Roulette Live Casino (iOS) Review

Developer/Publisher: AbZorba Games || Overall: 8.0/10

Part of the AbZorba suite of casino games, Roulette Live Casino is available for the iOS.  A simple, easy to play Roulette game using the AbZorba Avatar system, Roulette Live Casino is a perfect way for a beginner to understand the basics of the table game.

Once you sit at a table, it is easy to bet on the spots you for the next spin.  While Inside Betting on numbers directly will pay out the most, they are the least likely to hit.  Most of your bets should be spread out, and on the category-type Outside Bets, such as Black, Red, 1st 12, 2nd 12, etc.  There is a Help option that teaches these terms and how they are related to their payouts, so you’ll be able to know what you’re betting on.

The game will allow you to play with other people and you can see what bets other people do.  No one competes with each other, but you may be motivated to try and get a better total win than others on the table, or engage with them socially.  The options to place bets are simple taps with your finger, and you can also easily wipe your bets or place the same bets again with the on-screen commands.  There is a timer in the bottom corner that will inform you how much time you have for the current bet.

Roulette Live Casino also utilizes the same Avatar system as their other games, and you can make some fun custom combinations as well as opt to buying a “Hero” with Diamonds.  Chips are earned through regular play.  In-app Purchases are available for both currencies.

Roulette Live Casino is a nice roulette game for your iOS devices and if you are interested in learning the ropes of roulette.

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Slots – Pharaoh’s Fire (iOS) Review

Developer/Publisher: Cervo Media GmbH || Overall: 8.0/10

Hardware Used: iPhone 5 with iOS 6

Reviewing sequels to games you enjoy tend to be a typical thing when you are a reviewer.  It’s easy to sit there and write out how everything in the sequel is the same, but better in so many ways, and even pull from your previous review for inspiration.  In this case, Slots – Pharaoh’s Fire is the sequel to a previously reviewed title, Slots – Pharaoh’s Way; it essentially boils down to this: it is a slots game that is a sequel to a slots game and it is still… a slots game.

In my previous review I went through the ethics and personal feelings I had with the business model this slots game (now series) presents itself with.  The structure is very much the same in Slots – Pharaoh’s Fire as it was in Slots – Pharaoh’s Way, and really all that you’ll initially see (if you are moving from the previous game to this) is that you are resetting back to zero.  Slots – Pharaoh’s Way is an endlessly-updated grind to the next slot, and Slots – Pharaoh’s Fire is not much different.  There’s no point, really, in talking about what is the same, but it’s an opportunity to talk about what IS different.

It is an interesting observation that many of the improvements I had suggested in my previous review seems to actually have come to pass — namely in more significant time-based rewards and an interesting meta game which rewards you as you play.

Free bonus credits are earned by increment of four hours as Slots – Pharaoh’s Way had done and still seem to scale higher as you progress — you also get a “special bonus” on every fourth redemption, which is a unique bonus game.  The “Money Rain” bonuses (credits you earn as a bonus to leveling up) that occur also scale higher along with your level.  Another vital, new, free bonus happens now in the form of a Return Bonus independent of your hourly bonus — if you visit every day your rewards slightly increase as each day goes on.

A meta game has been introduced in this title that revolves around collecting relic pieces, signified by a moving piece that represents your progress through leveling.  As you complete the relics you gain a large payout of credits.  Whereas before you would attain this payout at a certain increment of levels, the progression is “broken up” and given a visual representation to tell you that you are almost at the next milestone.  This is a welcome change as it gives the feeling of an adventure and collecting relic pieces to add to your overall collection — of which there are many relics to collect.  Your piece moves every 1/3 increment of a level and you gain a relic piece at every two levels.

Included with the meta game is also a bonus chance to earn credits within that meta game progression.  A chest moves every five turns (slot plays) within your progression path, and if it appears on top of your moving piece, you get into one of the bonus games unique to this chest.  One is a spinning wheel that lands on a number and the other I encountered was a “Risk to Double” game – you roll a number and risk it (to double it) by choosing heads/tails.  If you lose in the Risk to Double game, you get a consolation prize regardless, but it is usually going to be a paltry amount.  It is pretty much the same idea as the bonus card game that you get access to on regular slot wins.  The bonus card game is still essentially useless, and the same rules apply as in the previous game.  Because they are essentially the same game, I am lead to think that the Risk to Double just isn’t worth the risk.

There is more diversity in the initial few slots, and it is seemingly less reliant on the “Pharaoh’s” theme, unlike the first game.  The second slot level you are all of a sudden in the African safari with elephants and shit.  What happened to the God damn pyramids and whipping slaves?!  I want some more Anubis and King Tut shit before I start traveling all over the world.  Every 10 levels unlocks a new slot and this time around there are no numbers showing how many diamonds you earned so it’s not as easy to tell what your progress is other than a visual bar.  I assume that they’ve reigned in the required amount of diamonds to make it more linear rather than it’s exponential growth that occurred in the last game, but it isn’t easy to tell.

