Simulated gambling is slowly but surely taking the console game world by storm, with some of the most popular new releases being games that feature simulation and gambling in some fashion or other. They allow you to experience the sense of anticipation that regular casino goers feel, without taking the hit to your wallet. The demand for titles on the Xbox, Nintendo Wii and Playstation is growing, and manufacturers and game-makers are scrambling to catch up. With that said, here is a handful of some of the most sought-after simulated games out there on the market for the console system:
Clubhouse Games from Nintendo
The highly-rated Clubhouse Games is actually a suite of simulated gambling games, which means you get the most bang for your buck if you own a Nintendo DS handheld. By its very nature a mobile platform, you have access to dozens of classic board, party and card games – against the computer A.I. or online versus friends on your network, using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. With the ability to add up to seven friends in the multiplayer, this suite has made carrying around cards and board games all but obsolete. You can play poker, backgammon, billiards, dice variations, bridge and more right from the palm of your hands, transitioning smoothly between each game to your heart’s content. At last count, the Clubhouse Games suite had over 40 distinct games in its local library:
Games like Texas Hold’em and Five Card Draw
For the Eastern game-lover in you, Mahjong Solitaire, Shogi, Hasami Shogi, Koi Koi and more
Old classic board games (ancient, really) like Checkers, Chinese checkers, Chess, Dominoes and so on
Seven Bridge, Rummy, Las Card and Last Card Plus
For more of the traditional shoot-em-up and strategy, and less of the simulated gambling feel, try Escape, Grid Attack, Contract Bridge and Takeover
Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged Volume 1 from Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studio is simply following a successful program of packaging together games that have performed well separately – but no one’s complaining. Their Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged offers a suite of award-winning consumer favorites, which have outsold all other games together and occupied the best-seller lists for weeks on end. Best of all, the price is a lot lower together than you’d get the games for apart. There’s Bejeweled, the addictive modern-day puzzle-arrangement game with un-lockable levels and hours of almost heart-pounding excitement.
For a different feel, Hardwood Backgammon gives you the option to play against the computer, a friend online via the Xbox Live set-up, or invite an actual, real-life friend over and play with them in the same room. For the online option, Hardwood Backgammon comes with an optional webcam.
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is reminiscent of the arcade classic Asteroids and Galaga. Anyone who ever owned an Atari system can appreciate how addictive and fun these two were, and Geometry Wars ramps it up with better graphics and a touch of simulated gambling in the interface. Better still, this game tailors itself to your growing expertise, so it remains fun without ever getting dull. There are several other fan favorites in Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged, so grab a copy and see which ones you like best.
World Poker Tour from 2K Sports
For novices and poker aficionados alike, the World Poker Tour is the king of all professional venues for table game players. Now available on the portable handheld PSP, you get to play as your favorite world-class poker star, or use the customize options to craft your own character. Also available on the Playstation console system, the wireless connectivity banishes geographical restrictions and uses the very high-grade artificial intelligence to maximum effect, with thousands of poker variations and over a thousand different playing styles. Bottom line: if poker is your thing, then the World Poker Tour will have you glued to the couch for hours on end.
Enchanted Arms for Playstation 3
Enchanted Arms is very much in the same vein as the diehard classic Final Fantasy series from Square Enix. At first glance, it looks like a fantasy slay-em, and you might be asking “where’s the simulated gambling?” Well there are many mini-games in this effort, much like Final Fantasy’s Chocobo simulated gambling adventures, and the reviews seem to indicate that they’re worth the price of admission. And of course, HD graphics never hurt in this 50-hour RPG with hundreds of things to do.