Throwback Thursdays are our excuse to pick out retro games that hold a special rose-tinted place in memory, to plumb the depths of titles that we wished we’d never played, and indeed to peruse titles we never the chance to pick up on release.
If there’s anything you’d like to see covered, then do get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org.
What was Vegas Stakes?
Originally published by HAL Laboritories for the SNES in 1993, Vegas Stakes was a hybrid adventure and gambling sim, with the emphasis heavily on playing Blackjack, Poker, Slots, Roulette and Craps.
Although the adventure elements were flimsy in the extreme, they saw your protagonist arriving in Vegas with friends, and then tasked with turning $1000 into $10,000,000, making their way up a chain of casinos whilst dealing with random events that crop up from time to time.
HAL even saw fit to include a rudimentary multiplayer mode, although necessarily locked out Poker due to an inability to hide the other player’s cards.
Was it worth playing back then?
Even though ported to Gameboy and numerous other systems (including the Wii in 2007), Vegas Stakes has never met with much critical acclaim.
The Video Game Critic scored it a 33%, whilst the likes of Gamespot have been hesitant going above 50%.
Is it worth playing now?
Unsurprisingly, not really. Although there’s a certain charm stemming from the digitised visuals and simplistic gambling action, none of the activities available in Vegas Stakes are particularly well implemented.
The adventure portions are simple random decisions made with either a positive or negative financial impact, and although some of them attempt to inject personality into an otherwise dry casino games collection, they don’t tie the experience together in any meaningful manner.
Vegas Stakes might be worth picking out for an hour or two if you’ve got nothing better to do, but otherwise, you can get your fill right here: