80sPop

(AvatarUX) Slot Review

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80sPop: Slot Overview

After entering 'what was the 80s known for' into Google, the top result included neon colors, big hair, the Brat-Pack, iconic toys and games like Nintendo and Transformers, as well as Madonna, Duran Duran, and MTV videos. If any or all of that is pressing the nostalgia button, then you may be intrigued by what developer AvatarUX has produced. Going by the title 80sPop, this is a PopWins-powered game which uses the famous, or should that be infamous, decade as its theme.

Given the wild reputation the 80s can have, there was a greater expectation to be razzle-dazzled when 80sPop loaded up. Neon and wacky hairstyles do sprinkle the place, yet on the whole, 80sPop is not the unrestrained cultural explosion of a decadent decade it was hoped to have been. The looks and sounds are fine for what they are, but, yeah, it would have been nice to have seen AvatarUX fully embrace the era and go more wild and crazy.

80sPop slot
80sPop slot - base game

One of the hallmarks of a PopWins slot is an expandable grid, and this 80sPop has. The matrix starts each base game spin with 5 reels holding 3 rows of symbols each, supplying 243 ways to win, which actually pays both ways – left to right from the leftmost side and right to left from the rightmost side. 80sPop's brand of entertainment is delivered by a highly volatile math model, producing an RTP of 96.01% while accepting stakes of 20 c to $/€100.

80sPop's pay symbols are divided into 4 groups. The lows are 4 musical notes worth 1x the bet for 5, the mids are a drum, a guitar, and a microphone, worth up to 1.5x the bet, the highs are 3 character symbols worth 2x the bet for 5, while the super high is a Star paying 4x the bet for 5 OAK. Five-of-a-kind wins pay from one side. Wilds are not used in 80sPop.

80sPop: Slot Features

80sPop slot
80sPop slot - free spins gamble

For a PopWins slot, 80sPop is pretty vanilla when it comes to features. PopWins are there, of course, as is a base game unlock multiplier, free spins, Stars symbols payout boosts, a gamble option, and a bonus buy.

PopWins & Base Game Unlock Multiplier

Each winning symbol Pops and is replaced by 2 symbols, increasing the reel height as well as the number of ways to win. This process repeats until there are no more wins. However, the reel height is limited to 6 high in the base game and 8 high in free spins. Increasing all reels to 6 positions high in the base game starts a multiplier count up that continues until there are no more wins, then free spins are triggered after the base game win is paid. The multiplier applies to wins before free spins and is transferred to the free spins round.

Free Spins

As mentioned, when all reels reach 6 positions high in the base game, 5 free spins are triggered. Free spins reels start at 3 tall and can grow to 8 tall. The progress of unlocking reels resets down to the shortest reel height between free spins. Free spins start with the final multiplier carried over from the base game. The multiplier does not reset between free spins, and each winning pop round increases the multiplier by +1 after the wins are paid. Fully unlocking the reels in free spins awards the player with +2 additional free spins.

Moreover, during free spins, the Star symbol is introduced. Star symbols are worth more when the reels are taller. When all reels are 6 symbols high, Stars pay 2x the base value; when all reels are 7 symbols tall, Stars pay 3x their base value; and when all reels reach 8 tall, Stars pay 4x their base value.

Bonus Wheel

When entering the free spins round, players have the chance of collecting more than 5 free spins from a bonus wheel. The level 1 wheel awards 0-4 additional free spins, while the level 2 wheel awards 0-5 additional free spins.

Bonus Buy

It is possible to buy 80sPop's bonus feature for 85x the bet. There are two options. One is to buy 5 free spins with a starting multiplier, the other is a gamble option where you can win up to 12 free spins, but if the gamble is unsuccessful, the bonus round is lost.

80sPop slot
80sPop slot - free spins

80sPop: Slot Verdict

80sPop is a PopWins slot alright. It pops symbols, replaces them, grows reels, and includes a rising multiplier at various points. The presentation is neat, tidy, and everything fits together just so. In other words, 80sPop is an absolutely competent example of a PopWins slot, which does many of the main things these sorts of slots are famous for. And yet, it's pretty boring at the same time. Actually, boring is too strong a word. It's more like 80sPop doesn't really add much to the PopWins collection. One point of interest is the way Star symbols in free spins increase their value when the reels grow effect, though this might be a little too targeted for all but major PopWins experts to totally appreciate. In fact, after some pondering, it would appear that 80sPop is a close reskin/offshoot of HippoPop.

Not saying 80sPop isn't able to entertain a general gambling crowd with the goods it has to offer. Popping, growing reels have the chance to be quite a ride when they're rolling, and the 'POP' graphic on winning positions is a neat touch. Crossing over to free spins with a multiplier makes triggering the bonus round organically arguably more desirable than just buying the feature - plus, the bonus wheel, when the feature is naturally triggered, never ends in 0 free spins, like the bonus buy gamble. 80sPop's bonus buy gamble feature could be ruthless. Are AvatarUX gamble features, in general, less merciful than the norm? It can feel that way when back-to-back free spins gambles blow up in your face. Guess any slot can act that way, but for some reason, the effect can feel more prominent in a PopWins game; 80sPop was no exception.

As far as PopWins slots go, 80sPop is a fine example with a 20,000x max win, but it came across like a salty, oily bag of fries option. That is, it hits a certain spot and can be fun at the time, but there are more excitingly fulfilling choices in AvatarUX's extensive PopWins collection.

Fair

80sPop is a completely competent yet somewhat forgettable addition to AvatarUX’s PopWins line.

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