Bompers Slot Review (ELK Studios) – Pinball Wizardry
ELK Studios are continuing their rise up the credibility rating chart for online slots with another banger, this time in the form of Bompers. The questionably named, yet aesthetically stunning slot provides a great mix of gameplay, longevity and style.
Bompers is a really interesting addition for ELK Studios and can take advantage of both tried and tested technology in the form of avalanche gaming, as well as new technology, such as X-iter, which we talk more about later in the review.
The game is a bit of a throwback, taking on the classic pinball machines that are now very much a game played yesteryear, but still one that we can all relate to. They’ve smashed out a catchy soundtrack that transports you back to the arcade rooms and gone hard with the visuals, creating a vibrant layout for the slot.
You will find the Bompers slot at licensed ELK Studios casinos since release on 2 March 2021.
Play Bompers at Licensed Slot Site
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Bompers 2 Features
Whilst there is a lot of innovation within the game, it’s main body is taken from two popular games under the ELK Studios banner, which are Cygnus and IO. All three of the games utilise avalanche technology (gravity mechanic) and aesthetically look very similar.
However, comparisons between the three end there, with Bompers smashing both when it comes to features and gameplay. This is high praise, as the two aforementioned are not just games that make up the numbers for ELK, so an improvement on these is an impressive feature of its own.
The game starts as a 4×6 grid with staggered symbols. Its neon vibe is definitely a bit retro, but then, pinball is now retro, so this is very much in keeping. Graphically, it’s a piece of art and at no point throughout testing did it feel dated or tired.
It’s only as you start to play the game does the name begin to make a little more sense. As the symbols drop and form winning combinations (up to 10x for a full line of 6 symbols), they are removed, with a new line of symbols then dropping from the top and the existing ones falling into positions that are now open. Hence the term, avalanche.
Unlike cluster slots like Cubes 2, ELK’s gravity slots have actual ways to win and pay from left to right. As the rows grow, so do the lines:
- 4 rows – 4,096 ways to win
- 5 rows – 15,625 ways
- 6 rows – 46,656 ways
- 7 rows – 117,649 ways
- 8 rows – 262,144 ways.
Whilst the layout of the three avalanche-style games at ELK Studios may differ, the bones that make up the game are very similar. Bompers comes in at a 95.8% RTP and a hit frequency of 19.9%. Both are what I would call “middle of the road” numbers.
Volatility is a much more important piece of data to look at, coming in as an 8 out of 10, which is technically high. Bet levels range from 0.20 to 100 units per spin, with max wins capped at 5,000x.
Bompers is the first slot from ELK Studios to use their latest technology, X-iter. Ignoring the fact that this is another oddly named feature from a slot provider, X-iter is actually a really cool addition.
The concept is that X-iter allows you to choose how you play the game. There are 4 tiers in total (5 if you count the regular spin) and with each, you get a guaranteed feature.
- Standard 1x bet spin
- 3 spins with 3 Bompers for 25x spin
- 5 spins with 5 Bompers for 50x spin
- Bonus buy for 100x spin
- 10 Spins with 10 Bompers for 300x spin
Allowing you to jump between different outcomes is a nice addition. It works well because Bompers is a high volatility game, so with a hit frequency of 19.9%, it means that baron spells are part of the game. If you feel like things are starting to drag a little, then you can simply up the stakes and get involved with the money rounds.
👍 Tip: Remember that Bumpers need to be activated to be turned into Wilds, which is not guaranteed to happen during the X-iter features and can often be a huge disappointment.
In case you’re wondering, though, there are no Betting Strategies in Bompers; and the RTP is not in any way influenced by the feature buy, as with Nolimit City slots for instance. Unfortunately, it’s not available in the UK either.
The name of the game is also one of the feature symbols. Up to 5 Bompers can appear within the main game which can turn into wilds. As the symbols in the game disappear from winning combinations, any that land (“Bomp”) onto the Bompers will cause the meter to grow (working in reverse to the charged wilds in the IO slot). Only when their meter is filled will they turn into a (sticky) wild and from there, become extremely lucrative as a result.
The shooting stars randomly appear throughout the game and will work their way from the bottom of the grid to the top. Keeping it in play allows for the start to create several winning combinations of up to 7 symbols in total.
It’s worth noting that within the 7 symbols are at least 3 wilds. They work in the same way a standard wild would and create multiple winning combinations. They also have no coin value.
Mystery bombs are one of the most frequent symbols in the game and keep it ticking over. When they land it will turn all counting symbols into random, non-special ones. But, when you get 2 or more that overlap, all these symbols will then become wild.
The bonus game is triggered by getting 3 bonus symbols on the grid and then you get 7 free spins which can be retriggered as well. Every new drop starts at 4 rows versus 8 rows in IO.
Moreover, before the bonus game starts, up to 5 sticky Bompers will appear on the grid. Once they turn wild, they will remain in place for the duration of the bonus drops.
When you look at the datasheet for Bompers and compare the game to the likes of IO and Cygnus, you would be forgiven to think that this is just another repackaged slot with a new theme. They look almost identical in so many ways and it’s only when you play the game do you realise they are in fact, very different. Everything from the looks, gameplay and the sounds (although some may prefer to play without the intense music), are top-notch and they’ve revived a pinball-theme that’s not been particularly popular in the industry for several years now.
The inclusion of X-iter was one of the most exciting features in the game and it looks like a success. As I pointed out earlier, high volatility games can mean baron spells, but with X-iter you can bypass all this at any point. Paying for bonus rounds is nothing new, but the fact you’ve got 4 options of varying levels of value is a huge plus. That is, unless you live in the UK where such features are a no-no.
Overall, there’s a lot to like from Bompers. It’s not perfect, with high hit frequency and bonus rounds that aren’t that engaging. However, there are more positives than negatives here and we’re excited to see where ELK Studios takes X-iter with new games in their range.
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