Available on

Features of the game

Free spins Yes
Re-spin feature Yes
Bonus game No
Risk game No
Scatter symbol Yes
Wild symbol Yes
Progressive jackpot No
Autoplay option Yes
Cascading reels feature No

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot by NetEnt - review

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays

You cannot help but agree, that, to some point, each of us has been dreaming of becoming a child again in order to believe in miracles and immerse into the world full of magic and wonders. Probably, many people are willing to do that, as we’re bound to carry the increasing burden of responsibilities while we grow. Therefore, sometimes you simply need to escape from all these fuss and negativity of our day-to-day lives and switch your mind focus to something positive and kind. As a child, each of us used to imagine himself as a character of a fairy-tale world, full of magic creatures; the world, where good always triumphs over evil; the world, where every creature lives in harmony with Nature and takes care of fellow-beings. And even though we don’t expect any presents from Santa Claus anymore, or don’t believe in fairies, who would make all our secret wishes come true, we’re the same kids to some extent, who want to go back to the end of the world to the Far Far Away Kingdom. And if you’re attentive enough, you’ll notice, that most of the viewers at the road shows of cartoons are no longer kids, but adults, who want to see the magic world.

Most probably, that Swedish developers from NetEnt company know perfectly well about this trend, as on September 21, 2017, the company released an amazing cartoon video slot called The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays. NetEnt company with its more than 20-year experience in the iGaming industry is releasing video slots, that are usually heartily welcomed by players and rated very highly, on a regular basis. Largely thanks to their path-breaking ideas, fascinating storylines, top-notch graphics and sound effects, great number of bonus games and user-friendly gameplay.

The plotline of The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot is based upon the novel “Lost horizon” by a famous English writer of the first half of the XXth century and Oscar-winner, James Hilton. The book by James Hilton tells us a story of a lost fantasy world of Shangri-La in the Tibetan Mountains.

Shangri-La fairyland is literature allegory of Shamballa (the mythic land in Tibet, described in ancient Buddhist writings). Those players, who have never heard of the “Lost Horizon” book, will probably find the slot design very similar to popular Kung-Fu Panda movie

The official NetEnt trailer featuring the unique The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays gameplay

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays slot machine is a vivid example of the constantly developing i-Gambling technologies and is a living proof, that we’re witnessing a radically new generation of video slots. First and foremost, it should be mentioned that this is a cluster slot, which means that all the win combinations are formed according to unique Cluster Pays technology. By the way, the first NetEnt product of Cluster Pays series became Aloha! Cluster Pays video slot, which was released in the beginning of 2016.

The very first minutes of the gaming process on the brand-new The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays will take you to the amazing world full of wonders. Your mission will be to reach the enlightenment under tactful guidance of a wise monk: you’ll have to overcome your fears, learn new meditation techniques and raise mindfulness. Mythical creatures - meditative manlike animals, - plants and beasts of striking beauty will help you to have the sense of internal harmony and possibility for huge wins.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the abundance of bonus features in the video slot, that, like the snow in the Tibetan mountains, will lavish on you with unfailing regularity.

Special credits should be given to excellent 3D graphics, which can take on the latest cartoons, and to sound effects, recorded specially for the slot. But first things first.

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot: main features

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot invites players to a journey to the exotic land of Shangri-La with the help of 6 (six) reels with 5 (five) symbol rows. Thus, the game field consists of 30 (thirty) cells.

The game has the following features: Sticky Re-Spins, Random Substitutions, Nudge Reel, and Free Spins.

The main features of The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays slot machine by NetEnt

The very concept of The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot doesn’t support any fixed pay lines and combinations. This where the main difference from traditional slot machines lies. So, if you want to try the game, you’ll need to study the unique Cluster Pay mechanism. However, this is a lot easier, than it might seem at first sight. To put it simply, symbols form a cluster if they horizontally or vertically adjacent to other symbols. 9 or more similar symbols will form a cluster and reward players according to paytable.

Important nuances in Cluster Pays’ feature work:

  • Simultaneous wins from multiple clusters are added;
  • Multiple clusters of the same symbol, which are not adjacent to each other, pay as separate clusters.

The bet size can be regulated by traditional “Level” and “Coin Value” scales. All in all the game has 10 bet levels (from 1 to 10). Each spin can be worth from 0,10 to 200 points.

All the wins for Clusters are shown in the Paytable; the maximum win size can exceed your bet 10000 times. Thus, the maximum actual win can reach 200 000 coins.

The Return-To-Player rate for The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot is 96,59% with a hit frequency of 20,46%. By the way, the RTP rate slightly exceeds the one for Aloha! Cluster Pays (96,42%)

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays - play for free

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays

If you wish to recover your peace of mind, relax and get away from all the troubles, you don’t necessarily need to play The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot for real money: this game is available for anyone for free with the help of special demo-versions. In terms of the game itself, demo-version is virtually no different from the real money game. The only difference is in play money (virtual coins will be credited automatically upon game launch). Demo-version offers you the same quest: reach your inner harmony with the help of a wise monk and also hone your tools in free spins rounds and acquire bonus game skills.

