I Spy Fantasy Synopsis and Features

I Spy Fantasy is a science fiction-themed version of the popular seek-and-find games. Designed to help kids aged six to ten develop skills like problem solving, vocabulary, and visual memory, I Spy Fantasy features nine adventures dealing with dragons, wizards, aliens, and sea creatures. The game includes 54 riddles, 30 locations, scavenger hunts, and special tools like a telescope and a microscope.

Features
Nine educational adventures
More than 50 challenging riddles
Over 30 fantasy locations

Dexter’s Laboratory: Chess Challenge Synopsis

The Cartoon Network’s favorite boy genius matches wits with sister Dee Dee, rival Mandark, or even superhero Major Glory in this chess game from bam! Entertainment. Following the rules of the classic strategy game, play is presented in a Dexter’s Lab theme and features special character animations for winning moves. Dexter’s Laboratory: Chess Challenge offers four modes of play, including multiplayer matches between two linked GBA competitors.

Similar Games
Chessmaster Ubisoft Entertainment
Virtual Kasparov Titus Software Corp.

High Rollerz Review

High Rollerz can’t compete with major casino collections, such as those produced by Hoyle or even Avery Cardoza, but it doesn’t need to since the five fairly common games offered are presented in a charming and engaging manner. The collection proves that games don’t need an excess of features or overdone animations to be enjoyable.

High Rollerz offers a choice of nine attractively drawn characters to represent you throughout the game. The icons are cute and done in a style that evokes comic books and anime, and each has its own personality with subtle effects that never distract from the game. The dealers at each table are done in the same style, and add cohesiveness to the game. While nothing about High Rollerz’s graphics is overly impressive, the presentation has a unique and refreshing look, breaking the mold of tired, mundane gambling titles.

Although the rules of roulette, craps, baccarat and blackjack remain the same no matter what collection they’re in, High Rollerz makes them friendly and approachable. The help file can’t be accessed within the game, but it’s a quick read and covers the rules easily. Players unfamiliar with the games can essentially jump right in and catch on quickly with the basic information offered.

The three variations on poker provided by High Rollerz, 7-card stud, 5-card draw, and Texas Hold’em, are an added bonus, giving the collection a bit of an advantage since many casino collections include only 5-card draw. Three levels for minimum and maximum bets allow you to exercise your preference for the stakes, and money totals for each selected character carry over between games and can be reset at any time. Considering this collection is so low profile, inclusion of these features is somewhat surprising.

High Rollerz may have limited offerings in terms of games, but offers them in impressive style. It can’t replace a more complete collection, but stands up well to the competition.

Graphics

Colorful character designs, nicely drawn cards and tables, as well as sharp and clear visuals make the games easy to play.

Sound

Voices and sound effects are unobtrusive and evoke a casino atmosphere.

Enjoyment

The collection offers only five games, including three variations on poker, but the games are done perfectly.

Replay Value

Carry over money totals and game enjoyment should be enough to make most gamers return for more.

Documentation

The manual covers installation, and the help file is not available during play.

Monopoly Casino Overview (Synopsis and Features)

Gamers who love the high stakes thrills of both Monopoly and Las Vegas casinos will want to check out Hasbro Interactive’s Monopoly Casino. With Mr. Monopoly as your guide and card dealer, try your hand at one of 19 different Monopoly Slots games, 12 poker games, 5 blackjack variations, 2 roulette games, 4 money wheel variations, 4 kinds of Keno, 10 games of video poker and 5 varieties of craps.

Once you’ve signed in and decided how much money you want to start with, decide which Monopoly board game token will represent you in your gambling travels. Once you’re inside the 3D casino you can approach any table, decide which variation on the game you wish to play, and place your bet. Once you’re done, remember to click the Cash Out button to add your winnings to your money clip.

Among the old standards such as poker and roulette you’ll also find three versions of slot machines created by MS Gaming Inc. and actually in use in casinos around the United States. They are Chairman of the Board, Once Around, and Reel Estate. Each of them has a Monopoly look and feel to it.

If you want to play online against a few friends, just log on to the MSN Gaming Zone and exchange messages via ICQ or America Online’s Instant Messenger while you gamble.

