In-game table blackjack & poker, video game slots, video game character themed fruit machines and so on. There has been an evident affiliation between video games and gambling for decades now, from the earliest form of arcade games to the open world cinematic titles that hit our consoles and computers today, there has been a crossover between the two. We take a look at some of the clearest examples of the connection between casino and video games down the years.
Variations of Casino Games in Mario Bros Titles
Super Mario is probably the most iconic arcade game character of all time and the first release was all the way back in 1985 on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The first presence of a casino game within Super Mario Bros’ famous mini games first appeared in the third instalment which was released in Japan 1988 before being released in both North America and Europe by August 1991.
Of course, there is no actual real financial game for players and anything won is just for fun but the in-game rewards are decent. This mini game features a classic three-reel slot featuring classic fruit symbols like those you’d see on slot machines at casinos around the world.
The love for casino games in Super Mario Bros. is also clearly evident in later titles on the Nintendo DS in the early 2000s. The new enhanced 3D graphics on the DS were an age away from the early 2D platform graphics of the first releases, this allowed the developers to include new mini game features and the developers couldn’t resist including new casino games. These included picture poker and blackjack which are of course all centred around classic symbols from the game.
Casinos & Table Games in Rockstar Games Titles
Perhaps one of the most memorable features of casino games in video games are within Rockstar Games titles such as the biggest selling Grand Theft Auto Series and Red Dead Redemption.
The first lot of casinos appeared in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas with three accessible casinos on the map. These included The Four Dragons, Caligula’s Palace and ‘Casino Floor’, each with their own Vegas style casino theme. Each casino has a different selection of playable games such as video poker, blackjack and roulette tables, slot machines, as well as various wheels of fortune.
Although there wasn’t much of a casino presence in GTA 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 brought it back with a bang, while the Vinewood Casino remained closed throughout the first years of the game release, excitement amongst fans increased when updates, revealed new construction items emerged outside the casino and the “Coming Soon” banner removed completely. Rumours of the casinos pending opening were corrected when Rockstar announced that the casino would open as an online playable casino, ‘The Diamond Casino & Resort’, an impressive in game casino and hotel facility. This allowed players to play traditional casino games with their friends online but this was also met with some backlash, as players can buy in-game in currency with real money and in turn buy casino chips, but players have no way of turning any in-casino wins back into real cash.
The two Red Dead Redemption releases are set in the Wild West in the United States between 1899-1911, naturally with this being set in a far earlier era than the GTA series, the Red Dead forms of in-game gambling are somewhat different to the video casino games you can play in GTA. The gambling within Red Dead come in the forms of card games like blackjack and poker but the main character Marsten can also place bets on games such as five finger fillet, arm wrestling, horseshoes and liar’s dice. Poker and liar’s dice were eventually added to the online mode where players can gamble against their friends and other players in the open world map.
Online Casino Video Game Themed Slots
Putting the shoe on the other foot, online casinos have also adopted video games and in-game characters to theme many of their slots.
Tomb Raider, with its main character Lara Croft perhaps the most recognisable heroines from video gaming history, was adapted to a casino slot, where players seek fortune while also seeing graphics and symbols from the Tomb Raider series.
Another blockbuster video game which was recreated as a slot, is Call of Duty 4 where players objective is to match CoD 4 related symbols in order to win explosive cash prizes.
Other classic video titles which are now slots include: The Hitman, Worms and Resident Evil but these are just a snippet & there are many other online casino slots with a nod to old classic video games out there to play.
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