Reel Deal Live!
is the first online MMO-style gambler to hit the market, and it does a pretty good job of authenticating the casino lifestyle. Allowing you to walk around an entire casino helps to totally immerse you in the gaming experience, going above and beyond typical card and gaming videogames and their select-from-a-list game selection screens. Being able to physically go up to a table and join others playing is a key ingredient to the MMO experience, but there didn't seem to be a lot of people playing at the same time as I was able to join the network. Of course, the title's gaming interface is still typical of standard gaming titles with its 2D point-and-click interface, so users of other software will still feel right at home.
The interactive MMO elements of Reel Deal Live! consist of things like building guilds and accomplishing quests. For those who may not be up to speed on MMO (or Massively Multiplayer Online) gaming, you are actually sharing your online experience with other real human players, and you can walk around the casino together, chat, or even form social groups called guilds. Being in a guild allows you to not only show that you are part of a group, but also allows you to attempt special quests that are only available to guilds. Quests are given out by the pit bosses, range in difficulty, and typical quests consist of scoring a certain number of credits on a particular game, for example. Upon completing the quest, you will be given rewards and can even be considered a VIP. You can also compete in Tournaments, although at the time of this writing only Slots were available for this bonus mode.
Reel Deal Live! has a very wide variety of games available throughout the casino, but mostly consists of table games and slot machines. The slots are fun, but also quite repetitive and (in my opinion) uninspiring. Unfortunately, other than deciding how much to bet, there isn't much too them. With that said, however, the visuals and the audio of each and every slot machine are very authentic-looking/sounding and really make you feel like you're sitting down in front of a one-armed bandit. There are also specials and bonuses. The table games range from multiple types of poker to roulette and craps. These were by far the most enjoyable gaming experiences for me, but at the same time, I was completely lost sitting down at table games that I've never played before. Most were quite easy to figure out, but they weren't necessarily intuitive all of the time.
You'll also eventually be able to take a crack at games like Bingo or even take a walk into the sports and racing betting rooms, although some extra rooms were not available at the time of this review. The sports betting is quite interesting because unlike most casino games on the market that offer fake horse racing or other similar simulated events, Reel Deal Live! uses actual real-world games from major sporting events. For example, you can drop in and bet on tonight's NBA games or come football season, pick the over-under on your favorite team's games.
Within the Reel Deal Live! universe, you will be allowed to use either Real World (RW) or Dream World (DW) odds as well. The difference is that in the Dream World, you win a lot more often, but there is something more satisfying about betting your RW money. Of course, this money is only called Real World. Rest assured that no actual money changes hands other than your monthly subscription fees.
Now, while Reel Deal Live! is certainly an entertaining title, I have to admit a certain level of frustration while trying to play. Hopefully these issues will be worked out as the game matures, but as of the time of this review, I had a lot of server issues to deal with, either being kicked off or not being able to connect. On top of that, when the connection was dropped while at a table, the only way to quit out was by using Windows' CTRL+ALT+DEL and kill the game outright. Another HUGE annoyance for me was that there was a constant barrage of updates at times when you wanted to connect. These downloads can be hundreds (or even thousands) of files, consisting of a fair amount of MB, making the download times and subsequent installing of those updates quite lengthy in time. In fact, the initial updates after you purchase and install for the first time will likely take all night, so be prepared. Finally, some of the loading times while in-game and changing from table to floor or vice versa sometimes take a while. Other times, these transitions are very quick.