If you have at least $15,000 in your money clip and want to join a tournament, you can play in one of seven different types at any time. If you lose all your money while playing, you’re out of the tournament. The player who has won the most money at the end receives a $25,000 bonus.

Features
Play alone, challenge friends and family at home, or compete against opponents over the Internet
Access hints and playing tips if your luck doesn’t seem to be enough
Test your luck on such slot machines as Reel Estate, Once Around, and Chairman of the Board

Solitaire Overview (2000 PC Game)

Developed by prolific single-player card game producer Goodsol, this value-minded title offers 300 variations of different solitaire games. Included are full-featured versions of the classic Klondike and Free Cell, as well as Cat’s Cradle, Four Leaf Clover, and Spider’s Web. Like all eGames titles, this release is designed for players of all ages and carries an “E” rating from the ESRB.

Features
Compete in 50 challenging solitaire games
Numerous options include six card designs, 26 backgrounds, and redo and undo moves
Games include Klondike, Free Cell, and Spider’s Web

Caesar’s Palace 2000

Caesars Palace 2000 is a gambling simulation video game developed by Runecraft and published by Interplay Entertainment. It was released in North America and Europe in June 2000 for the PlayStation, Dreamcast and Microsoft Windows’ PCs. It is named after the famous Caesars Palace luxury hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pokémon Pinball Review

It’s been said that Japanese culture is the “Beta version” of American culture and I’m rarely surprised when any Asian fad manages to find its way across the Pacific. However, the whole Pokémon thing has gotten way out of hand, in my humble opinion. I just don’t get it — little kids raising freakish monsters, who fight and fall at the hands of their trainers. Weird.

In any case, Nintendo has seen fit to release many, many Pokémon games after the insane success of the original Pokémon: Red Version and Pokémon: Blue Version. The latest Game Boy offering from the “Big N” is Pokémon Pinball, which combines the cute cuddliness of all the Pokémon with the frenetic gameplay and physics of classic pinball.

Pokémon Pinball gives you two tables to play on — Red and Blue. Each one contains a good number of bumpers, kick-backs, and graphical goings-on. It’s played just like normal pinball, except you’ve got a “Pokeball” rocketing around the screen instead of a standard silver pinball. When you hit certain targets in the correct order, you’re able to capture a Pokémon that’s located in the middle of the screen. The ultimate goal of the game is to capture all 150 Pokémon — and that’s gonna take a long time. Thankfully, the game has a save feature that preserves your “Pokedex,” and your high scores.

Pokémon Pinball looks pretty good on both the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, and both pinball tables are well-animated with plenty of character. The game is very forgiving, and losing a ball off the side of the table frequently results in a free kickback. Also worth mentioning is that the game comes with a “Rumble Pak” built into it, that’s powered off of an included AAA battery. The resulting effect is actually pretty cool, despite the fact that the feature adds a few bucks onto the final retail price of the game. You’ll agree it’s worth the price of admission after you get the Pikachu Kickback, where the cartridge vibrates wildly as you hear a digitized scream of “PIIII-KAAAA!” blast through your tiny speakers.

The only setback of Pokémon Pinball is that the screen doesn’t scroll up and down the full length of the table — when your ball goes off the screen, there’s a half-second pause as the other half of the table is drawn. It can get to be a pain, especially when your Pokeball is bouncing back and forth between both screens. I refuse to believe that the Game Boy is incapable of scrolling a two-screen display up and down — shame, Nintendo.

In any case, Pokémon Pinball delivers all of the goofy Poke-fun that the pre-teen crowd can’t get enough of, and it’s honestly not a bad game of pinball. If you need some fun on the go, pick this one up — just don’t get a seizure when Pikachu’s cheeks start flashing red.

Graphics

Cute and colorful – too bad it doesn’t push the limits of the Game Boy Color, though.

Sound

Super-happy, bouncy Pokémon music keeps playing in the background.

Enjoyment

Very controllable — too bad the screen has to redraw when you kick the ball off the visible part of the table.

Replay Value

With over a hundred Pokémon to catch, you’ll come back to this one time and time again.

Documentation

A beefy fifty-page tome with plenty of color illustrations and maps. Very cool.

