Pug Thugs of Nitropolis

Pug Thugs of Nitropolis Slot Review

Slot Provider: ELK Studios

RTP: 94% | Variance: High | Maximum Win: 25,000x

Our Score: 7.2

Play at Grand Ivy Casino

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About Pug Thugs of Nitropolis

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 15th April 2024

How We Review Slot Games

We test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.

Pug Thugs of Nitropolis is the 4th of 5 new Nitropolis slots from ELK Studios in 2024. It follows Gritty Kitty, Dirty Dawgs and Rogue Rats, each following a different clan on the hunt of Nitro Fuel. This one uses a Connecting Paylines set up with wins triggered from all four sides of the 6×6 grid. Nitro Reels bring up stacks of symbols when they land and feature screens in each corner trigger wilds, expanding symbols up to 4×4 and coin collects. The free spins round comes with guaranteed Nitro Reels. Win up to 25,000x per spin, starting at 20p per play.

Pug Thugs of Nitropolis Game Information

  • RTP: 94%
  • Variance: High
  • Maximum Win: 25,000x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 6
  • Rows: Up To 5
  • Paylines: Connected Paylines
  • Minimum Stake: £0.20
  • Theme: Animals
  • Features: NItro Reels, Nitro Insane, Free Spins, Wilds, Super Sized Symbols

Testing Notes: Here’s What Happened When We Played Pug Thugs of Nitropolis

IMPORTANT: To give you an accurate assessment of the games we review our writers play 200 spins. Whilst this is a useful tool to help us review games and to give an example of what might happen when you play, keep in mind that 200 spins is only a very small sample and cannot be used to accurately predict what might happen over another 200 spins. The outcome of all slots play is always random.

Boom Or Bust? Our Session By The Numbers

I played 100 spins on Pug Thugs on ELK Studio’s test server prior to release to test the game. This is what happened.

  • Stake Size: £1
  • Start balance: £5,000
  • End balance: £1,220.30
  • Win Rate: 25% (25 winning spins in 100)
  • Biggest Win: 134.4x
  • Free Spins Round: 2

Pug Thugs was volatile, jumping from a run of 4 or 5 consecutive winning spins to a 10 on the bounce with nothing at all. But overall it came in with a good win rate of 25%, or 1 in 4 in spins. That’s about average for a slot game, though some high variance slots can come in at a much lower number. Wins in the base game were best when a Nitro Reel was involved, particularly when a Nitro Wild or Nitro Match from the Feature Screens came into play. The Coin Collect triggered twice, but only produced a 2x win at best which was disappointing because it looks like a good feature.

Pug Thugs Free Spins Round
7 Nitro Reels in action on the way to a 134.4x win in free spins

Unsurprisingly, the best moment came from the free spins round, a 134.4x win. This was thanks to a bank of SEVEN Nitro Reels all in play on the final spin, including a 6 stack and a 4 stack – shown in the screenshot. That brought up wins with stacks of Aces and premium gun symbols after the re-spin. It’s not hard to see how things could go epic in the Super Bonus with a similar situation, only STICKY Nitro Reels.

Overall, this was a lucky sessison with a £220.30 cash positive result. Don’t expect that every time, but there is plenty of potential in those stacks and the feature screens.

What We Liked

  • Classic Nitropolis design and gameplay
  • High max pay out at 25,000x
  • Guaranteed Nitro Reels on every free spin
  • Coins re-spin after each collect for further prizes
  • Nitro Reel stacks can be up to 8 symbols high

What We Didn't like

  • 94% is the highest available RTP
  • Can be a grind with runs of 10 or more spins with no wins

Pug Thugs of Nitropolis Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 7
  • RTP and Variance 7
  • Maximum Win 8
  • Symbols and Paytable 7
  • Features and Gameplay 7

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"Another exciting adventure with one of NItropolis' notorious clans. The gameplay is as distinctive and thrilling as ever with potential for some huge bonus round hits!"

Overall Score: 7.2

Theme & Design

Our Score 7

No Surprises Here – Another Variation on the Popular Nitropolis Design

By now you probably know the backstory for Nitropolis slots – a cartoon dystopian future where gangs of dogs and cats roam the city in search of Nitro fuel. The four gangs are at war and set to return for a final showdown in Nitropolis 5 later this year. This version sees us following the Pug Thug gang, joining them in their hide out in a building top, overlooking the city through the clouds behind a 6×6 grid. The frenetic soundtrack, with techno beats and siren sounds, helps set the scene and matches the action on the reels perfectly. In short, if you enjoy the atmosphere of other Nitropolis slots, then you’ll like this one too.

Pug Thugs of Nitropolis by ELK Studios
Pug Thugs of Nitropolis – join the pugs in their tower-top hide out

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.

Pug Thugs runs at a fixed RTP of 94%. That is standard for ELK Studio slots now. All new releases from this provider are set to 94%. Whilst that is a little lower than you find in other online slots keep in mind that this is a fixed rate. Many providers now develop game with 2, 3, or even 4 RTP options for operators to run with. So, you can find you are playing your favourite NLC or Play n Go slots at less than 90% RTP at some slot sites. Pug Thugs will only ever run at 94%.

