The Four Kings Casino and Slots is a multi-player casino simulation game that can be had on many platforms, such as Steam, but I found the game on Nintendo Switch in their library of downloadable games for subscribers and decided to give it a try.
Most casino games that I have reviewed have been just about gambling games, such as Caesars Palace for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or have had a little bit of a story component to them, such as the Vegas Stakes game where players would have a friend accompany them to the casino, players would gain access to new casinos as their bankrolls improved and the player character could engage in brief interactions with non-playable characters (NPC’s).
However, the core of all of these games was just to play slots, video poker or some table games. Although, Vegas Stakes did have a poker game that a player could join and the Caesars Game had simulcast horse wagering, for whatever reason. I guess Caesars Palace also had the player kiosk where they could buy lottery tickets, but again, that was an oddity as the State of Nevada does not even have a state lottery.
The Four Kings Casino and Slots is a bit more of an ambition game than these others, so I will review what I think of it here:
Release (Nintendo Switch) April 30, 2020
We can assume that the name of this game is a play on the Downtown Las Vegas Four Queens Casino, which is one of the oldest properties in Las Vegas and has been considered iconic for being a great value property for Vegas visitors as well as locals who want to hang out Downtown. In fact, as of the time of this review, they and Binion’s are the only two Downtown Las Vegas casinos that do not charge a Resort Fee.
Apparently, this game is available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and XBox ONE. I don’t know if subscriptions are required on those other devices and platforms to access this game, or if players can access it totally for free. I accessed it through the Nintendo Switch shop as a free download, but I think that was as part of my fiancee’s membership. The video games I am used to---you put in a cartridge, hit the power button and the game started playing.
The first thing that players of this game will notice is that they cannot just simply pick casino games and start playing them. Instead, you begin the game by customizing a character from your character’s name, to appearance to manner of dress. I guess one component of this casino game is supposed to be the interactions with other players, but I really don’t see the point of that and also don’t care about customizing my character very much.
I played around with it a bit just to see what it has to offer and found the characters to be very cartoonish. I also consider the graphical quality to be a bit out of date for what it’s supposed to represent. Most of the looks I came up with just made my character look like a poorly drawn version of a late-90’s cartoon.
The Table Games featured on this game are Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Baccarat. In theory, you should be able to go up to tables that have other players there as this is a Massive Multiplayer Online style game, but there didn’t really seem to be anyone playing at the same time that I was. Poker games are also offered, at least in theory, but nobody was playing poker either of the times that I tried this game out online...so I never got the chance to try that.
Apparently, some platforms also have a Bingo game for this casino, but I don’t remember ever seeing one. In fairness, it could just be that I missed it. There are also areas of the casino where players can sit around and talk to one another in a lounge setting, as if it is a real casino.
Not that I have any great desire to play these games at all (other than for the purpose of reviewing them), but I definitely don’t see the point of talking to other people in a game like this. What’s the point? I don’t understand why anyone would want to play a casino simulation game for any reason other than to play casino games.
Similar to Vegas Stakes, the casino is home to a high-limit room that you can only access after it is determined that you are a high-roller. I’m not sure how much money you need to be able to do that, but review or no review, I couldn’t stand playing this game for very long.
Apparently, as you amass more bankroll, you will also be given a wider variety of clothing options, to include suits and the like. I don’t know why anyone would ever care what their pretend character is wearing in a pretend casino playing for pretend money, but if that is something that would enhance your gaming experience, then there you go.
On the other hand, this game came out during the pandemic when many casinos had been closed in the majority of the United States, so maybe some people WERE that desperate to relive the casino experience. For my part, I started paying more attention to online casino promotions offshore and in my state, but I guess many states don’t have that yet.
Another problem with this game is that each casino operates on a different player pool, and as a result, you can only have up to 20 players at a time in one of the, “Casinos,” so it really doesn’t seem likely that you would get enough who would be interested in playing poker, out of a random pool of twenty people, to go to the poker table.
It seems that some people are playing this game, as their official website is home to a Forum where there have been more than 7,000 total posts and a new post seems to come up at least once every few days. The Nintendo Switch page, however, seems to have the fewest views and comments, so maybe that’s why I never saw anyone else in the casino.
The virtual casino has some Video Poker games, but to be honest, I couldn’t even be bothered to make note of the paytables. The biggest problem that the game has is that the interface is terrible. It takes clunky and slow to a new extreme with its machine games. I don’t imagine that I could get any faster than a couple hundred hands per hour, not that I would ever play this game for more than an hour to begin with.
