Hard Rock Casino Collection

Casinos have a reputation for being glamorous, glitzy venues, full of Bond-like gentlemen flashing their cash to woo over the scores of women in sleek, tight fitting dresses.

Over here in Blighty, however, you're more likely to find cigarette butts trodden into a chintzy carpets, people throwing up in the toilets after a heavy night out and a vague musty smell you just can't quite put your finger on.

It's no coincidence that almost all of the sites mooted for fabled 'super casinos' in the UK over the last few years have been located in pockets of social decline. You'd be hard pressed to find the likes of Daniel Craig sunning himself in Blackpool, for instance.

EA's Hard Rock Casino Collection, however, attempts to polish the casino's veneer somewhat, presenting four games with the style and sheen we've all come to expect from the publisher of late.

This is a well crafted 'no knobs on' package, comprising Blackjack, Roulette, Deuces Wild, and Rock N' Roll Slots (a simple slot machine game to you and me), each one delivered in a clear and concise manner.

There's no thread binding these games together - you play them separately, and you win and lose at them separately. The only link between them is the 5,000 credits you start off with, which runs through all of the games you bet at, whether you come out on top or lose stacks of cash.

This means that if one of the games doesn't take your fancy you need never have a go - your only motivation is to make as much money as you can from the games you like, giving up either when you reach your target or you get bored.

Though the latter could be an issue, Hard Rock Casino Collection tries its best to keep you engaged.

The best way to do that, of course, is to not lose you in the first place. Even if you're a little rusty when it comes to rules and regulations, every game kicks off with a brief - yet informative - set of instructions. Each gives a clear account of what's expected without cluttering the game's relaxed style with a barrage of confusing rules and regulations.

Controls are similarly simple, utilising the left soft-key for most actions (either moving play forward, or changing your bet with the help of the D-pad in all four titles), with the '5' key brought into play for other set movements, such as holding cards in Deuces Wild.

Attempting to blame the controls if you end up bankrupt is thankfully a fruitless task, Hard Rock Casino Collection's no-nonsense approach almost acting as a rolling tutorial. The simplicity of its play allows newcomers to jump straight in with little fuss.

With only four games on offer, however, the value of Hard Rock Casino Collection as a long-term purchase has to be questioned. With no rhyme nor reason to keep on playing beyond your own determination, this is never going to become part of the furniture in your play time.

All that said, you can't fault EA in its endeavours to deliver a casino experience that rejects our dull interpretation for one more faithful to the myth of Monaco and the like. Hard Rock Casino Collection is as solid as it is short, but it's a safe bet.

Hard Rock Casino Collection

Perhaps not as comprehensive as some of its rivals, EA's crack at casino class is nevertheless playable and takes real steps to ensure it’s a party to which everyone is invited
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