I took a guess when I saw this new Microgaming slot that it would probably be a clone of Asian Beauty, a reasonably old 243 ways game that took a different approach to Immortal Romance and it's ilk by tying the 243 ways to win mechanic with a lower variance, much more forgiving paytable. I knew I must be wrong straight away though when I spotted this was in fact a nine line game and upon closer inspection it turned out that Shanghai Beauty is infact, the one millionth Thunderstruck clone to be released!
Okay so I exagerated the one million part just a little bit but seriously, there are way too many of these games now and it seems Microgaming are only going to keep on pumping them out as they just did another one, Karaoke Party, a couple of months back as well.
One thing that is interesting about this particular release though is the user interface which seems to have been specifically designed with touch screens in mind and I wasn't able to find a version of the game with a regular mouse based interface at any of the casinos I tried. It's possible one is coming though as the game hasn't yet appeared in the Microgaming download casino client where this style of interface would surely feel very out of place, but if this is the way Microgaming are going with their slot designs this is a fascinating first look.
All of the buttons and controls are reasonably well laid out, the single menu button with several options reminds me a lot of Yggdrasil machines although having the paytable cramped in a small window that you have to scroll is possibly a dubious choice.
I also wasn't very keen on the music in this game which became repetitive very quickly and had me searching those menus for the off switch in no time at all.
This game seems a real waste of time to me, I've seen enough Thunderstruck clones to see me through for the rest of my days and in all honesty the continued proliferation of them is actually putting me off playing the original game as well. Microgaming should take note, you really can have too much of a good thing.