Jokerz!

Pinside rating

This game received 84 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.268 /10

7.268

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #224 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.



Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.22

Artwork: 7.659

Sounds/Music: 6.767

Other Aspects: 7.335


Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 3 of us have rated this game.

6.219

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Found 46 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 46 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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6.878/10
6 months ago
Just kind of an average pin for me. I felt a better job could have been done to bring out the personalities in the game. Maybe it could have benefited from a DMD. Played a couple games and that was good enough for me. The spinning card hand on the backglass is about the only memorable takeaway from this machine.
6.944/10
12 months ago
This is a all around good game. Played it a few times at Fun Spot and it was fun.
8.920/10
1 year ago
After I sold my Bally Kings of Steel, I continued to look for another one, or a similar replacement. I was looking for a true game of skill, rather than a game using a Dot Matrix Display, toys, and bent on selling me licensed characters or products.
There’s nothing wrong with playfield toys or licensed products, but sometimes those games spend more time trying to work the licensed product or gimmick into the game rather than making a good game.
There were many choices, but Jokerz! was the one I chose.
It is like a spiritual successor to Kings of Steel. In fact, the colors and themes are quite similar, just with more modern gameplay... and multiball. Then again Kings of Steel was, as Greg Kmiec stated, a spiritual successor to classic EM card game pinballs.
This is one of those few games that really benefits from being gently converted to LED lighting. Just the general illumination done up in frosted blue and warm white, and a handful of strategically placed ones selected by color and warmth for behind the backglass. If done properly, it looks amazing on this machine!
But it also looks good with normal bulbs!
The rules are easy to understand… and it’s a playing card theme, (that was for a certain person online who couldn’t figure that out).
What?
A game where anyone can step up and play and know what they are doing and why?
Whooaaahhhh! They don’t make those anymore!
The difficulty and challenge lies in making perfect shots and the randomness of the ball as it bounces around, and bouncing is what the ball does best!
There are some people who only come to Pinside to complain and give this game, and others, poor ratings and reviews. “Duh, there’s nothing special here, it’s repetitive boring and and too easy.”
If you can’t find anything positive to say, please get out of the hobby. I can understand if you simply don’t like the game, but maybe the games don’t like you either.
Wouldn’t it be neat if pinball machines could write reviews on their players? We’d all be in trouble!
Constructive criticism is welcome but complaining because it beat the stuffing out of you and proved that you suck at pinball doesn’t mean it’s a completely bad game. It just means you aren’t very good at pinball, so get better and prove it wrong!
Because this is a review, let’s talk about those features this machine allegedly doesn’t have.
Three sets of drop targets in three locations. Knock them down enough and that starts the “Million”mode.
A spinner lane with a capture hole. This starts the backbox “Draw Poker” feature, and also collects a special, if you can earn one.
The small multi lane upper playfield, which is accessed by the shooter lane and two ramps on either side. The lanes are changed using the flippers. Light one to collect a card, collect all the cards here or using the spot the card lane on the upper left of the regular playfield. I swear that the ball somehow knows which lanes are lit on the upper playfield and tries to go down the one you don’t want! I have seen the ball following the already lit lanes all the way across, then going in before you can change lanes again. Up at the top below the mini playfield are the BET lanes, spell BET to increase your bonus multiplier and earn bells which lead to an extra ball light on the outlanes. All these feature lights can be changed with the flippers.
Then there’s the all important center target and raiseable ramp. Hit the center target to raise the ramp. Lock a ball up the ramp. The ramp drops. Raise the ramp again and lock the second ball for “Woooaaaahhh! Jokerz Wild!” Multiball mode. Easy setting: hit the center ramp four times to collect the progressive jackpot. Hard mode: raise the ramp each time to be able to shoot the ramp again.
The last feature I want to mention is “Double your Score!” On the last ball you have the opportunity to shoot the left and right ramps to double your entire score. Not as easy as it sounds as you can shoot those ramps all day long but knowing you have to do it in the time limit can Psych you out!
Sounds pretty boring and dull doesn’t it?
The theme is also confusing to those negative reviewers, gotta have a working brain cell to figure it out I guess. Mischievous Jokerz! are messing with the game of cards, played by the King, Queen, Jack… oh why am I explaining this??? It really isn’t that obvious? What do you think Bad Cats is about? Pigeons???
Okay, It’s not like the popular top ten machines on the list that do all the work and only require you to slap the buttons like mad once in a while and yell “SHINY BALL GO BOING!” to get a decent score. Every shot matters in Jokerz! and nudging or bumping the machine to the point of almost getting a tilt may be necessary for the less than average player. This is where I say in a stuck up voice “Hmmm, I NEVER feel the need to nudge! How positively Neanderthal of you!”
But I do lose the ball a lot.
Jokerz! is still a cheap machine to own, as it’s relatively common and overlooked by most resellers, toy collectors, and investors.
I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a perfect combination of classic EM pinball themes with the best of the 1980’s pinball in one machine.
Did I mention Barry Oursler, Python Anghelo, Joe Joos Jr., and the incredible and somewhat unpronounceable Bill Pfutzenreuter?
Stick this between your Medieval madness and Addams Family and it will be ignored. But while the castle is being knocked down for the umpteenth time and Thing is taking another ball, the person on Jokerz! will be playing their eleventh game just hoping to break four million points this time.
I hope it’s on freeplay!
8.356/10
1 year ago
Vert nice
6.393/10
1 year ago
This was the first game I ever owned and got me and my wife into the hobby. I have since own 8 machines and this is the only one I have sold.

