Cluedo Cash Mystery: Slot Overview
How many people have uttered the immortal line 'Colonel Mustard in the drawing-room with the candlestick holder', or some such thing while playing Cluedo? No doubt a lot since the board game has been around since 1943 when it was invented in Birmingham, England. Certainly enough to warrant a few slot conversions, with the one in question here coming from power house SG Digital. This is the second time the studio has had a crack at the classic Hasbro board game. The first was Cluedo Spinning Detectives which, despite the popularity of Cluedo and some pretty hefty jackpots, wasn't exactly a hit. Is the follow up an improvement?
Well, it certainly looks better, though that isn't saying a whole lot since the original was played on a giant fingerprint - in keeping with the theme to be sure, but a little disconcerting all the same. The first slot that springs to mind when firing up Cluedo Cash Mystery is Thunderkick's mega hit Wild Heist At Peacock Manor. Not just atmospherically, but the way the gameplay has been devised as well.
In SG Digital's version, the sleuthing takes place on a 5-reel, 20-payline game area located outside a manor where the dirty deed has taken place. It's an interesting look; both modern, yet almost too defined at the same time. It's kind of as if utilising every single pixel was the primary goal, making it a success technically, but losing some of the human touch. Anyway, the soundtrack is suitably sleuth inspired, catchy too, if a little repetitive after a while.
Players get all gumshoey on any device, setting stakes from 20 p/c to £/€200 per spin. Mathematically the game is geared to more casual play, and it isn't a huge surprise the developer would go for as wide a crowd as possible utilising this theme. They've done this by setting volatility to medium, stacking it with features while holding back on potential. No one is complaining about an RTP of 96.51%, just don't expect a madcap trip when spinning Cluedo Cash Mystery. In fact, you might get bigger thrills sticking to the board game.
If there is one thing Cluedo Cash Mystery isn't short of its symbols. There are 17 scatters, making triggering the bonus game interesting. To compensate, SG Digital has dropped the number of pay symbols to just six - three low plus three high. Lows are Q-A royals, worth 2.5x for five of a kind. The rest are pipes, dusters, and a logo which pay 5 to 20 times the stake for a full line of five. All need at least three of a kind to form a combo, except the logo needing just 2 to trigger a 0.1x payout. Substituting pay symbols is the wild, appearing on any reel to do so.
Cluedo Cash Mystery: Slot Features
The goal of Cluedo the board game was to solve a murder mystery by figuring out who did the deed, the weapon used, and which room it took place in. This involves travelling around a board getting players to reveal clues until you've narrowed it down to the guilty combination. Get it right, and glory is yours. SG Digital has boiled down the original rules quite well in Cluedo Cash Mystery. Here the goal is to land combinations of scatters to trigger one of 180 different bonus games.
This is possible because scatters are separated into three categories – weapon, location, and suspect. Landing 3 different scatters triggers the bonus games. Weapons land on reel 1 and determine the free spins multiplier - the lead pipe, wrench, candlestick, knife, or revolver award 2x, 3x, x4x, 5x, or 6x multiplier respectively. Room scatters award the number of spins where the lounge, kitchen, study, hall, conservatory or library dole out 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, or 25 free spins. The third scatter type is characters which bring a modifier to the round:
- Mrs Peacock - scatters increase free spins by +1 each.
- Colonel Mustard – whenever a wild lands it expands to cover all positions on the reel.
- Professor Plum – each wild that lands has a multiplier tied to it of 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x.
- Mr Green – picks one pay symbol at random to act as a pay anywhere expanding symbol, 'book of' style.
- Dr Orchid – makes paylines pay both ways.
- Miss Scarlett – wilds become sticky when they land.
Cluedo Cash Mystery: Slot Verdict
Cluedo Cash Mystery has several positive points going for it, so let's start with those. The look's not a bad one overall. Players get a classy recreation of the board game's manor house, peeking inside several of its key rooms at certain stages. Locating free spins in different plush environments, depending on the location scatter adds some variety to a session. The scatter mix in general is a sharp idea, creating a huge number of free spins configurations, some a lot better than others.
Perhaps it was pure luck, perhaps not, but the more effective modifiers did tend to trigger alongside the lower number of free spins. There are some interesting modifiers in there, such as the 'Book of' symbols and sticky wilds. They've been put to good use in other games and can work alright in Cluedo Cash Mystery too. The issue is that squeezing too much into a game can sometimes dilute the overall effect compared to just doing one thing exceptionally well.
A deficit does come across when you've played through a few of the free spins games. Moderate symbol values and payline numbers don't exactly add up to huge payouts, even when it all comes together. You definitely won't score legendary 5,000x full-screen premium wins you find in book slots, nowhere close. At most, Cluedo Cash Mystery pays out 3,750x the stake, or £250,000 at the most for the higher rollers – 1,250x if max betting.
It's not just the modest payouts and mid-level volatility that makes it devoid of excitement. As often is the case with SG's products, the gameplay feels sluggish and unenergetic, something that becomes painfully apparent when playing in jurisdictions where spin delays are imposed. This also greatly increases the chance of players losing interest as the base game does little to engage players. Overall, Cluedo Cash Mystery is nowhere near as well thought through as Wild Heist At Peacock Manor which is a far more interesting alternative if you enjoy this type of gaming.
This board game adventure displays plenty of promise, but modest payouts and sluggish gameplay ensures that it falls well short of its potential.