Cash-O-Matic (NetEnt): Review
When game developers try to be innovative, sanity is often the first casualty. But weird doesn’t always mean bad, and even if NetEnt’s Cash-O-Matic may seem as confusing as algebra at first, don’t let the intricate gameplay and dated looks scare you away. Cash-O-Matic is actually a competent slot and one that is likely to grow on you. With 5 reels, 4 rows and 1024 ways to win, it utilises a symbol drop game engine where winning symbols are held on the reels while new ones fall into place, something that can result in multipliers of up to 50x in the Free Spins game. Playable from 20 cents to 400€ per spin across all devices, the game is not nearly as complicated as it first appears to be.
With quirky, but equally hypnotic Oompah-type music running on repeat in the background (described to us as a “saloon-y ragtime-y soundtrack” by creative artist Hani Jazzar), Cash-O-Matic is made to simulate an old fashioned cash machine. Visually, it’s dominated by gold and has an opulent art deco-inspired design. It’s doesn’t look very exciting to be truthful. Known to consistently deliver amazing looking games, this is one of few times we’ve not been impressed by NetEnt in terms of visual design – if you don’t count Spinsane that we reviewed just before this one, that is.
Cash-O-Matic is divided into three sections – farthest to the left you will see a multiplier meter, next to it you’ll see a scatter counter, and farthest to the right is the 5×4 grid set. Symbols on the grid include A, K, Q, J and 10 royal values as well as purple, blue, green, yellow and red gemstones. The red star-shaped gem is the most lucrative with 5 of them giving you 1 times your total stake. With 1024 win ways, you don’t have to keep track of paylines – starting from the first reel, matching symbols anywhere on the grid on 2 or more adjacent reels will count as a win.
Cash-O-Matic (NetEnt): Features
Cash-O-Matic is built around a symbol drop game engine, known as the Avalanche feature. Instead of spinning reels, symbols fall into position on the grid. If one such Avalanche results in one or more winning combinations, the winning symbols will remain on the grid and drop to the bottom while all other symbols are removed to leave place for a second Avalanche. The cycle then repeats as long as more matching symbols appear in view.
As previously mentioned, there’s a Multiplier feature included as well. It activates when a row is filled with winning symbols – 1, 2, 3 or 4 rows filled with winning symbols will give you 1x, 2x, 4x, or 10x multipliers respectively.
The Multiplier feature comes in even better use in the Free Spins feature which is played when 10 or more scatter symbols have been collected within one spin sequence (the scatters appear stacked). Now, each scatter counts as one free spin, meaning you can start with 20+ spins in the feature. You can also retrigger the feature as each full row will add 1 extra spin to your total. Furthermore, the multiplier levels depend on the number of scatter symbols that were collected to trigger the feature:
- 10 – 14 scatters will give you 4 multiplier levels accordingly: 2x, 4x, 8x, 20x.
- 15 – 19 scatters will give you 4 multiplier levels accordingly: 3x, 6x, 12x, 30x.
- 20+ scatters will give you 4 multiplier levels accordingly: 5x, 10x, 20x, 50x.
Cash-O-Matic (NetEnt): Verdict
According to NetEnt’s fact sheet, no wins over 10,000x were recorded during a simulation of 500 billion spins. The true max potential is around 2000 times your stake (once every 22 million spins) although you’re most likely to hit 500 to 1000x wins at the very best on this slot.
Frankly, Cash-O-Matic isn’t exactly the most attractive looking slot out there, and the gameplay can come across as a bit tedious at first, but if you understand its potential and if you give it some time, chances are you’ll begin to warm up to it – maybe even start to love it. In our case, it grew from being a confusing mess into a charming and quite captivating little machine.
Even if Cash-O-Matic is made up of bits and pieces of other games, such as Bonanza for example with its combination of increasing multipliers and cascading symbols, it’s without question a unique slot that seems exceptionally well balanced and well-thought-out.