For sentimental reasons I want to rate it higher but after playing a number of other machines this one is definitely not the best. However, I would say that for the price I think it is a great "starter" machine but otherwise I can't see an experienced player enjoying it for long.

Here are my pros & cons:

Pros:
- I enjoyed the music and call outs
- The theme is fine and I enjoyed all the small details in the back-glass and playfield
- Simple rule set, easy for kids or inexperienced players to play (or just for that quick game)
- Has some replay-ability if set on hard for the more experienced player
- The Poker Hand spinner is kind of fun

Cons:
- The biggest by far for me is the scoring. The first time someone gets a Jackpot and then doubles it that will be the high score and nothing else really matters. Better after you set the machine to extra-hard settings but still kind of a one-trick-pony if you care about score. I think most people will end up restarting the game repeatedly if they don't have a good first ball.
- Clunky play, I found the skill shot to be really clunky and the protected center target has some brutal returns.

Notes:
- I had to do a lot of repairs on this machine. The ball is really banging around in there and a number of things broke. I list this as note because it may have just been my machine or I was just unlucky.
- The game is cheap to buy, which is nice but it also means that you will lose money if you need to do a major repair. If you have to replace a board or anything else like that you are unlikely to get your money back. Definitely not worth a playfield swap or restoration.

Overall I would recommend for a first-time owner, a casual player, or for families with kids. I would not recommend for experienced players.
5.884/10
1 year ago
This is one of my least favorite system 11 games. I don't care for the shots, lack of depth, or theme. It really doesn't have any redeeming qualities for me.
8.038/10
2 years ago
Game layout it simple but challenging. Right and Left ramps with a center target for the pop up center ramp, top of the playfield has lots of rollover switches, 3 pop bumpers, two shots one for table bonus advancement and one for the draw poker wheel in the backglass and 3 banks of drop targets. The ramp shots are more difficult than they look!
The music is repetitive but not as annoying as I thought it would be. Call outs and Jokerz giggling are perfect to the theme. The art work is great. The mechanical center ramp and draw poker wheel are fun. The flow is surprisingly good.
The kids and beginning players tend to gravitate to this game in my small collection and the old guys keep coming back to hit the "Double Your Score" feature on the last ball.
My expectations for Jokerz was low and it has surpassed my expectations. It's a fun system 11 title that would fit well in any size collection.
9.026/10
2 years ago
Definitely an underrated game that is well worth the market price.
9.280/10
2 years ago
Put a lot of quarters into this one back in the day. People either love or hate the music and sounds and I think they're great and perfect for the theme. Main criticism is wish there were more things to shoot for, wish the knockdown targets were more accessible and integrated into the ruleset other than the standalone million which is difficult to hit in 10 seconds. Always had a lot of fun playing!

