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Casino Inc.

Score: 75%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Hothouse Creations UK
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation

Graphics & Sound:

I believe it should be safe to assume that the popularity of sim titles and tycoon games sometimes gets carried away. For some reason, an influx of titles, all promising the same 'original use' of a guaranteed genre, has become quite frequent. While some titles attempt to replicate other tycoon titles verbatim, there are a slim few that actually attempt to break new ground, introducing qualities or innovations previously unrealized. Casino Inc., a mature audience tycoon title, challenges players to create a moneymaking business out of a series of scenarios involving a casino franchise.

For a mature game, I was surprised by the cartoony and animated interface and visuals in Casino Inc. While these graphics are odd, considering my initial impression of the title, they are definitely not loosely thrown together, and feature bright, colorful graphics. Animations are solid, though characters tend to repeat their motions frequently. There is not a great deal of movement for each character individually, but during the course of a game, that is hardly noticeable, unless you are looking specifically for the fault.

Sounds that have come to be expected of a casino are realized quite nicely in Casino Inc. Locations outside of the casino, such as the city streets, also feature realistic sounds for the environment.


Gameplay:

The management of an entire casino business has been placed into your care. You must decide how to design the interior, what gaming tables to purchase, who your casino will tailor to, and what atmosphere you intend to provide. In this economic simulation title, you are challenged to create the casino business from the ground up, overcoming a series of events and strategies along the way.

Casino Inc. begins in the tiny town of Little Hope Springs. You are informed that gambling has just been legalized there. It's up to you to compete with the movie theaters, restaurants, and another casino in the area. The entire game revolves around your ability to make the proper economic decision at the time. You must create a perfect environment to lure tourists, visitors, and locals. Responsibilities include adding tables, security, janitorial services, and other amenities common inside of a casino. You can later choose to include entertainment venues and food kiosks.

As the casino grows, employees might become demanding and guests may begin to act up. Being able to control all of these aspects, along with others will indicate success in Casino Inc. A number of options have been provided to help indicate the likes and dislikes in your casino.

Assuming the land is managed correctly, your income will grow, and you will be capable of purchasing additional staff, tools, amenities, or land to expand and get rivals out of business. Eight unique game tables are found in Casino Inc., along with a variety of food and drink options that are unlocked as the game progresses.


Difficulty:

Getting started is not an issue with Casino Inc. Not only does it feature an intensive tutorial session, but it also provides instruction through the actual game mode. The interface is also fairly intuitive which will let you jump right into the game. Each town links to three different difficulty levels in the game. These determine the game's initial difficulty when managing the casino, staff, and other aspects of management. Scenarios and objectives also become increasingly more difficult as the game progresses.

Game Mechanics:

A simple, integrated interface keeps Casino Inc. from destroying the experience of casino management. Topics are arranged in simple menu styled buttons, which relate to specific uses such as employees, advertisements, and items. Choosing an option, and following the screens or instructions that follow generally come without any hassle. While everything can be done through the point and click interface, keyboard commands are available for each of the tasks as well. While the keyboard commands may feel slightly obscure at first, figuring out a perfect link between keyboard and point and click uses come rather quickly.

In general, Casino Inc. has a lot going for itself. It is nice-looking and consists of some interesting features and smooth game play. Unfortunately, I am not completely sold on the title's mature theme. I can see where Casino Inc. is attempting to intrigue older players, but it always seems to get caught in the child-like qualities of its presentation and appearance. Casino Inc. battles with itself as it provides adult themes such as alcohol and 'adult entertainment' at the same time as featuring a whimsical appearance and feeling. As a business simulation, Casino Inc. performs well, but don't come here looking for the ultimate adult tycoon title.


-==Boy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Kyle Prestenback

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 98/2000/XP / Pentium II 450 MHz or Higher / 16 MB 3D Video Card / CD-ROM: 4x or Faster / 64 MB RAM
 

Test System:



Windows XP Professional, AMD Athlon XP 1800+, 1GB RAM, GeForce4 TI 4200 64MB VRAM, 16X DVD drive.

Windows Batman Vengeance Windows Chessmaster 9000

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated