Mystery Drop, created by Stakelogic, is typical of the “if you can’t be bothered to beat ’em, copy ’em” mentality that pervades the gaming business. Free spins with a growing win multiplier are the finale of Mystery Drop, a game in which winning symbols are replaced with two new ones, so multiplying the reels and ways. Mystery Drop may have you thinking of the latest Avatar UX release, but Stakelogic has added their own special touches, so it’s not quite the same. In practice, however, the distinction is often blurred.
CherryPop, possibly the most successful in Avatar UX’s portfolio to far, bears a striking similarity to PopWins, as any lover of the PopWins series will quickly realize. Both games include low-key electronic music and a blurred background with classic slot machine icons. A ways-to-win counter lies to the right of a 5×3 game grid, with a value of 486 at the beginning of the game and a maximum of 15,552 at the end of the game. The suspension of disbelief that Mystery Drop elicits is understandable given how obviously derivative it is.
One of the ways in which Stakelogic distinguishes itself from the competition is through a unique innovation called Super Stake. This is a wager multiplier that, if activated, doubles the stake and makes the bonus game randomly occur on losing base game spins. During the bonus round, it can even grant you some more spins for free. Because of the extreme volatility of this game, we recommend betting no more than £/€5 every spin (20 p/c). The theoretical return number is 95.59% by default, generated using a highly volatile mathematical model that matches the huge win amount.
The board features 13 different pay symbols, broken up into 9 different groups.Cherry, lemon, plum, grape, bell, star, and seven are the most paying fruits. When a combination of five high-paying symbols appears, the payout ranges from two and a half to eight times the wager. There are no wilds in this game, although there may be hidden symbols during the bonus rounds. When they do, the identical kind of pay sign is shown in each one.
Playing the Slot Game of Mystery Drop
In addition to the conventional gamble feature and a PopWins-style win mechanism, Mystery Drop also includes free spins with an increasing multiplier and a Gamble Drop.
In Mystery Drop, a winning combination consists of at least three identical symbols appearing on adjacent reels, starting on the far left or far right. Wins cause symbols to explode from the board and be replaced by two more symbols, thereby raising the reels and providing more opportunities for more payouts. In a similar vein to cascading features, this can result in many victories on a single spin. Reels may go up to a maximum of 6 places high in the main game, giving a total of 15,552 chances to win. If no additional victories occur in the main game, the grid will return to its default height of three rows.
When the base game’s reels fill up to a height of 6 rows, the player receives 5 bonus spins. Players may increase the value of their free spins by gambling them before the bonus round begins. The game is played on a board reminiscent of a Pachinko machine, on which a ball is dropped vertically. If it stops on a specific free spins number, that sum will be added to the total. If it lands on the ‘X,’ the free spins are over, and you must start over from the beginning of the game.
During the bonus round, the grid size increases from its normal 3 rows to a maximum of 6. The maximum number of current winning combinations is 118,098. In addition to the win multiplier and rearranging grid that were discussed before, free spins also feature mystery symbols. Beginning at x2, it grows by +1 for each winning spin and +4 if all reels expand to a size of 9. It will go up by +3 from that point on. Scatters can occur in free spins if the Super Stake is activated, increasing the number of free spins by five if three are in view during the feature.
Each time you win, a gamble option will become available. Players can either take their winnings or risk them by guessing the color or suit of a hidden card. It’s a win-win situation if you get it right, but a loss if you don’t. If it’s not needed, the gamble option can be turned off entirely.
The Buy Bonus option is the final available option. To access the bonus game and receive 5 free spins, players can, if so inclined, click here and fork over 150 times their initial wager. From this vantage point, you can use the Gamble Drop immediately if you like.
A Slot Machine’s Mysterious Verdict
As they’ve expanded, Stakelogic has sprung all sorts of inventions, but they’ve never had any qualms about ripping off other studios’ work, too. Mayan Rush, a Valley of the Gods lookalike, gave us a taste of the brazenness, and now we have Mystery Drop, which is virtually identical to CherryPop. Somehow, Stakelogic appears to have gained technical expertise from a developer previously employed at Avatar UX. How strangely close the two contests are.
Yet a number of distinctions lie in wait. The Super Stake is one example, since it occasionally triggered bonus games even on spins that otherwise resulted in nothing. It’s likely just bad luck, but this method of triggering free spins seldom yields any significant gains. The Gamble Drop is a brand new option that has to be approached with caution. You spin the wheel, and the outcome is either a win or a loss. The ball’s teetering motion as it approaches the edge and then crashes against the ‘X’ may be particularly frustrating. However, the outcome of a bonus round can be heavily influenced by gaining extra spins, so it’s a close decision either way.
Interestingly, while the maximum win in Mystery Drop is the same as in CherryPop (50,000x the wager), the stake range is narrower in Mystery Drop, and the bonus purchase is twice as expensive. Does this suggest that Mystery Drop has a higher potential for producing spectacular wins, or is it simply more expensive? No way to tell without knowing the relevant frequency statistics, which are not supplied. However, return to player (RTP) is an important consideration, and Mystery Drop’s number is lower than CherryPop’s.
The subtleties notwithstanding, it’s unclear why anybody would choose Mystery Drop over CherryPop or any of the other PopWins-powered games. The game by Avatar UX has a better return to player percentage, slightly larger maximum win, cheaper bonus buy by 50%, and they were the ones that came up with the idea initially. That leaves players with Super Stake, which adds more flexibility, and Gamble Drop, which is reminiscent of Pachinko. Despite these tweaks, Mystery Drop still sounds like a rip-off of PopWins and not its own thing.