Are you someone who believes in aliens? Not like strange head, glossy grey skin aliens (read: Roger from American Dad), but genuine, extraterrestrial life? If there is life out there beyond ours, would you feel safe if they came to “visit”, or would you want to raise the alarm? The minds at Print Studios have been mulling this one over in preparation for their new release, as they leave behind the medieval landscape of Holy Hand Grenade and invite us to protect our castle against outer-worldly creatures in Cash Defense. Thankfully, said aliens are predictable which means we're able to build elaborate structures to help us in our quest – through a unique mechanic. With RTP options available up to 96.29% (up to 97.33% feature buy), this highly (4/5) volatile release can produce wins up to 20,000x bet.
If there's one thing Print Studios do well, it's artwork. Similarly to Huntress Wild Vengeance, Cash Defense paints a pretty picture. It's a sunny day in whichever town we're in, as we stand on a grassy landscape, with bright blue skies scattered with puffy white clouds. Turrets containing arrows and cannons sit dotted around the grounds – a fair warning to these aliens for what's to come. On the reels we have a variety of creatures, including some smaller aliens and those that are much bigger – and pretty frightening, actually. What makes things distinctly funny, in the quirky way you'd expect from this team, is that two of the symbols – scattered amongst names like Scythra and Mantisa – are called Steve and Alan. Finally, a triumphant and classical soundtrack comes in to tie it all together.
Cash Defense Base Features
Taking place across 5 reels, wins are formed on Cash Defense by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel, across 1 of 26 fixed lines. Symbols available begin with non premiums which are four small creatures (Dropax, Hornax, Bublax, and Rhinax), awarding wins between 0.30 and 0.40x bet for 3 of a kind matches, increasing to values between 1.50 and 3x bet for 5 of a kind wins. In the mid range we have four slightly larger aliens (Steve, Alan, Mantisa, and Scythra), awarding wins between 1 and 1.20x bet for 3 of a kind matches, increasing to values between 6 and 12.50x bet for 5 of a kind wins. Finally, the highest paying symbols are the two largest aliens (Psykrona and Mentarch) awarding wins of 2.50 and 4x bet respectively for 3 of a kind matches, increasing to values of 25 and 50x bet respectively for 5 of a kind wins.
Alright, so there's a few different things to cover in Cash Defense, beginning with Scatter Boost. There aren't any clear cut details on this, but by betting an additional 50% there will be extra Bonus Symbols on the reels, increasing the chance of triggering the Tower Defense bonus. When using Scatter Boost on the 96.29% game setting RTP will increase slightly, to 96.64%.
SuperSpinners are next – something you'll recognise from many of this team's previous releases, like Pine of Plinko. There are 14 SuperSpinner positions on the reels – three between reels 1-2 and 3-4, and four between reels 2-3 and 5-6. On each spin, one or more SuperSpinners will activate, and take on a random value of 2 or more. Any winning combination wherein the win line directly passes through a SuperSpinner will then have this value applied to the winning combination as a multiplier. If a winning combination crosses through more than one SuperSpinner, multipliers are applied consecutively. SuperSpinners with no value are considered to be x1.
Before we get onto the main bonus, there's also a Mini TD Feature to cover in Cash Defense, which is triggered by landing a Mini TD Symbol on reel 5. This Mini TD Feature is split into two parts.
Part 1 is the Tower Defense portion, in which a smaller screen appears. Within this smaller screen is a grassy area with a small paved path. Two random towers are erected in the centre of this path to defend the castle from invading enemies. Arrow towers are good at eliminating single enemies, whilst Cannon towers are good at eliminating enemies travelling in a group.
A wave of 10 symbol-enemies will then attempt to move along the entire length of the path. There will also be 1 bonus-enemy. Eliminate the bonus-enemy to trigger the Grand Tower Defense Bonus. Any enemies which make it to the end of the path are not eliminated, whilst any killed on their journey are.
Part 2 is a Jumbo Symbol Spin. In this portion of the Mini TD Feature, 1 spin is awarded in which a Jumbo Symbol covers reel 2 and 3. This Jumbo Symbol will substitute for all eliminated symbol-enemies to create wins. Eliminated symbols will be indicated on the Jumbo Symbol.
Cash Defense Bonus
The Grand TD Bonus can be triggered either through the Mini TD Feature, as mentioned above, or by landing 3 or more Bonus Symbols in view. If 4 or 5 Bonus Symbols are in view, trigger values of 20 and 100x bet respectively will also be awarded.
The Grand TD Bonus is also split into 2 parts – beginning with the Tower Defense portion again, this time with a longer path and twice as many towers. However, in the Grand TD Bonus players can choose their own tower configuration, choosing between the following options:
- 4 Arrow towers
- 3 Arrow towers and 1 Cannon tower
- 2 Arrow towers and 2 Cannon towers
- 3 Cannon towers and 1 Arrow tower
- 4 Cannon towers
More information is provided on the possible options underneath, where players are informed that by choosing more Arrow towers they can win more often, whereas by choosing more Cannon towers they can win big. As is the case in the Mini TD Feature, Arrow towers are good at eliminating single enemies, whilst Cannon towers are good at eliminating enemies travelling in a group.
A first wave of 10 symbol-enemies will then attempt to move along the entire length of the path, whilst weapons from the towers try to kill them. If 5 of these enemies are eliminated, players will progress to the second wave – in which 50 SuperSpinner enemies attempt to move along the path.
Part 2 of the Grand TD Bonus is 3 Jumbo Symbol Spins – with a Jumbo Symbol covering reels 2, 3, and 4. This Jumbo Symbol will substitute for all eliminated symbol-enemies to create wins. Eliminated symbols will be indicated on the Jumbo Symbol. For every SuperSpinner that was eliminated (if wave 2 was awarded in part 1), a randomly chosen SuperSpinner will increase its multiplier by +1 before each spin.
Players in appropriate regions can take advantage of the following Feature Bet options:
- Mini TD Feature – 28.90x bet (96.83% RTP)
- Grand TD Bonus – 94x bet (97.33% RTP)
RTP values above are based on the overall RTP setting of 96.29%.
The maximum win available in Cash Defense is 20,000x bet. If the sum of a single game round exceeds this, the game round will end and 20,000x bet will be awarded.
If there's one thing you're getting in Cash Defense, it's value for money – mostly in terms of the time a bonus can take to play out. Sure, there's some silly things here. The towers and symbol-enemies weaving their way across a path whilst being shot with arrows and cannons could have just been a simple display to randomly choose some symbols, but what's life without a little fun? If we start to remove enjoyment like this, we're one step closer to online slots where a black screen simply tells you if you've won or lost. With that in mind, the option is there to super fast-track through Tower Defense, and in this instance it lasts no more than a few seconds.
It's part 2 of both the Mini TD Feature and Grand TD Bonus where things get really exciting, with Jumbo Symbol Spins. Things look smart with a very literal Jumbo Symbol to display all eliminated enemies, showcasing the artwork on display here. When combined with SuperSpinners (particularly if you eliminated additional SuperSpinners in the Grand TD), potent combinations are possible – to the tune of 20,000x bet.
Finally, maths is highly (4/5) volatile, and RTP options are available up to 96.29% (up to 97.33% feature buy), so as always it's worth checking this. There's some strong nostalgia in Cash Defense to appeal to video game fans, but there's also some unique mechanics to appeal to everyone brave enough to take on a horde of aliens.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.