Bicycle Casino

Bicycle Casino

Russell Garbutt

Anyone who has ever lost money gambling knows the dejected, maudlin feeling that blankets a person as they walk out of the casino with their head down and their pockets turned out. Playing Bicycle Casino should produce a similar result, because once you get it home and fire it up you’ll feel like you just got taken for all you’re worth by a Three-Card Monte dealer named Activision.

Players choose their character from a very limited interface of choices, and then pick a game. Unlike Bethesda’s really nice High Rollers Casino, you are immediately thrust onto the table without much ado. There’s no virtual casino here to meander through, and no real sense of taking a seat at a table on a casino floor. Also, the developer’s claim of 500 variations on the game seems dubious, as no more than 100 were located after many, many hours of gameplay.

The presentations of any of the games contained in Casino are sub-par at best, and downright lazy at worst. Many of the free Shockwave Flash gaming web sites offer something more exciting than this $30 Xbox game. Everything inside the casino is lifeless and stilted, like a still picture. Even when a player is winning, the total lack of presentation delivers no joy at all.

In short, the game offers 27 different types of games, including slot machines and all types of poker, but does it so poorly you’ll cringe at the thought of playing more than one or two. The sound inside the game is also quite poor, rounding out its funeral dirge of an assault on your senses. If you’re into playing casino-type games on your console, then the only bicycle you’ll need is the one you can pedal to your local game shop to purchase Bethesda’s casino game instead.

03 Out of ten

PUBLISHER: Activision Value // DEVELOPER: Leaping Lizard // PLAYERS: 1-4 // LIVE: No // MSRP: $29.99 // ESRB: E

Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.