reviews\ Apr 11, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Reel Deal Vegas Casino Experience - PC - Review

Ok, you know you like to gamble, you do it every time you take a drive, buy sushi, purchase a game you're not sure about. Admit it, you love it. And for those gamers who have fully embraced their gambling side, Phantom has designed and made a gambling game that should be right up your alley. Like slots? Like Pai Gow? Like blackjack? Like poker? Face it, if you like any sort of gambling then you are covered, so let's get to it.

"Step right up ere! Get your red hot gambling right ere!"

Taking place in the Phantom EFX casino, you - the player - are there for one reason, to break the bank. Easier said then done, the Phantom has a rather large casino floor that features over 25 tables featuring literally every type of card game imaginable. And since the floor does not feature those dream-world odds, you will be taking out loans from the cashier as well. But every gambling game I play for some reason I always find my way to the blackjack table, it's the barometer, if you will, that I determine whether or not a gambling game gets it right. Soooooo, let me tell you that lately I have not been doing well at all at the local casino (real life), I can't seem to find my run; every time I begin to win a little, I up my bets and blam, I lose. So, when I began playing the game's blackjack, the same thing was happening. I must have went back to the cashier 10 times, I owe the casino like $35,000; in other words, this game it totally real, and I like it. But like any true gambler, I know the only sure bet is to not bet at all, but where's the fun in that? Money won is twice as sweet as money earned, so I switched games, I am now playing...

Roulette! It's a sexy game that is often featured in the movies, and the last time I went to Vegas for real, I actually played quite well and walked away a winner. Here's my theory, you can bet if the ball will land in one of three, 12 number sections. If you win, you get two times your bet, meaning, if you play $100 on two of the sections and the ball lands in one of those sections, you win two hundred dollars, you lose the other bet, but come out $100 ahead when you win. Since there is actually 38 numbers (0 and 00 in green) the odds aren't quite 66% but they are the best winning odds in just about any game. Back to the game, I began playing roulette the way I do in real life and sure enough, my bankroll began to improve, so much in fact that I began actually betting, to hit the numbers. Playing $25 chips, I would bet around 10-13 spots, and again, I began hitting, now in roulette, if you hit a number, it's 36 times your bet. So for a $25 chip, that's $900 a win. Again, my bankroll was on the upswing so I went back to blackjack and pretty much lost it all, just like in real life.

"And me without my abacas."

For a $19.99 game, it does a bang-up job of graphics. Not that you need a superb look to have a nice looking game, but there is some nice visuals to be had in the games. The tables clearly look like felt, the roulette wheel has a zoomed in window at the top for easy viewing, the cards are all clear and easy to see. Even the casino design is well laid out. You don't actually see your character walking around the casino, rather you view it from a 3/4 view and move around looking at tables. Which too, is fairly easy since all you need to do is place the cursor over the table and it tells you what game it is. And in a neat move, if you do happen to play especially well, you can get a suite and actually furnish it to your liking, playing host to your own tournaments.

It's a neat little gambling title and totally worth the price tag. Phantom has done a bang-up job of packing a ton of variations and games into this title and you can even learn how to play some of those games that may otherwise be intimidating in real life.

It should be noted that the Reel Deal casino games are all connected when placed onto the same computer. When you purchase additional titles in the series, the game is lumped into one large casino on your computer. Functions that are available on one game appear to be available on others, but are not (like online play). Please be sure that the Reel Deal casino game you are looking to purchase has the capabilities you are looking for. Of course, you could purchase all of them and then not have to worry about it, but if that is not an option, then please take the time to examine all of the titles available to find the game that is best for you.

Review Scoring Details for Reel Deal Vegas Casino Experience

Gameplay: 8.6
Totally easy and well laid out. All card games can easily be picked up and you can set the amount of money you want to bet from very small to insane amounts. Ever bet $50,000 on a single hand of 21? It may be fake, but I get excited anyways. You will too.

Graphics: 8.1
The casino floor is pretty well laid out, there are slots lining the walls and tables spread out all over, it's a nice visual experience and the fact you get the bonus mania slot game makes things even more pleasurable to look at.

Sound: 8.0
It looks good and it sounds good too, the game does a subtle yet effective job of having those casino sounds in the background. Cards shuffling, people mumbling, that sort of stuff. And even though I haven't heard it since our conversation I swear I heard some people in the background getting excited over a big win, my wife says I'm crazy. But if it wasn't there, then the game did a darn fine job of encapsulating me and pulling me into the game to the point my mind started hearing things. Can you hear that? That's the sound of my sanity getting in a car and driving away.

Difficulty: Medium/Hard
Yeah, the dream setting will get you the big bucks, but you can't bring your money over from bonus mania to the floor.

Concept: 8.0
I have certainly played my share of gambling games. This one has it right, nice setup, plenty of games, good gambling.

Overall: 8.6
Reel Deal is the real deal. It has a ton of games to play and endless hours of entertainment. You can become a whale (big time player) and really assert your prestige. I like this title and for the price it simply has my vote.


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