There is no let-up in the volatility in this game. It is high, as in all other Nitropolis slots, so expect a rough ride with an uneven win distribution.

Maximum Win

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 payout in Pug Thugs is 25,000x. Again, that is the same as you find in the other Nitropolis releases from 2024. It’s good potential. If that tickles your fancy you might also want to check out our list of the highest max win slots.

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 7

Pug Thugs has an interesting grid layout. There are 6 reels, displaying a 4-5-5-5-4 row configuration, with Feature Screens, randomly triggering features, in each of the 4 corners.

Pug Thugs Paytable
Paytable with 2x for 6 top paying premiums

The game uses a Connecting Paylines pay model. That means winlines can start from any side of the grid, including top and bottom, and must include 3 or more identical symbols in adjacent positions.

The paytable contains EIGHT symbols. The 4 low value ones are the cards, Jack, Queen, King and Ace. These are valued at from 0.1x for 3 Jacks up to 0.7x for 6 Aces. The premiums are the gun, laptop, rocket boosters and pug, valued at from 0.3x for 3 guns up to 2x for 6 pugs.

There is also a Wild that substitutes for any pay symbol to complete a win line AND has the value of 0.75x, 1x, 1.5x or 2x for 3, 4, 5 or 6 on a line.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 7

There are some familiar features in Pug Thugs. This is how they work:

Nitro Reels

If you’ve played any other Nitropolis slot then you’ll be familiar with the Nitro Reels feature. When one of these lands it displays a stack of symbols within one position on the grid, creating more opportunities for win ways. You’ll see a number on the Nitro Reel that shows how many symbols appear in the stack.

Where you have intersecting win lines, a Nitro Reel will be created at the point of the intersection. And if one already exists in that position, then it will be upgraded to a stack of 8 high.

NOTE: In this version of Nitropolis, Nitro Reels can ONLY appear in the central 4×4 area of the grid.

Four Feature Screens

Watch the four feature screens – one in each corner of the grid – during the game. They will randomly display one of the four following features when the reels stop. And more than one can be displayed at any time.

Make Big – any symbol on the grid is expanded to a 2×2, 3×3 or 4×4 size.

Collect – This potentially powerful feature sees the value of all coins visible on the grid collected for a payout. The nice part is, after the collect, the coins spin to reveal either a coin again or a pay symbol. The process keeps repeating until no more coins are visible. Before the feature starts, more coins may be added to the grid in a Coin Rain.

Nitro Wild – one or more Nitro Reels on the grid become wild where all symbols in their stacks turn wild.

Nitro Match – any Nitro Reels on the grid are matched to a randomly selected symbol. This potentially creates more instances of one symbol and a higher chance of creating win lines.

Nitro Insane 

This is a random feature that triggers at the start of a spin. A random number of Nitro Reels are added onto the grid.

Bonus Symbols And Free Spins 

The free spins round here is triggered by landing 3 or more Bonus symbols. There is also a Super Bonus symbol. Where one of these is included, the Super Bonus round is triggered.

During Free Spins a Nitro Insane is triggered at the start of each spin so you are GUARANTEED to have Nitro Reels on each spin. And in the Super version, Nitro Reels are sticky for the whole round.

And finally, if you land more Bonus symbols during the round, you earn more free spins.

The Final Verdict

Pug Thugs isn’t just another Nitropolis slot. The sounds and visuals might look very familiar, but ELK have done a great job of creating distinctive gameplay. The feature screens are super cool, adding extra jeopardy to every spin as you look for a feature that might turn a losing spin into a winner, or add value to your Nitro Reels. And as my test session showed, the free spins round has tons of potential if you lock in a good number of Nitro Reels. Beware the volatility, but overall Pugh Thugs keeps up the high standards we see in this series and is definitely worth a spin.

Useful Tips When Playing Pug Thugs of Nitropolis

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. Start At A Low Stake

We recommend using bankroll management strategy for high variance slots like this one. That means choosing a relatively low stake to absorb the dry runs because the game can burn your funds fast.

2. Eyes On Those Feature Screens

The feature screens don’t always display a feature for you, but when they do they can be a powerful force for wins. I especially liked the coin collects which can bring up some big numbers when those coins keep spinning and paying out!

3. Turn The Sound Up!

One of the best parts about Nitropolis slots is the soundtrack. Those electro beats are the perfect accompaniment to the frenetic action on the reels, so make sure you have the sounds turned up!

4. Choose A Recommended Slot Site To Play At

We have carefully chosen the slot sites on this page because they are all licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and scored high in our reviews. That means they are fun, fair, safe and secure for slots play.

Who Made Pug Thugs of Nitropolis?

  • Name: ELK Studios
  • Established: 2013
  • UK License: 40844
  • Total Games: 60 +
  • Known For: Amazing artwork, wide choice of themes and styles
  • Popular Slots: Avalon Gold, Dropz, Nitropolis, Wild Toro
Find More ELK Studios slots

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