Joker King: Slot Overview
For players into all things jazzy and fruity, developer Pragmatic Play has your back in their harlequin themed slot Joker King. There is a sense with these sorts of games that if you've played one you've sort of played them all. That statement rings louder the less interest someone has in a topic. Take tennis for example. Many non-tennis enthusiasts could think of nothing worse than fidgeting in a seat under a baking hot sun as two people bang a ball across a net for several hours, while others love the intensity and drama of two modern age gladiators going at it. The same applies to these joker games. For some, what is the actual point of releasing yet another bland knock-off offering more or less the same thing each time? Others dig the party. To be clear from the start, Joker King won't do anything to sway either group's opinion. With that in mind, let's leap once more into the world of fruit, disco, and jokers.
Joker King is the fifth of its kind from Pragmatic Play, so the studio certainly knows a thing or two about crafting this style by now. It shows too, as Joker King is a shining example. The gaming takes place on a 6-reel, 4-row grid, offering 25 paylines to land winning combinations on. To the right, a joker character bobs away clutching a hand full of gold coins, spraying wild symbols across the reels at certain moments. There's not much else going on aside from a radiant purple background, and a tub of even more coins sitting atop the gold-framed reels. Visually, Joker King is simple yet bright; in other words, it follows the blueprint closely.
A little less orthodox is the music. Much of the time it's one of those funk backing tracks that accompanies these games, but when the action heats up so does the soundtrack cramming in all manner of sounds like circus jingles, even a bit of ska. It seems the Pragmatic team used music as an outlet to be a bit creative, while the rest of Joker King is more formulaic.
For a highly volatile slot, the gameplay felt a lot gentler than suspected. There is no info on hit rate or free spins frequency, but both triggered surprisingly often. Particularly free spins. Perhaps that was down to good fortune allowing us to ride one of those busy peaks. Whatever the explanation, Joker King was nowhere near as brutal as its 5 out of 5 volatility would suggest, at least in testing. As is often the case in a Pragmatic Play slot, default RTP is positive, with Joker King possessing a value of 96.5%. Players can get their fix on any device, where stakes from 25 p/c to £/€125 are available.
Six regular symbols are included in Joker King, paying left to right on adjacent reels starting from the leftmost reel. They are oranges, plums, cherries, BARs, 7s, and stars. Winning combinations can be up to six symbols in length, worth payouts of 1 to 5 times the stake when they are this long. Wilds play a key role in features, covered next.
Joker King: Slot Features
The other two symbols used in Joker King are a wild and a scatter. The wild appears on any reel and is worth up to 5x the bet for a line of six. Whenever a wild symbol hits, at the end of the spin, one symbol type is randomly selected, and the joker changes all instances of it into wilds. Wins are then paid after the transformation.
The scatter also appears on all reels in the form of a crown. Whenever a scatter hits, it carries a random multiplier of 2x, 3x, 5x, 10x, or 25x, which applies to any win total on the current spin. If more than one scatter is present, multipliers are added to each other. The paytable mentions paying 1x the bet when three or more scatters land. However, the game actually pays out the sum of visible scatter multipliers by the current stake when this occurs.
Landing 3 or more scatters also trigger the bonus game, so 3, 4, 5, or 6 scatters in view award 8, 10, 15, or 20 free spins. Here, wild symbols land on every free spin, triggering the wild symbol replacement feature mentioned above. Free spins can also be retriggered the same way during the bonus feature, without limit.
Joker King: Slot Verdict
Pragmatic Play has done enough to ensure players within Joker King's scope will be entertained by what it offers. The game serves up all the fast-paced disco-infused action a joker fan could hope for. Unusually fast in the case of its bonus game where at least one wild on every spin leads to copious symbol transformations. Low symbol values suppress wins though, and it's not uncommon to almost fill a screen yet walk away with a 20x, or so, payout. Technically, higher is possible of course, so should a bunch of big scatter multiplier come into play, the game has a win cap of 5,000x the bet to prevent it going mental.
On a more divisive note, the grid layout and number of paylines might be a deal-breaker. The limited number of paylines feels archaic, but then again, it kind of goes with the aged joker territory. If Pragmatic had used a 4,096 ways system, no doubt the symbol transformation feature would be a lot rarer. It would've been virtually impossible for the studio to drop symbol values any further to compensate for more ways since they're already at rock bottom. Joker Wild would have ended up being a completely different experience triggering features far less often – one which probably wouldn't sit well with its target audience.
In summation, Joker King is a game that should entertain fans of this style, for the three minutes or so until the next one comes along.
What Joker King does should entertain proponents of this style, while leaving haters cold.