Additional comment since purchasing this game: I really love the attention to detail that was put into the entire multi-ball and Jackpot sequence and implementation. When you raise the center ramp and lock the first ball, the music modulates up a note, giving you a clue that you are onto something and making progress. When you manage to lock the second ball, the machine delightedly announces "Joker's Wild!" and goes into a light, music and helium-infused laughing frenzy throughout the entire multi-ball. Each time you shoot the ball up the center ramp scoring 1 of 4 suits towards Jackpot, the machine rewards you with a loud "whooooh!" and the multi-ball music speeds up, increasing the frenzy and adrenaline of the multi-ball. After scoring the third ramp/suit, the music changes to let you know that you've almost scored the big prize, along with the helium Joker repeatedly announcing "Jackpot!" and a loud "Waaaaooo-ooooh!" When you hit the 4th ramp, the music and light show goes crazy, and awards you the progressive Jackpot and (up to) 4 million points. If you *lose* the multi-ball prior to scoring the jackpot, the king brutally announces "Quiet, we are playing!" and you have to start over and re-activate multi-ball to continue the quest toward Jackpot. For a game with what may be a light-hearted and "silly" theme, the designers did a great job making the challenge addicting, and a well-designed and exciting reward that you actually have to work to get.
9.116/10
2 years ago
This is one game I wish I held on to... one of my favourite system 11 games. Great sounds and music by Chris Granner. Highly underrated and yet another great non-licensed Williams game. The three banks of drop targets are a challenge when going for million and the light surge when a ball is locked is a nice touch.
9.811/10
3 years ago
This is just a fun old school game. I own it and it was my favorite game growing up. The draw poker game is such a fun part of the game. It's an inexpensive way to get into pinball.
7.980/10
3 years ago
Out of the 3 machines I own Jokerz is the one I play the most.
I love a lot of things about it.. I mean a lot ! The backglass, the rules, the feel.
But... either mine is poorly tuned or I am a really bad player because it's so frustrating.
The ramps are too difficult to get to and as soon as you loose control of the ball the two outlanes drains your balls quickly.

Multiball is also fun to get to but really hard to control to get the jackpot.

Other then that it's a keeper right now.
6.138/10
3 years ago
The two side ramps are kind of useless in this game... Yes, at on 3rd ball you can double your score... But, if you have a low score it doesn't matter. Really the main thing to shot for are 3 different shots. The middle ramp(and ramp raise button), the add a card shot, and then the draw poker shot.
But, really my focus would be the middle ramp and to get into mb as much as possible.
I do like the draw poker effect on the backglass. And I do like the backglass. But, the playfield art while having a pretty lady on it, just by and large isn't that good. The ruleset is simple, but easy to understand, and while not deep I do enjoy games like this. I hate the music, I hate the sfx, and they get really annoying really fast which kills replay. But, then again, as stated their isn't much to shot for in this game. An so I think about 15-25 minutes is as long as I'd ever want to play the game... Would I ever be interested in owning one of these games... For the right price, and if I had room for like 100 games... Then maybe...
6.981/10
3 years ago
Such a fun game that makes you want to play it over and over again.
7.886/10
3 years ago
The more I play Jokerz the more and more I like it.

The game has a rule set easy enough anyone can grasp it within a few plays, but is challenging enough to keep you coming back for more and more and more. The flow of this game is pretty slow. Lots of bouncing shots not doing much other than rolling around. The shots are rewarding and well balanced. I would recommend changing the rules to the preset "Easy Mode". It gives you more time to hit your bonus shots after they are activated and I think make the game much more playable. The rising middle ramp to lock balls, spinning poker wheel, Millions Drop Targets, and Double Your Score ramps are nice gimmicks and are fun.

The artwork is bearable. I actually like the artwork on the middle/bottom of the playfield simple yet effective, but I think the top of the playfield is pretty bare with not much going on. The backglass is a cool piece it has nice artwork with plenty of flashers, spinning poker wheel, and Jackpot staff that lights as you raise the jackpot to it maximum. I enjoy the cabinet artwork and think it fits the theme well.

Now to what is in my opinion easily the worst part of the game. The audio. The music and sound effects are terrible. Then you add in the terrible sys11 hum and buzz that most machines have. The callouts are decent but the jester laughs get annoying pretty fast. The only saving grace for the music is there is a decent amount of music changes when entering different modes.

The end of the day the game is challenging and keeps me wanting more. For the price compared to other games on market with much less features really makes this game a steal.

