There is a genre of detective novels and movies that give us a lonesome, chain smoking PI, a lady who seeks his help, a ruthless crime boss, his thugs and a femme fatal whose role remains unclear even after the credits have rolled.
Cash Noire has taken such stories and turned them into an atmospheric video slot with superb graphics, dark surroundings, neon elements and the voice over of the PI who is trying to solve a case. A woman is smoking on the right-hand side, whether it’s the femme fatal or the lady seeking help, we don’t know.
The scene is set in the PI’s office, a glimpse of the city is visible through the shades. Clues are pinned to a wall on the left.
On the reels, we various detective paraphernalia, including a magnifying glass, matches, an ace of spades, a whiskey glass, a knife and a pistol as the lower values. The femme fatal, the PI (whose name is Tom Flint, btw), Pit Viper (the crime boss) and the smoking lady are the higher value symbols. The latter is worth 4x our stake for 5 of a kind, which is not an awful lot. Pit pays 3x our stake, Tom 1.5x our stake and the femme fatal 1x our stake for such a win.
There is no wild in the game and no scatter either. The vault with the question mark on it is the mystery symbol in the slot.
You can play the game from 0.20 to 200.00 per spin.
On any spin, you’ll see three symbols on the reels randomly outlined in a fiery red. If we get a winning combination, the avalanche feature will remove all winning symbols and new ones fall in from above. At the same time, the clue list on the left-hand side gets activated.
Further wins may expand the crime zone, just as symbols landing here activate the clue list further.
Things get a little more interesting when mystery symbols land. If they land outside the crime zone, they simply reveal a random symbol and you may or may not land a win. Landing a mystery symbol inside the crime zone will result in the symbol cloning itself to cover all crime zone spots, which then transform into a random symbol. The chance to create a win this way is a lot bigger, of course.
The way to activate the free spins is through activating all the items in the clue list. It takes 13 consecutive wins thanks to the avalanche and crime zone features, which can help along here. Now we’re chasing through the city. There is a map on the left-hand side that shows our progress and activation points, which can give us increasing multipliers and additional free spins.
Crime zone wins help us activate the spots on the map as we chase through the city, playing through the free spins. If you manage to activate all locations, you get an extra 3 free spins added, though the multiplier caps off at 10x.
It’s a fun way to play free spins, though you obviously can’t retrigger the feature beyond adding a few more during the chase.
The theoretical RTP (Return to Player) for Cash Noire is 96.06%, which is a solid average, though nothing much to get excited about. This is a slot with low volatility. Wins are frequent but small. The hit frequency is given at almost 22%, which is not too bad, though expect to wait for the free spins, which make take over 200 spins to trigger.
Cash Noire is a bit of a mixed bag. The atmosphere is spot-on, and the game is very well executed. No complaints here at all. But the math model is disappointing, especially the relatively low payouts. Yes, we get 1,024 ways to win, which makes it easy enough to score winning combinations, but you need to activate the free spins to hit any multipliers and potentially win even 200x or more your stake.
In theory, the game is supposedly capable of winning us 5,000x our stake, though surely not in a single spin.
Mind you, we did enjoy this game with its entertaining gameplay, but if you like to run with the high rollers, this one is unlikely to excite you.
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