Konami, with franchises such as Pro Evolution Soccer, Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill, is one of the biggest names in the videogaming world. So it seems odd that it should choose the battered sim/tycoon genre to make its first foray into PC-exclusive ground. And it's even odder that Konami has chosen the developer of Gangsters to do the foraying for it.
Casino Inc unashamedly steals, begs and borrows from the likes of Theme Park and Theme Hospital, but ends up more like the lesser examples of the genre: Airport Inc, Pizza Tycoon and a dozen other hangers-on. The idea must have sounded good enough in the endless board meetings. After all, if Eidos could get away with setting its theme game in an 18-30 holiday resort, basing one on a gambling empire had to be a sure bet. Ba-boom.
Despite Hothouse's attempts to style its casino management in the mode of Martin Scorsese (minus Joe Pesci's vice antics), there is very little substance here, and very little we haven't seen before. There's lots of depth and detail, and a host of options to tweak. Perhaps even too much, as just completing the tutorials is enough to give you a thumping headache.
There's plenty of fun stuff like hiring bouncers and hitmen, and sending the cheats and thieves you catch to mess up your opponents' casinos. But this doesn't make up for the dull core of the gameplay. The ugly cartoon style, poor attempts at humour and an interface from hell hardly help to redress the balance either. Still, it's not the worst of its kind we've seen. And that's got to be worth something.
Download Casino, Inc.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP