Little Things: Casino Kid and Casino Games

I’ve recently come to appreciate casino video games. For a long time I considered them routine, disposable pieces of a game system’s library, and I paid them about as much attention as the NES version of Pictionary. As with all games, however, it’s a matter of just how much effort a developer applies, and some developers of casino titles went far beyond the basics.

Sofel’s Casino Kid is a good example. It’s a straightforward selection of gambling diversions, but it progresses with an RPG-like overhead view as the title hero roams a casino. In between blackjack and poker matches, the player can talk to the various dealers, waitresses, and assorted patrons. Instead of just scrolling up a text box, the game cuts to a separate screen of our protagonist grinning cockily at the conversation.

Most of the encounters in Casino Kid are terse and slightly odd. My favorite comes from this waitress.

Some of the women working at the casino say “I’m pretty!” for no apparent reason, but this green-haired waitress takes it a step further. She’s telling the Kid that she thinks she’s pretty, as though she’s spent the morning mulling over her self-worth and concluded that she doesn’t need others to validate her appearance. She may be wearing a Playboy bunny costume in a casino, but she’s not looking for anyone, not even a blond smirksome video-game hero, to bolster her confidence. She thinks she’s pretty, and that’s all that matters.

Other chats paint a less stable portrait of the staff. In fact, one waitress is openly upset.