Fortune Cats Golden Stacks: Slot Overview
Taking a breather from designing slots filled with questing, mythological characters, or battling beasts, Thunderkick turns to a lighter, cuter topic for their online slot Fortune Cats Golden Stacks, a cartoonish game aimed at players with a soft spot for a more playful side of Asian culture. The one where everyone is smiling, happy, and appears to be reaping good fortune. As to features, Fortune Cats Golden Stacks comes with mystery symbol transformations and a bonus game that is played on up to three separate grid matrices.
Thunderkick is adept at creating adorable cartoon vibes in their games, and Fortune Cats Golden Stacks pushes this tendency to an extreme. Colour-wise, there's lots of greenish-blue patterning in the background contrasting the bold salmon pink design covering the game grid. This isn't a slot that's trying to cater to the masses; it's aiming for a specific market. If you're into the subject matter, then Fortune Cats Golden Stacks is the slot equivalent of a hug from Cinnamoroll. On the other hand, the amount of cutesiness is bound to hit overload for other players.
While three game grids may be available during the bonus round, as you will see, the base game makes do with just one, arranged in a 5x4 formation, holding 40 fixed paylines. Wins occur when matching symbols hit adjacently, left to right, starting from reel number one. With a medium volatile math model running the show, Fortune Cats Golden Stacks produces a default theoretical return value of 96.14%, though alternative RTP versions may be found.
Playable from 10 p/c to £/€100, eight regular paying symbols appear on the table, split into four low pays and four high. The lows are metallic looking card ranks – clubs, diamonds, spades, and hearts, followed by mid pay fish, calabashes, and lanterns, then topped by high pay Golden Cats. Rewards for landing five mid to high paying symbols across the reels are 2 to 7.5 times your stake. Lastly, we've got wild symbols appearing on reels 2, 3, 4, or 5 to replace any other regular paying symbol.
Fortune Cats Golden Stacks: Slot Features
Not much occurs in the base game, other than random mystery symbols, so the focus is on free spins, where players can unlock up to three simultaneously spinning game grids.
Mystery symbols can appear on any base or bonus game spin and land in any position. Displaying a fan on them, mystery symbols turn themselves and one other randomly chosen pay symbol type to transform into the highest value cat symbol.
Landing at least 3 scatter symbols in the base game awards 10 free spins. The more scatter symbols that trigger the feature means more game areas during the bonus. So, when 3, 4, or 5 scatters are in view the bonus round starts with 1, 2, or 3 active game areas, respectively.
Even if you start with 1 or 2 game areas, you can collect scatters to unlock more. Collecting 3 scatters unlocks the second game area, while collecting 5 further scatters unlocks the third game area (8 in total). Once additional game areas are activated, they stay that way for the rest of the bonus round. Additionally, each scatter symbol awards an extra free spin, and every time a new game area is activated, +2 extra spins are awarded.
When more than one game area is active, a Golden Stacks feature becomes possible. How it works is when any reel completely covered by the highest paying cat symbol hits on one game area, it is cloned and added to the corresponding reel on all other game areas.
Fortune Cats Golden Stacks: Slot Verdict
Unless you are a hardcore kawaii fanboy or girl, Fortune Cats Golden Stacks is unlikely to generate a whole lot of interest. It is a pretty average game and far from Thunderkick's best. There are sure to be some players who lap up the all-happy, all-smiling, good fortune vibe, which is cool, but it made no great impression on us.
The features are as so-so as the presentation. Unlocking multiple game areas seems to be on the rise recently, though it's hardly a widespread phenomenon, so there is still a whiff of novelty when it pops up. The problem in Fortune Cats Golden Stacks is there isn't a huge benefit of having three game areas instead of one. Or better put, there is no major benefit of diluting the gaming across three grids rather than piling more into just a single game matrix and blowing it up instead.
There is the Golden Stack feature, of course, and this is a common tactic used when additional game areas are up on the screen. We saw similar tricks being used fairly recently in Brawl in the Red Cap Inn and Alice in Wildland. If you liked either of those games, then maybe, consider Fortune Cats Golden Stacks as Thunderkick has made pretty good use of the concept. Then again, don't consider Fortune Cats Golden Stacks if you're chasing big potential paydays, though. The most players can collect here is 2,500x their bet per game round, no matter how many game areas have been activated or how many Golden Stacks are leaping between them.
If you've been battling your way through something heavy-duty, playing Mental or watching Squid Game let's say, Fortune Cats Golden Stacks could be just the light, breezy, jejune activity needed to clear your head before bed. Outside this scenario, Fortune Cats Golden Stacks struggles to appeal.
If you are not in Fortune Cats Golden Stacks’ specific target audience, forget about it.