Hula Balua

by ELK Studios

ELK Studios are back with Hula Balua, a 6x6 scatter pay island adventure reminiscent of their popular Tropicool 2. It’s got treasure chests full of bonus features, including Big Symbol Multipliers, Sticky Redrops and Super Bonus rounds. The generous fruit-munching Elmo the Sloth is back, too. Having grown tired of the cold, he’s sailed across to this slot lovers' paradise to help you land that max 25,000x win.

Slot information

RTP: 94.00%
Volatility: Medium-High
Max Payout: 25,000x stake
Jackpot: No
Min Bet: 0.20
Max Bet: 100.00
Category: Grid slots
Theme: Tiki
Release Date: 5th Sep 2023

Our rating

“ This delicious tropical slot has you coming back for seconds. ”

4.0 out of 5

Win potential

Play Hula Balua

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Hula Balua Screenshots

Hula Balua Features

Hula Balua isn’t limited to paylines, so you can win all over the board! To collect a reward, players just need 8 identical pieces of fruit on the grid. Winning symbols are removed from the grid so that more symbols can drop, thereby potentially further increasing your wins. Yum!

The values of the fruits in ascending order are green, yellow then pink pieces of fruit, followed by sliced kiwi, sliced mango, sliced grapefruit and finally sliced star fruit. 8 identical symbols will award between 10% and 100% of the stake; however, this can increase all the way up to 200 times the original bet if, for example, 20+ plus identical symbols drop.

And remember, the Ws are Wilds and can substitute for any paying symbol, and a winning combination of only Wilds will pay out as the highest value symbol.

Watch out for Big Symbols!

Adjacent identical symbols that drop and form squares or rectangles become Big Symbol Multipliers. If, for example, a Big Symbol consisting of 8 squares is part of a winning combination, 8x is added to the global multiplier, and that global multiplier remains until there are no more winning combinations on the grid. Also, if spaces appear beneath a Big Symbol, those spaces automatically transform and become part of it.

When Sticky Redrops are activated, a paying symbol—rather than a message—in a bottle appears. All matching symbols then stick to the grid, thereby increasing the chances of Big Symbols. 

In fact, the Sticky symbols can increase to a whopping 3x3 in size, and you only need one more matching symbol to drop to be awarded a redrop. Those redrops will keep on coming until no matching symbols fall.

When Elmo the Sloth comes out of his hut, he moves across the grid 1 column per redrop, placing random Wilds on the grid. The Wilds stay there until they become part of a win or until he leaves the grid. Such a generous sloth!

Free drops 

If 3 Tribal Mask symbols drop, you enter the Bonus Game. 3 masks bring 6 free drops; 4 masks give you 8, and so on. However, if two or more masks end up immediately above and below one another, the player enters the Super Bonus round, which means at least one Big Symbol is guaranteed with every subsequent drop. 

During a Super Bonus round, only 2 masks need to fall in order to qualify for 4 free drops, then it’s 3 masks for 6 and so on, just like in the normal Bonus game.

Hula Balua - Multipliers and Big Symbols

Multipliers and Big Symbols

Matching symbols that land adjacent to each other begin to form Big Symbols. Along with them comes a multiplier equal to the number of symbols in the group.

Hula Balua - Sticky Redrops

Sticky Redrops

A symbol is selected at random and makes all matching symbols stick in place. The reels respin and you could land a big winning combo at this point.

Hula Balua - Elmo Wild Drops

Elmo Wild Drops

Elmo is up to his old tricks again as he steps across the reels with each spin and produces Wild symbols to substitute for other paying symbols.

Hula Balua - Bonus Game

Bonus Game

Enjoy up to 12 free spins and a chance to upgrade to the Super Bonus game when you land Bonus symbols on top of each other. The action continues as normal but it won’t cost you a penny!

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Hula Balua Review

Hula Balua is a 6x6 scatter pay slot developed by ELK Studios with a max win of 25,000x. Slot veterans and fruit lovers will find it reminiscent of Tropicool 2 as it has the X-iter function. Plus, Elmo the Sloth makes the odd appearance, although this time dressed in full-on tribal gear. Players can also benefit from Super Bonus rounds, Big Symbol Multipliers and Sticky Redrops.


The graphics are much sharper and more vibrant than those of Tropicool 2 but the action takes place in a tropical paradise once again. There are palm trees in the background, and the grid is always full of colourful pieces of fruit, which flash and become even more vibrant when they merge and form Big Symbols. The Toto tribute band with chirping birds on vocals will keep you nice and relaxed, although the Bonus rounds literally up the tempo, so reach for the lasers and enjoy Hula Balua’s Toto Hard House Remix.

Game Play

Hula Balua is as user-friendly as it is fun to play. You register wins when 8 or more identical pay symbols appear anywhere on the grid. Clusters that form Big Symbol Multipliers can be a common occurrence, but you still need to have at least 8 identical symbols to benefit from them. Don’t forget that the ever-present X-iter button gives players outside the UK quick access to the bonus games.

Win Potential

Hula Balua has a 94% RTP and medium-high volatility, and on top of that, you’ve got a max win of 25,000x!  Apart from the RTP, it’s a pretty solid showing on the stats front.

Our Verdict

Surely, ELK Studios has another hit on its hands with Hula Balua? It’s a simple slot, and the vibrant colours make Tropicool 2 look like a relic from a Sega Megadrive bargain bin. The max win of 25,000x is what really makes the game stand out, though. Definitely worth a few spins.

Paul Clare
Reviewed by Paul Clare Last updated on

Paul spent plenty of time in arcades up and down the UK discovering all of the best fruit machines and watching them grow into the incredible online slots we see today. He still loves the basic format but also has a soft spot for games with big bonus rounds that progress as you play. Immortal Romance is one of his favourite slots of all time.

Learn more about Paul here

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