FatStacks Miami Cash: Slot Overview
There are some parts of the world that are able to conjure up evocative mental imagery at a mere mention of their name. One of them is the Floridian city of Miami. Miami, it just sounds cool, don't it? What are the first things that spring to mind? Warm weather, white sandy beaches, palm trees, sunsets, Art Deco, convertible cars, swimsuits, skyscrapers, spring break, neon, money, living large? Some of this sort of stuff has been used to colour developer Lucksome's FatStacks Miami Cash, which is an ice-cool retro slot set in the famous American city that packs its white suit pockets with features, old, reworked, and new.
Right off the bat FatStacks Miami Cash eases you into an 80s-era game world with a mix of pleasing sights and sounds. It's not hardcore 8-bit the way slots like Banana Town or Hellcatraz are, but there is a blockiness to things like the prize ladder, some of the bleeping sound effects come across old-school, and the laid back, cruising Ocean Beach as the sun drops below the horizon and the lights are coming on, with the ragtop down so everyone can see you tune, evokes thoughts of an earlier era. Framed by high-rise buildings and palm trees is FatStacks Miami Cash's chrome-coated gaming grid, consisting of 6 reels holding 4 rows each. After a slick start, it's time to don the Wayfarers and continue.
The next step is choosing how to tackle the game. First is picking a stake of 10 p/c to $/€15 and then deciding whether to wager on individual spins or buy one of the three bonus buys. When playing the 'normal' way, FatStacks Miami Cash produces an RTP of 96.11%, rising to 96.22% when buying free spins. Overall, the game is medium volatile, but this can change depending on the bonus buy. Utilising a ways-to-win pay system, in its default 6x4 grid size, this means 4,096 ways to win, but when a certain feature is pushed to its limit, it is possible to have as much as 1 million ways to win in play.
Classic slot symbols rule the table where from low to high, we find an 'X', cherry, BAR, bell, grey 7s, purple 7s, blue 7s, red 7s, and a diamond. Hit a full left-to-right 6 OAK win, and the payouts vary from 0.8 to 30 times the bet. Appearing anywhere on all but the leftmost reel is FatStacks Miami Cash's wild. The wild substitutes for all other symbols except Luxpots and modifier symbols.
FatStacks Miami Cash: Slot Features
If FatStacks Miami Cash looks like a 9 Masks of Fire wannabe with a bigger game board, better quash those thoughts because there is a lot more happening here than might be first suspected. The list of features includes cascades, FatStacks, Luxpots, modifiers, free games, and bonus buys.
The cascade mechanic removes winning symbols from the reels after they hit. The empty spaces this creates are filled by symbols dropping down from above, and cascade sequences continue until no new win occurs or FatStacks are not possible. Winning Luxpots symbols do not create cascades.
When 2 to 3 identical single symbols are on the same reel, they merge into double or triple symbols known as FatStacks, falling through other symbols if need be. The spaces the merging process creates are filled with symbols falling from above. FatStacks increases the ways to win on a symbol. It is possible to have up to 3 FatStacks per reel. Luxpots symbols do not create FatStacks.
There are two types of Luxpots symbols – a regular one and a bonus one. Having 3 or more Luxpots anywhere on the grid at the end of a spin when cascades have finished awards a cash prize according to the values on the prize ladder. To win the top prize on the ladder, 10 Luxpots symbols are needed to land. At least 1 Bonus Luxpots symbol is required to trigger the Bonus Chance (free spins).
One modifier of each type can appear on the reels in the base game and in a free spins session – except for the Platinum Upgrade or the Transform. Modifiers modify the Prize Ladder before turning into Regular Luxpots. Prize Ladder modifications reset at the start of each base game spin.
- Shuffle – increases your current Prize Ladder value to a randomly chosen higher one. Works with the Upgrade Modifier for even higher values. Only appears in the base game.
- Upgrade – upgrades all Prize Ladder values to the rung above. A new higher value is added for the top prize. In the main game, the Bonus Chance label moves one rung down. Appears in the main game and in free spins. Only once per free spins session.
- Transform – transforms a random number of symbols (itself at least) on the reels except for Luxpots and other Modifiers into Regular Luxpots, Upgrade Modifier, and/or Shuffle Modifier in the main game, and to Regular Luxpots in free spins.
- Merge – merges two adjacent rungs of the Prize Ladder so both get the higher prize value of the two. Appears only in free spins once per session.
- Platinum Upgrades – upgrades the Prize Ladder to the one with higher values at the start of free spins. It can only be won in the free games picker, a maximum of 2 times.
Free games are triggered by landing one of the following combinations;
- 1 Bonus Luxpots + 6 Regular Luxpots.
- 2 Bonus Luxpots + 4 Regular Luxpots.
- 3 Bonus Luxpots + 2 Regular Luxpots.
- 4 Bonus Luxpots symbols.
However, landing the Upgrade modifier reduces the number of Regular Luxpots needed to trigger free games by 1 for each instance. Free games start with the free games picker. Players click positions on the grid until 3 matching values are revealed to determine the number of free spins. It is possible to win up to 2 Platinum Upgrades in the picker session. In free spins, the Prize Ladder remains modified for the whole session by Upgrades, Platinum Upgrades, and/or Merge modifiers.
From the bonus buy menu, players are able to access these three choices:
- X-Plosive – 60x the bet for 10 to 25 free spins with more FatStacks. The highest volatile option.
- DeLux – 100x the bet for 15 to 15 free spins with guaranteed Platinum Upgrade and more modifiers. The middle volatile option of the three.
- DoubleLux – 300x the bet for 20 to 25 free spins with guaranteed Platinum Upgrade and the most modifiers. Least volatile, and players get a retrigger if the win is 60x the bet or less.
FatStacks Miami Cash: Slot Verdict
A retro-styled slot built around a scatter symbol prize ladder might not sound super exciting on paper, but it's best to check reservations at the door before diving in because FatStacks Miami Cash does a lot of stuff you don't really find in other games in its category. It's clear a lot of time and effort has gone into FatStacks Miami Cash's creation because it is filled with innovative thought and excellent attention to detail. Whilst subtle in some ways, Lucksome has created a pleasant game world to visit, and the silky smoothness to the cascades, symbol removals, and FatStacks drops, plus a relatively busy level of activity, helps boost FatStacks Miami Cash's enjoyment levels.
Speaking of FatStacks, it's an exciting invention and something which gels really well with the cascading win mechanism. On a grid that already starts with a lot of ways to win, FatStacks can ridiculously increase the number, as mentioned, up to a million. It's a neat mechanic, and inclusion in future games would be no bad thing. It might have been nice if even more attention had been focused on the FatStacks element. What we mean is the max win figure in the base game is 5,000x, whereas, in free spins, it's 15,000x the bet, which are the highest values possible on the Prize Ladders. Ergo, some of the focus may drift away from the FatStacks feature if chasing Luxpots becomes the main event.
Again, no bad thing because, as alluded to FatStacks Miami Cash is no watered-down 9 Masks wannabe. You can imagine Lucksome as a youth, being one of those curious kids that have to break open a clock to see how it works or peer at bugs under a microscope to see what makes them tick. FatStacks Miami Cash is a game which takes the prize ladder format, tears it to bits, then remakes it into something excitingly relevant. Fans of prize ladder games should find their interest well piqued, and FatStacks Miami Cash is another example of Lucksome's willingness to push things that little bit (or a lot) further than they have gone before.
FatStacks Miami Cash takes the scatter symbol prize ladder concept to new places that might be worth giving a try.