It’s been a year and a half since Hasbro Interactive released Monopoly Casino, a sound assortment of casino-style games, and a lot has happened in that period of time. Hasbro Interactive has since been swallowed up by Infogrames and when the smoke finally cleared, many a project was left on the cutting room floor. Monopoly Casino, however, was not one of them. Obviously Infogrames saw something they liked in the title, most likely a high buy rate, so they gave the go ahead for Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition. So without ado, let’s ante up and see what this latest edition has to offer.
Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition sports an array of classic casino gaming experiences, including an assortment of jackpot, video and standard slot machines; video poker; craps; roulette; blackjack; pai gow poker; sic bo; six variations of standard poker, including Omaha, Texas Hold’em and Seven Card Stud; Keno and bingo. Every game under the sun is just a click away and when you account for nickel, dime, quarter and dollar slot machines, Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition boasts over 245 game variations. Some of the highlights include hi/low poker tables, progressive slot machines and the crème de la crème, a selection of video slot machines that feature such hit Hasbro licenses as Clue and Battleship built in as mini-games.
As with the original Monopoly Casino, you begin the game by creating an account and selecting your bankroll limit. Once you’ve gathered your chips, it’s off to the casino floor. Unlike the original Monopoly Casino, Vegas Edition features a more mature environment, eliminating many of the Monopoly themed attractions, including the casino floor itself, which is no longer represented by the Monopoly board. A welcome change to say the least.
Visually, Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition is as bright, colourful and energetic as ever. Despite the lack of paraphernalia on the casino floor, you’ll still come across plenty of Monopoly themes within each casino game; including tokens representing players, Monopoly cards that provide hints and tips, and many a picture of Mr. Monopoly himself. Thankfully the aforementioned Mr. Monopoly, with his characteristic squeaky voice, doesn’t say much in this edition, leaving the dialogue to the dealers, which in itself is kept to a minimum. Most of what you’ll hear is the usual casino clatter along with a jazzy soundtrack playing in the background. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.
Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition has two major faults. One, it completely lacks multiplayer support. The computer opponents are competent enough but they’re by no means a substitute for living, breathing players who scratch, claw and bluff their way to a pot. By adding multiplayer support, which was present in the original Monopoly Casino, the casino floor itself could be brought to life. Instead, it’s as stagnant as ever. At least with multiplayer support, you would have the opportunity to chat it up with opposing players during a hand or game.
Second, while Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition does a commendable job re-creating the technical aspects of each casino game, the simple fact remains that there is no real money being thrown around. Would you be willing to risk it all and take an extra hit in blackjack, knowing that all you have to do is create a new account if you go bust? There’s no risk involved and much like any gambling title, Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition is little more than a forum to practice each game before your next trip to the desert.
When it’s time to cash in your chips and hit the buffet at Caesar’s Palace, Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition comes up a little short. Technically, Infogrames has done a solid job re-creating each of the casino games, injecting many of them with the kind of energy only the Monopoly license can produce, but the lack of multiplayer support and the absence of a risk to win or lose real money really cuts into the atmosphere. Monopoly Casino: Vegas Edition is a safe bet for gamblers looking to hone their skills, as well as those who don’t have real money to wager, but it fails to deal excitement the way a real casino does.