, Cash Pandas is a strong example of why this style of gaming – collecting points from winning symbols to trigger features and a bonus round has proven successful in the past and is likely to keep doing so in the future. With Cash Pandas, Slotmill continues to establish itself as a top-tier maker of playable cluster pay/grid slot games, and with the studio's impressive track record for funnelling player feedback into sequels, a Cash Pandas 2 is a formidable thought.

Great

Cash Pandas delivers a solid grid slot experience that provides a nice balance between the fresh and the familiar.

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