Avatar UX, a company that works with Yggdrasil Gaming, has impeccable taste. With BountyPop, they have released the fourth installment in their PopWins series, which appears to be doing well. It would appear that the PopWins concept, combined with the snowball features and enormous potential, has struck a chord with a rising number of gamers. CherryPop brought the brand closer to the public with its fruit-inspired aesthetic, whereas BountyPop looks to Avatar UX’s Asian roots for design inspiration instead.
At first, you might not understand the big deal with PopWins. When the slot is activated, a standard 5-reel, 3-row grid set against a Northern Lights-style backdrop is presented to the player, accompanied by a dreamy musical score. In comparison to previous work by Avatar UX, it is functional yet somewhat simplistic.
Expect a very unpredictable gaming experience, where winnings may vary from nothing to extended sequences of pops, with big potential on offer. This game is playable from 20 p/c to $/€20 per spin, like others in the range. Winnings occur once every five spins on average, with an RTP of 96% being about par for the course when going for the big one. Combinations from both left to right and right to left are allowed, since the game has a “win-all-ways, pay-both-ways” structure. This basically increases the 243 win ways from the standard 5×3 layout by a factor of 2. The PopWins feature (discussed further below) causes the reels to expand, increasing the potential winning combinations to a whopping 59,049.
The cartoon figures follow the four florescent royals (J-A) drawn in flowing Gothic calligraphy at the top of the paytable. There are seven different high-paying characters, with the white-masked mystery guy paying out 10,000 coins for five of him on an active payline. In contrast to earlier versions of PopWins, there are no pops that act as wild symbols. Surprisingly, their absence does not appear to significantly alter the game’s mechanics.
Featured Slot Games: BountyPop
The PopWins mechanism, as could be expected, serves as the centerpiece around which everything else revolves. BountyPop has bonus features including free spins and a multiplier wheel called the Mystery Wheel.
Each winning symbol explodes and is replaced by two new symbols if a winning combination is formed. The number of possible combinations is increased with the size of the reels. In the normal game mode, the highest possible reel height is 6. If no further wins occur, the reels will return to their original size.
At the conclusion of a winning sequence in the basic game, the Mystery Wheel bonus round is activated if all reels have expanded to a height of six rows. The outside rim of the wheel features arrows and multipliers of x2, x3, or x5. When you land on an arrow, the inner wheel spins, and you might win a multiplier of up to ten times your bet. Then, the victory is multiplied by the relevant factor just once.
When you get three or more scatter symbols anywhere in view, you enter a bonus round. More specifically, 3, 4, or 5 scatters trigger 6, 9, or 12 bonus spins. There are up to 59,049 ways to win thanks to the bonus game’s expanded reels, which may go up to 9 rows high. Between free games, the expanded rows remain in place but shrink to their lowest possible height rather than returning to their original size.
When all five reels have seven or more rows, the multiplier wheel is activated. When the bonus spins are over, the wheel below spins to determine the round’s multiplier.
The outer ring of the bronze wheel bears the symbols Arrow, x2, x3, and x5. A x3-5, x10 inner ring.
The outer ring of the silver reel (each reel holds 8 symbols) has the Arrow, x2-5, and x7. The numbers x3-5, x7, and x10 may be found in the inner ring.
The outer ring of the gold wheel (all 9-symbol reels) features the symbols Arrow, x3, x5, and x10. The inner ring has the magnifications x3, x5, x7, x10, and x100.
The average number of spins required to activate free spins is 300. If the opportunity to buy a bonus is presented, players can skip the hassle for 100 times their initial wager. Before the bonus round begins, the player has the choice of spinning a wheel to increase their number of free spins or completely reset their bonus.
Slot BountyPop: The Final Say
Players will have a good notion of what to expect when they have gone four levels deep in the PopWins range. In particular, making the reels grow whenever a win occurs and triggering multipliers. Each PopWins slot machine thus far has made use of these identical components in varying permutations to experiment with the game’s peripheral features. BountyPop stays the same, without deviating from the norm in any way that might alienate fans or entice people who aren’t already fond of the mechanism.
The high standards set by CherryPop’s sleek design were significantly higher for its sequel. In fact, BountyPop appears less complex than its forerunners, as if less effort and imagination were put into its design. Not much seems to have changed since last time. Although unlocking reels on long pop runs is entertaining at first, the novelty wears off after the fourth time. PopWins is a useful addition, but it has to be paired with more impressive themes and functions for users to stick with it.
In this respect, BountyPop falls short of expectations. Getting a multiplier by filling up rows is nice when it happens, but the game has become increasingly monotonous due to its lackluster theme. With an average of 300 spins required to get free spins through normal play, it’s easy to see why the bonus purchase is so alluring. During a free spins round, the reels, win ways, and multipliers can all expand to provide a far more exciting experience. Here is where the game’s mind-boggling jackpot of 55,000 times the stake may be won. The largest payout to date is 70,000x, which can be found on the first PopRocks slot machine.
The final three PopWins slots felt like they were heading in the right direction, or at least made practical commercial sense. However, BountyPop isn’t as popular as CherryPop and doesn’t accomplish anything to advance the franchise. If you’re new to the PopWins mechanism, BountyPop might not be the ideal place to start, but it’s sure to be a hit with veteran players.
To Not Lose
Check it out if you’re a fan of the PopWin slot machine series.