A number of online casinos are ready to offer their customers to try this video slot for real money mode without having to replenish your account balance. For these purposes they launch special no deposit casino bonus offers. The list of these bonuses can be found on the following page on the right side of the slot demo-version.

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays: design

You’ll hardly submit any claim to the design and graphics of the NetEnt creation. The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot is not just well-made, it’s terrific! The illustrators designed everything well to the finest details, so even the tiniest blade of grass on the mountain glade looks so real and during the whole gaming process, you’ll have the sense of reality from all this magnificence on the screen.

Gaming process at The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays slot machine

The design of The Legend of Shangri-La slot machine is made as a fabulous natural landscape of the Shangri-La cloud-cuckoo-land, depicting all the magnificence of Tibet. Designers created an ideal image of utopian world, where harmony and beauty triumph: blossom cherry tree rising above the green glade with pinkish petals tearing off and coming to symbolize the beauty of nature; waterfall of crystal clean water, reminding players how ephemeral our lives might be (to inspire us live our lives conscientiously and wisely); a Buddhist temple far away - a citadel of peace and tranquility. The animation and 3D effects on the screen fill the game with vital spark.

The reeland is stylized under the wooden scene on both sides of which you will see serpentine dragons, who are keeping a wary eye on the reels. These dragons together with a spin button in the shape of a “Yin and Yang” reflect the presence of both good and bad things in our lives. As you can guess, the scene itself is the game field, where major miracles happen. Each reel is designed as a sheet of paper with game symbols on it.

Red panda

Throughout the whole gaming process, you’ll be guided by a teacher, personal supporter and sometimes even assistant - a monk in a guise of red panda, that has a magic gift to trigger prize functions. Local godships will help you to make combinations: elephant, tigress and monkey and also lotus flowers and faunal forms like beautiful butterflies, golden fishes and dragonflies. All the symbols are well-drawn, designed in vibrant colors and each of them fit in the storyline perfectly.

Special praiseshould be made of the sound effects of the game. The piped music together with other sounds perfectly complements visual effects. You’ll hear sweet birds singing and chirps of crickets, the sound of waterfall far away and croaking of frogs. These sounds of nature, which ideally blend with mantra music, will immerse you in the half meditative state within first minutes. The gaming process, accompanied by such ambient sound, will become easy and natural.

Control Panel

The control panel, unlike the slot structure itself, wasn’t subjected to any sufficient change: the set of functions is standard, like in any other video slot by NetEnt. Anyone, who has ever played at online casinos will find it easy to define what each button means.

The control panel of the video slot is located under the game field. Right there you can set the bet size with the help of two parameters: Level (number of coins for a spin) and Coin Value (the value pf each coin). If you wish to play on maximum bet with the set coin value, you can just press “MaxBet” button.

Control panel in The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays slot machine

Those, who are used to playing in Auto mode, can press “Autoplay” button, choose the number of spins and relaxing in a chair, watching the spinning reels! The main “Yin and Yang” button is used to activate spins.

“I” icon will give you additional information about paytable, symbols and bonus features. In the settings, which can be found in the bottom of the screen, you can adjust sound, intro screen and activate quick spin or spacebar to spin. The question sign will open the window with the rules of the game.

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot: mobile version

When it comes to mobile game, NetEnt video slots are a priori out of question. As anticipated, right after The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot was released, game was added to the NetEnt Touch game collection. This means, that you can play it both for real money and for free not only on desktops, but also on mobile devices with touchscreens in all the mobile casinos.

The game field, graphic and sound effect for the mobile version of The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays are completely identical to those of the desktop version. The only difference is the control panel: for players comfort the launch button is now located on the side of the screen and the buttons to adjust the bet are relocated to the menu.

Mobile version of The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot

The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot: symbols

Under no circumstances can The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster Pays video slot be called “ordinary”. The symbols’ in the game is also something very unique. Apart from traditional symbols, the video slot features special Stacked Symbols. Absolutely each of them matches the slot theme 100%. When a cluster forms, slot symbols are nicely illuminated on the screen and the winning amount is depicted in bright numbers. All in all, there’re 9 different symbols in the slot, which can be roughly divided into several categories, which we’ll highlight later in the text.

Basic symbols

Basic symbol

Basic symbols are the least paid. In the following game, they’re designed in the form of gold fish, cherry tree flower, butterfly and dragonfly; they cannot stand comparison to guru-symbols in terms of value, but they definitely form clusters more often.

Stacked Symbols

Stacked symbols are those symbols, which cover two positions on the reel. Stacked symbols can be fully or partially displayed on the play area, depending on how the reel lands.

GURU Symbol

The Stacked symbols are represented by GURU and Free Sins symbols.

GURU Symbols

Guru symbols with images of meditating humanlike animals: elephant, monkey and tigress. They may cover two cells at the same time and are the most paid symbols in the game. Depending on how the reel stops, these symbols can be displayed fully or partially on the screen. In the latter case, they will be considered as one symbol.

