Joker Maxima: Slot Overview
Joker Maxima is the second slot to come from the production line of Blueprint owned developer Lucksome, following their debut release Divine Links. Divine Links received a somewhat mixed review, not making much of a noise when released. What it did was fine, though, considering the level of talent on tap at the Lucksome studio, there were greater expectations. It wasn't the high impact debut many were hoping for, though there was plenty of optimism held back for what would follow. What has followed is Joker Maxima, a competent game, but one unlikely to have challenged the team when designing it.
True to its name, Joker Maxima is a slot full of joker/harlequin types and plenty of fruit. It's a simple game at heart, played over a traditional 5-reel, 3-row panel, using 10 fixed paylines. A diamond-patterned sea green background sits behind the grid, tastefully done if basic. From an audio-visual standpoint, the stand out feature is a soundtrack a notch or two trancier than the mainstream house music these games usually come with. Close your eyes, and you could be at a low key rave. Overlying the cosmic tune, the joker lady occasionally tosses out seductive one-liners like 'You can't win if you don't play' and so on.
Available on any device, Joker Maxima offers stakes of 10 p/c to £/€200 per spin (max bet depends on operator settings). Lucksome is appreciably forthcoming with just about every stat you could ever want, starting on the load screen, which displays a volatilely rated 7 out of 10, plus bonus frequency and win frequency of 4/10 and 5/10, respectively. The game is laid bare right away, so players have a clear idea if Joker Maxima will be the right fit. Keep in mind that when free spins trigger, players are presented with two options, one being a lower volatile 'safer' choice, the other, a higher volatile, higher reward choice. Joker Maxima may ship with a bonus buy, yet RTP remains at 96.11% in all cases no matter how the feature is triggered.
In ascending order, symbols include cherries, lemons, grapes, watermelons, bells, and fiery 7s, possessing values of 2-100 times the stake for five of a kind (the latter two symbols only need 2oak for a payout as opposed to three). There are also golden versions of each regular pay symbol; these are worth double the value of the equivalent non-golden symbol. The joker wild is one to keep an eye on for several reasons. Not only does it replace any symbol except the scatter, landing 2, 3, 4, or 5 jokers on a payline is worth a payout of 2, 30, 45, or 2,500 times the stake. Jokers are also involved in some of the features, as we'll see.
Joker Maxima: Slot Features
When the wild symbol substitutes in a win line, it also applies a multiplier to the amount. The more wilds used, the higher the value, so 1, 2, 3, or 4 jokers on a win line multiply the value by x2, x4, x8, or x16, respectively.
Powerbands are implemented in the game in both base game and free spins - the reels light on fire when special reels (Power Bands) are selected and guarantees a 20x or greater win. In free spins when you have a Joker Streak going on, things can get quite intense.
One more symbol appears in the game; this is the diamond scatter landing on the middle three reels only. When 3 diamonds are in view 10 free spins are awarded. Before free spins begin, players choose from two options on the Volatility Picker:
- On the left is the Classic Mode which uses the same wild multiplier values as the base game and is less volatile/less rewarding.
- The choice on the right is Maxima Mode, where wild multiplier values may be higher or lower than in Classic Mode, so is more volatile/greater potentially rewarding.
In free spins, any winning combination is locked in place and triggers a Joker Streak Respin. Respins continue to be awarded as long as new winning symbols land. It is also possible to retrigger +5 free spins when 3 scatters land in view.
Should 2 scatters land during the game, Lucksome Locks is enabled. During Lucksome Locks, the 2 scatters are locked, and only scatters are active. If more scatters land in view, free games are triggered.
Another way of possibly triggering free spins is by buying them. The cost is 74.6 times the stake, guaranteeing entry to the bonus. There is a limit to the bonus buy of £/€5 base bet, so if you're betting higher, the stake will have to be reduced.
Joker Maxima: Slot Verdict
As with Divine Links, it might pay to temper any high expectations you might have regarding Joker Maxima. Like Lucksome's debut, Joker Maxima is a well-made game, possessing more positives than negatives, but you can't help feeling the team is capable of greater things. As far as these fruity, harlequin slots go, Joker Maxima pushes the right buttons, there are no issues with stats, and the potential is appealing as well. However, it is slot design 101, looks like dozens of other games out there and is missing a must-see innovative touch. Joker Maxima makes sure not to put a foot wrong, and if anything, is a safer game than Divine Links was.
After clearing the gripes, let's move onto the positive. Features, for one, are quite good, though it helps they've proved their worth elsewhere. Games like NetEnt's Jack Hammer used a similar sticky win system, but Joker Maxima does up the ante by including some strong multiplier action. It's interesting to see how many symbols end up being missed during Joker Streak Respins due to the limited number of paylines. Not always, yet it can be frustrating at times. They do come together nicely at others, though, and multipliers can greatly impact the winning total. While Joker Maxima has what it calls a 'win focus' of 1000x, the studio also states payouts of over 10,000 times your stake are technically possible (though advertised as 7,000x as it's more realistically achievable) - a rather good total for this style of game.
Add it all up, and Joker Maxima should prove a temptation for players into these sorts of slots. Once again, it's not the cauldron of innovation it might have been, so perhaps Lucksome is content churning out safe, albeit slickly made, slots for readymade audiences. Or, will the third time be the charm?
Joker Maxima may be a little on the cautious side, yet it’s a nicely put together slot that should entertain players who appreciate this style.