When it comes to game variety, perhaps no other software developer in the industry is as eclectic as London based producer iSoftBet. Cloud Tales is a prime example of that, the game play designer, visual team and theme guys all seem to have worked completely independently on this new video slot and then come together at the last minute. The end result is a fabulously insane slot, which will have you coming back over and over again.
Instead of churning out another officially licensed title, or a game in a popular slot theme, the game team’s task here seems to have been simply to produce a slot which was as attractive and fun as possible, with no strict boundaries on composition. What arises from that is maybe the most confused game theme ever, but a highly playable and entertaining slot, either despite that or because of it, depending on your opinion.
If you like the idea of floating mushroom islands in the clouds, underwater bubbles, crazy animated characters and insanely good graphics, this game is for you. It feels almost like a video game rather than a slot and the social media game influence is very clear. This was a game designed to be played and enjoyed, the 9 pay-line structure of this 5x3 slot fits well with that, making it easy to follow, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the show.
Theme? What theme! I don’t know what they feed the designers over at iSoftbet – but sign me up to that diet if it makes you this creative. The Cloud Tales game, as you might expect from the title, takes place in a psychedelic cloud filled sky, which of course is populated by floating mushroom islands, because that’s what you usually see in clouds no? Crazy or not, it is beautifully rendered, and wonderful to look at.
The reels are transparent, which is a perfect match on this game, as it prevents the backdrop being obscured, its created entirely in HTML5 and displayed perfectly for us on all devices from web browser to mobile tablet. No stuttering or stalling, I don’t see flash games lasting all that long now with the advances in this new format, I note the start spin button is transparent to ease touchscreen use.
I have a bit of an issue with game designers who still use playing card symbols for low pay icons, more so on a game like this where so much effort has been expended elsewhere. I will give them credit for livening them up into strange inflated shapes with luminous colours, but one point off for not going the whole way and replacing them with unique symbols.
Where they make up for this discrepancy is with the four high pay animal characters, I can’t tell you exactly what they are, we can only guess! The highest is some form of bright blue ewok, followed by a pink alien dog, a baby dragon and a rainbow coloured worm. All four have their own individual action animation when they form part of a win-line on a reel, complete with cute sound effects.
All show and no go? Not at all! Cloud tales eschews traditional gameplay with the same attitude that it rid itself of standard theme requirements. The 9 pay-lines are fixed to make the gameplay easy to follow, I actually think the lack of a complicated 1024 ways to win structure actually helps this game massively, it would detract from the entertainment factor to be constantly trying to figure out the win line construction.
The bonus wins combinations on the game are also highly unusual, there is no traditional pick win bonus game round or free spins on offer, the game’s action is all focused in one enveloping base game which is packed with a variety of multifunctional wild symbols. With games more and more leaning towards massive bonus rounds and neglecting base game play, this is a complete turnaround.
The first and simplest way a wild symbol can appear is simply as the word itself as a fixed wild icon on any reel. Things get lively when it appears as a bubbled wild word hatching from an egg as this can become stacked. If the wild goes stacked it remains in place and you get a reel re-spin, further wild eggs also become stacked and add a further re-spin, this can combine into huge pay-outs across the reels.
The eggs which produce wilds can add multipliers to the wilds and offer multiplications individually as hatched bonuses. Wilds which hatch from an egg can become wandering wilds which transform other symbols into wilds and if a special symbol switch icon is born from the egg all symbols on the reel will be remixed to produce a better win with a x4 multiplier added.
Last but very definitively no least in the base round eggs-travaganza, is the mushroom island wild, not only is this an entire reel stacked wild, like the eggs it also produces further wilds by itself. These form as floating bubbles and walk around the other reels transforming existing symbols to wild.
Exact specs are yet to be revealed but there isn’t likely a jackpot to be offered, the max win will be a 1000x coin win from 5x ewok symbols, expect a generous betting range to keep things interesting on the money side of this slot game.
Doing a complete U-turn in any industry is brave, but iSoftBet may have pulled it off with this game, it may isolate players who want big progressive jackpots for sure and the free spin seekers. At worst this is a niche game for fun players but at its potential best this may encourage other manufacturers to reinvigorate their own base game rounds rather than forgetting them in the search for ever more dramatic bonus features, personally we are on cloud nine with this title.