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Game Review: The Cheshire Cat
The Cheshire Cat is waiting for any players looking to take a little trip down the rabbit hole. This online slot machine by SG Interactive recreates the topsy-turv y world from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Featuring a fun, colorful design based on the book and a feature-packed bonus round, these slots should be a fun pick for new and experienced alike. Take a look and see what wonders lie on the reels.
The design in The Cheshire Cat is really remarkable. Players can enjoy a festive, fantasy soundtrack theme as the reels spin that perfectly matches the setting.
The symbols and background also look lovely thanks to the consistent soft, painted look. The blue reels stand out nicely against the forest background, and the symbols are all easy to see. Unfortunately, the lower value symbols are just the standard card symbols with “A, K, Q and J” present.
It’s a shame that they didn’t take the little step to put them into theme. The Queen of Hearts seems like an obvious choice at least. Regardless, the higher value symbols are all nice, colorful depictions of Alice, the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the cake, the drink and of course two symbols for The Cheshire Cat himself.
The wild symbol with the logo does a neat animation where the words fade away to reveal the cat’s eyes, and winning paylines animate with a lovely decorative line.
Aside from the graphics, SG Interactive really outdid themselves with the visual design of the interface. During each spin, the reels enlarge to fill the screen. Once the symbols all settle, the reels retract a little and a helpful readout at the top of the screen shows each of the winning paylines on a grid.
This makes the game really easy to follow and lets the player keep better track of their hits. All of these little touches keep the sometimes flashy game from being overwhelming.
Cheshire Cat: The Gameplay
The Cheshire Cat uses 5 reels and 4 rows with 40 paylines in play. There’s no option for players to bet on fewer paylines in a game. All paylines have to run from left-to-right and all of the symbols require at least 3 in a line to trigger.
The game does include a Mystery Symbol each spin, which is a little difficult to track at times. At the start of each spin, any random symbol except for the bonus or the wild symbol is picked and then added to the reels. In practice, it just occasionally loads up the board with a lot of stacks of the same symbol.
It’s important to note that the payouts per line are fairly low. It actually takes a full set of 5 regular Cheshire Cat symbols or 4 Wilds to get a payout above the total bet. The reason for this is that the paylines are very generous when it comes to sets of 3.
Players should expect to see a lot of losing spins broken up by spins with a bunch of small payouts that stack up nicely to refill their bankroll while they wait for the bonus.
There’s not much of a standard jackpot in the base game, although getting 5 Wilds will pay out 500x the line bet or 12.5x the total bet. The big jackpot is tied up in the bonus game, since getting 5 bonus symbols pays out 50x the total bet as an additional prize.
Cheshire Cat Bonus Round
Players looking for the game to really get crazy should be pleased with The Cheshire Cat’s interesting bonus round. During the main game, bonus wheel symbols can appear on the reels.
Landing at least 3 symbols anywhere on the reels is enough to start the bonus. Getting 3, 4 or 5 symbols earns the player 5, 10 and 20 free spins respectively. As mentioned, getting 5 symbols also earns the player an instant 50x the total bet payout. There’s a 10x the total bet reward for getting 4.
Players shouldn’t necessarily despair about getting “only” 5 free spins though, because this bonus round can get very interesting. It’s possible for players to have multiple arrays of reels playing at once, effectively multiplying their number of free spins.
When the bonus round is triggered, The Cheshire Cat will appear and spin the big Bonus Wheel. This wheel determines how many arrays are in play for the bonus round and also picks out sets of reels to set as permanent wild reels for the round. Players can have up to 4 arrays in play at once and many combinations of wild reels.
Once the number of active arrays is set and the wild reels are activated, the free spins will play out normally. In general, these should be fairly rewarding depending on the placement of the wild spaces.
One nice feature is that there’s a guaranteed payout as a consolation prize for anyone who just has bad luck with their spins or gets stuck with one array. All players are guaranteed to at least earn 10x their total bet back at the end of the bonus round.
If the player’s winnings are below the minimum, they’ll automatically be raised up once the free spins are done. Note that the guarantee does count the instant wins for 4 or 5 bonus symbols as part of the pot, so the guarantee is only really in effect for players that get 3 bonus symbols.
Coming Back to Reality
The Cheshire Cat slot machine is a fun and exciting game, even for players who don’t care much about Alice or Wonderland. The design is pretty, the music is fine and the bonus round is very exciting.
The 95.94% RTP also means that players aren’t losing out just to play an interesting game. The only problem is that the low periods can feel somewhat boring at times.
The base game’s focus on a flurry of small payouts that light up the reels are fun when they hit, and the bonus game is a blast, but the waiting times can be a real drag. It’s still a fun machine, but players should be ready for some lulls in the action.