Developer/Publisher: AbZorba Games || Overall: 8.0/10
Black Jack is your classic old-time casino game. Counting cards, hitting at the right time, and making sure your six-shooter is at the ready just in case someone thinks you’re cheating. Nowadays, it’s not so dangerous as Black Jack is now available on smart phones. You can play it on the go, in your home, or on the can. It would be hard playing in all three of those situations at the same time, but at least you have your gun in case anything unexpected happens…. like… umm… a jet fighter dog-fighting with your flying house that is powered only by the propulsion of toilet water?
Anywho, that’s enough of that.
BlackJack Live Casino for the iOS is one such Black Jack gaming app available. While it’s a pretty normal casino app, it offers a few standard features to extend your play time such as buying more Credits (to play the actual Black Jack game) and a higher-tier currency known as Diamonds (for bonus games and customizing your avatar), and the usual time-based free bonuses for returning. There is also a leveling system that automatically awards you Credits at each level up through play.
When using Credits to play Black Jack (which is arguably the whole point of BlackJack Live Casino), you can join a table and start playing against a dealer. You can have up to four players (including yourself) at a table, going through the regular flow of Black Jack. The game can be a bit social as you can chat with other players while playing, and you’ll watch each player take their turn against the dealer. Unfortunately, you have to wait one by one, instead of everyone taking their turn at the same time. This can make you feel impatient and not exactly make you want to join a table that is full as a result, since the games will take a little longer. If people are talking, it can help with socialization as people have some extra time to type.
The game can be welcoming to players of all skill levels, but I think that the game would be useful to learn the ins-and-outs if you are just starting to learn Black Jack in general. The user interface is pretty friendly and helps you out by automatically awarding you when you attain a Black Jack and automatically standing when you hit 21. Lesser games would allow you to “mess up” and hit again to bust, so it is a nice feature to have included in the game. There is a help menu that will explain Black Jack’s rules and as you play you’ll basically learn the flow of repeated plays. The text can be a bit small at times, as well.
A funny aspect of the game, though I’m not sure how much it actually affects the gameplay, is that you or the other people at the table (including the dealer) can draw identical cards. One game I drew two Five of Diamonds in the same play and although the game “shuffles” the cards after a certain amount of time, I’m unsure if this means they combined multiple decks or what. This basically makes any inclination to “card count” pointless, if you were able to. There are a couple of bonus games outside of the Black Jack game that requires Diamonds. Diamonds are attained by purchase primarily, and you earn a lot more Credits with these bonus games.
What is possibly the most “interesting” feature is the Avatar system. I was thoroughly amused by the amount of random items and costumes your avatars are able to wear, including sexy Santa, a mummy, a spy, a matador, a Texan waitress, etc. Imagining all of these random people sitting around a table playing Black Jack is a bit fun to think about. The avatar gallery provides an alternate use for your Diamonds and if you don’t want to use a preset avatar (known as a “Hero”) you can customize your avatar to your liking using a smattering of all of the pieces available. When other players click to view your profile, they will be able to see your avatar as well as your other stats related to your career in the game.
Another funny aspect of the game is the “Cocktail” feature. You are able to buy gifts/items/drinks for other people you are sitting at a table with, presumably for the times you want to impress people or something. There are a few funny items in there, such as developer-branded French Fries, sunglasses, a hamburger, and other random things. There appears to be a seasonal store that changes up depending on the time of year, as it currently has summery items available.
As far as free casino games go, BlackJack Live Casino is about all you can ask for in a Black Jack game. A few tweaks here and there and I wouldn’t have anything to point out to complain about. Black Jack can be fun for a round of hands every now and then and BlackJack Live Casino is a worthwhile option.