Aloha, or should I say “hello” and welcome to the bright and breezy cartoony world of NetEnt’s Aloha Cluster Pays slot! Here we find ourselves ready to relax in a Hawaiian-style paradise with a slot game cram-packed with plenty of extras, and an unusual set of reels (you’re gonna need to spin groups of icons or “clusters” to win) which adds to the unique charms of this exotic little number.
NetEnt are high-quality designers who are behind games like the Red Riding Hood slot and Motorhead but could my sky-high expectations for this game deliver the big bucks for me? Be wary, Aloha doesn’t just mean hello, it also doubles up as “goodbye!” – so beware the picture-perfect charm of this game which is even prettier that the Butterfly Staxx slot, and that’s saying something. Could it be hiding a more volatile game than meets the eye?
Look and feel
This is a game that looks the part of paradise; think a peachy sunset view over a curved sand beach and a volcano with palm trees. On the right of the reels is a gigantic wooden statue head- complete with a flower necklace and wearing a massive gem (this giggles as the reels run and celebrates your wins too!). On the left of the reels tropical pink hibiscus flowers frame the action. Yes, NetEnt do dramatic well with the likes of the Asgardian Stones slot (another beauty), but if you want to be whisked off to paradise, say “Aloha” and fire her up.
The first thing you notice apart from all that flowery bliss is the reels and how unusual they look! Not only are they bigger than the average with a 5x 6 set up, but they are also adapted to allow the cluster pay element of this game to work.
The music is gentle drum taps and relaxing tropical tones to keep you on a holiday tip- it’s so relaxing you might just want to lie down and top-up your sun cream!
Aloha is a six reel, five row slot with a different kind of a payout structure-this is a game that changes the playing field- you gotta’ collect groups or “clusters” of icons. To make a win you need to land a minimum of nine of these (they can be linked vertically or horizontally).
The problem with this slot paying out on clusters is that these aren’t the easiest to land, so this reduces the attraction of this slot when you’re not on your uppers! Apart from the cluster format there are two further elements of caper, one is the Sticky Wins Re-Spins and there are also Substitutions Symbols to indulge in.
The high value icons of play are a host of Hawaiian statue heads in red, green and blue, and these can become stacked (when this happens these single icons grow to take up two spaces on the reels). The lower value icons are a selection of tropical specialties including a tasty pineapple, coconut, a shell and a pink hibiscus flower.
Keep those peepers open for a dreamy Free Spins Scatter icon, it’s a purple sunset with a palm tree- tough life hey!
There is also a Wild Substitution icon; this is a wooden box with a question mark on it and this has a vital role in making more wins for you by transforming into its neighbouring icons to make you more lucrative winning combos.
When you’re in the base game and you land a cluster, you trigger the potentially lucrative Sticky Wins Re-Spins feature. This means that your winning clusters remain in place while other icons all move. If you can add to your clusters then this can re-trigger this re-spin feature again.
Now for our Free Spinning bonus game. Just get three, four, five or six of the Free Spin symbols in the base game and you activate the bonus game with 9, 10, 11 or 12 free spins awarded. And there’s more, during the mode low value icons are replaced by falling down the reels and leaving the higher icons in play. This feature gets better still; you can land further Free Spins icons during the mode gaining even more free spins to make the most of your money spinning fun.
I like the atmosphere that NetEnt have created in Aloha, transporting me to sunnier climes and a whole world of wins. The bonus game is pretty generous with the free spinning fun and the ability to re-trigger more spins made for a relaxing game that will have me returning to this chilled out spot for a spin on the reels, ocean-side again and again.