|Publisher: MacPlay Genre: Board & Card|
|Min OS X: Any Version CPU: G3 RAM: 64 MB Hard Disk: 200 MB Graphics: 800x600|
|Hard Rock Casino|
February 26, 2004 | Eric Ford
Hard Rock Casino is one of several casino simulations that have made appearances on the Mac gaming scene. Unlike some of the others, however, Hard Rock Casino attempts to create a pseudo-serious game environment for hardcore casino players. If you're looking for some casino action with a variety of games that also has online support, then title may be what you're looking for. Unfortunately, when all is said and done, it's only a small collection of games that can be found anywhere.
Game playThe goal of Hard Rock Casino is to have the player create a 1950s avatar and earn money by playing eight betting games in a simulated casino environment. As the player wins more money, the avatar advances from the 1950s era to the 60s, 70s, all the way to a modern environment. With each decade change comes a new look for the player's character, a new style for each game, and the ability to participate in higher stakes tables, earning even more money to advance further. Eventually, the player can earn VIP status, and celebrate their skill at gambling.
Hard Rock Casino features Keno, Baccarat, Poker, Craps, Black Jack, Slots, Roulette, and Video Poker. As far as casino games go, this title definitely covers all of the main games. For the beginners out there, Hard Rock Casino also features a nice help guide that lists the rules for how to play each game (although the actual help window is rather dull). Also, there isn't much room for customization, as the developer decided to just include the standard rules for each game. In this sense, Hard Rock Casino may not appeal to the more hardcore gamers, since each game is pretty standard and just offers a nice environment to practice in.
Because advancement is based solely on how much money is earned, players cannot add more money to their profile whenever they want. Should they need to, they can take out loans through the casino's credit, but when they lose all their money, they have to create a new profile and start again. This may seem frustrating to novice players, but I believe this was put in to appease the more hardcore casino players that may want to try and reach that VIP level of skill. Also, the fact that the early decades don't allow very high max bets in any of the games means that you'll be stuck playing on them for a while before you can acquire the capital needed to advance on a later decade (and higher stakes).
Once players have gotten their feet wet and earned some money, they can take their profiles online and compete against other virtual gamblers. The game plays exactly like the offline version, with the only addition being a chat window at the top of the screen. Unfortunately I was unable to further test online play, as no one else was online whenever I decided to sign on to the Hard Rock Casino service. I sincerely hope more people take an interest in this great way of expanding the game.