For those curious about the name, shah mat means “king is helpless” or “king is dead” in the Persian ancestor of chess known as Shatranj. ‘Checkmate’ replaced ‘Check’ when chess was introduced to Europe from the Iberian Peninsula and the Middle East. We see this one as an indication that the other player is out of options to defend their king and the game is ended. So, Red Tiger’s Shah Mat is a chess-themed grid slot that also features a Persian-inspired environment on the reels.
Thanks to Shah Mat, gamers may experience what early explorers, travelers, and conquerors must have felt like in strange, exotic courts. Here they were confronted with sports, decorations, habits, and language they had never heard of before. While some creative thinking may be required to go into these ideas, the images shown by Shah Mat are evocative enough to accomplish so.
The standard game is played on a grid measuring 8 squares by 8 squares, in a dimly lighted royal room adorned with sculptures of horses and spears and lit by a haunting golden light. During bonus rounds, the action takes place outside on the highest point of a castle tower. By that time, it’s clear that diplomatic efforts have failed since a storm is brewing over the battlefield. Bets range from 10p/c to £/€20 each spin, making chess strategy thinking accessible from any device. When you press the play button, 64 standard-sized symbols are released onto the grid, and your objective is to line up 5 or more identical symbols in a row or column. Doing thus activates a triumph and a response function. Despite its high degree of volatility, Shah Mat’s default RTP value of 95.79% belies its very modest potential of up to 4,323x.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades are the lowest paying symbols at 4-7 times the wager for a cluster of 30 or more. Following that are the five highest paying symbols: the knight, bishop, rook, queen, and king. Clusters of thirty or more premiums result in an eightfold to eight-hundredfold return on investment.
Slot Features in the Shah Mat
To generate bigger payouts, Shah Mat employs a standard suite of features. These include cascades, wild multipliers, Super Symbols, and free games. The cascade effect is activated when winning clusters land; symbols that contributed to the victory are eliminated, and new symbols are dropped into the empty positions. This method allows for a string of consecutive victories to be created, which ends when no further wins occur. After that, we may start the following rotation.
Whenever they appear, Super Symbols can be any size from 2×2 to 4×4. Both wilds and high-paying symbols have the potential to be Super Symbols. Wilds can appear anywhere on the screen and will substitute for other symbols to help finish off winning clusters. When wilds are part of a winning combination, the cascade function does not eliminate them from the grid. If two or more wilds appear side by side, they combine into a single wild with a multiplier that increases with the number of wilds that merged. Combinations of new wilds and multiplier wilds can result in multipliers as high as x20.
The scatter is another type of sign in Shah Mat. Free games of 12, 15, 18, or 21 are awarded for landing 3, 4, 5, or 6 of them in a row. In the free spins bonus round, wilds that merge into one another raise a global multiplier that applies to all wins, not just those wins that feature individual wilds. The previous limit of x20 for the global multiplier still stands. Each scatter that appears during the bonus round triggers an additional free game.
The Slot Verdict by Shah Mat
There are a number of older slot machines that have chess pieces as symbols if you look hard enough. The likes of Shah Mat don’t exist. The creators of Shah Mat clearly have a deep appreciation for the strategy board game of chess, since they wanted to do more than simply feature chess pieces on the reels. Maybe that’s not what’s going on here. Maybe Shah Mat is simply another polished Red Tiger release, but it’s so nicely made that you can’t help but think a lot of love was put into it.
The name, appearance, and mood of Shah Mat are the first things that come to mind. Shah Mat is a must-see if you’re a fan of the unusual. As you play, you’ll find yourself in a Persian palace, far from the battlefield, where two enlightened monarchs are engaged in a deadly serious game of chess. You can feel the influence of Alexander the Great, and there are even some Alice in Wonderland-esque touches of imagination.
Shah Mat also excels in the gaming department. Because there is so much room on the board for clusters to land, free spins and regular spins can morph into extremely extended winning streaks. Our test runs did feature some good streaks of successive hits, but not usually. Free spins with a maximum multiplier weren’t unheard of, even with the game’s large grid, because wilds appeared frequently enough. With the multiplier restricted, the most a player can win on Shah Mat is 4,323 times their wager. It’s not fantastic, but it has as much promise as other popular grid slots like Reactoonz.
Shah Mat is the type of game that doesn’t accomplish anything really innovative or out of the ordinary. However, it has been put together nicely, the topic has been portrayed well, and the gameplay occasionally stands out. You can have fun with Shah Mat even if you’re a purist who thinks chess is too “high brow” for a video slot machine.