Desert Cats slot review (WMS)
It has been a while but, WMS now and then release a new online slot
In December 2018, WMS suddenly released the Megaways slot, Battleship: Direct Hit, but in recent months it has remained very quiet around this major games developer.
Then, January 2019, all of a sudden, they released two new titles: Knight’s Keep and Desert Cats, the subject of this review.
The name WMS used to ensure exciting slots like Beer Haus, Zeus III, Kronos and Raging Rhino, but creativity seems to have dried up completely.
Of course, we started playing the Desert Cats slot with an open mind. Who knows, maybe WMS would surprise us with an old-fashioned hit.
How does the Desert Cats slot machine work?
This video slot has an Egyptian theme, and it will not surprise you that cats play the leading role in this game. Apart from some frightening cats, we encounter pharaohs, amulets and all kinds of typical Egyptian symbols.
Desert Cats is played on 7 reels with 4 rows of symbols. There are 50 fixed paylines, where you play with a minimum amount of $€ 0.50 and a maximum amount of $€ 100. Each spin, 2 reels are turned completely wild, resulting in much smaller prizes.
We estimate the variance of Desert Cats at medium. The theoretical payout rate is 95.97%; a very decent number.
Symbols and payouts
The big golden cat is the wild symbol and replaces all symbols except the scatters. A 7-of-a-kind of the wild gets you a payout of 200 x the bet per payline.
Also, the Cleopatra awards you 200 x the coin value for a 7-of-a-kind on an active payline.
The premium symbols include the pharaoh, the cat Bastet and various amulets. These get you between 20 x and 50 x the bet per payline for 7-of-a-kind.
This leaves us the card symbols to discuss: these yield 15 x the bet for a 7-of-a-kind.
Free spins bonus
You win the free spins bonus as soon as you manage to spin 3 or more scatters. Besides the free spins, you also win a cash prize.
The more scatters the bonus activates, the higher the prizes.
- 3 scatters: 5 free spins
- 4 Scatters: 15 free spins + 10 x the bets
- 5 Scatters: 50 free spins + 15 x the bets
During the free spins, you get an extra, double reel with wilds. To sum it up: 2 x 2 reels full of active wilds, this amounts to more than half of the total number of reels.
Retriggering the free spins is possible.
Jackpot Feature: Win up to 2,000 x your total bet
You can win one of the 5 jackpots at any time during the game.
The lowest jackpot is worth 10 x the total bet, and the highest is worth a smashing 2,000 x the total bet.
You win the jackpot by spinning a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 red amulets on the heads of the big wild cats. It may sound exciting. Unfortunately, it is not.
There is no excitement at all, and after a few spins, you don’t even look any more. Once in a while you win a small jackpot, then it is back to normal, and that is pretty dull, in our book.
It is incomprehensible why WMS has not chosen to add a separate pick and click menu to the jackpot feature. The result may be the same, but the journey would have been a lot more rewarding.
Our verdict on the Desert Cats slot
We have always been a massive fan of WMS, but they seem to be heading in the same direction as Microgaming very quickly. Too big, too unwieldy and not eager to excel. Let’s hope that they can turn their current dry spell around and revamp the WMS brand and magic.
In all, the Desert Cats slot will not make the dry spell go away. Although the game brings some fun features, the “is this all?” feeling remains.
3 out of 5 stars.
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