Hop'n'Pop: Slot Overview
Developer Hacksaw Gaming clearly didn't get their full five a day in Frutz and are back for some more healthy eating in their slot Hop'n'Pop. This one goes right back to the source of where this stuff is grown – the produce farm in a game literally full of hopping 'n' popping. This is provided mainly from bouncing multiplier symbols, as they leap across a game board offering a cluster pays win system, free spins, and progressive multipliers.
The action occurs on a 7x7 sized grid, dropping in 49 food-based symbols with every spin. The rest of the view is just as wholesome, taken up wooden barns, white picket fences, and rolling green hills of an organic farm. An upbeat soundtrack enhances the mood as well - a jingly almost reggae ditty you can imagine anthropomorphic fruit and veg bopping away to while being harvested. When adding up all the parts, Hop'n'Pop is not as uniquely styled as we've come to expect from Hacksaw, yet it's cheerful all the same.
That cheeriness belies a characteristically lethal math model, running highly volatile and producing an RTP value of 96.20%. Luck runs hot or cold, to be sure, but Hop'n'Pop was one of the harder nuts to crack we've encountered from Hacksaw in a while, though on the bright side, sizeable potential is there for those who make it. Being a grid slot, wins occur when clusters of 5 or more matching symbols connect horizontally or vertically. Winning clusters pop from the grid, allowing new symbols to tumble down into the empty cells – a process that repeats, racking up wins until no new clusters appear.
They say you should stick to the outer aisles of a supermarket when doing your weekly shop - Hacksaw seems to have taken this advice to heart. Hop'n'Pop's paytable, from low to high, includes blueberries, aubergines (or eggplants depending on where you're from), grapes, carrots, green apples, bananas, cherries, and strawberries. Part of Hop'n'Pop's challenge is its relatively meagre symbol values. Land a cluster of 15 or more matching symbols to be awarded a payout worth 20 to 80 times your stake. There is a wild, though it does not appear in the base game, rather it shows up later in free spins.
Hop'n'Pop: Slot Features
One of the first things you notice when Hop'n'Pop starts spinning is the constantly moving x2 multiplier. It's actually progressive or divisive and is accompanied by free spins, as well as three bonus buy options.
Starting with the multiplier, it leaps to a new position on each spin, overlaying individual symbols. If the symbol it sits on is part of a winning cluster, the amount is multiplied by the multiplier's value. It then either doubles before leaping to a new position or splits into two. If more than one multiplier sits on a winning cluster, they are added together before being applied. You can have up to 4 active multipliers, with values as high as x64.
Smiley suns in shades act as scatter symbols - landing 3 or more in view grant 10 free spins. Depending on the number of triggering scatters, you also get starting multipliers accordingly:
- 3 scatters - starts the bonus with a single x2 multiplier.
- 4 scatters - starts the bonus with two x2 multipliers.
- 5 scatters - starts the bonus with four x4 multipliers.
During free spins, wild orange symbols appear, substituting for any pay symbol. Moreover, the multipliers act the same way as in the base game but with the added benefit of always remaining in play throughout the round.
If you're not in the mood to wait around for free spins to drop organically, Hop'n'Pop allows players to buy one of three features. For the cost of 100x, 200x, or 400x the bet, 3, 4, or 5 scatters will appear on the next drop. The RTP remains the same across all options, though volatility increases with the price.
Hop'n'Pop: Slot Verdict
Maybe it's the prosaic theme, the sleepy background imagery, or the ultra-chill soundtrack, but Hop'n'Pop didn't immediately ignite chills like others from Hacksaw Gaming have done in the past. Hop'n'Pop doesn't have the edgy attitude of a Chaos Crew, or the unusual art of Frutz, to give it bite. It's like a daytime documentary about visiting farms to see where food comes from – the non-animal kind so as not to upset the squeamish. It's possible Hacksaw were aiming for happier Jammin' Jars style gaming.
Of course, the outer wrapper of a slot is no indication of what is going on beneath the surface. There we find a math model that is as brutal and potentially rewarding as you could possibly want it. First, there's the boinging multiplier leaping positions on every spin. One thing to be clear on is multipliers are not wild in any way, so they're not quite as useful as wild multipliers from Jammin' Jars, for instance. The multiplier either lands on a cluster to boost its value, or you get squat from it. This might not be clear at first, yet it's no dealbreaker once you've come to grips with the limitations. The other thing to keep in mind is the low values of the clusters. Top paying strawberries offer just 80x the bet for a group of 15+, which feels a bit off when compared to a lot of other cluster pays slots. It makes the leaping multiplier effect even more all-or-nothing, and watching your balance doing its best 'squished grape' impression when they don't leap your way for extended stretches can be tough.
As ever, free spins are where your luck has the chance to change. When fortune's smiling, there can be a lot of multipliers on-screen boosting wins - up to a maximum of 12,500x the stake. Hacksaw games are proven big money-spinners, so there's no reason to doubt Hop'n'Pop's capabilities, not to mention Hop'n'Pop is one of their biggest non-jackpot games to date.
Hop’n’Pop is a polished grid slot game that covers some unique ground in a thoroughly enjoyable way.