Get ready to traverse the infinite expanse of time and space… Or at least enjoy a decent slot from ELK Studios. Joker Gems, launched in the summer of 2018, has a space-related theme and seems to be set inside a nebula of stars. All the treasures of the universe are lined up in this 5×5 grid of symbols and an exciting payout mechanic adds to the experience.
ELK studios has been relatively consistent in their production of exciting slot games inspired by unusual themes. Joker Gems seems to break that pattern in favour of the straightforward design of classic slots. That’s not to say there is a shortage of game features, only what seems to be a conscious decision to make something simple and beautiful.
In this pursuit, we can safely say ELK Studios has been successful. Joker Gems will appeal to players who want a relaxing, uncomplicated gambling session as well as those who like to feel immersed within a game rather than having to keep track of a hundred-and-one features, bonuses, spins and so on.
Colourful and with familiar mechanics, this ELK Studios video slot is sure to become a firm favourite among all kinds of UK casino players.
- 5 reels, 5 rows, clusters pay
- Default bet levels 1-10
- Bet minimum of £0.20; maximum bet £100
- Maximum win of £50,000
- Special features include Light Chaser feature, Clusters Pay, Re-spins
- Return to Player of 96.3%
- Variance is high
Joker Gems bonus features
This game feels like a cross between a space odyssey and a vintage slot game, complete with joker symbols that are worth quite a bit. The female jester, for example, will rewards players with 700 times the original stake when it appears 16 times of more on the game screen. T
he blue ‘7’ symbol is slightly less lucrative, paying out 500 times the initial bet when 16 or more appear in one spin. Not too shabby!
Other symbols include 4 lucky gemstones and another throwback to a bygone era, the bar symbol, which rewards with 300 times the wager.
Let’s take a look at the other features that ELK Studios has built into this game and what they could mean for players and their bankroll.
ELK Studios has taken an unorthodox decision with Joker Gems and left out the concept of Wild symbols entirely! Perhaps in an effort to bring the game closer to its grounding in fruit machines, it’s good to know not to expect a special symbol with this functionality.
This payout mechanism is becoming increasingly popular with slot developers and many are using it instead of the usual paylines mechanic. Clusters Pay basically means that instead of winning combinations landing across specified paylines, it’s groups of symbols that are rewarded.
In the case of Joker Gems, clusters not only pay but also trigger another feature (more on that later). Three or more of the same symbol appearing in a group, anywhere on the game screen, is considered a cluster and therefore triggers a coin win. The bigger the cluster, the bigger the win!
When three or more identical symbols appear in a cluster, a win is triggered but something else happens too. A re-spin is automatically initiated, with the cluster of symbols remaining in their original place.
This mechanism allows the cluster to grow as it increases the chances of more identical symbols stopping adjacent and expanding the combination. It is also possible to land new clusters during re-spins. The reels will continue to re-spin until no more symbols are added to the original cluster and no further new clusters appear.
Light Chaser feature
This feature is triggered randomly during the main game, adding a little thrill to the proceedings. A beamed of coloured light travels over the game screen at random before stopping. When it does stop, it creates a cluster or 4 or 5 identical symbol and also triggers the game’s re-spin feature.
The Light Chaser guarantees a win when it creates a cluster and the re-spin that follows can also prove lucky.
Joker Gems jackpot
Joker Gems does not have a progressive jackpot feature but it does have three fixed in-game jackpots of £10,000, £20,000 and £50,000. Jackpots can be triggered even at the minimum bet level but your chances improve when you stake more.
Specific symbol configurations need to be landed in order to trigger the jackpots. Here is how that works:
- Identical symbols on 9 central positions on the grid – Bronze jackpot of £10,000
- Identical symbols on 16 outer positions of the grid – Silver jackpot of £20,000
- Identical symbols on all 25 grid spaces – Gold jackpot of £50,000
Another good-to-know fact is that there is no limit to the number of times a player can win these fixed jackpots.
This game has a Return to Player value of 96.3%. That comes in around average for this kind of game but those fixed jackpots certainly sweeten the deal – and contribute towards that high variance – for players looking to strike gold.
Joker Gems on Mobile
Chase those starstruck wins on iOS and Android as ELK Studios have made this title 100% mobile compatible, just like all their other games.
What does John have to say?
- Three jackpots to be won
- Beautiful and inmersive design
- Unusual reel pattern
- Jackpots are fixed, not progressive