Game Reviews

Casino Crime

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Casino Crime

The mob bosses of the underworld are actually pretty nice guys once you get to know them. They’re the kind of guys who give you a big empty building and a wad of cash, ready to turn it into the world’s premier slot machine warehouse.

That’s what Casino Crime would have you believe, at least. It would also have you believe that the criminal underworld is not the dramatic and dangerous place it is made out to be in films. According to Casino Crime, it’s actually quite dull.

Shady investments

The aim is to manage a fully functioning casino, while simultaneously conning your patrons out of their money by tipping the odds in your favour. One half of the game is dedicated to maintaining the various machines, card tables, decorations, and so on. The other half is spent playing the part of the house in games with customers.

Each level grants you a set floor space within which to put amusements for the customers. One-armed bandits, blackjack tables, and roulette tables come as standard and although some more get added later these provide the staple income of your casino.

You also have to make space for decorations, like plants, pillars, and fountains, all of which earn you prestige and thus more visitors. Meanwhile bars, armchairs, and vending machines will keep them from leaving your establishment in a huff when they become too tired and warm. Handily, you can always tell when this is the case, as each customer's thoughts and desires are communicated in simple thought bubbles above their heads.

Cheating the game

That’s the management aspect of the game, but there's also a micro-management element at work. By playing as the house in card games or roulette you can cheat to earn more money. For example, in roulette you can bounce the ball once to either side to ensure it lands on a favourable number. Do this too often and the gambler will catch you out.

Although this adds a little variety to proceedings, as a mini-game it comes across as extremely shallow and unfulfilling. Perhaps it wouldn’t be too bad if you didn’t have to replay the games so many times to complete many of the game’s levels. As it stands, playing as the house gets repetitive very quickly.

Eventually, you can employ croupiers to man the tables for you, but it takes a long time to get to this point. The pacing and progression is very slow compared to other management games out there. Next to Kairosoft’s Story franchise, this criminal caper is slow and lumbering.

Do the crime, do the time

The controls don’t help matters much, either. The left thumbpad controls the selection cursor, but it’s so sticky and rigid that you end up using the touchscreen for everything anyway. If it’s going to come to that, why not just get Hot Springs Story?

Once you unlock a fair bit of the catalogue of items and have a healthy stream of customers Casino Crime can be a decent management sim, but this can take a while. How much you enjoy this game will depend on your patience. And would-be mob bosses aren’t known for their patience.

Casino Crime

Casino Crime wears the right three-piece suit but among superior titles on Android, it just doesn’t fit in
Brendan Caldwell
Brendan Caldwell
Brendan is a boy. Specifically, a boy who plays games. More specifically, a nice boy who plays many games. He often feels he should be doing something else. That's when the siren call of an indie gem haunts him. Who shall win this battle of wills? Answer: not Brendan.