Worms of Valor

(AvatarUX) Slot Review

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Worms of Valor: Slot Overview

Masters of pop, AvatarUX, return, and for this outing, they've burrowed into the dirt to unearth the online slot Worms of Valor. Okay, that was an exaggeration, yet the game does feature little squirmy creatures who help keep the ground healthy. Here, though, the worms seem less concerned with soil health and more with doing battle while wielding weapons and pulling cute facial expressions. Worms of Valor might not be an official PopWins slot, but it is a Popscade one, which is, for all intents and purposes, much the same thing as we will see.

Using our best judgement, it looks as though Worms of Valor's base game is situated in an arena, which makes sense as a place to valiantly battle it out for glory, dirt, or whatnot. There might be a fighting focus, but the chipper backing tune gives the game a wacky slapstick feel. Worms of Valor, on the whole, has gone hard on the slapstick angle. Like, say, Kitty POPpins or, at a stretch, Critter Pop, Worms of Valor is all about levelling up the adorability meter while gambling.

Worms of Valor slot
Worms of Valor slot - base game

The worms might be here to entertain with their adorable ways, but beneath the surface, Worms of Valor is serious business powered by a highly volatile math model, pushing out an RTP of 96%. It can be played by betting 20 c to $/€100 on individual spins, activating an ante bet, or buying one of the four feature buys. The ante bet ups the stake cost by 25% to get double the chance of triggering free spins. Structurally, Worms of Valor has a main 5-reel grid plus a 5-position ZapReel at the top. The main grid can grow from its initial 4 row size to 6 high in the base game or 8 high in free spins.

A meter to the left of the reels alerts players to how many ways to win are currently available, though it doesn't include the ZapReel for some reason. The number gets so high because winning combinations may start from either the leftmost or the rightmost reel; in other words, Worms of Valor pays both ways. At full whack, there can be 118,098 ways to win (including the ZapReel symbols). The pay symbols are 9-A card ranks as lows, weapons as mids, and wormish characters as highs. When a winning combination occurs, the winning symbols are replaced by new symbols, and the reel extends. Symbols cascade from above instead of appearing in the cells of the winning positions. Extended reels reset for the next base game spin.

Worms of Valor: Slot Features

Worms of Valor slot
Worms of Valor slot - free spins

Joining the worms in this arena of combat are Popscades, the ZapReel, ZapReel Rewards, boost symbols, free spins, and Xpress feature buys.

ZapReel

Above the grid is a 5-cell horizontal reel known as the ZapReel. On each spin, the ZapReel lands regular symbols as well as Zap Reel Rewards. In the base game, the rewards can be wilds or cash prizes; in free spins, they can be wilds, cash prizes, MultiPop, or Reel Unlock.

  • Wild – substitutes for any regular paying symbol. In free spins, wilds can also appear with multipliers. Wilds only ever appear on the ZapReel.
  • Cash Prize – is activated if there is a winning line on the reel below its position on the ZapReel. Awards its printed value when activated.
  • MultiPop – is activated after it appears on the ZapReel, applying a random multiplier to all the symbols in the reel below its position. Each gets the same multiplier value.
  • Reel Unlock – is activated after it appears on the ZapReel, unlocking the reel below its position to full height.

Boost Symbol

When a boost symbol hits, it improves the symbol or reward on the ZapReel. The Boost symbol cannot land on pops. After it is applied, the boost symbol disappears and causes a cascade on its reel. When it applies the boost to regular symbols or wilds, the symbol gets a random multiplier. When the boost is applied to a cash prize or a MultiPop, the cash prize or multiplier value on the MultiPop is increased.

Free Spins

Hitting at least 3 scatters in the base game triggers the free spins bonus round. The progress of unlocking reels in the round does not fully reset between spins. It resets down to the shortest reel height. The bonus comes with a global multiplier that grows for each win. Fully unlocking all reels in free spins awards additional free spins and changes the multiplier growth.

Xpress

At the Xpress, players can buy a 3, 4, or 5 scatter trigger for 70x, 200x, or 500x the bet. You can also get the ultra-bonus for 1,000x the bet, which gives 15 free spins.

Worms of Valor slot
Worms of Valor slot - free spins

Worms of Valor: Slot Verdict

Provided you're not fed up to the back teeth with all things POP, then Worms of Valor has another poppin' good time to offer. It brings back the ZapReel as was used in games like LooneyPop and Nugget, as well as Popscades as seen in GemPops, which is more or less the same as the regular PopWins mechanic, the exception being new symbols enter from the top rather than squeeze themselves into the cells of removed winning symbols. Since these games tend to use ways rather than paylines, it doesn't really make any difference. Maybe the design team is sick of the word PopWins, and any excuse, even the most minor one, to use a different label is welcome. Players don't seem to be sick of these types of games, though, judging by the consistent frequency AvatarUX churns them out.

Worms of Valor is a good example, too. It sort of sits in the middle, upper middle part of the Pop spectrum. It's amusing and serious at the same time, offering a suite of gambling options to cater for a wide range of Pop-focus player preferences. The features aren't cutting-edge devices about to set the betting world alight, but all are the sort of additions that are able to boost the experience. The Cash Prize, for instance, feeds into the Coin craze sweeping the industry, in a subtle way. Shame no mention is made of possible prize values. They seemed a tad small, and the overall max win is a little on the low side for a Pop-related slot, though still sitting at a respectable 10,000x the bet.

No, we didn't need another Pop game, but so what? No one needs that extra spoonful of Nutella straight from the jar either, yet it's hard not to shovel down the hazelnut-tinged chocolatey deliciousness anyway. Therefore, anyone partial to AvatarUX's popping antics should be able to get a kick out of Worms of Valor.

Good

Whilst far from being the acme of the range, Worms of Valor is an amusing, playable example for pop fans to sample.

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