Hoyle Casino 2009
has a ton of different games to choose from, but they are mostly more of the same. The main focus here is on different casino games, ranging from card games to slot and other video casino machines, but you'll also be able to play a couple of lounge games. From the Main Menu, you'll be presented with three categories of play: Tables, Slots And More, and the Sports Lounge And Keno room.
Before you begin, however, you'll have to create your character, or rather an avatar, to represent you both online and off. You do have a very wide variety of combinations to choose from, and the customizability of your avatar is nearly endless. Not only will you be able to drop on individual facial features, but can also move them around a bit to come up with some crazy combinations.
The most entertaining section of this virtual casino is by and far located in the Tables room. Here you'll enjoy games like Craps, Roulette, and different forms of Poker, as well as a new favorite, Texas Hold'em. In the slot room, you'll be able to play multi-line slots and have the ability to set the minimum and maximum bets at each machine when you first sit down. Actually, you can also do this at the tables as well. Also included in the slots room are video poker machines, but I liked the odds and had more enjoyment at sit-down tables, just like in the real casino. In the Sports Lounge, you'll be able to choose from only two games, Keno and Horse Racing. The former is just a game of random number draws (for those who may not know) and the latter is a pretty cheesy representation of a track-betting game, complete with 3D horses running the track. Unfortunately, Hoyle Casino 2009 could have easily added dog tracks or possibly some other simulated games, like basketball, boxing, or other sports commonly bet on in order to fill out this room.
Hoyle Casino 2009, like the other game that I recently reviewed (Hoyle Card Games 2009), has its problems with presentation, graphics, and the Internet play, but it may not feel as bad (with the exception of going online) because some of the problems aren't as severe due to the single-player nature games. The slots were relatively glitch-free, however the graphics on the spinning wheels sometimes did pop a bit. The main problem with Hoyle Casino 2009 comes in the form of dealer animations, where the cards are sometimes transparent. These cards often show the face of a card (instead of the back) when dealing, yet the face appears to always be the Ace of Spades, even when it isn't as it is turned. The table games also tend to be a bit slow, mostly due to the constant interruption of avatars speaking.
There have been updates for Hoyle Casino 2009 already, and each have taken over an hour to download via a wireless LAN. These updates have addressed some issues that I had with the game, but have also added animations and, I believe, audio for the dealers.
However, these updates still haven't addressed the online play's main drawback... that of no people playing. I have yet to be able to test the online component of Hoyle Casino 2009 because I have been the only player signed in at any time while working on this review. If it is anything like the Hoyle Card Games 2009 that I reviewed, it may be riddled with bugs, but as of now, it's even worse because there is no way to try it out.
Hoyle Casino 2009 is also a part of the Royal Suite (along with Hoyle Card Games 2009 and Hoyle Slots 2009). As such, they all have a joint monetary system, so when you create one character/avatar, he, she, or it (there are non-humans in the game as well) will be available in all games, and so will the character's bank roll. If you own all three titles, you will be able to go online into a private area reserved for Hoyle's elite. If you gamble away your winnings, you'll either be able to use the house's credit or be forced to reset your character's money and stats, starting from scratch once again.