Buying credits still seems like something predatory, but there can be plenty in-game to at least make you feel like you are earning credits with the extra bonuses and the new meta game portion.  Where the ethics get involved here, is that the game has to feel rewarding to keep you hooked, but they can’t be too rewarding since they want to sell credits. It’s a very fine balancing act that appears to sometimes rig the bonus games to not be very rewarding all of the time. For example, a risk/reward game that stops between a large number and a small number will seemingly skew towards the small number more often than not. Even the “meta chest” game is privy to this, despite being essentially an added system for overall bonuses.  There are lots of added bonus games involved with the title, but none are overly rewarding, which takes a little bit of the excitement out of hitting one of them.

As someone who grinded quite a few million diamonds in the previous iteration, it feels a bit daunting to get into and start yet another slots game (with essentially the same progression system) from scratch.  Personally, it feels like there should either have been some sort of credit sharing between the two games, or Slots – Pharaoh’s Way upgraded with the additions they made for Slots – Pharaoh’s Fire.  Business-wise, I completely understand why you would want your players to experience a full reset — the grind is necessarily subject to becoming hooked as you gain levels with more regularity at the lower levels and hitting level 243 might not mean anything anymore.

There are some graphical enhancements (addition of more 3D graphics/animations is the biggest difference) and some sound “additions” that are a bit corny as some deep-voiced European-sounding dude (read: not Egyptian) is one(?) of the performers.  As always, I turned my sound off within ten minutes of booting up the game, so it didn’t matter to me.

Is the game good?  Sure.  It’s not any better or worse than the previous game, really.  A lot of the additions I proposed were actually included and its made the game a better package, however the intent of the game is to make money at the end of the day and they can’t go too crazy with the fun.  For the benefit of the series, it would be interesting to see a different progression system than grinding diamonds and levels to unlock more slots.  For a more in-depth look at all of the basic functions of the game, please check out my previous review as almost all of it is relevant for this game.

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Hooty McHoothoot and the Ducks of Doom

Hooty McHoothoot was sitting on his branch in front of a flock of pigeons.

“What do you get when you cross an owl and a mouse?”

The pigeons all looked at each other, anticipating the answer.

“I don’t know, but I sure wouldn’t want to eat it!  That’d be like eating my brother!”

The pigeons all looked at each other, not really understanding.

Hooty McHoothoot fluffed his feathers and expanded his wings.  “Whoohaaa!!  That was hilarious!!”

* * *

It was a cold black night in the middle of Hinjojeseph City, Maine.  In an old, abandoned bread factory once run by the Doomsday Bread Corporation, several innocent ducks found their way in.  This group of ducks had heard stories of the plentiful bread crumbs that could be located in the old bread factory, and the opportunity had presented itself to find their way in.

Dally, Yabigail, Paulty, Rowry, Arolu, and Muhduriug were so excited to have finally found their way into the abandoned warehouse, they began to gorge themselves on the bread that had seemingly not lost any of its flavor even though it had been abandoned for a few years.  What the poor, innocent ducks did not know was that the bread made at the Doomsday Bread Factory was demonic bread made with the demonic spices of Turnevil and Meanolasses, to name a couple.  The bread was so good in fact that it was too good.  Too good in fact that it was sinful.  So sinful in fact that it would make whoever ate the bread in large quantities into evil maniacal beings bent on destruction.

Dally Duck and Yabigail Duck were the first to turn during the night.  Their feathers turned dark red and their wings began to grow claws on the ends.  Their feathers became more like scales than feathers and their beaks turned black and pointed.

The rest of the ducks turned by the morning and soon they were in one of the back offices of the factory, colluding, about what nefarious deeds they should undertake.

The ducks all stood in a circle — all of them scheming about what destruction they would bring about.  But, first they had to name themselves.

“What about Red Bi-pedal Ducks of the Impending Not-So-Far-Off Apocalypse?”  Muhduriug Duck suggested.

“No!  Too corporate!  If the Doomsday Bread Factory catches wind of any money-making empire we make down the line they may sue us for trademark violation!” Arolu Duck threw up his wings into the air.

“How about Doomsday Ducks?” Rowry Duck suggested.

“I KNOW!  DUCKS OF DOOM!”  Paulty yelled.

“You’re a genius, Paulty!” Yabigail clapped her feet together on the floor in excitement.

“Yes, good going Paulty!”  “You’re the best Paulty!”

All of the ducks loved their new name as they quacked and danced around.

* * *

Hooty McHoothoot was perched on a pier in front of a flock of sea gulls smacking their stupid feet on the wood boards in front of them.

“Knock knock!” Hooty announced to his “audience.”

The sea gulls slapped their feet against the floor some more.

“Who’s there?” Hooty filled in for his audience.

“Who.

Who who?

Hoohoohoo I’m an owl!”

Hooty waited for a response but the sea gulls just slapped their stupid feet on the wood boards in front of them.

Hooty McHoothoot fluffed his feathers and expanded his wings.  “Whoohaaa!!  That was hilarious!!”

* * *

The Ducks of Doom were in the Collusion Room of the Doomsday Bread Factory writing stuff on paper.  Their writings consisted of diabolical and oh-so-mean plans to fit their group name of “Ducks of Doom.”

“How about we replace all of the water with liquid Einsteinium?” Muhduriug Duck suggested.

“Impossible!  How would we ever be able to transport all of that Einsteinium and where would we put all the water???” Arolu Duck threw up his wings into the air.

“How about evaporating all of the water?” Rowry Duck added.

“I KNOW!  WHY DON’T WE PUT THE EINSTEINIUM INSIDE THE WATER!” Paulty yelled.

“You’re a genius, Paulty!” Yabigail clapped her feet together on the floor in excitement.

“Yes, good going Paulty!”  “You’re the best Paulty!”

All of the ducks loved their new doomsday plan as they quacked and danced around.

* * *

Hooty McHoothoot was sitting in a branch of the United States government called Congress.

“What do you get when an owl gets elected as a member of the government?”  Hooty asked Congress.

The members of the US Congress were slapping their stupid feet on the floor and looked at each other in anticipation of the answer.

“I don’t know, but he wouldn’t be MY friend!”  Hooty delivered the “punchline.”

The members of the US Congress continued slapping their stupid feet on the floor and looked at each other, not really understanding.

Hooty McHoothoot fluffed his feathers and expanded his wings.  “Whoohaaa!!  That was hilarious!!”

* * *

Muhduriug Duck was driving a semi-truck and backing a large tank of Einsteinium towards the ocean.

Arolu Duck was motioning the truck back more and more as it came upon the beach.

Rowry Duck, Yabigail Duck and Dally Duck placed wooden boards underneath truck as it got ever-closer to the ocean.

Paulty ran across the beach and yelled something incoherent.

All of the ducks stopped what they were doing and looked at Paulty.

“QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK!!!”

Muhduriug Duck adjusted his trucker hat and looked out the window and spit on the ground.  “WHAT?”

Paulty finally caught his breath and announced to the Ducks of Doom:

“We’ve been foiled!  Congress has done something worse than we could have done!  They passed a health care bill!  That means our Einsteinium poisoning of the ocean will be negligible because everyone will be healed!”

All of the Ducks of Doom lowered their heads and quacked off into the distance as they went back to the Doomsday Bread Factory.

The semi-truck full of Einsteinium stayed neglected.

That was until Hooty McHoothoot flew over and landed on the semi-truck.

“Hm, I wonder what this stuff is?”  Hooty McHoothoot took out a straw and took a big swig of what was inside.

Poor Hooty McHoothoot began to glow and all of the color in his feathers disappeared!  He was all white, and not only that but his eyes turned into glistening diamonds surrounded by a gold trim.  His beak became solid metal as well as his talons.  His eyebrows went out of control and grew into his moustache and down the sides of his cheeks.  His eyebrows pointed off and became horns.

Hooty McHoothoot squawked as his diamond eyes blew a hole into the atmosphere, degrading the O-zone layer.

Hooty McHoothoot fluffed his feathers and expanded his wings.  “Whoohaaa!!  That was hilarious!!”

 

Moral of the Story:  Clean up after yourself.

 

Joke #18608

After many years of faithful duty with the US Forest Service, their beloved fire prevention mascot was unceremoniously “retired.”

Still in the prime of his life and bearing one of the world’s most recognizable faces, he quickly found work as a spokesman for the world’s leading exporter of diamonds.

He’s now working as “Smokey DeBeers.”

 

Joke #12301

A man was charged with robbing a jewelry store and asked a young lawyer to defend him.

“I’ll handle your case,” said the attorney, “if you swear to me that you’re innocent and agree to pay my three-hundred-dollar fee.”

The rook thought for a minute, then said, “Will you do it for a hundred dollars and a pair of diamond earrings?”

 

The Boy Who Ate Diamonds

One day, an irate king felt it was necessary to declare economic warfare on his neighboring, rich, kingdom full of goody-do-gooders and twody-shoesters.  He hired a mercenary to go and find a secret, yet silent way to eliminate Rich Kingdom’s wealth and make Irate Kingdom supercede it.

This mercenary was actually a double agent for Rich Kingdom and he told Richie, the King of Rich Kingdom what Irate King was planning on doing.  After rewarding the mercenary with two hot lesbians for his loyalty, the king had a perfect plan for countermanding Irate King’s verdict.

Locked in the deep dark dungeons of Rich Kingdom lie the Boy who Ate Diamonds.  They call him BAD.  BAD was living off lesser carbon densities during his stay in the dungeon, such as coal.  Richie King unlocked the doors to BAD’s cell and gave him a chance of freedom.

His mission: eat the diamonds of Irate Kingdom and destroy their wealth.  BAD screeched and ran out into the world, never to be seen again.  Rich King felt like a dumbass, he just let a crazy psychotic who ate diamonds out of jail!

Moral of the story:  Think twice about how to pre-emptiviely attack someone who wants to destroy you.