CEASAR'S PALACE / Virgin / NES
 
 
Caesar's Palace in Vegas is known for opulence ... apparently they didn't want to spend any of that money on their first game, though! Caesar's Palace for NES is characterized by low production values and general clunkiness, making it seem like it was knocked out quickly and cheaply in just a couple months or so.

The game opens with a shot of some generic taxi sitting outside generic casino doors ... way to fire up the imagination! You're some nameless shlub who has arrived at the Palace with $1000 in pocket, in a rather foolish attempt to turn it into even greater fortunes playing machines. Apparently genderless as well, too, seeing as you can click on both the mens and womens restroom doors!

So after that we're dumped onto the casino floor ... which is just one static screen full of static machines to click on (and some generic bossa nova tune in the background.) About as unexciting as it gets ... but we're here for the games, so let's check 'em out.
 


You've got video draw poker, blackjack, slots, roulette, and something called Big Six Wheel, the first 3 having machines in different denominations from $1/bet to $100/bet. Video Poker is your standard one-hand draw deal, about as basic as it gets. They didn't even bother to program in a counter to show how many coins you've inserted! Slots are a very basic 3-bar thing. Big Six Wheel is a very simplifed version of roulette (at poorer odds), instead of betting on colors and having various options, the game only gives you like 5 or 6 numbers to pick from. It's more like betting on the wheel from the Price is Right than standard roulette. Roulette and blackjack seem to feature all the common rules and options, but again the presentation is about as basic as it gets. The only other interactive thing on the casino floor, as mentioned before, is restrooms that you can actually click on for some reason ... though it just gets you a shot of the restroom door with a toilet/sink sound effect. No clue why they felt this added to the game.

The game executes most of its games in a basically acceptable way, but everything surrounding them weighs the game down. There's the general lack of purpose outside of the games, the boring casino environment (you'd think a game about Caesar's Palace would actually want to showcase some things about Caesar's Palace), the horribly grating Atari 2600 sound effect when you win at a machine, and the general slowness of the interface in most of the games (particularly bad in poker.) Poker on offer is also the most basic version possible, with no other players or even a dealer to play against.
 
 
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