Cluster Tumble: Slot Overview
Cluster Tumble is an addition to the expanding range of slots from Relax Gaming, featuring the word 'Tumble' in the title. It seems as if the story picks up from Temple Tumble Megaways, which is the one Cluster Tumble most closely resembles, thematically at least. In the opening animation, we learn that an explorer who looks like the chap from Temple Tumble has gone missing in the Himalayan wilderness. Fortunately, his wife is one of the world's greatest explorers, and when she heard her man missing, she ditched her current assignment to head off to find him.
You know how a large proportion of male explorers in slots look like Indiana Jones? There's a similar phenomenon among female adventurers who often have a strong Lara Croft look. The heroine of Cluster Tumble does, while also mixing in a dash of Play'n GO's Cat Wilde, with a few tattoos thrown in for good measure. Basically, she's badass, and will need to use all the spunk she can muster to find her husband and help players pick up a few coins along the way.
Cluster Tumble, rather unimaginatively named, is a grid slot played on a game board made up of 8 rows and 8 columns. However, at the start of any spin, only about 15 symbols on the board are actual pay symbols. The rest are blocker stone tiles which are removed when winning clusters form next to them. The adventuress has narrowed down her search to an exotic temple-like complex, which looks really nice, though the skulls littered about the place are an ominous sign. Cluster Tumble has a vaguely Katmandu Gold feel, probably because they are set on the same side of the world, not to mention both have a fantastic audio-visual quality.
One thing you have to know about Cluster Tumble before storming in on the rescue mission is that it is a highly volatile game. Sure, most are from Relax Gaming, so what's new? Maybe so, but this one felt even more tightly wound than usual. Getting ahead proved to be an insanely difficult task, yet you can sense the possibilities of it blowing right up if given a chance. In the default game mode, RTP is 96.40%, rising to 96.47% when buying standard free spins, or 96.57% for the more volatile free spins option. Bets start at 10 p/c per spin, going as high as £/€50 a pop, all possible on any device.
Using a cluster pays system, players win when at least 4 matching symbols land connecting horizontally or vertically. There aren't that many pay symbol types on the board either, really, just three low pay crystals, then a mask, a scarab type icon, and a dragon. The largest paying cluster has 40+ symbols in it, which is worth 50-100x for the first five symbols, or a whopping 2,000x the bet for the dragon symbols. Wilds substitute for all pay symbols on the reels. A wild can have up to 5 lives which decrease when they are used in a win.
Cluster Tumble: Slot Features
To free the husband and get to the big bucks, you'll have to either trigger or buy free spins. Other features include three grid modifiers and a cascade/reaction mechanic. Winning symbols and any adjacent normal symbols or stone block tiles are destroyed as part of the cascade system. New symbols fall in to fill the board, potentially creating new wins, continuing until no new clusters appear.
Some of the stone blocks contain special features which are activated when there is an adjacent win. These are:
- Wild - wild symbols are created.
- Lightning Win – this block transforms into a normal pay symbol. All symbols of this type in view create a win no matter where they are located on the board.
- Fire Transform – this block turns into a random pay symbol. In the following cascade, 1-2 symbol types are transformed into the same kind as this symbol.
In the main game, if you manage to clear all the stone blocks or 3 scatter symbols hit, then 5 free spins are awarded. During free spins, clearing all the stone blocks awards a win multiplier and +3 free spins. The awarded multiplier starts at x3, increasing by +3 every time all blocks are cleared. Any scatter landing in free spins awards +1 additional spin.
If the bonus buy feature is available, it comes with two options. The first is a standard round of 5 free spins for the cost of 100x the bet. The second is volatile free spins which costs 200x the bet. It starts with 5 free spins, but when awarded, the win multiplier begins at x6 and increases by +6 for each following trigger.
Cluster Tumble: Slot Verdict
At first, Cluster Tumble is a total blast. It's got a great cinematic quality, a story to set the scene, and some super graphics to create the temple setting. The hits start to rain in, and not only do cascades execute in an extremely satisfying way, but the sheer number of consecutive wins is far beyond what most grid slots usually serve up. When a run of cascades is tearing up the grid, it pops like there's no tomorrow, and coupled with the excellent way symbols cascade; it's a real laugh.
Then, reality sets in. The first time is when a long cascade run has just occurred, and you collect like 8x the bet. Winning spins can be impressive, though you're often left thinking they should've been worth more. That is until multipliers are introduced into the mix, making a huge difference to cluster values and payouts. However, multipliers don't come easily. Destroying all the blocker tiles on an 8x8 grid when you start with 15 or so paying tiles is a tall order. It's funny when you've almost cleared the board, and the rest of the grid is letting off fireworks in the form of multi-cluster wins, yet you're staring at one grey block in the corner that refuses to budge.
More often than not, it doesn't, so you end up thwarted by a stubborn blocker tile standing between you and potential glory. The first multiplier didn't appear until about the tenth bonus buy. This was with the volatile option, so the x6 was awarded. As mentioned, the multiplier made a clear difference, but even then, the bonus round didn't break even. Often, one or two solid free spins hit while the rest fritter away. You've probably gathered by now Cluster Tumble is a volatile brute, though if you can tame it, then wins of up to 20,000x the bet are possible.
Cluster Tumble is a lush looking game, offering some crazy long chains of winning clusters. Like adventuring in the Himalayas, it can be tough going, so pack for a challenge, and maybe tell a friend where you're heading, in case you get lost.
Cluster Tumble is a highly entertaining journey saturated with an enthralling atmosphere and the potential to reward intrepid adventurers.