LolliPop: Slot Overview
Online slot provider Avatar UX certainly knows when they are on to a good thing. LolliPop is the studio's tenth release, and aside from Lilith's Inferno, they've all been PopWins powered games. By now, players who have experienced one or two PopWins slots will have formed a pretty solid opinion about them since the core gaming generally remains the same. For LolliPop, Avatar UX has included a bonus game that is part free spins, part hold & win. Will it win the haters over? Probably not, but feel free to join us for a look.
The more mainstream the theme choice, the better received these PopWins slots seem to be. If that's the case, then LolliPop's candy approach might hold it in good stead. The game is played in a pink explosion of a location, like a blazingly bright candy store with a massive lollipop set up behind the 5-reel game grid. If a requirement of creating a candy-themed slot is to overload the senses, Lollipop does its utmost to do so.
The candy-coated action is available on any device and offers bets of 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin. It's a highly volatile game, using a pay-both-ways system, meaning 486 ways to win in the default 5x3 grid size. Reels grow when wins hit, contributing to a theoretical return to player value of 95.82%.
In total, 10 regular symbols appear on the paytable; the four low-value ones are candies of various glowing colours worth 0.4 to 0.6x the bet for five of a kind. The next six symbols are the high pays, where we have gummy bears, cakes, muffins, hearts, stars, and candy canes, worth 1 to 4x the bet for a line of five. There are no wilds in Lollipops, so the only other symbol you'll come across in the base game is the free spins scatter.
LolliPop: Slot Features
Building reels and ways is the usual run of things in a PopWins slot, and we get all that in LolliPop, as well as a trademarked feature called StickyPop in the base game. As well as this is a bonus round which is a sort of mix between free spins and hold & wins.
When a winning combination of at least three matching symbols appears on consecutive reels starting from either the left or right, the StickyPop feature is activated. The winning symbols plus any of the same symbol type in view become sticky and are held in place while all other positions are respun. This sequence continues until there are no new winning combinations. Winning symbols also expand the reel by +1 position, up to a maximum of 5 high in the base game, thus also increasing the win ways.
Base Game Multiplier
When a reel hits its full height in the base game, an x2 win multiplier is awarded for the first reel and increases by +1 for each additional extended reel. When respins end, the final winning total is increased by the win multiplier.
Free Spins Gamble
Landing 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols in the base game triggers free spins mode. Before free spins start, players have the option of spinning a gamble wheel. This can be done twice at the most, but any failed gamble forfeits your free spins. The starting reel size in the bonus game is 5 reels, 3 rows, and the first successful gamble increases it to 4 rows, the second successful gamble boosts it to 5 rows.
Playing Free Spins
Free spins start on an empty set of reels where only scatter reward symbols or hearts appear. Scatter rewards land with a cash value displayed on them, while hearts add 1-2 more free spins. Both lock to the reels when they land and scatters add +1 position to their reel up to 7 rows high. At most, you get 33,614 paylines to land wins on. Expanded reels do not reset between free spins.
There is also an upgrade system in free spins. Landing the right combination of scatter reward symbols upgrades them to the next value. For example, collecting 2 of the x1 values upgrades them to the x2, or collecting 7 of the x50 scatters upgrades them to the x100. Also, when a reel reaches its full height, any scatters on it are doubled in value. A list of the scatter upgrade requirements is displayed beside the reels, tracking player progress.
Where permitted, players have two bonus buy options in LolliPop. One costs 100x the bet and is the equivalent to landing 3 scatters, which players can gamble as mentioned before. The other option is the Buy Bonus Max which costs 300x the bet to start free spins on the 5x5 game grid.
LolliPop: Slot Verdict
If you're into PopWins slots in any way, then LolliPop will probably come across as another solid entry in the range. Avatar UX could fire these off in their sleep by now, so it's nice to see them conjure up some new ideas. Well, not all of the ideas in LolliPop are massively new since the core machinations of the StickyPop feature have been used in previous games, with NetEnt's Jack Hammer being a classic example. StickyPop is bolstered by the growing reels system common in PopWins games, though, so there is a twist, and on the whole, the setup works quite well.
Free spins represent something new for PopWins and should be more than enough to tempt fans in for a look. They are a bit different on the whole and can be quite exciting when a number of consecutive upgrades pop across the reels. It is possible to quite quickly zoom to the 100x under the right circumstances leading to fairly decent wins. After some calculator bashing, if the absolute best happened and each position was filled with a 200x scatter (factoring in the x2 for maxing out a reel height), lucky players could walk away with a 13,000x win which is decent, though somewhat low for a PopWins bonus game numerically speaking.
If you're partial to a bit of PopWins, then LolliPop is worth having a go. It's got a few new bits tucked away, and the bonus game is different enough to possibly lure non-PopWins fanatics in for a look. LolliPop does feel like business as usual, but it seems business is good for the Avatar UX cash cow.
LolliPop does feel like business as usual, so if you’re partial to a bit of PopWins, then it’s worth having a go.