The Shangri-a is probably the most famous place that doesn’t really exist. Sometimes, yet not too often, places that were created in the imagination of an author, managed to become more popular than actual resorts. Shangri-La is described and developed as a concept in the famous Lost Horizon novel by British writer James Hilton.
The Shangri-La and the idea of it is deeply rooted in the history of Asia, especially its mountainous regions, and that’s the reason why the imagined Shangri-La has been featured in numerous films, books and now in a NetEnt slot.
This game has the intriguing Cluster Pays feature which makes it rather original. In the background you will see the mythical and magical place of Shangri-La, whereas the reels are placed centrally. On the left-hand side of the reels you will see an unusual figure of a wizard or perhaps a shaman who is the main character in this game.
There are 6 reels and 5 rows, and no standard set of paylins, which is a result of the cluster pays feature. The yin-yang symbol is the spin button here and players are free to set the amount that they wish to wager. As there are no standard paylines, the stake is not calculated by paylines, instead you can choose how much you’re willing to risk in a single spin by adjusting the coin value and the level. The minimum stake is 10p, whereas the maximum amount is £200. If you wish to wager the maximum you can use the max bet button, whereas with the autoplay you can set the game running without your additional interference.
The symbols are rather oriental and colourful and due to the nature of the game and its structure there are a lot of winning combinations and possibilities. One thing is certain, you will certainly not get bored while playing The Legend of Shangri-La.
The music and sound effects in general are very subtle, but that’s something we have already seen from NetEnt. When it comes to the symbols, we have the lower valued symbols – fish, insect, butterfly and a flower, and the more valuable symbols, also known as Guru symbols – a monkey, Ganesh and an anthropomorphic cat. These symbols can take up one place on the reels or two.
As there are no standard paylines, you can win as long as there is a cluster of at least 9 symbols of the same kind. The largest possible cluster is consisted of 30 symbols, but getting such a combination is pretty extra-ordinary.
If you get a combination of 9 low-value symbols you will receive 5 coins, whereas a cluster of 9 Guru symbols will bring in more money, at least 20 coins (30 coins if you get 9 cats in a cluster). The prizes grow based on the number of symbols which consist the cluster. If you get as many as 13 symbols you can count on payments as high as 50 coins for the symbols of lower value, whereas if you get at least 13 guru symbols you can win as much as 150 or even 250.
With as many as 20 symbols the payments get even more impressive and 20 cat symbols pay as many as 2,000 coins, but even the low symbols pay at least 300. Any winning cluster with more symbols is a true jackpot and the highest possible regular prize is 10,000 coins for a cluster of 30 cats.
The RTP of this game is 96.59% which makes it closer to 97% than to 96% and that is pretty good. It’s not the most rewarding game out there, but it definitely is more rewarding than most. Plus, there are multiple winning opportunities and combinations. It is a medium variance game which means that your winning chances and the prize amounts are evenly matched.
In addition to standard symbols there’s also a Free Spins symbol which, understandable, activates the Free Spins bonus. You will need at least 3 symbols to activate the bonus, but with more symbols you will get more free spins. With 3 symbols you get 5 spins, 6 spins are awarded for 4 symbols, 7 for 5 and if you get 6 symbols you will get to try your luck for free 8 times.
During free spins random substitution symbols are added to the reels. The first 2 symbols are entirely random. Then, after the reels are done spinning, additional 2 to 6 substitution symbols are added and then before the next spin between 1 and 4 sub symbols are removed. One great thing about the Free Spins round in The Legend of Shangri-La is that if you have won less than 10 times your stake at the end of the round you will get one extra free spin.
If you have two free spins on the reels and there is a third one that has landed just outside the reels it can be nudged back onto the reels in order to activate the free spins bonus.
The Sticky Re-Spins is a feature that is activated whenever you get two non-winning clusters of the same symbol, i.e. when there are two groupings of less than 9 items of the same symbol. During this feature the selected symbols remain on the reels while the rest of them spin. As you already have two uncompleted clusters, this can result in massive winnings especially if the new symbols that land connect the existing clusters and bind them into one large winning cluster.
When there are two clusters of the same symbol during the main game, regardless whether they are winning or not, the Random Substitutions feature is activated. Additional sub symbols are added to the existing clusters on the adjacent positions and other random sub symbols are added until a win is reached.
Guru symbols are two-slot symbols, but due to the arrangement on the reels, they can cover only one position (if they are at the either edge of the screen), but they also cover only one position if affected by substitution symbols and during Sticky Re-Spins.
Graphically akin to many other NetEnt games, especially those released in 2016 and 2017, but in terms of gameplay and bonus rounds The Legend of Shangri-La is rather unique. The game has a lot of bonus and extra rounds with exciting features. NetEnt Cluster Pay games have been quite popular lately and there’s no reason to think that this trend will not continue in the future.
The Legend of Shanri-La Cluster Pays Slot from NetEnt brings you up close to the Asian myth!
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