Relax Gaming has just launched their third slot machine. Coming on the heels of Eric The Red and Zombie Circus, there has been a lot of expectations about their latest game - Epic Joker.
We are curious as to how Relax Gaming did a joker-themed slot, and got a hold of a review copy. To let you know exactly what to expect, we spent several hours putting it through its paces. Now we are ready to share our findings with you – so you can decide whether it is the right game for you to play.
Our first impression is that this is a very basic slot. That will be great for some people – but not for those of you who like those cinematic-style slots with tons of additional features.
The game's field of play has a three-reel, three-row grid, and there are only five pay lines. The icons are as old-school as you can get, with stars, bars, cherries, plums, and once in a while, jokers.
That's not to say there aren't some next-generation goodies throughout the game. But we'll get to those features later.
What you need to know is that in our game playing experience, this game is very high variance. You'll go 10 or more spins without a win, and get worried because your balance is dwindling. But then suddenly, you'll get a big win and be up again.
That's the way the game plays, and for many wagerers it will be fine. That said, if you don't have the stomach for high variance games, you might want to stay away.
Now onto the next-generation features. First off, if you land on a stack of jokers (the joker is the wild card), they will lock into place. Then you'll get a free spin. If you can get another row stacked up, you'll win another free spin. This is how you work your way up to the ultimate jackpot – 500 times your bet. You need to have the entire screen to become jokers to collect.
Secondly, if you ever get an entire screen with only one icon on it, you'll earn five free spins. That's not a bad payback, though we would have liked to have seen 10 free spins as our reward.
Both of these next-generation features don't prop up that often. So in general, you don't need to deal with them. Instead you can concentrate on chasing the pay lines.
Overall, the combination works. Epic Joker will be a great introduction to basic slot game mechanics for newbies, and help them get ready for more complicated games. For more experienced players looking to take a break from complicated games, it is relaxed but has just enough bonus features so they won't feel completely ignored.
Our only real complaint is that you only get five free spins. Getting an entire icon to cover the grid is a very rare experience. The reward should match that. In this case, it doesn't.
That's our only complaint with the game. We give it four out of five stars.
Of course, to really get into the game you are going to have to be someone comfortable with high variance playing. If you are looking for low or medium variance games, there are others out there that will suit you better.
But at the end of the day, Relax Gaming has given us a very solid game. You can ride out the losses and end up winning big. And it's nice to see a retro game with some next-generation attributes.
So if high variance retro games are your thing, give Epic Joker a try – you won't be disappointed.