Lucksome, a studio owned by Blueprint, has released Joker Maxima, their second slot machine after Divine Links. When it was first published, Divine Links wasn’t very well-received by critics. What it did was acceptable, but given the kind of talent available at the Lucksome studio, higher standards were warranted. The premiere didn’t make quite the splash that some had hoped for, but hopes were still high for what was to come. Joker Maxima, the result, is a serviceable game but probably wouldn’t have presented any significant challenges to the development team.
Joker Maxima lives up to its name as a slot machine with lots of joker and harlequin symbols, as well as fruit. It’s a basic slot machine game with just 10 fixed paylines and the standard 5-reel, 3-row layout. The grid is set on a sea green background with a diamond design that is stylish, yet unremarkable. The audio is a cut beyond the standard fare of video game soundtracks in that it features more experimental electronic music. You might be at a low-key rave if you closed your eyes. While the cosmic melody plays in the background, the joker lady will drop enticing one-liners like “You can’t win if you don’t play” here and there.
Joker Maxima may be played on any device and accepts bets from 10 cents to £/€200 per spin (limit bet varies by operator settings). Almost every statistic imaginable is readily available in Lucksome, beginning with a volatility rating of 7 out of 10 on the load screen, with bonus frequency and win frequency ratings of 4/10 and 5/10, respectively. The rules of the game are presented up front, allowing participants to quickly determine if Joker Maxima is a good fit. Remember that when free spins are activated, players may choose between two different options: one with reduced volatility (and hence lesser risk), and another with more volatility (and thus higher profit). Joker Maxima may be purchased with a bonus, however regardless of how the bonus is activated, the RTP is always 96.11%.
Fruits such as cherries, lemons, grapes, watermelons, bells, and blazing 7s are used as symbols, with values ranging from 2 to 100 times the wager for a full house. Each ordinary pay sign also has a golden variant that is worth twice as much as the standard version. For a variety of reasons, the joker wild warrants close attention. In addition to substituting for all symbols except the scatter, a win of 2, 3, 4, or 5 jokers on a payline awards 2, 30, 45, or 2,500 times the wager, respectively. We’ll see that jokers play a role in a few of the installments as well.
Slot Game Joker Maxima: Bonus Rounds
When the wild symbol completes a winning payline, it doubles the payout. One, two, three, or four jokers on a victory line increase the value by a factor of two, four, eight, or sixteen, respectively.
Both the main game and the free spins feature Powerbands, which cause the reels to catch fire if the special reels (Power Bands) are chosen and award a win multiplier of 20x or more. Things might heat up quickly during free spins if you’re on a Joker Streak.
The diamond scatter symbol also appears, but only on the middle three reels. When three diamonds appear, you’ll receive ten free spins. The Volatility Picker is used to select one of two levels of volatility before free spins begin.
The less risky and less rewarded Classic Mode may be found on the left, and it keeps the same wild multiplier values as the regular game.
Maxima Mode, the option on the right, is riskier/potentially more profitable than Classic Mode since wild multiplier values might be larger or lower.
A Joker Streak Respin is triggered if a winning combination occurs during free spins. As long as new winning symbols fall, the re-spins will keep coming. When 3 scatters appear in view, you’ll receive 5 more free spins.
If you get two scatter symbols anywhere in the game, you’ll activate Lucksome Locks. Lucksome Locks disables everything but scatters, locking the two scatters together. Free spins are activated when three or more scatter symbols appear in play.
Free spins may also be purchased, which is another potential trigger. The price of 74.6 times the initial wager ensures your participation in the bonus round. The maximum base wager to qualify for the bonus is £/€5, therefore if you want to play more than that, you’ll have to lower your stake.
Joker’s Wild: The Slots Have It
Like with Divine Links, it’s probably best to keep realistic expectations with Joker Maxima. Joker Maxima, like Lucksome’s first effort, is a well constructed game with more pluses than minuses, but it’s hard to shake the idea that the developers are capable of better. Joker Maxima hits all the right notes for fans of fruity, harlequin-themed slots, and the game’s solid statistics and promising future make it a strong contender. However, it lacks a must-see unique touch and is stuck in the rut of slot design 101. Joker Maxima is much more cautious than Divine Links, making no missteps at all.
Once we’ve aired our grievances, we may go on to the good points. For one, the features are excellent, and it helps that they have been demonstrated to be useful in other contexts. Although Joker Maxima shares a sticky win mechanism with games like NetEnt’s Jack Hammer, it ups the ante by introducing robust multiplier action. During Joker Streak Respins, it’s fascinating to note how many symbols are actually missed because to the low amount of paylines. Certainly not always, but it does get annoying sometimes. Sometimes they work well together, though, and multipliers may have a significant effect on the final tally. There is a ‘win focus’ of 1000x in Joker Maxima, but the developer claims that payments of over 10,000x your stake are technically conceivable (but touted as 7,000x as it is more practically doable) – a very respectable sum for a game of this type.
When taken as a whole, Joker Maxima should be enough to entice slot enthusiasts. Again, it’s not the bubbling pot of creativity it could have been; perhaps Lucksome is satisfied with producing bland but professionally designed slot machines for a captive audience. Or maybe third time’s the charm, right?