Edit: Came back to add that I just switched over to 100% LED's and it really woke the game up. I never realized how many cool light shows this machine had. Mostly because I had a ton of GI and Flashers burnt out. Now running at 100% this game really shines with LED's and Red and Blue flashers.
8.984/10
4 years ago
Jokerz is the game that I play the most, out of the 7 in my current lineup. The only reason it would ever leave, is if I found one in better condition. It is an absolute blast to play, for me. This is pinball, in my opinion. If dialed in and maintained properly, you just can't beat it. The price is fantastic right now, I wish other pins were as reasonably priced. There are so many shots to go for, and plenty to do on this deck. The poker wheel in the backglass is an awesome gadget, and the lifting ramp is fun, too.
Once you figure out the rules, this game just doesn't get old to me. I put different colored LEDS up the bonus post in the backglass, and adding blue LEDS under the blue lenses (5) that are in the area above and between the flippers, really made them pop. I used red on the extra ball ones in the lanes, and a color changer on the Queens ring. The rest of the game got premium Comet LEDS, and it is beautiful and lit up well.
The 2 ball multiball on this table suits it perfect. Having to run the ramp 4 times to collect the jackpot, balances the rules nicely. Some people don't like the ability to "double yer score" on the third ball, but I think it adds to the fun and the competition. It probably wouldn't be well suited for tournaments because of this, but I don't base my purchase on that. The fun factor is there, without a doubt. This is a perfect 1st pin, or a great addition to any collection. It is also a great family pin. Kids love this game, and all of my friends and family gravitate to this one, once they understand the ruleset. The 4 to 7 year olds love Revenge From Mars, of course, but they can still get into this one.
The ramps are easy to hit (and fun - the points build every time you hit them!), it is not a drain monster (like Pinbot - drives the kids nuts!), and the build quality is excellent. I have played hundreds of games on mine at this point, and have not had a single problem with it. It cleans and waxes up beautifully, and LEDS really help this game. I think it deserves a way higher rating than it gets here, it oughta easily be in the top 50. If you want a machine that you will love playing at a great price, give Jokerz a shot. If you have everything working as it should, you'll have a blast. You really can't go wrong with this pinball machine. I love mine.
6.956/10
4 years ago
A decent game nothing to great about it . Fun to play one or two games then starts to get old.
9.760/10
5 years ago
For me this is a great pinball, wonderful design, very fun game and engaging sound, great Youssi work !!!
7.852/10
5 years ago
Nice game. Enjoyed the them and playfield.
7.942/10
6 years ago
Fun game play, rules not too deep, easy for a beginner to pick up but remains challenging enough for an experienced player. The theme is good adds to the gameplay. The flow is not great, but this is one of those classic 80's pins that you can have lots of fun with but can be had for a decent price. Give it a shot!
7.592/10
6 years ago
fun game
7.469/10
6 years ago
originaly played on location...nice game to play simple to master ,2ball multi ball,the center ramp can get pushed over during multi ball and wnt shut,the little jokers laugh is kinda cute kinda anoying but would always make me smile, if i was behind on points and last ball and was last to play i would double my final score by hitting both ramps and made a come back many times which always upset the person i played,,only game that has that function...had one for about 7yrs sold it to get a taxi..it is diffrent, not much flow but fun to play,i liked the queen alot more on the playfield tho...it is kinda missed..great 80's game,dnt have room for one at a good price, not a keeper in todays market for me,but i do like the 80's vibe it gives
7.082/10
6 years ago
Basically a two shot game, and one of the shots (the left kickout) can be hit by accident while aiming for the other (the ramp) as on purpose, the ramps and right kickout are basically useless, which is sad. The drops aren't worth aiming for till you get to 'millions' and then they're pretty good; basically not something you think about during normal play though. Theme is stupid, but the sound is really good, especially the rubber below the right drops whose soul purpose is to laugh at you if you hit it (it's probably my favorite feature). There's really nothing to the game, but I keep coming back to it, and friends+family love it. Great game for the money, especially if you're buying your first pin cheap. My problems with it are very similar to my complaints about T2, and when you think about it they're actually very similar games, all about just starting multiball over and over, and Jokerz' multiball is more fun that T2's (I'm not a fan of the 'lock all the balls again' approach to multiball, I just worked hard to start multiball!)
7.258/10
6 years ago
I really loves it, it's for me a good childhood' memories,the sound the backbox' roulette the draw bridge the jokerz sneering all the time; the music is fun a really good system 11;
plus it a good challenge playing it
9.032/10
6 years ago
This was the pin that got me into pinball. It's also the first one I bought as soon as I had the chance.

It's a great game to play and a bit of a bear to restore but, well worth the effort.

The shots are not all that easy which makes this game scratch my challenge itch.
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