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Phantom of the (MMO)pera, Casino-Style

Company: Phantom EFX
Product: Reel Deal Casino Live!

Big news for all of the gamers who like to gamble: Phantom EFX (makers of some very popular slot machine videogames) is hard at work creating the world's first-ever MMO geared toward the Las Vegas casino experience. I had the opportunity to get a hands-on press tour of the online environment led by the company's CEO, and let me tell you, this game could be the next big Massively Multiplayer Online game to hit the market.

While not everyone who plays standard fantasy MMOs will likely jump onboard, those who do will feel very comfortable in the online environment of a realistically laid-out casino floor, complete with quests for single players or for guilds. Yes, guilds. Reel Deal Casino Live! will try to offer up exactly what you'd expect from an MMO and combine it with what you've been used to in standard Slots, Poker and other Card Games, Roulette, Dice games, and even will allow you to bet on Sports and Race Books.

The ambition of the Reel Deal Casino Live! project is outstanding, and from walking around and listening to this interactive press release, I too am excited for Phantom EFX and the gaming community. For the first time, you will be able to physically journey to each machine, table, or room, while interacting with other online gamblers in the Hotel Lobby or Casino Floor.

Other features for Reel Deal Casino Live! include allowing players to purchase Hotel Suites and deck them out with thousands of items that will be available to purchase, including furniture, paintings, and even interactive electronics like TVs and videogame systems, throughout the Casino Mall. While there, you will also be able to put your vanity to the test by getting a nose job, boob job, or change other attributes of your physical characteristics. Don't worry, this casino is all about good, clean fun. In fact, Reel Deal Casino Live! won't cost you a thing other than a monthly subscription and any micro-transactions you may perform. The monetary system in this casino is entirely fake and contains two different currencies: Real World and Dream World monies.

Some interesting information gained from the press conference comes in many forms. First of all, this MMO casino will play like a real-world casino's odds when using the Real World money, and your odds are improved when it comes to Dream World money. As mentioned, the currency can be used to purchase rooms in the hotel and items to populate it, but when you become a high roller, you'll also be admitted to VIP rooms and be able to sponsor your own tournaments, or you may choose to rent one of the hotel's conference rooms to throw a party. You can also hit the night life in the casino's Night Club, putting your dance moves on for the other online guests. Future plans hope for expansion of the casino by opening the doors to let you roam the streets and possibly buy properties, but at this time those features are at the conception stage.

Reel Deal Casino Live! will have you talking to the Cashiers or other NPCs to obtain quests for both single players and for their guilds. These quests may have you (as an example given) using a x3 spinning power-up on the slot machines to find out their stats to determine if the machines are faulty, then return to the Cashiers to gain your rewards. In the same way, you will gain power-ups like a money multiplier that, when used in combination with the spinning power-up, for example, can gain you a lot of cash fast.

Regardless of whether you prefer Slots, Blackjack, Bingo, or Sports betting (did I mention that they will have real-world odds for real-world nightly sporting events), Reel Deal Casino Live! has something for everyone. The idea of combining the success of their Slot and Casino games with that of online persistent world gaming in the form of an MMO makes Reel Deal Casino Live! a very lucrative title for gamers in the future. Look for the Beta to be done as early as February 2009, and the game to be released later that year.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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