When Sticky Re-Spins feature is active or when affected by Substitution symbols, guru symbols occupy only one position on the reel.

Free Spins Symbol

Free Spins symbol

Free Spins symbol is a Scatter symbol. It is styled on the sheet of paper with an image of dragon, which flies past the Buddhist temple.

The combination of minimum 3 Scatter symbols landed on the reels simultaneously during the Main Game will activate Free Spins mode. It should be mentioned, that Free Spins symbol is also considered Stacked symbol, so even if it partially lands on the reels, the bonus function will be triggered.

Substitution Symbol

Substitution Symbol

This is a very special kind of symbols. You can recognize it by a question sign enclosed inside the green sphere.

The main purpose of this symbol is to substitute any symbol (except for Free Spins symbols) on the game field to create the maximum winning cluster.

In case all the positions on the game field are covered with Substitutional symbols, they all will be paid at the highest rate possible.

Additionally, your fellow-monk can randomly substitute certain symbols for Substitution Wild symbols and increases your chances to collect the winning cluster.

Random features and bonus games

You cannot but agree that video slots would be nothing, dull and boring without bonus rounds and bonus features. The Legend of Shangri-La: Cluster video slot is definitely out of this category. The game will give you a chance to try several attractive bonus features, which would appear with enviable regularity. Moreover, these features will be accompanied by spectacular actions of the characters, so all you need to do is to watch everything happening on the screen transfixed.

During the main game players can activate the following features:

  • Free Spins
  • Random Substitutions
  • Sticky Re-Spins
  • Nudge Reel

One spin can activate only one feature.

Free Spins

As we’ve already mentioned before, 3 Free Spins symbols will activate the same-named bonus round. The number of free spins rounds depends directly on the number of Free Spins, which activate the bonus:

  • 3 Free Spins symbols activate 5 free spins;
  • 4  Free Spins symbols activate 6 free spins;
  • 5 Free Spins symbols activate 7 free spins;
  • 6 Free Spins symbols activate 8 free spins.

After Free Spins feature is activated, you’ll be taken to a snow kingdom; under cloud of night you’ll have to go through a tough trial. But cheer up! You’ll have your loyal friend and teacher with you, which will encourage you by his peaceful look.

Activation of Free Spins round

While this feature is activated, the panda-teacher will randomly add/remove Substitution Symbols on/form the game field and thus increases your chances to get the winning cluster. Before each new spin, you’ll have already two random Substitution Symbols on the reeland. When the spin finishes, from 2 to 6 symbols with a question mark will be added on the reels.

If winning combination occurs, Substitution symbols transform into adjacent symbols and join the cluster. If no winning cluster can be created, these symbols remain the same. Before each new spin starts, 1-4 Substitution symbols are removed from the game field, until two question mark symbols remain. During each free spin round you’ll be witnessing a picturesque scene: each spin will be followed by a spirit of dragon flying past its lands.

Dragon in Free Spins round

If your total win after Free Spins rounds is less than 10 times the bet that triggered the round, you’ll be awarded with one additional spin in which Substitutional symbols would not be removed from the reeland.

Ending of Free Spins round

Random Substitution

The Random Substitution feature can be activated by Red panda in the Main Game, when at least 2 clusters of the same symbol land on the reels (4+ symbols). In this case, the monk can add another 1-2 Substitution Symbols on the reels (except for reels number 1 and 6) with the switch of the magic staff in order to form a winning combination,

Sticky Re-Spin

Sticky Re-Spin feature

Sticky Re-Spin prize feature will be activated when at least two non-winning clusters simultaneously appear on the reels (with at least 5 and maximum of 8 symbols). As the result, all the cluster symbols stick to the reel and they stop spinning, whereas other reels continue to spin. At the end of each spin, clusters will be added new similar symbols, if they’ve landed on adjacent positions. Thus, clusters can basically occupy the whole play area and reward you with a whopping win. The monk will start levitating in the lotus position and try to help you collect maximum payable combinations with power of thought. The final cluster win is awarded according to paytable.

Nudge reel

Once two Free Spins symbols land on the reels simultaneously and another similar Stacked Symbol lands to the right of them just outside the visible area, the monk will nudge them back onto the reels and trigger Free Spins bonus feature.

Overall impression

After the raving success of Aloha! Cluster Pays video slot, NetEnt developers decided not to reinvent the wheel, but release another slot with the same structure but on a completely different theme. The game suppliers managed to recreate the atmosphere of a fantasy utopian world, described in James Hilton’s book “Lost Horizon”. It’s impossible not to note an excellent work of illustrators and 3D animators, who took part in creation of the game. The slot sound effects contribute greatly to the feeling of peace and harmony during the gaming process. Moreover, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the multitude of bonus features, which are followed by fascinating visual effects. And if you happen to get the highest multiplier possible equal to x10000, you’ll definitely attain Nirvana!

In case you have a desire to try this video slot for real money after reading our review, we strongly recommend to do it in one of many NetEnt casino listed on the same page below.