Endorphina is one of the first better-known slot studios to enter the fray at the front lines of AI-assisted image generation for online slot machines. Joker Ra was released on April 27, 2023. The company stakes a claim to the first-ever online video slot release wherein every design element was created with the help of artificial intelligence.
The press on the game doesn’t go into any great detail about what that means nor how much coaxing, coaching, prompting, or other ‘training’ went into the design in order to create harmonious effects between all of the iconography and to tie the theme together – it was most likely intensive and extensive.
How Was Ra Chosen as the Mascot?
Ra was the father of creation according to ancient Egyptian mythology and the king of all other deities. His symbology belies his patron hood of the sun, heaven, kingship, power, and light.
Endorphina has pulled that all off with a deft hand, however, there is – and perhaps intentionally – a tinge of hauntedness to the game, a creepiness like many early AI images portrayed. That’s not to say the artwork is any less than excellent, it’s just a little creepy when you mix a Joker with the king of creation – you are sure to end up with something inherently disturbing. The Joker can signify all of the beginnings and endings in life’s journey so they also fit together in a sort of perverse way.
As with many of Endorphina’s works, this one lacks a comprehensive rule set in the pay table. There are two scatter symbols and you’ll have to use your imagination or simply jump into gameplay and wait awhile to figure out which does what and why. None of it is explained in the directions or pin the paytable but we do learn that one of the scatters only appears on certain reels. We also learn that wild Jokers appear on the three central reels and expand vertically to complete all winning combinations.
The Pyramid of the Sun scatter, which appears on all reels is simply rendered but well executed and the Pharaoh’s Chest scatter (reels 1, 3, and 5) is an ornate scarab-wing adorned box that cries out to be larger in size so we can examine the details more closely.
Expanding Wilds on Three Middle Reels
The expanding Ra wild symbols on reels 2, 3, and 4 have plenty of opportunities to spread out vertically on this 5 reel, 4 position slot with 100 fixed paylines – so expect his disturbing little chortle quite often prior to the sound effects of the standard symbols whose win lines he helps to connect.
Much as NetGaming chose to keep the underlying slot game maths and mechanics simple when it released its first AI-assisted imagery game on April 13, Wild Buffalo Bonanza – so has Endorphina with the release of Joker Ra.
From a purely visual perspective, one would almost have to be more a fan of Egyptian slots than great American Bison games to prefer this title over the other – unless a more regimented and segmented art style is more to your liking. Buffalo is quintessentially NetGaming and nearly unmistakable as a hybrid creation that shows an almost atmospheric collaboration between man and machine. Joker Ra has uniquely defined elements that fit well into a visual narrative yet remain somewhat distinct while not disjointed. BGaming’s Alien Fruits is, well, as the name implies simply kind of goofy looking but not in any way that would reveal to a casual observer anything about its creationary origins.
According to the company: “The AI’s algorithms and machine learning capabilities allow for intricate and visually impressive designs that blend Ancient Egypt’s essence with a modern twist.”
Source: Designed by AI, a Game by Endorphina, Endorphina News, April 27, 2023