Woo-woo, all aboard! It's well established that trains work well in slot games – most notably in titles like Money Train 3, recently released from Relax Gaming. Now Stakelogic are trying their hand, not just at the train theme, but the hold and win element popularised in the Money Train series, with Cash Express. With a fixed RTP of 95.80%, this highly (4/5) volatile release is capable of producing wins up to 20,000x bet.
Visually, things seem fairly standard in Cash Express, but there's a bit of a fusion from the team – both train and Western themed. We're on tracks in the West, with reels set upon a train. In the distance you can see the standard makings of a Wild West town, including sandy grounds, and a general sepia hue. Audios are also a good blend of both themes, tying everything together well.
Cash Express Base Features
Taking place across 5 reels, wins are formed on Cash Express by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel – across 1 of 25 fixed win lines. Symbols available begin with non premiums – Js, Qs, Ks, and As. Land 3 of a kind of any non premium to see wins between 0.20 and 0.40x bet, with values increasing to 2x bet for 5 of a kind. At the premium end, we meet 4 characters – blue, green, yellow, and red in colour. Landing 3 of a kind premiums will produce wins between 0.40 and 1x bet, with this increasing to values between 8 and 20x bet for 5 of a kind. Finally, Sheriff Wild symbols are available, substituting for all symbols except Train symbols, which we'll get to in a moment.
Alright, the first thing to cover in Cash Express is the Super Stake – a regular from Stakelogic. Betting an extra 40% will trigger base game and free spin features, which result in higher chances of bigger wins. Exactly which features are enabled by activating Super Stake is not clear, so I'm fairly sure the main gist is that activating Super Stake just gives a higher chance of bigger wins, rather than a specific feature.
Train symbols can land in any position, on any reel, and can contain multiplier values. Multiplier values cannot be collected in the base game, so ignore that for now. Each Train symbol that lands in the base game is collected and added to a counter above the reels.
There are 4 stages to Cash Express – denoted by the unlocking of 4 Cash Bonus Enhancers. At the beginning of the game, all Cash Bonus Enhancers are locked, but when the counter above the reels is filled, one Cash Bonus Enhancer is unlocked. Train symbols then continue to be collected to unlock the second, third, and fourth Cash Bonus Enhancer. These enhancers make no difference to the base game, but they do determine the Cash Bonus feature you receive, so let's take a look at this.
Cash Express Bonus
Landing 6 Train symbols in one spin will trigger the Cash Bonus feature. During the feature, it is possible to land any Cash Bonus Enhancers that you have unlocked through collection in the base game. The following Cash Bonus Enhancers are available to unlock:
- 1st enhancer – reveals a multiplier value between x2 and x30.
- 2nd enhancer – reveals a multiplier value between x2 and x50, then adds this value to all other values in the grid.
- 3rd enhancer – reveals a multiplier value between x2 and x50, and adds an extra row to the grid.
- 4th enhancer – reveals a multiplier value between x2 and x100, and collects all multiplier values from other symbols in the grid.
3 spins are awarded in the Cash Bonus feature, with spins resetting each time a new Train symbol lands on the reels. When Train symbols (with or without multiplier values) or Cash Bonus Enhancers land on the reels, they will drop to the lowest position of their reel, and stick in place. Filling the bottom row with symbols will award the total multiplier value of all symbols in the bottom row, remove them from the reels, and all other symbols will then drop to the lowest position of their reels.
When the Cash Bonus feature ends, Cash Bonus Enhancer progress will be reset, regardless of how many enhancers were unlocked before the feature, or used in the feature. Finally, players in appropriate regions can opt to buy straight into the bonus round, for a cost of 100x bet. Buying the feature will unlock a random amount of Cash Bonus Enhancers for the Cash Bonus feature only.
The maximum win available in Cash Express 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.
There isn't much happening in the base game in this one, with Wild symbols making up all possible excitement. Of course, there is a collection system in place, but it's worth remembering that this collection resets each time the bonus is triggered – resulting in inevitable disappointment when the bonus is triggered just before collecting all 4 enhancers, or worse – before collecting any. It seems like it might have been a better idea to treat the collection like the Big Time Gaming Heartstopper feature, helping players build their way towards all 4 enhancers.
Moving into Free Spins, we finally get to reap the benefits of the Cash Bonus Enhancers, which do help towards keeping things exciting. What is slightly strange is the idea of only collecting values from the bottom row, and only when its full – team this up with the fact that not every Train symbol contains a multiplier, and it can feel like big wins are quite far from reach – although wins are actually available up to 20,000x bet, with RTP fixed at 95.80%.
Cash Express isn't quite as potent as some of the other options available on the market – with the Money Train series being the obvious example. That said, it's also not as volatile – still highly volatile, but only rated 4/5, so pretty far away from the extreme volatility out there. If you're a fan of the Money Train series, but you'd like a softer option, Cash Express could be an option.
*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.