Commodore User1st September 1986
Published in Commodore User #36
Las Vegas Video Poker
You could almost feel the tension, as the Kid from North Harrow, otherwise known as Freddie the Flush stood before the poker machine faced with a big decision.
He had on screen five cards - a pair of Jacks and three hearts; should he go for a two pair hand or gamble on a flush? The crowd gasped, as with reckless abandon, he dumped the pair of Jacks and every breath was held as the space bar was pressed for two new cards. Down they came and - bingo - two more hearts! The flush was made and satisfying chinks were heard as 100 dollar coins came spouting out like a silver waterfall.
So much for my dreams of fame and fortune in Las Vegas, but it did happen on my C64 thanks to Mastertronic's Video Poker from their Entertainment USA series. This is billed as the "closest simulation available on a home computer" and I must admit it is a pretty faithful reproduction of those Vegas machines.The choice of coin value is the first option and you can opt for nickels, dimes, quarters or dollars (all a bit academic really as you get an endless supply anyway). Then you can bet up to five coins before a hand is dealt (in these type of games you might as well bet the maximum each time). Down scroll the cards and depending on the hand you've been dealt, you can opt to change from one to five cards. This done, you sit back and see if you've made the right choice. The winning hands are standard Poker from two pairs, three of a kind up to a flush or Royal Flush. If your luck's in, you'll win. If not, well there's always the next hand.
The sound effects are quite pleasant, a nice satisfying chunk is heard as each coin drops and the title tune is a jolly Rob Hubbard piano romp, but that's about it as far as it goes.
On the graphics front, there is praise indeed, but good graphics and nice scrolling routines do not a great game make...
I can't say that it will keep me at the keyboard for long, because the excitement of gambling is having to use your own hard-earned spondies - when it's a bottomless pit, the novelty soon wears off and I found myself quite bored by it all in the end.
The price is fair and it sure beats buying a ticket to Vegas! So, if you fancy yourself as a mean Poker player it's just about worth a hand or two.