Amstrad Computer User

Monte Carlo Casino
By Codemasters
Amstrad CPC464/664/6128

Published in Amstrad Computer User #60

Have a go at breaking the bank at Monte Carlo without breaking into your own piggy bank.

Monte Carlo Casino

Have a go at breaking the bank at Monte Carlo without breaking into your own piggy bank.

Ever since time immemorial struggling programmers, and some might say talentless as well, have produced fruit machine games. The temptation to simulate those spinning fruits is almost irresistible if you can scroll a screen, or to produce filled polygons rotating around far-flung star systems. I will even admit to doing it myself.

The trouble is that this is all you usually get. The same can be said of card games and dice games. CodeMasters, renowned for its budget offerings, has gone the whole hog, slapping five gambling games together for the measly sum of £2.99.

Monte Carlo Casino

And what is almost as good is that this is not a multi-load affair: once the program is in, that is it! A bright and clear graphical menu, accompanied by a fitting jingle, offers five pursuits of ill repute for your delectation.

The fruit machine is there, of course. Not a particularly feature-laden one, but the graphics are okay, and the reels spin in a reasonably convincing manner. The objective of the entire package is to make one million dollars, and thus presumably break the bank, though I think a Monte Carlo casino would have far more than that in the coffers. This might sound like it is going to take a very long time if you are only sticking ten pences into a fruit machine, but fear not, the stakes are much higher than that: one thousand dollars to be precise.

Probably the most disappointing game of the lot is the roulette table, which operates in an unconventional manner, and which does not really inspire a great belief in actually being there. The system of placing bets does not follow official Procedure either.

Monte Carlo Casino

Never mind, I enjoyed playing poker, a game enlivened by pictures of the players sat around the table, with plenty of amusing little touches. All something of a send-up of the Cincinnati Kid methinks.

Craps might sound like something you would suffer from after drinking Spanish tap water, but it is in fact an American dice game. If you do not know how to play, do not worry; this and the other games are explained on the cassette inlay. It is reasonably entertaining to play as well.

Reckoning myself as some kind of card sharp, I set out to destroy the bank by playing blackjack. A simple and easy game, and one which depends on nerve and luck. I had the former but not the latter. Oh well, back to sweeping the roads.

Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino may not offer anything new, but it does offer all those gambling games in one shot, without the need to reload.

And the graphics, if not spectacular, are well thought out and in places humorous. The music is surprisingly good considering the subject matter, so you have the prolific David Whittaker to thank for that.

I did not break the bank at Monte Carlo, but then I did not have to break into my piggy bank to be able to pay for this well-presented and varied collection.

Mark Luckham

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