Beat The House 2

Dom Robinson reviewsBeat The House 2for PC CD-RomDistributed by
Interplay

  • Price: £44.99
  • Players : 1-4
  • Minimum System Requirements :
    • Windows 95
    • Pentium PC (no speed specified)
    • 16Mb RAM
    • Dual-speed CD-ROM Drive
    • DirectX 5.0 (included on CD)
    • SVGA video card and monitor
    • 15Mb Hard Drive space
    • 100% Microsoft Mouse or compatible
    • 100% Soundblaster soundcard or compatible

    Beat The House 2is the sequel to the best-selling gambling simulationBeat The House, which now includes seven casino favorites: VideoPoker, Slot Machines, Roulette, Craps, Blackjack, mini-Baccarat andSklansky’s Poker Challenge.

    Also included in the package is the new edition, Beat the House 2Companion, a gambling strategy guide and tip book written by world-famousgambling expert Avery Cardoza, with odds and payouts authenticated byDr. William Bertram, Ph.D.

    After each game has been played you can call up statistical analysis andcharts which track the gambling performance by session, week, month, or year.


    Installing and Running the Game

    Installing the game is very simple as the CD will autorun the installationprogram when you insert it into the drive. When installation is complete youcan choose to play the game, uninstall it, or view a demo of one ofInterplay‘s forthcoming games, Star Trek: Secret Of Vulcan Furywhich also plays as you install the game for the first time.

    Starting The Game

    When the game begins you are placed in the Casino Lobby, from which point youcan select any of the seven games. First, however, you will need to go to theFront Desk to register the number of players.

    Playing the Game

    There are seven games available which are as follows :

    Roulette: The table is presented in front of you, and you place yourchips by moving the mouse onto the required number and clicking once. Furtherclicks add extra cash to that pile, and the amount that can be bet on eachclick of the button can be predetermined between $1 and $100.

    The game gives odds on each choice of chip position as you drag your mouseover them, and a full set of odds also given in the game’s companion.

    After all bets are placed, the wheel can be spun and then fate decides the rest.My only complaint with this section is that the wheel is rather small comparedto that found in the Playstation’s Caesar’s Palace, also from Interplay.

    Slot Machines: Six different machines are available from ClassicBars to Gridiron Gold, each based on real fruit machines.

    Again, the amount that can be bet each time is variable and full details of theodds are accessible on screen, but the bars themselves don’t fill the screenas you’d expect, leaving the playing area looking small.

    Blackjack: The computer version of this game allows up to four players(human or computer). Firstly, bet an amount on one of four tables withdifferent ranges of bets allowed, then after placing your original bet and theinitial cards being dealt, you can choose to hit (take a card), stand (takeno more cards), or double your bet. If you go bust (over 21) you lose, and ifyou win you double your money, unless you score Blackjack (21) in which caseyou win at 3-1, as long as the dealer hasn’t got a Blackjack either.

    Video Poker: Four games are available here including the one I playedmost, Tens or Better. You place a bet of 1 to 5 coins, after which themachine will deal the initial five cards. Pressing ‘Hold’ will keep theselected cards, and then those left out will be replaced by new ones. Pay-outdepends on resulting cards shown on screen ranging from two-pair to Royal Flush.

    Sklansky’s Poker Challenge: Four games are available here includingHold Em Challenge and Double Hold Em Challenge. In the case ofthe first one, you pick one of three 2-card hands, after which the computerwill tell you if you’ve picked a bad one. Then five more cards are dealt whichapply to all the hands. The poker results are drawn from those five cardsplus the two uniquely available to each player.

    In the case of Double Hold Em, the same rules apply, but you can pickfrom four hands. Then as first three extra cards are drawn, you get the chanceto double your bet.

    The other two games which are available are Craps andMini-Baccarrat, neither of which I’m familiar with, but both arewell-covered in the companion book like the rest of the games.

    One feature included in this sequel is the Speed Bet option whichautomatically bets one unit for each player and deals the cards, thus allowingfor faster play.


    Graphics, Sound and Playability

    The graphics are nothing to shout about but serve the game well. After all,what do you need apart from graphical representations of the games at hand,which are shown in plenty of detail, except for the roulette wheel and thefruit machine reels, both of which are too small.

    The sound is also functional. The roulette wheel is spun – that’s exactly whatyou hear. The cards are dealt in the various poker games, and sampled soundsof this is what you hear. The reels of the fruit machine go round and round,and… yes, you guessed it. However, it doesn’t need anything else to be addedto it. One nice addition though is the ambient effects of the surroundingcrowd, including one of the barmaids offering various alcoholic drinks toeveryone but you – well, you can always pour your own.

    Playability is the game’s best attribute. It cannot be faltered. You just moveyour mouse as desired and then click. Easy.


    Overall

    The one problem with casino games is that their fun to play for a while, butto me their appeal soon fades as you’re not winning real money. The amount inyour bank is just an ever-increasing (or decreasing) figure. I’ve not alwaysfelt that way though, as I used to enjoy the Casino game that was availablefor the Atari 2600 VCS almost 20 years ago.

    The consensus is then, that if this is the first time you’ve come acrossa casino-style game, you’ll have a lot of fun with it, but if you’ve beendown this road a few times before, there’s not a lot more on offer here.

    GRAPHICS : **SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC: **PLAYABILITY: ****ORIGINALITY : *ENJOYMENT : **——————————-OVERALL : **

    If you’re after some more info on Interplay’s games, check out the officialWebsite atwww.interplay.com

    Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 1998.

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  • Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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