Publisher – iCandy Games
Price – US $4.99
Release Date – August 18, 2016
Supported Controllers– Touchpad
Reviewed on – Galaxy S8
Blackjack is not my go-to card game, I’m a Texas hold-em kind of guy. I’ve tried on many occasions to develop my skills at the game of 21 but just seem to lack the patience or understanding to get past the basic principles. The opportunity to practice out of the casino, but still be “in” a casino is a welcome one, and a new experience for myself in VR
This title does exactly as advertised, with you facing off in a one-on-one game of blackjack against the dealer, Bailey, in what essentially amounts to a never ending game of cards. The opening menu shows you the controls, which use only the Gear VR’s touchpad to navigate the games options. This is my biggest issue with the game as the controls just feel awkward. Swiping and tapping through the action menu in the upper right corner never felt right and an option for highlighting by simply looking, or utilizing the new motion controller is needed for smoother play.
Visually this carries with it some polish, the room you are in is detailed and has the look of a modern-day casino. The floor does feel a little lifeless with no one populating the casino, it’s just you and Bailey. The table before you looks the part with an oversized deck of card being dealt, which was probably a good choice given the resolution in VR. Bailey looks good and has a fair bit of animations, though those can be stiff or disjointed at times. Minor gripes, but they are there.
You play to an inoffensive tune that fits perfectly in the casino setting as Bailey offers her own thoughts and commentary on the hand during and after play. She comes off as being very authentic with her animations and statements and is a great emulation of real life dealers.
What I missed most from this title is an option for multiplayer. It’s not advertised as having multiplayer but given how much multiple players affect the way the game is played, even bots would be a welcome addition, only adding to the simulation side of the game. The second thing missing is a tutorial. Blackjack may be a relatively simple game, but options like “insurance” may confuse those who are interested in learning how to play. There is a written instructional guide, but it’s a lengthy read and having Bailey teach you the rules would go a long with easing players into Blackjack . The cash at play isn’t real so losing all your money just results in a humorous end to your game and the option to restart.
Ultimately, this will come down to just how much you like Blackjack. It’s a simple game that does what it promises, but that just isn’t a lot. The dev has promised to continue to work on the title and clean up the rough edges making for a smoother experience so if you do buy, expect some minor improvements. For those looking for a more competitive game though, this may not be your best option.
What would I pay? 2.99US seems little more appropriate. It’s a simple experience that hits the right marks for a single player blackjack game, but I found I just got bored pretty quick, though admittedly, that could just be me.
Hologram Software Ltd provided theVRgrid with a review copy for this title and, regardless of our review, we thank them for that!