KING OF CASINO / NEC / TurboGrafx 16
King of Casino initially appears to infuse a bit of an RPG element a la Casino Kid, but it soon reveals itself to just be another grind at the usual basic casino games. It at least executes them decently and has one of the better interfaces of the bunch, but overall it's still pretty boring and limited.

Your never-seen hero arrives in some sort of fictional casino town with $10,000 and the ambition of making millions. You'll simply pick out your casino of choice from a scrolling map and avail yourself of the games therein -- blackjack, poker, roulette, slots or keno. The text and graphics localizers didn't appear to be on the same page here, as in the text every casino has a fruit name for some odd reason, while in the actual map graphics they clearly have different names.

Ultimately, it doesn't much matter, as every damn casino looks identical. All that varies between them is the wager limits for the various table games. You even choose your own background music which plays at every casino until you manually change it. You do that by popping out to the map screen and pressing II, which automatically returns you to your hotel room. Other than changing music all you can do here is use the phone to get a list of each casino's games and wager limits (at $10 a pop), view a graph of what games you've been playing over time, and retrieve a password (which can only be done 10 times in total).

As far as casino games go, generally speaking things are pretty standard, but there's a few odd rule & pay table tweaks in your favor. The biggest is in blackjack, where you're allowed to see one of your cards before choosing your wager amount. This tweak makes it by far the most lucrative game for experienced players, virtually assuring you'll clean out the house if you find a table with low min and high max bets and have the patience to wait on likely blackjack situations to make big bets. "Poker" actually just turns out to be glorified video poker (draw poker style only), and is a little different from real life standards as a JOB pair gets you nothing and two pair only breaks you even ... but it's still tilted in your favor as every other winning hand pays VASTLY more than usual. Roulette is more straightfoward, slots are old-school three-reels only since this came out in the early '90s, and keno I actually couldn't even figure out how to get it to accept your card once it's marked up, but I don't hold that against the game because who really wants to play keno.

The overarching goal that triggers the ending is to simply stack up $10,000,000. Along the way, you'll occasionaly get a picture of some flashy merchandise you now have enough money to afford, like a sports car or a private jet. But that's really all there is to the game. No random events or poker tournaments like in Casino Kid or Vegas Dream. Just grind away. You may eventually be able to buy each casino somehow, based on the ending screenshots at VGMuseum, but if so the game doesn't explain at all how this works in-game.

At least the game interfaces are smooth, better than most of the rest of the field from this time period, and it does manage a decent little loungey old-school downtown Vegas sort of atmosphere. The music is actually pretty decent too, just repeats a little too often. I can't see anyone wanting to grind away at this for very long, though.
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