Monopoly Casino is an enjoyable casino simulation that includes a wide variety of games, all based on a lighthearted Monopoly theme. The game has an easy-to-use interface that lets you participate in more than 40 games, including old favorites like slot machines and blackjack, and more obscure games like Omaha Hold 'em and the Monopoly Money Wheel.
The game's interface is clear and intuitive, and it provides a clear overview of the different betting options available at any point during the game. It keeps track of your winnings and gives you the option to play on higher-limit tables and even participate in tournament play.
The Monopoly theme may turn off serious casino-game fans, but it does create a cheery, lighthearted atmosphere and gives the game a well-integrated look. The money on the table becomes Monopoly money, in your mind; you'll even get to choose a traditional Monopoly token - such as the racecar or the top hat - as your playing piece. The casino floor is organized around a Monopoly board and lets you simply point and click on the game you wish to play. And the manual provides clearly written rules and instructions if you're not familiar with the games.
The casino floor offers a wide variety of games. There are 16 slot machines to choose from, each with a slightly different Monopoly-based theme - and some have variable payouts for double- and triple-credit bets. In addition to slots, the casino includes blackjack, craps, keno, pai-gow poker, traditional poker (five-card draw, seven-card stud, Texas hold 'em, Omaha hold 'em, and a number of hi-low and lowball variations), roulette, and video poker. Though Monopoly Casino is missing a few games like Caribbean stud, baccarat, and let-it-ride, it still has more than enough choices to satisfy all but the most discriminating casino gamers.
The background music consists of generic but tasteful jazz tracks, and the sound effects are appropriate, though there isn't as much cheering and ruckus around the craps table as there should be. Fortunately, the game lets you adjust the volume of the music and sound effects independently so that you can tailor them to your personal preferences. One feature that would have added to the ambience is background casino noise. The slot machines ring their telltale bells only when the player is involved in a slot game, and casino chatter is completely absent.
Monopoly Casino's graphics are hardly revolutionary, but they are clean and cheerful. The animations are adequate and don't get in the way, and they actually add some variety to the game's otherwise utilitarian interface. Mr. Monopoly - the character with the top hat and moustache - appears throughout the game; he's in the opening sequence; he's the dealer in card games; and he acts out a bankrupt player's shameful exit from the casino, complete with security-guard escort.
Monopoly Casino takes an upbeat approach to traditional casino games. While the graphics and sound are by no means groundbreaking, they are clean and unobtrusive, and the use of the well-known Monopoly art style helps create a family-oriented atmosphere. The interface is easy to use and lets you learn and participate in a wide variety of casino games in much the same way you would in a real casino (without the crowds and monetary loss). The tournament play and network connectivity add to the range of options, and complete a well-rounded and lighthearted casino game.