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You can forget about giving Tiddles a cuddle before dishing out his favourite bowl of cat food when it comes to the Cats slot machine from IGT.
This free to play slot is about the house cats’ larger, wild cousins.
One word of warning, check the volume on your device when you load up the slot game as when the first musical introduction kicks in (completed with a rather fierce cat roar), it can frighten the life out of you.
Here’s how this handsome slot shapes up in more detail.
Overview: Cats Slot
The online Cats slot is IGT’s version for internet-based customers of one of its most popular land-based casino games.
That popularity has been repeated online for this 5×3 reel game. It has up to 30 selectable paylines in operation on each spin.
You can play one, three, five, nine, 15 or 30 paylines per spin, and you can bet from $0.01 per payline up to a maximum of $20.
The game features the usual playing card low symbols with an assortment of wild cats including lions, tigers, panthers and jaguars as the high symbols.
The slot also features two symbols on a single space (split symbols), which can mean wins of up to 10 symbols in a row.
There is a wild symbol (which can also be a split symbol) and also a scatter (which again can be a single or split symbol) which not only offers payouts, but also grants access to the free spins bonus feature.
Who will the Cats slot appeal to?
If you have played some of IGT’s slots that offer the split symbol feature (the Noah’s Ark slot is a perfect example), then you will be completely familiar with the gameplay and also some of the main sound effects in the game.
It seems IGT has taken a popular structure for a slot and simply given it a new theme each time.
That said, Cats slots will appeal to all slot players as it has the ability to offer very good-sized wins in both the base game and especially the free spins round.
The split symbol feature really does add an extra element to the game, and with wilds also being these double symbols too, you can rack up some great wins without ever triggering the free spins.
Gameplay: Cats Slot
One of the nicest aspects of the Cats online slot machine game is that you can really alter the amount of paylines and coin size per payline to suit your budget.
This means that there is great flexibility when it comes to your stake on the slot and that all players, from lower stakes players to higher rollers, will find a way to enjoy Cats.
Graphically, the slot isn’t anything particularly special. The playing card lows are generic and the cat symbols on the reels are well-designed, but not the most inspiring.
The sound effects are similar to several other IGT games with simply a few added cat sound effects to give it a fresh touch. Some would argue this is lazy, but others would say if it is a winning format, why change it?
The biggest feature of the game is the split symbols. These effectively mean that the game can offer payouts of up to 10 symbols on a payline, rather than five.
It also means that you can win cash with just two symbols of the same cat next to each other on a payline (provided one is a double).
Add into this the wild and scatter having double symbols too and there’s plenty of potential here for some big base game wins.
This helps the base game race along nicely and wins are generally regular, although base game wins tend to be small.
However, you can hit a decent-sized win from time to time, especially
when a double wild or two lands in the requisite position.
The biggest wins are found in the free spins round, which is triggered with you obtain five or six paw prints across reels two, three, and four. Five will give you the same number of free spins, while six paw prints gives you double that at 10 free spins.
You can re-trigger additional free spins during the free spins bonus round.
Even though Cats is based on a physical game, there’s also a nice balance between standard slot gaming and some additional features, which will keep players interested.
Special features: Cats Slot
The split symbol feature means that as well as single cat symbols on a reel, you can land two cat symbols in a single space.
This means you can have a payline of up to 10 symbols, offering some huge base game wins.
Split wilds and scatters
It is not only the higher value cat symbols that are split symbols; the wild symbols can also be split offering two wilds in one spot.
The scatter symbol (the cat’s paw print) is also a split symbol.
Land five paws on the reels to trigger five free spins, or six to trigger 10 free spins. Scatters appear on reels two, three, and four only.
The free spins bonus sees a new colour scheme. Here’s where we see the potential for some big wins heading toward the 10,000-coin jackpot.
Split symbols and wilds
The split symbols add a huge amount to the base game, especially given that the wild symbols are also split and you will often turn up a win when perhaps you thought the spin was a loser.
Base game payouts
While most base game payouts are generally small, especially for low symbol wins, the higher symbol wins can offer very rewarding payouts, especially when split symbols and wild symbols are used to increase the value.
Free spins bonus
Free spins is very hit and miss and you stand a much better chance of a big win landing 10 free spins than five, but despite the low value wins, the potential for much bigger wins does exist and can be hit with a little patience.
Very similar to other IGT games
It is clear from reviewing a number of IGT games that the developers have clearly reused slot structures. If you are looking for originality and creativity, Cats doesn’t offer that.
However, that is not to say that the slot is bad; it is simply very similar to several other IGT games.
Graphics and sounds uninspiring
There’s nothing inherently bad about the soundtrack and graphics of the slot. They just look and sound a little dated and occasionally corny.
Free spins wins variable
The potential for big wins in free spins is always present, but it can be frustrating to wait a while to trigger free spins, only to end up with a relatively small win.
This is slightly annoying and does happen more often when triggering the lower number of free spins (five) than the larger (10).
Graphics and soundtrack 2/5
The game is serviceable enough and plays well, but the presentation is a little dated.
But seeing as this is based on the popular land-based slot, it would have been hard for the developers to be completely original here.
Originality and creativity 1/5
Again, seeing as this slot is based on a popular land-based game, then it is hard for the developers to be too original.
Retaining the key features of the slot that made it popular was probably a good idea, but it scores low for originality and creativity.
Play value 3/5
Things are better in terms of play value. Some very generous base game wins, especially thanks to the split symbols feature, do boost your bankroll.
If you can get a generous free spins round on the go, then Cats can reward you generously at times.
Jackpot potential 3/5
A 10,000-coin slot is not to be sneezed at, especially when played at the higher stakes.
Combine this with some nice sized base game wins and the occasional bigger free spins win and you have a decent jackpot potential.
Repeat play 3/5
Yes, Cats may look a little dated and its gameplay and presentation is derivative of other IGT slots, but there’s no denying that what it does, it does well.
Add into this a chance of some decent-sized wins and this is a slot to which you will keep coming back.
Total score 12/25
A lack of presentation and perhaps a few additional features hold Cats back from getting a higher score. That, combined with some poor returns from free spins round, contributes to its lower marks.
However, play the Cats slot when she is purring and pouring out the cash and you can enjoy a lucrative time here.