Pop O' Gold PopWins: Slot Overview
Those masters of pop, AvatarUX, are back with a leprechaun-themed incarnation, this one going by the name of Pop O' Gold PopWins. The pervasiveness of Irish-inspired slots is by no means a deeply held secret. On the contrary, players are invited to return to the Emerald Isle on a regular basis, more or less since the dawnings of online gambling right on down to the present day. It is the first time casino game maker AvatarUX is leading the tour, though, which means along with a leprechaun, players can look forward to a whole lot of popping antics as well as StickyPop, Split Symbols, Boosted Reels, free spins with a rising win multiplier, and more.
PopWins games also mean an expandable grid, which begins each base game spin in a default 5-reel, 3-row configuration. At this size, players are granted 486 ways to win. Set to the sides of the gaming panel is an ominous wooded area, AvatarUX having shunned the usual sunny, rainbowed, rolling hill representation of Ireland that usually makes its way into these sorts of slots. No, Pop O' Gold PopWins is darker than that, with just a hint of AvatarUX's first PopWins slot PopRocks to it. Once we got an eyeful of the leprechaun character in Pop O' Gold PopWins, the ominous factor cranked up another notch or two.
Or, maybe our imaginations ran away with us there. Let's use facts and figures to ground ourselves in reality, and Pop O' Gold PopWins is a highly volatile slot possessing a theoretical return to player of 96%. It is playable on any device, and players can choose a base bet of 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin and whether or not to flick on the Ante Bet. Doing so increases the wager by 25% whilst doubling the chance of free spins being triggered.
Pop O' Gold PopWins pays both ways – left to right and right to left, as long as matching symbols land on at least three adjacent reels starting from the leftmost or rightmost side of the board. It has 10 regular pay symbols, split into low-pay J-A card royals, a mid-pay collection of coins, a shield, hat, and hook, plus a high-pay pot of gold and a leprechaun. Hit a 5-of-a-kind winning combination, and the payout is 0.6x the bet for the card symbols, 1.5x the bet for the mids, and 2.5x the bet for the 2 high pays.
Pop O' Gold PopWins: Slot Features
Central to it all is the PopWins mechanic working in conjunction with the StickyPop mechanic. A little gross sounding perhaps, the StickyPop feature means winning symbols get stuck to the reels and all other symbols are respun. In addition, winning symbols expand their reel by +1 position, increasing the number of ways to win. If the win is improved, the winning symbols are held, and other symbols respin again. In the base game, the reels max out at 5 positions high, while in free spins, reels can reach 7 positions in height, with 16,807 ways to win. When no more wins appear in the base game, the reels reset to their default size.
Randomly on any spin, symbols may appear with an x2 or x3 multiplier attached to them. This multiplier increases the value of the relevant symbol.
At the start of a spin, 2 to 5 reels may become boosted. When this happens, any symbol landing on a boosted reel has a split multiplier applied to them.
Base Game Unlock
If all reels reach 5 rows high in the base game, a win multiplier of x2 is introduced to the game. Each win after this increases the multiplier's value by +1. Multipliers reset when no more wins are formed.
Managing to land 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols in the base game awards 5, 8, or 12 free spins. Players then have the option of gambling their free spins to potentially win more free spins, bearing in mind that losing gambles forfeit the round. In free spins, the minimum grid size is 5-reel, 4-rows with 2,048 ways to win. Between free spins, reels reset to the lowest common reel height rather than always dropping back to 4. Should all reels hit 7 rows high, players are awarded +2 free spins, and a win multiplier starting at x2 is added. The win multiplier increases by +1 following each win from then on and does not reset between free spins.
Skipping the main game is possible by click the bonus buy button and forking out 100x the bet for 5 free spins, a turn on the Enchanted Game Wheel for up to 14 free spins for 100x the bet, or 12 free spins for 400x the bet.
Pop O' Gold PopWins: Slot Verdict
If you like 'em leprechauny, with a bit of popping on the side, then Pop O' Gold PopWins will be a dream come true. One plus point for players with AvatarUX is that the studio is just as happy running with more conventional themes like the one they've employed here as they are with less obvious ones, MonkeyPop PopWins being an example. Then again, it's hard to call Pop O' Gold PopWins a traditional leprechaun slot. It's got a grimmer, heavier atmosphere going on than normal, so if your idea of Irish-inspired gaming is something like Rainbow Riches, then Pop O' Gold PopWins might feel a little oppressive. Put it this way; it's hard to tell if this chap wants people to chase rainbows to find pots of gold or to lure them away from civilisation to do nasty nasty things to them.
No such weighty issues when it comes to Pop O' Gold PopWins' gameplay, though, and The StickyPop feature adds something not really seen before. Not really seen in a PopWins slot before, that is, as the stick 'n respin mechanic does arise every so often, as seen in games like Jack Hammer and Serial, to name but two. It's been paired with the reel expansion element inherent in a PopWins slot and can occasionally open the base game up. As it can do in free spins as well, with the added boost of potentially larger reels, ways, and the persistent win multiplier. As for pots of gold at the end of rainbows and all that, Pop O' Gold PopWins' particular pot overflows with winning potential of up to 20,000 times the bet.
In short, Pop O' Gold PopWins is another solid PopWins game from a team which has proven adept at incrementing gameplay here, experimenting with different subject matter there, and bundling all together with copious amounts of popping. If you're on board with where AvatarUX has taken the range before, there's no reason not to expect satisfaction when giving Pop O' Gold PopWins a whirl, either.
By delivering a neat tweak to the core mechanic, Pop O’ Gold shows there’s still plenty of gas left in the PopWins franchise.