Review by Matt Dunn
Casino games will always be popular on the iPhone, as most of them are perfect for casual on-the-go gaming. There have a few roulette games to hit the app store, but none have been executed with so much polish and class.
Roulette is a very simple game. Like many other casino games, it is completely based on chance. The player places chips at various places on the game board based on where he thinks the balls is going to land when the roulette wheel stops spinning. You can bet on specific numbers, odds or evens, black or red, and various other combinations. You can bet as much as you want, and on as many variations of the above options as you want. The entire game comes down to spinning that wheel, and waiting for the ball to land on the right (or wrong) number.
You can tell that Payday Roulette is a polished game the second it launches and you see the game board. The graphics are clean, with lots of little tweaks to improve gameplay. For instance, when you touch a chip to drag to the board, it lightly zooms in to give you a better view. To spin the wheel, you touch the edge of the wheel, and the screen switches to focus on that. It would be nice to see a “free view” method of using your fingers to navigate the table, but this works well for now. It’s up to you to spin the main wheel, as well as the ball, in either direction you like. This is a nice feature that other roulette games for the iPhone didn’t have for some reason (at least when I played them). I would have liked to see an auto-spin button as an option though, for those with lazy fingers (like Dave).
The main game board displays your current purse, total bet, and the previous turn’s winning number. The roulette wheel screen gives you an overview of all the numbers that you have a chance at winning with. The experience of jumping between the board and wheel is very fluid, and although I would have like to have some pinching zoom out/in options, it works.
When you click the (almost hidden) info button, it takes you to a menu that lets you read a very brief description of the game and rules. I would have really liked to see this expanded for amateur players. There is an option to go into “easy mode”, which according to the game “reduces the house edge by quite a bit.” Unfortunately, for a novice player like me, this explaination is completely lost. I couldn’t see any difference in gameplay. I’m sure it did something, but like the help menu, this really should have had an expanded explaination.
One thing I enjoyed about the menus is the amount of dry humor Veiled Games included. The top reads “A Veiled Games Production (the game that job dissatisfaction built)”. It’s good to know these guys have a good nature about them. In that respect, it would have been nice to have the option to bet against an AI with that kind of humor!
Presentation & Graphics
Graphics are very good, and very clean. Spinning and ball animation is good. Would have liked to see some bouncing ball action though! Ew, that kinda sounds gross…
Sound is good quality, and is not overdone. Would have been nice to have some background music, or maybe some ambiance.
Very accurate gameplay compared to the real thing. The controls are intuitive and easy to use. Would have really liked to see a “free view” ability to pinch and zoom, as well as being able to drag to view any part of the table at any time. However, the game board-to-roulette wheel switching works well enough. Where is the in-depth gaming guide/rule book? What exactly is “easy mode?” What if I don’t want to wait for all that spinning?
Unless you’re a big time roulette player, the lack of one or more AI opponents, or multiplayer at all for that matter, will probably keep you from playing this game a whole lot. There is also no leaderboard for cash outs. To me it feels like more of a practice for real roulette, than a fully rounded standalone roulette experience. Still, it’s very accurate and presented well for fans of the game.
Payday Roulette is by far the best roulette game on the App Store, and for 99 cents, it’s not one that should be missed by any casino gaming fan out there. Unfortunately, it is a game that could prove frustrating for roulette newcomers. It also lacks the features needed to keep you coming back for more unless you are using the game to practice your real roulette play; and if you are, you won’t be dissappointed!