Avery Cardoza’s 100 Slots 2000 Review

Very similar in structure to other Cardoza Entertainment specialty games, Avery Cardoza’s 100 Slots 2000 immediately puts you in the action. Creating the persona of your choice, you can freely roam Cardoza Entertainment’s virtual casino. You determine the size of your bankroll (if only that’s how it was in real life!), your weekly pay, and then it’s off to the slots.

Choose from over 100 different slot machines–no small task, I guarantee. Personally, I recommend starting at the lower-priced machines and slowly moving up through the ranks, assuming you’re able to earn profits. I find slot machines in general to be quite difficult to beat consistently and build up steady winnings, as the odds seem much higher than most card games. Perhaps I just have better luck at cards. The point is, though, it takes considerable time to get decent cash flow going. If you have the time and feel up to it, go for it.

The graphics in Avery Cardoza’s 100 Slots 2000 are average at best. The colorful and entertaining slots are nicely done and don’t distract from game play. The virtual casino, however, is lacking in appearance and not pleasing to the eye.

Selecting a slot from the main screen is a tedious process but, fortunately, the menu bars make the search easier. Through their use, you can find tables quickly and move from one to another smoothly. Also, changing the wager at the slots requires only a mouse-click, making that aspect quite simple as well.

The audio in Avery Cardoza’s 100 Slots 2000 is quite a bit better than other Cardoza Entertainment games I’ve experienced. Each slot has its own sound effects that add a bit to the fun. For example, on the rock and roll slot machine, every time a guitar spins up you hear a chord, each time a drum comes up you hear a drumbeat, and so on. Although minimal, it is a nice touch.

The sheer variety of the tables is quite overwhelming. There are so many from which to choose, a casino enthusiast will truly feel as if he or she has arrived at some sort of quarter-heaven in the sky. If slots aren’t your main focus at a casino, you may want to give this one a pass; but if they are, come on in and try your luck at 100 one-armed bandits.

Graphics

The slots are pleasing to the eye but the ambience of a casino with realistic surroundings is lacking.

Sound

The sound effects are different at each table and add to the variety and entertainment.

Enjoyment

For those obsessed with slots, the game is perfect. For others, it may be fun for a while but won’t sustain long term interest.

Replay Value

Gets boring after a while due to the lack of variety in concept, not tables.

Documentation

The instruction manual and strategy guide is incredibly comprehensive and helpful.

All-in-One Casino Games PC Review

All-in-One Casino Games is a poor effort from beginning to end, starting with the game’s welcome screen — a picture of the box. The music accompanying the main menu is terrible, even by casino standards, and there’s a 1-second gap after the end of one music loop and the beginning of the next. The game is limited to a 640×480 window and features only ten different games, including a single slot machine and one video poker machine, with no variations whatsoever.

Worst of all, the developers were sloppy in the implementation of the casino games. For example, the roulette wheel is too small to see where the ball is going, so there’s no suspense. The same lazy design occurs in the Keno area. In real-life, Keno operators announce the numbers as they’re drawn, which builds excitement when you’re only one or two numbers away from a big win. Unfortunately, the game lists the results in increasing order, thus, if you’ve selected numbers 1 through 10 on your ticket and the first ball that appears is number 12, you know the game is essentially over and you’re stuck watching the rest of the drawing to no real purpose.

The interface is sloppy and inconsistent. Text messages, prodding you for action, are printed in a small font, and often overrun the borders of the small screen area where they’re located. Even worse, since the text layer is apparently drawn before the rest of the screen, the first and last words of a message are often hidden from view by the playing table, or by flat black areas. At times, chips appear on the table after a bet, while at others, only a numerical counter shows up.

The game goes downhill from there. Chips seen in the bet selection areas and on the playing tables do not match in color or size, and the sound effects are extremely annoying. As a result, the entire game reeks of laziness and amateurism, and is not remotely fun to play.

Graphics

Sloppy interface and mostly static images make for a visually unappealing product.

Sound

The sound effects are terrible, and the music-looping bug is inexcusable.

Enjoyment

Bad implementation robs the gambling games of any innate excitement.

Replay Value

Much less variety than other casino games that are available on the market. Having a single slot machine and one video poker machine is insulting.

Documentation

Minimal online help is adequate. No manual comes with the game.