The circus is one of the last remaining elements of a true carnival culture that is still widespread through Western society, and the Wicked Circus online slot by Yggdrasil plays into a related theme with tons of clowns. In this case, the connection is made to slots through the use of a clown-like joker symbol, which pushes a lot of the regular gameplay. Through intelligent use of classic slot-like visual motifs and constant circus-friendly music, this game creates an atmosphere that's a bit different than anything we've seen before.
This slot uses a five-reel format, which technically makes it a video slot, and there are three rows. However, there are only five paylines, though they pay both left-to-right and right-to-left. Only the largest single available win will be paid on each payline. The available coin sizes start at $0.01 and go up to $10 apiece, and players will need to wager two coins on each payline because they treat each direction on each payline as its own separate bet. We don't personally agree with this format most of the time, but like most Yggdrasil online slots, they've made it worth your time.
When you get a line bet win, you'll enter what's known as Jokerizer Mode. All of your winnings are put into a separate balance called the Jokerizer Balance, and you'll play by pulling coins from there if you want to continue playing along those lines. It costs 20 coins to play in this mode, and your chances of winning are boosted a bit with a higher RTP. There are a couple of features and extra payouts that you won't see in the regular mode that make it worth your while, and you'll be able to read about those below.
Joker Clown Symbols
The joker clown symbol is the most important symbol in the game because it gives you a chance to win the largest payouts. Five of a kind gives a mystery win ranging from 2,000x to 6,000 at random. Four earns 800x to 3,000x, and three of a kind will give you a random payout of between 500x and 1,000x. During Jokerizer Mode only, you can pick up a random win from 40x to 400x for only two of a kind, which is where a lot of the value comes from in that particular game mode.
The Hold Function
If you get at least two of the joker symbol on the reels at the same time, then you'll be given the option of using the hold function. For a cost of 60 coins per spin, you can hold the reels with the jokers in place and have all of the others spin. This is something you have to be careful about because you put off your original win for the time being when you take what amounts to a paid re-spin with the reels the jokers are on held static.
Aside from the joker clown symbol, there are six other symbols that will really remind players of classic slot motifs. Five of the target with a star on it, a popular sighting at the circus, will pay 300x. You can also earn 200x for five of the red lucky seven or 100x for five of the bell symbol. The grape and lemon symbols have the exact same payouts with 80x for five of a kind. Finally, the cherry pays 60x for five to round out the bottom end of the pays.
It's worth noting that even the three of a kind wins are pretty generous. The lowest payouts in the game are for three of the bell, grapes, lemon or cherries, and they all pay 20x.
Unlike most of the newest online slot games, Wicked Circus has a limited number of symbols on the reels. This is important because it makes it effectively easier to make winning combinations. There are only seven symbols including the joker clown, and that's a lot more favorable than games that have 12-15 paying symbols, something we see a lot of, and this helps the volatility of the game quite a bit.
While Yggdrasil has proven themselves to be a trustworthy company, some players will not really enjoy the random nature of the joker payouts. Other players won't mind at all, but it really comes down to personal taste. We think this game's graphics and gameplay are very solid, but it will definitely put some people off when they don't know the exact size of the jackpot they could win.