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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Casino Games

 

Publisher

Phantom EFX

 

Developer

Shuffle Master Gaming

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

August 28, 2007

 

 

- Lots of gambling: cards, sports, slots, and horse racing

- An attempt at including MMO elements fleshes out a feeling community

- Awesome manual

 

 

- Many crashes during the installation process

- A minimalist presentation during the selection phase makes it feel more like a budget title

 

 

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Reel Deal Casino Gold Rush

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

It would be very easy (and wrong) to drop Reel Deal Casino Gold Rush into a neat and tidy compartment – typically, called “The bargain bin” – and write it off as merely a collection of card games and electronic slot machines.  But after a rocky installation process, including crashes while the game ironically attempted to apply a patch to make it more stable, I’m glad to report that it actually has a lot to offer.

 

casino gold rush          casino gold rush

 

After creating a persona the casino rolls out for you with all manner of card games, like Pai Gow, Poker, Baccarat, and Black Jack (and variants of each; something like a couple of dozen games) alongside slot machines.  There are also the lesser explored manners of flushing your life savings down the toilet like Roulette, Craps, and Craps-Roulette, and betting on horse races and sports.

 

With so many things to do, it’s a damn fine thing that the developers have put together such a comprehensive manual.  Offering complete run downs on how to

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play every game and a sprinkle of little bits of trivia – there are so many hotel rooms in Las Vegas it would take one person 228 years to spend one night in each room in town – this is how manuals should be made.  I actually felt educated after reading parts of the manual.  A “budget” title like this would usually only supply a terse in-game explanation of the

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games but Phantom EFX realizes not all of us are cardsharps or understand the gambling slang.

 

Though it can be played against real people, the game manages to put up a very good simulation of playing against real people.  While online, Reel Deal makes a stab at including conventions from MMO’s, such as guilds, the chance to buy loot, and chat functions.  It feels a little out of place but it’s not unwelcome because it does help create a feeling of community.

 

casino gold rush          casino gold rush

 

Getting around inside Reel Deal shouldn’t pose any problems even for the most casual of players.  The interface is easily navigated and laid out in a straightforward manner.  For a collection of games as this, I would have ripped many points off the score.

 

Reel Deal doesn’t use real money – that’s probably the biggest attraction here as you can still experience the thrill of victory and avoid the agony of selling the shirt off your back for a ticket back to Toledo.

 

- Omni

(November 22, 2007)

 

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