Chinese-inspired Astro Cat from Lightning Box Games is played over eight reels with a hefty 1,296 ways of winning. This November 2016 release has an unconventional layout and, if you’re familiar with it, may remind you of the Hello Kitty brand.
Above the reels is a temple roof, plus a background of a river below the night sky. Listen out, too, for the catchy, Asian-sounding backing music. The reels present a 3x3x4x4x4x4x3x3 formation.
How to play
There’s a comparatively high price-per-spin here of 50p a go – and you can spend up to an eye-watering £1,250 on a single spin if you wish.
Symbols are very much in keeping with the theme. Along with the usual lower-paying playing card icons are a bonsai tree, koi carp, Chinese fan, a dragon and a frog.
All the usual functions are here, including Autoplay if you fancy a break from manual spinning, plus Spin to set the reels whirring.
The central three reels form something called the Reelfecta, where every icon can only be used in a single winning combo. However, wins are still formed by landing similar symbols on neighbouring reels, in the standard fashion.
The Wild is a Japanese comic-book style cat which you’ll only see on Reels 3 and 4. It does its usual thing of replacing every other icon bar the bonus symbol, the firecracker icon. This kitty has also clearly embarked on some sort of weird cosmic adventure!
Astro Cat is all about this round. Land at least five Scatters off one spin to activate the perk and enjoy up to a dozen free whirls.
Once this kicks in, watch the Reelfecta. Beginning from the outmost top-left spot, you’ll see either a poison icon or a Wild cat. Land the kitty and enjoy an additional wager-free whirl with the Wild frozen where it is. In this way, you can get up to a dozen additional freebies.
If you fill up a dozen outer positions with Wilds, this, in turn, fills up the inside spots, creating a giant Wild comprising 16 symbols. Then you get a Mega Spin with all additional Wilds in place.
Although you’re guaranteed not to get a poison symbol during the first three free whirls, if and when it does show, you just get a 2x payout before the feature ends.
You won’t find a progressive jackpot as such here. Instead, the maximum win is 500x stake or a whopping 25,000 coins.
Return to Player (RTP)
RTP or Return to Player is a tad on the low side here, at 95.44%, although it’s far from the worst we’ve ever seen. And you should find Astro Cat to be medium-variance.
As is so often the case, Astro Cat really isn’t as complicated as it may sound, and there aren’t too many complex features. And although it may feel a little odd initially, it does offer some impressive payouts and features a nifty design. And it’s also likely to be a winner for you if you enjoy Asian-themed games.
Give it a go – and let us know how you got on.