Lightning Joker: Overview
Sometimes in life you go through a patch thinking you've seen it all. There's nothing new out there anymore. All the good stuff has come and gone and anything 'new' is just a pale imitation of what has come before. So was the attitude before taking Yggdrasil Gaming's slot Lightning Joker for a test run. Oh great, yet another Vegas-style fruit salad limited by a low reel and payline count. And you know what, the wizards at Yggdrasil have managed to take the most well-worn format and not just blow a bit more life into it, but create a slot that, in its way, blew back any preconceived ideas about what to expect.
Prepare to be more than a little underwhelmed at first glance though. The customary fruit slot 3x3 grid sits before a plain purple and pink striped background, with little else in the way of decoration besides some gold bordering. It does grow on you, though. Yggdrasil uses the words 'elegant' tempered with the word 'simple' to describe the game, and after a while, it is hard not to go along with their assessment. Load up your bet first and the options range from low roller friendly 5 p/c per spin up to £/€50.
With this setup, it's hardly worth mentioning that combinations are formed of three matching symbols on a payline. There are 5 paylines in the game, so tracking potential winners is a breeze. It's also hardly worth mentioning what the symbols are since most people will probably be able to guess. But for the record, players get cherries, lemons, grapes, watermelons, bells, sevens, and stars. As to values, these range from 0.8 times the stake for 3 cherries, up to 5 times the stake for 3 stars. The wild is worth more at 16 times the stake whilst also substituting for any symbol in the game except the Lucky Lady Joker, who will pop up soon.
Other stats include Lightning Joker's RTP which lies on the sunny side of average at 96.3% and volatility which matches its potential - both being high. Hit frequency has been measured at 17.6%, which isn't too bad, but when you factor in the way the features work, it can feel higher and ends up being a rather busy game.
Lightning Joker: Features
This is where the game starts to heat up and get good. To be fair, there aren't a lot of features, but they do seem to strike often and can be surprisingly effective. These are the Rapid Respin, Multiplier Strike, and the Mystery Win feature.
The Rapid Respin feature is triggered whenever two fully stacked reels with matching symbols. When this happens, the two reels are locked in place while the third one gets a respin. This essentially gives you a second chance to win.
Rapid Respins may lead into the second feature, which is the Multiplier Strike. This feature is triggered when matching symbols (with or without wilds) cover the full grid. Once triggered, bolts of lightning randomly select a multiplier of x2, x3, x5, or x10 which is applied to the win.
Finally, the Mystery Win which is triggered when at least 2 or more Lucky Lady Joker symbols are in view to award a mystery win:
- 2 Jokers awards a win between 2x and 10,000x the bet.
- 3 Jokers that are not aligned award a win between 100x and 10,000x the bet.
- 3 Jokers aligned on a payline award a win between 1,000x and x10,000 the bet.
When the mystery win is awarded, the amount climbs tantalising like the graph on a crypto crash game with no telling where it will stop which can be pretty exciting in action.
Lightning Joker: Verdict
Well, Lighting Joker was a fairly pleasant surprise. It might not sound like much on paper, but the combination of its features and the frequency with which they drop, not to mention the way Yggdrasil presents them, can add up to a rather exciting session. The first reaction was to wonder why Yggdrasil choose to drag players down the fruit slot route, although in all fairness, it's a genre with strong appeal to a lot of punters.
What makes Lightning Joker a viable option it's the fantastic flow of the game. It might be low on features, but they show up often enough to keep interest levels, as well as bankrolls, afloat. Despite the minimalist approach, the graphics are of a decent standard, for what they are. The classic, clichéd symbols have a deep, shiny dark look to them, like well-polished teak, and are strongly complemented by the top use of lightning and other visual effects.
If you have an aversion to fruit slots, the combinations of these factors might even be enough to sway your mind. If you're into this style, at all, Lightning Joker a great example of the type of gameplay you'd expect as well as a bunch of juicy extras. Another positive aspect is the low-roller friendly approach which allow those with limited budgets to get in the game as well for a chance to hit it big.
Shout out to the Joker symbol. Two on their own aren't too exciting and usually yielded wins from 2x to 30x, but get 3 in a row and watching the prize tick up is exciting stuff. The Mystery Win feature (and the overall game) is similar to Yggdrasil's Dark Joker Rizes, but it's much more refined than that one was. Also, Yggdrasil has softened up the ambience and done away with that downright creepy joker with his terrifying chuckle.
So, yes, Lightning Joker is another fruit slot, but it's a pretty captivating one all the same. The non-fruity players will find it hard to get excited about, but for fans, or anyone else looking for something simple, yet surprisingly in-depth and high potential, Lightning Joker could be worth a spin or two.