J-POP Slot Review 2024

Residents of Jellon have dropped in for a flying visit to Earth in ELK Studios‘ latest release, J-POP!

J-POP is an abbreviated form of ‘Japanese Popular music’ or ‘Jeipoppu’ that became a hit in Japan in the 1990s. However, ELK Studios has used this to create a brand-new slot with quite an interesting story.

For centuries, residents of Jellon have used Porta-loos as a gateway to Earth. Intrigued by human life, they collect and master any item of relevance, and use them as part of their special rituals.

It’s a bizarre scenario we find ourselves in here, but it seems anything goes in the world of slots. J-POP of choc’ full of edible symbols, vibrant colours, and a catchy tune to keep you company as you spin the reels in hopes of triggering Walking Wilds, Symbol Upgrades, Expanding Rows, Free Spins, and Super Free Spins.

Join us as witness what these colourful creatures of Jellon like to do in their spare time!

J-POP Base Game

J-POP Base Game and Features

J-POP is a 6-reel Video Slot with up to 262,144 ways to win. Winning combinations are formed when 3 or more of the same symbols land from left to right, starting from the leftmost reel.

The minimum bet available here is £.€0.20 per spin and the maximum bet available is £.€100 per spin, with plenty of other options in between the two. J-POP has a theoretical RTP of 94.00% and a max win cap of 25,000x.

In terms of symbols, the highest-paying regular symbol that can be seen here is the Red Alien, followed by the Yellow, Purple, and Blue Aliens, and a mixture of Striped Sweets. Low-paying symbols are standard Ace, King, Queen, and Jack.

Each time a winning combination forms, all winning symbols are removed from the reels, making room for new symbols to drop in from above via an Avalanche feature. Once this happens, an additional row will be added to the top of the reel set, increasing the number of ways to win.

Game Provider Elk Studios
Maximum Bet 100
Maximum Win 25,000x
Paylines Up to 262,144
Release Date 10/10/2023
RTP 94.00%
Mechanics Video Slot
Volatility High
Reels 6
Minimum Bet 0.20

Wild Symbols

There are 3 types of Wild symbols present in J-POP; Regular Wilds, Walking Wilds, and Wild Box, each substituting for all High and Low-paying symbols from the paytable.

  • Walking Wilds – Will randomly walk 1 Step to any adjacent symbol, increasing its Multiplier value by +x1 when part of a win.
  • Wild Box – Places a random number of Wild symbols on the reel set, replacing only payout symbols or empty positions.

Big Symbols

During gameplay, Wilds and payout symbols can randomly land in 1 of 4 sizes; 1×1, 2×2, 3×3, and 4×4. Each big symbol is counted as the number of 1×1 symbol instances it covers.

Empty positions that form below a big symbol will be filled with a smaller 1×1 symbol of the same type, excluding Walking Wilds, to reach a Horizontal resting state.

Symbols that extend beyond the current achieved amount will award a Refill up to the highest row via Row Expansion, up to a maximum of 8 rows in total. 

Big Drop Symbols

Landing a Big Drop symbol will trigger a drop of Big Symbols that crush away 1×1 payout symbols, transforming into a Wild. The Big Drop symbol is triggered once no additional wins are present.

Grid Flip Symbols

Landing a Grid Flip symbol will cause the columns (1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4) to switch positions on the reel set. After this, the Grid Flip symbol will transform into a Wild. The Grid Flip symbol will activate once no more wins are present.

J-POP Big Drop Symbol

J-POP Free Spins

Landing 3, 4, 5, or 6 Bonus Scatters on the reels in the base game triggers the Free Spins round, awarding 10, 12, 15, and 20 Drops respectively.

During Free Spins, Walking Wilds are persistent when entering Free Spins, including in between Spins. The Free Spins round begins with a Safety Level of 4 Rows.

Each winning spin will advance you to the next Safety Level by 1 row. Please note, that Walking Wilds may advance the Safety Level by several rows. 

The next Drop will begin at the new Safety Level. The most rows that the Safety Level can advance to is 4 rows, resulting in a total of 8 rows in play with a maximum of 262,144 ways to win active.

Landing 3 or more Bonus Scatters will award additional Free Drops, determined in the same way as when initially triggering the Free Spins round.

J-POP Super Free Spins

J-POP X-iter

Those outside the UK will benefit from ELK Studios’ X-iter feature. ELK Studios has granted players access to 5 Bonus Buy options as follows.

  • Bonus Hunt – Purchase a round with an increased chance of triggering a Free Spins round for 3x your bet.
  • Big Drop – Purchase a round with a guaranteed Big Drop symbol for 10x your bet.
  • Walking Wild – Purchase a round with a guaranteed Walking Wild for 25x your bet. 
  • Free Spins – Buy your way into the Free Spins round for 100x your bet.
  • Super Free Spins – Trigger Super Free Spins with a guaranteed Walking Wild for 500x your bet.

J-POP: Our Verdict

If we’re honest, we’re still reeling from the departure of Kane after his last foray in Valhall Gold. The enthralling journey through the world left us gripped, but the emotional farewell left us lusting for more of the gameplay mechanics that made it so popular. J-POP was an unexpected hero in this regard, and while it’s a stark contrast thematically, it does scratch an itch.

For our tastes, J-POP is a little too magical, wonderful and dare we say, cheerful. Plenty of sweet slots have made it into our top picks before, but we confess that we’re captivated more by some of the series stories that made the Gold Series so interesting. Everyone has their preferences, and if you have a bit of a sweet tooth and a soft spot for weird and wonderful creatures, then J-POP may well stand out as a fine contender for the Gold Series. The potential is certainly equal, with up to 25,000x as a maximum win at its best.

Overall, we have a feeling that J-POP won’t be as popular as the Gold Series, and it certainly isn’t a threat to K-Pop, but it’s an entertaining offering from ELK with significant potential, and it’ll make up for the departure of the Gold Series to some fans.