Joyful Joker Megaways: Slot Overview
Ever since Microgaming acquired a Megaways license from Big Time Gaming, independent developer All41 Studios seems to have become their go-to partner to make use of it. This time around All41 has forgone shamrocks and great apes, for a character just as well established in the slots world - the joker figure. As is usually the case, this jolly jester is accompanied by lashings of fruit in a disco setting. Such is Joyful Joker Megaways, which ships with Microgaming trademark feature Rolling Reels, free spins, a progressive win multiplier, and a three-tier feature buy.
Joyful Joker Megaways isn't an ugly slot exactly, but it's not a game that's going to win graphic design awards any time soon. Plain would be one word to describe its grid, with pink diamond wallpaper making up the backdrop. More tantalising is a constantly rotating wheel next to the reels, displaying multipliers that are called into action at certain points. Completing the scene is the sort of funky bass popping soundtrack which usually accompanies this sort of game. Audio-visuals can best be summed up as sufficient, as in they're probably enough to please fans of this style but are nothing extraordinary, by any measure.
Played using 6 reels, the jester-fest is available on any device, allowing players to set bets from 20 p/c to £/€20 per spin. This being a Megaways title, the number of symbols randomly varies from spin to spin on each reel from 2-7. When factoring in the 4 symbol bonus reel up top, the game can provide up to 117,649 ways to win. Statistically, Joyful Joker Megaways serves up medium/high volatile gameplay with a theoretical return value of 96%. As well as triggering Rolling Reels on every winning combination, hit rate is quite frequent too, so you can expect a win every four spins or so on average (27%), so there is often something positive going on.
When it comes to symbols, they don't get much more common than they do in Joyful Joker Megaways. From the lesser pays to the highs we find cherries, lemons, oranges, plums, grapes, watermelons, horseshoes, bells, and bars worth 1-5x the bet. This lot pay out for winning combinations of three to six of a kind. By far the most valuable symbol type is the '7'. Not only do two '7s' pay out, but full lines of six are worth 50 times the stake. Diamond symbols aren't left out either - they are used as the wild. Wilds land only on the bonus reel to replace any symbol to finish a win.
Joyful Joker Megaways: Slot Features
A conservatively themed slot gets a bunch of fairly conservative features as well. All work well when they blow up, most being pretty standard extras in many Megaways slots. Rolling Reels start us off which removes winning symbols from the grid when they hit. New symbols cascade down into the empty cells, potentially lining up another win. Rolling Reels continue to roll until no new winning combinations form.
Joker Spins activate randomly on any winning base game spin. This is where the wheel comes into play, applying a multiplier of x2 to x10 to the next Rolling Reel win. The multiplier increases by +1 for consecutive wins. If free spins are triggered from a Joker Spin, they begin with whatever level the win multiplier has achieved.
A jolly joker appears on the game's scatter, where 4, 5 or 6+ in view award 10, 12 or 14 free spins. If not triggered from joker spins, this feature starts with an x2 win multiplier which increases following Roiling Reel wins. Free spins can be retriggered by landing 3 or 4 jokers on the bonus reel to add 3 or 4 extra free spins.
Some players may be able to access a bonus buy feature, depending on location. There are 3 options, each one awarding 10 free spins. The difference is the starting multiplier, where for a cost of 80x, 120x, or 150x, players get to start with a win multiplier of x2, x3 or x5, or x5 or x10 respectively.
Joyful Joker Megaways: Slot Verdict
There's something endearingly 1970s sitcom about Joyful Joker Megaways. It's simple, basic, unassuming gaming that offers little in the way of much new, yet goes about the business of being mediocre in a completely unpretentious way. Even the jester is refreshingly humble; not trying to be mysterious, or cool, or alluring. Naturally, if you're not a fruit person, it won't matter how amiable the show's star is. If Joyful Joker Megaways offered something revolutionary, it would go some way in compensating for its common features and gameplay for those not interested in yet another fruit slot, even one powered by Megaways.
The feature buy offers a level of interest though. Not only does it fast track players to free spins where the chance of striking big wins are given a boost from the win multiplier, but the fact it has three choices is a nice touch. Of course, going for the 5-10x option doesn't guarantee a positive return, but it does provide a significant leg up on your way to cracking Joyful Joker Megaways' max win. If you need some motivation, cast your eye to the left of the reels, where a figure of 23,000x is displayed. A significant amount to be sure, and it might be enough to make fans of this style pick Joyful Joker Megaways over its less endowed competitors.
It might come as a surprise to know Joyful Joker Megaways is All41's first foray into this particular genre, and the game comes across as an adequate fruit slot which posts decent numbers. If novelty is a concern, then forget about it, though if good old fashioned plain white rice stylings on a Megaways grid setup is what you're after, then Joyful Joker Megaways has got that in spades.
Joyful Joker Megaways does enough to entertain those into the fruit slot thing, without standing out in any meaningful way.