Buggin Slot Review
Slot Provider: ELK Studios
RTP: 94% | Variance: Medium | Maximum Win: 10,000x
Our Score: 8.2
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Published Date: 29th January 2024
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Buggin is a medium variance cluster pays slot from ELK Studios played on a 7×7 grid with a top win of 10,000x. In this fun game, wilds merge and take on multiplier values during win cascades. Filling the progress bar unlocks Feature Wilds with special modifiers including extra multipliers and symbol upgrades. There are also two free drops rounds with sticky wilds and re-triggers.
Buggin comes out on 22nd February 2024 and spins start at 20p per play.
Buggin Game Information
- RTP: 94%
- Variance: Medium
- Maximum Win: 10,000x
- Progressive Jackpot: No
- Reels: 7
- Rows: 7
- Paylines: Cluster Pays
- Minimum Stake: £0.20
- Theme: Animals
- Features: Wilds, Cascading Wins, Wild Multipliers, Free Drops, Big Symbols
What We Liked
- Fun, summery vibe with nice, upbeat atmosphere
- Merging wilds and multipliers wilds create lots of wins
- High 10,000x max win for a mid-variance slot
- Progressive feature for unlocking extra wilds
- Sticky wilds in the free drops round
What We Didn't like
- Low max RTP at just 94%
Buggin Review Scores
- Theme and Design 8
- RTP and Variance 7
- Maximum Win 8
- Symbols and Paytable 8
- Features and Gameplay 9
What Our Reviewer Says ...
"A light-hearted cluster pays slot with a warm atmosphere and fun vibes, but with the capacity to kick off with a blockbuster win too!"
Overall Score: 8.2
Theme & Design
Our Score 8
A Peaceful Slot With Happy Bugs and Laid-Back Vibes
Buggin is set in a well-kept country park or garden, with well-trimmed hedges, closely cut lawns, a band stand and spring flowers. It’s got a peaceful springtime feel to it, the polar opposite of the nightmare plant-based game, Florageddon, from the same studio. Even the bugs look friendly here, appearing next to various fruit symbols on a 7×7 grid, framed by wrought-iron. Overall, the atmosphere is very pleasant and suited to the mid-variance gameplay.
RTP and Variance
Our Score 7
What is RTP?RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next. Read more here.
What is Variance?Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.
Buggin has a fixed RTP of 94%. That is below the average for an online slot but is standard for ELK who just role that way. It may seem a little tight, but consider that these days many of your favourite slots studios produce their games with multiple settings, and whilst the optimum levels are always good, in some cases they can drop as low as 88% at the bottom end.
Buggin comes in at a medium variance so the win distribution will be more even than other games from the same provider, and with a 35% hit rate (a win on every 1.35 spins on average) the game will produce quite frequent payouts.
Our Score 8
What Is Maximum Win?Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.
The max win in Buggin is 10,000x. That feels good for a medium variance game. It matches the top payout found in games like Toro 7s and Fate of Fortune by the same provider, both of which are more volatile plays.
Symbols and Paytable
Our Score 8
As standard for Cluster Pays slots, Buggin plays on a 7×7 grid. You’ll need to match up 5 or more identical symbols touching in horizontally or vertically adjacent positions to trigger a win. The maximum payouts are for 12 or more of each symbol in a cluster.
Low payers are the the mushroom, blueberry, raspberry and grape. These don’t have great value, maxing out at just 3x for 12 or more mushrooms in a cluster. The premiums are the four bugs in green, blue, pink and red. They are valued at from 0.3x for 5 greens in a cluster right up to 100x for 12 or more reds.
There are also lots of wild variations to look out for in this game, as I will explain.
NOTE: In Buggin, all pay symbols can also come in a 2×2 or 3×3 size. When they do, they pay out the equivalent 4x or 6x the value of the pay symbol they represent.
Features and Gameplay
Our Score 9
Cascading Wins and Wild Multipliers
Buggin uses a Cascading Wins mechanic, like many cluster pays slots, whilst utilising wilds in a unique way too, which can help build big wins.
Firstly, after any win, winning pay symbols from each cluster are removed and new ones drop in to replace them, potentially creating more wins.
