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Hiphopopotamus Pokie Machine

Here’s an online pokie that can raise a smile even before players have started the game. Hiphopopotamus is a surreal fusion of large African semi-aquatic mammals and a rap-based style of music that often mixes in funk and R n’B. Obvious really.

While the theme may be pretty unique, the layout and gameplay is anything but, with 3 reels, a single payline and classic bonuses like nudges, holds and a Hi/Lo gamble game that takes players around a second screen.

It’s all been seen before on other pokies from developer Microgaming, but if the format works then why change it? The difference is the fun design that brings a lot of colour and humour to the screen, while some decent jackpot payouts add to the overall appeal.

At first glance the game dazzles the eyes, with a very busy screen covered in lots of information all at once. But it’s all pretty straightforward, with the 3 reels plonked in the middle, the nudges game down one side and a paytable to the other. Beneath the reels is a number trail that leads to the bonus game and in one corner we see our heroic herbivore rapping away with tasteful knuckle-dusters and his baseball cap on back to front.

Behind all of this is an image of a mixing desk, while much of the writing and numbers are in a graffiti style, which all in all makes this a good-looking pokie that should appeal to anyone, whether they like the music or not.

Players can use the control panel below the game to set their bets from 0.10 to 10.00, so it’s not one for high rollers, although the majority of people will find the bet range perfectly acceptable.

The payout table lists how many times the amount bet will be won each time certain combinations of symbols land across the payline that runs through the middle of the reels, with lower value symbols being the generic cherries, bars and 7s, that are worth 2x, 4x and 8x, while higher value ones are specific to the theme.

So we have spray paint cans at 10x, trendy sneakers at 16x, ghetto blasters are worth 20x and microphones 30x. Chunky gold necklaces, with $ pendant are valued at 50x when they land across the line, while topping the table is the hippo who pays the jackpot of 500x the bet.

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A Mix of Bonuses

There are lots of bonus features to this game, some of which are randomly awarded, like the Scratches round that can start after any winning spin. Players can double their prize when the record deck spins, with several chances to get this reward if the first isn’t successful.

Randomly, some symbols will have little numbers next to them when they land on the line, and these build up on the number trail that runs below the reels. Once this is completed, players are taken to the main bonus round, where we see another picture of the hippo and a board game with 49 sections on a grid.

The aim is to decide if a number will be higher or lower than the one displayed and move up the board with each correct guess, collecting prizes along the way. These can be nudges, WinSpins (with guaranteed prizes for each one), multiplier payouts, turns on the Funk You Up bonus game or extra chances.

As players progress up the board, the wins get bigger and better, although it’s pretty tricky to get past the lower levels and something of a miracle to get to the top.

The Funk You Up game can be won in the bonus round or awarded randomly during normal play, and it simply flashes through the symbols, with players clicking to stop it, hoping to land on a high paying one.

Other bonus features are the random nudges which allow players to move reels up and down to create a winning combination and holds where they can stop a reel and spin the others to try for a prize.

A Hippo Hit?

The theme is enough to attract many players to Hiphopopotamus, but look beyond it and we find a number of features that will be familiar to fans of Microgaming 3 reel pokies, just dressed up differently. That’s no bad thing however, as they are all tried and tested, although some of them such as the board game can be hard to win money from.

The low maximum bet is again fairly normal, but could dissuade some people from trying out a fun pokie that’s ideal for low-stakes gamblers.

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