Lock And Pop

(NetEnt) Slot Review

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Lock and Pop: Slot Overview

Pins at the ready, people, we're about to go a-poppin' with software developer NetEnt in the online slot Lock and Pop. NetEnt, not sure; it can feel like the team has taken its foot off the gas recently, in some ways, content to push out slots that end up in the good but not great basket, at best. Generally playable stuff, but the studio is a shadow of the dominator it once was and, at times, seems okay cruising out these later years, happy to rest on former glories. Lock and Pop is a prime example of a passable slot, actually probably quite attractive to certain gambling appetites, but ultimately pretty mid by NetEnt standards. Let's see what you make of it.

When you think of space slots, one that has stuck around since like forever is NetEnt's own classic Starburst. Joining its older sibling in the same, or at least a similar, category, Lock and Pop is also presented as if the action takes place out there in the vast drift of space, where pinprick stars can be made out in the bluey purple lighting. Starburst is getting on in years, and it shows, though while Lock and Pop is a more contemporary release, it doesn't exactly look like it's riding the cutting edge of slot art. In other words, the visuals are simplistic, a little sparse, and the same can be said about the gameplay, until free spins trigger, at least, where a sizable list of special effects technically becomes available.

Lock And Pop slot
Lock And Pop slot - base game

Lock and Pop is pitched at gamblers who prefer mathematics on the low-medium edge of the volatility scale and is available in several RTP configurations. The default return figure is 96.09%, though two lower values make their way onto relevant markets. Stake range is wide, going from a low of 20 cents per spin up to a maximum of $/€120. Lock and Pop's base game might be bland, but it can be skipped by taking advantage of the bonus buy function to move straight into the bonus round phase.

Played on a 5x5 gaming space (only 3 rows are active in the base game), Lock and Pop provides 20 paylines for landing regular wins across. Classic slash generic icons make their way onto Lock and Pop's pay table. The low pays include 10 through Ace card ranks, while the higher value group consists of bells, 7's, and diamonds. Wild symbols substitute for everything except Prize symbols, so they can be used to help complete regular winning combinations.

Lock and Pop: Slot Features

Lock And Pop slot
Lock And Pop slot - free spins

In the base game, Prize symbols may land bearing values of 0.5x to 1,000x the bet. Hitting 6 or more Prize symbols triggers the free spins round, where Prize symbols become Sicky Prize symbols. Prize symbols remain on the reels till the bonus round ends or until a Lock and Pop bonus feature is activated. Players begin the round with 7 free spins.

During free spins, if 1 or more reels are filled with Sticky Prizes, 1 of 10 Lock and Pop bonus features activate on the bottom row. Lock and Pop bonus features are active only on its own reel. When the feature is over, the Sticky Prize symbols are removed from the reels and their values are added to the top row collection. These are the 10 possible features:

  • Retrigger - awards +3 free spins.
  • Adder - adds 1x or 2x the bet to all Sticky Prizes on its reel.
  • Magnet - copies the values of the Sticky Prizes on the reels vertically adjacent to the magnet reel, on both sides.
  • Super Magnet - copies the values of the Sticky Prizes in the same position on all other reels.
  • Topper - finds the Sticky Prize with the highest value on its reel and copies it to all other Sticky Prizes on the reel.
  • Blaster - adds 1x or 2x to all Sticky Prizes on its reel. The values of the Sticky Prize symbols in the reel are added to the top row collection. Then, 3 random empty positions anywhere on the reels are filled with the Blaster value.
  • Duplicator - creates a second game area with all Sticky Prizes present reproduced on it, plus 3 additional reels without symbols on them. This duplicated game area spins horizontally. If the duplicated area lands on top of the existing one, the duplicated Sticky Prize symbols may fill empty reels or be placed on top of Sticky Prizes already on the reels. When this happens, the values of both prizes are added together.
  • Big Bang - doubles the values of all Sticky Prizes in its reel, and once added to the top row collection, the total is also doubled.
  • Super Collector - collects the values of all Sticky Prizes on this reel, adding them to the top row collection. The total values collected in all other top row collectors are then added to this feature's top row collection.
  • Hammer - collects the value of all Sticky Prizes on the reel, adds them to the top row collection, then spreads the new value to every position on the reel. This means the new values of Sticky Prizes on the reel are once again added to the top row collection.

Feature Buy

Players are able to trigger the bonus round feature for 50 times the bet.

Lock And Pop slot
Lock And Pop slot - free spins

Lock and Pop: Slot Verdict

For fairly relaxed gambling that isn't too taxing on the thought processes nor overburdening on the eyes or ears, Lock and Pop might serve a purpose. The base game is absolutely forgettable since, you know, no features means nothing much is ever going to happen there. Sure, a solid line win or two might keep the pace turning over, but Lock and Pop is really built around its bonus round. Nice, then the feature can be bought for those who don't have the patience to wait it out. For the non-bonus buyers, maybe having a mildly interesting show playing on the telly in the background might be a helper for grinding through till the Lock and Pop bonus feature triggers.

Is the bonus round worth the wait? Could be. The max win isn't enormous, so mentally prep for that, but the 4,046x feels like a cosy match for the low-medium volatility. As in, if the rest of Lock and Pop is fine, then mammoth winning potential probably isn't a major must-have attribute. Looked at positively, the Lock and Pop round's bonus features have a lot of variety. Not, for example, a Money Train 4 list of special symbols as long as your arm and leg, but there are no less than 10 features to check out, and they include some rather useful effects. In theory, what you want is to clear and rack up prize values, repeat, till the top row is looking rosy.

So no, Lock and Pop isn't likely to impress cynically jaded, high-requirement gamblers who demand the slots they play blow their hair back. However, since Lock and Pop was unlikely to have been designed to take on the big prize accumulator/hold 'n win style games on the market, NetEnt has no doubt set its sights on a certain, shall we say a less raucous, segment of the market and come up with a cheerful slot to attempt satisfying it.

Fair

Despite possessing limited write-home factor, Lock and Pop might suit low-key gamblers in the mood for a slot with a simple yet varied bonus round.

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