But where wilds are part of a cluster, they are NOT removed from the grid. And if a cluster contained no wilds, then one is added in one of the spaces created in the cascade, and it carries a 1x multiplier.
And, if your winning cluster contained more than one wild, then they all merge together when the cascade takes place, and their multiplier values (if they have them) are added together. This feature is more powerful if your wild is part of more than one cluster as it will merge more than once, taking its multiplier value with it each time.
Where more than one multiplier is part of a winning cluster then their values are added together before being applied to the win amount.
Earn Feature Wilds With Modifiers Through The Progress Bar
Other key components of this game are the Feature Wilds. They work like this …
During every sequence of wins and cascades, all winning symbols contribute to a progress bar that sits atop the reels. When you fill the bar completely, then a Feature Wild is displayed above the bar. There is room for FIVE Feature Wilds here and they only come into play when your sequence of cascades ends – i.e. when there are no more wins. At this point they are released onto random positions across the grid.
Each Feature Wild has a modifier that it will activate IF it forms part of a winning cluster when it is lands on the grid. The modifiers are these:
- Big Wild – this one will expand one pay symbol into a 2×2 or 3×3 version
- Multiplying Wild – its multiplier value is added to any wild symbols on the grid that are not part of a winning cluster
- Random Wild – will replace between 2 and 4 standard pay symbols with wilds
- Removing Wild – triggers the removal of all of the lowest paying symbols from the grid
- Upgrading Wild – will upgrade every instance of one pay symbol on the grid to a higher value symbol
Another way to add Feature Wilds to the grid is through the Re-Drops. When you play you will notice that some of the wild positions displayed above the progress bar are padlocked. If you collect enough Feature Wilds to reach the padlocked position, then a Wild Re-Drop is triggered with additional Feature Wilds added to the grid when the spin ends.
Free Drops With Sticky Wilds
Free spins are named as Free Drops in ELK games. You’ll need to land at least 3 scatters on one spin to trigger these, and you’ll get 7 to start. There are also super scatter symbols, and if one of these is part of the 3 that triggered the round, then you’ll get 7 Super Free Drops instead.
The Free Drops round is super-charged and gives you the best chance of hitting the 10,000x max win. The following enhancements to the gameplay are active:
- All regular wilds are sticky throughout the round in free drops AND super free drops – a powerful tool to build bigger wild multipliers
- In super free drops, ALL of the Feature Wild positions above the reels are locked. And once unlocked, they are released onto the grid at the start of each free drop
- Landing 3 more scatters in either round gets you 3 more free drops, or if one is a super scatter, 3 more super free drops.
The Final Verdict
Buggin is an entertaining cluster pays game with enough intriguing features to make it worth your time. There is a lot going on here. As well as the trick with merging and multiplier wilds in the cascades, it is the configuration of progress bar and Feature Wilds that makes this slot stand out. The biggest wins will be triggered by unlocking that part of the game a few times over, ideally in the free drops round. This, plus the chance to get wins in the 1,000x or more range make this an unusually generous mid-variance game and mark a good start to the year for this idiosyncratic studio.
Useful Tips When Playing Buggin
Remember, online slots are games of chance, there is NO strategy that can improve your odds of winning. However, reading our review and following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing this slot game.
1. Keep Your Eye On The Progress Bar
Keep checking the progress bar at the top of the reels during each spin sequence. The more feature wilds you unlock, the bigger your wins might be once they are released onto the grid. The Big Feature Wilds and the Multiplying Feature Wilds are particularly useful.
2. Remember Wilds In Clusters Stay On The Grid
The name of the game is building up wilds and wild multipliers during each cascade sequence, so watch out for wilds on each spin. They can produce some big wins even in the base rounds if you get on a lucky run.
3. Choose A Sensible Stake
Start with a low stake to make your balance stretch further. Though this is a medium variance game with a generous 35% hit rate it can still burn your balance quite quick. The minimum stake of 20p means you can get more spins from your bankroll.
4. Play At One Of Our Recommended Slot Sites
We have chosen the slot sites on this page because they are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. That makes them safe, fair and secure, with appropriate responsible gambling tools and clear and transparent terms and conditions.
Who Made Buggin?
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