Though always having had a knack for designing visually pleasing slots, it wasn’t long ago that Swedish developer ELK Studios was sort of synonymous with rather underwhelming potential. Those days are long gone, and ELK’s name repeatedly shows up in association with big win clips. We’ve seen the Nitropolis duo do their thing, Kane has performed in the Gold Series, and now it’s the turn of off-world critters in the uniquely designed, Cluster Slide.
Cluster Slide is a highly left-field release from the inventive minds at ELK Studios. Actually, left-field isn’t far enough. Cluster Slide takes place on another planet called Jellyton, populated by little square monsters covered in jelly or fur, like Cousin Itt. Social creatures by nature, the Jellytonians slide together for warmth when gaps appear in the grid, though at times, they tend to get a little over-excited and eat each other.
The creativeness evident in the backstory spills over to the gameplay as well. While cluster pays leading to modifiers isn’t ground-breaking, the tilted grid causes non-winning symbols to slide right to left when winning clusters are removed before new symbols drop in. Winning clusters increment a Generator meter, which, when full, awards 1 of 5 Feature Wild symbols. It is possible Feature Wilds do land organically as well.
What you want to see on your trip to Jellyton are the ‘B’ symbols – 3 of these symbols in view award 3 Wild Drops, which is what occurs at the start of this clip to spark the bonus round off. Now, 3 drops might not sound like a whole heck of a lot, but as you can see in the replay, Cluster Slide is more than capable of stuffing, stretching, and kneading them into something epic.
What follows next is the epitome of a grid slot bonus round. A huge number of winning symbols cluster up, the Generator meter fires off pretty much every feature, drops retriggers, and the win multiplier steadily increases throughout. Cluster Slide throws everything it’s got into the mix to snowball towards its ultimate end goal.
To be honest, the final scene is a little anticlimactic. With an x12 multiplier in play and a large number of clusters on the grid, you know something special is cooking, but the way the game overlays a max win message then cuts everything off is a little jarring. The same thing happened in a previous big win clip starring ELK’s Katmandu Gold as you can see here. Hey, no one wants a ticker-tape parade, but some sort of celebration would have been nice. Then again, a 10,000x win is a celebration of its own – in this case, the lucky player turned a 5 Ukrainian hryvnia (€0.15) stake into a ₴50,000 (approx. €1,500) payday.
Once again, an ELK slot has muscled its way onto a big win clip, which is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. What’s great is how diverse these wins have been. From manic cluster pays, Nitro Reels, to Multiplier Free Drops, and beyond. The methods might differ, but they’ve all delivered stunning results.