Joker’s Wild is a fast-paced 5-reel slot game developed by the casino software specialist Booming Games. The Joker of the title is not Batman’s nemesis, by the way, but the traditional court jester who’s tasked with amusing the gruff head of state. In any case, the joker/jester doesn’t have much of a role in a game that’s fun, easy to play and visually enticing.
Joker’s Wild features up to 25 paylines, although gamers are free to play on however many they like: 25 is just the upper limit. Like most Booming Games titles, users are free to stake between 0.03 and 3 credits on each pay-line, meaning you can bet up to 75 for each spin. As such, the game should suit most players, from low rollers to high.
The King’s Court
The action in Joker’s Wild takes place on a well-designed reel which appears surrounded by bricks, perhaps in the bowels of a medieval castle. The joker is stationed, in his traditional Middle Ages get-up, on the left of the screen but doesn’t occupy a place on the reels themselves.
Along the bottom of the grid are regal red cushions, each of which can be selected as appropriate. Hit Max Bet to activate all pay-lines and stake the maximum of 3 credits per line, Autoplay to set the reels to spin continually and Gamble to activate the double-or-nothing round. In the lower left-hand corner you’ll find running totals for Bet, Balance and Win and on the right-hand side, a large Spin button.
Each symbol in the game is of a stained-glass window. Indeed, it’s somewhat difficult to differentiate between them, as together they form a colourful, partially translucent mosaic. We’ll try to describe them as best we can, though: from what we can tell, each stained-glass window represents a different artefact or touchstone related to the court of the king. There is a purple window featuring a bunch of grapes, a golden window featuring a goblet, a green window with an indistinct pattern, a purple window featuring a lyre, a multicoloured window showing a jester’s hat, another showing the jester’s pointed green boots and yet another featuring a sceptre. Anyway, don’t worry too much about the symbols – you’ll become used to what each one represents.
The stained-glass window which shows a jester’s hat is the game’s scatter. It triggers free spins when you land three or more anywhere on the reels. It also pays 7,500 for five and 1,500 for four at max bet.
The wild is the pair of green boots, and it replaces all other symbols in the game to help you form matching combinations. It cannot, however, replace the scatter icon. Incidentally, the fourth reel in the game is always wild, except for one possible scatter. The wild is the highest-paying in the game: 15,000 for five and 1,500 for four. A king’s ransom indeed!
Scatters and wilds are fairly standard in five-reel casino slots, but Joker’s Wild includes a third reward symbol, which is the window featuring a sceptre (at least we think that’s what it is). This icon is special, in that it relates to the 2-Way Pay feature. All you need to do is hit three or more symbols to trigger 2-Way Pay.
When you land three or more ‘special’ symbols, you will automatically activate 2-Way Pay. For the subsequent ten spins, all winnings are counted on active pay-lines from both left-to-right and right-to-left. Landing five symbols in a row is thus counted both ways, rewarding double winnings.
Hitting three or more jester hat scatters during 2-Way Pay instantly grants you an allocation of ten free spins. Your 2-Way Pay spins are put on hold during these free spins; when the ten run out, your remaining 2-Way Pay spins automatically resume.
Landing three or more wilds during free spins grants you 2-Way Pay for ten spins directly after your free spins expire.
Double or Nothing
As is the case with almost all Booming Games titles such as House of Freaks, Joker’s Wild includes a double-or-nothing game, which is available after every regular win. You can gamble up to ten times, or until your winnings equal 10,000.
Fit for a monarch?
Joker’s Wild is one of the better Booming Games slots I’ve across. It has everything you could wish for: fine graphics, solid gameplay, well-paying symbols, 2-Way Pay, wilds, scatters and a wide range of betting options.