The Table Games interface is similarly bad, with it being a major pain in the ass to pick the spot where you want to make your bets and actually get them placed. Honestly, Vegas Stakes had a much more intuitive, and faster, way of getting that done and it was a cartridge game on a 16-Bit system. You actually have to maneuver everything around so that your player can place his bets. I think I made one bet on either Craps or Roulette and decided that was enough of that.
Another sucky aspect of the game is that you have to trapse your player around all over the casino...and your player character just happens to move slow as all hell. If there was a dropdown menu by which you could just go directly to a game, then I sure couldn’t find it.
The casino itself is basically designed to look like a high-end Vegas casino, but has some areas that are clearly for the low rollers. You can go upstairs, downstairs, to the Table Games pit and the different slots on the floor, but again, this game is WAY more cartoonish than it should be. I would have to say that some SIMS games look closer to reality than this one. It’s just ridiculous.
I decided to try a few of the different slot games, which are going to be titles that you will not find in most casinos, though you can tell that they clearly modeled the themes and titles after other slot games that actually do exist. I couldn’t tell you how the slots return because it would take a large sample size, I didn’t play very long and also because I don’t care due to the fact that this game completely blows.
What I can say about the slots is that they are the slowest spinning slots of any video game that I have ever seen and that there is no way to speed them up. They’re absolutely terrible, and I would be surprised if you could get much more than 200-300 spins per hour.
Of course, the main revenue source for the developers of the game is that of in-game purchases. Similar to most casino game apps, there are various ways of earning free money and daily rewards, but the real goal is to get real people to trade real cash in exchange for fake cash for fake people. I couldn’t imagine anyone who liked this game well enough to want to even come back after losing their bankroll, much less to actually pay for more money.
The game also has a competitive element by which players will have their winnings at various games tracked on a leaderboard, and then at the end of the, “Season,” the players with the most in total winnings will be rewarded extra chips. As difficult to believe as I find the notion that anyone would pay real money to play this game, it is probably the case that most leaderboard winners are, “Pay to win,” players, as with so many other MMO games.
Do you know what else is a popular feature of video games?
Loading screens, of course!
Everyone loves loading screens, but some of the readers out there are going to be true loading screen aficionados, and I can promise that you will not be disappointed!
Are you switching from one casino room to another expecting it to be a seamless transition because this is one of the most modern video game platforms out there? Too bad. Loading screen, several seconds. In that amount of time, you can download a slot, bingo or video keno app on your phone that doesn’t totally suck and play that instead.
Would you like your character to go down to the casino floor? You guessed it! Loading screen. This would be a great time to go take a leak as you will probably come back with a few seconds still to wait.
Have you decided to change up your character’s appearance just a little bit? We’ve got great news for you, you’ll have plenty of time to think about it as you wait for yet another loading screen! You might be able to squeeze in a catnap.
Apparently, at least according to their Forum, the game has added a Casino War game that is buggy as hell.
Another thing that you will have fun trying to accomplish, if for some bizarre reason you like this game at all, is trying to get your daily tasks for rewards completed. Ignoring the many loading screens that will accompany the places you have to go and the things you have to do, there’s also the problem that many of your daily tasks will be incumbent on activities that involve interacting with other players...and there frequently aren’t going to be any.
In fact, the only reason I went looking for the poker tables on one of the two times I logged into the game is because one of the daily tasked involved playing poker. However, there was no poker to play and I couldn’t even find another player in the entire casino. I don’t know why the game wouldn’t just program some computer players in so that you can do things like that, but interacting with other players seems to be a feature of the game that they are really big on.
In fact, they are so big on it that this stupid casino in this stupid game actually has a nightclub. I don’t even want to visit a nightclub in a REAL CASINO, so why the hell would I want to interact with the player characters in a fake nightclub in this game?
I’d really hate to disparage anyone, but it seems to me that the only conceivable market for this game would be people who live nowhere near a casino and want to get a very loose idea of what the casino environment is like.
On that note, the ONE area where I will give this game credit is, cartoonishness aside, the casino floor is pretty much realistic-looking. The spacing between games is obviously much more than you are going to see in most casinos, but the layout and design---as well as the locations of table games, how they relate to the slots, large areas of nothing but slots...video poker all in one place...and things like that are pretty accurate and true to life.
The only other possible market I can think of is people who were so upset about real casinos being closed in their area that they turned to this pretend casino experience...which is really sad if that is actually the case.
I suppose that individuals who are not old enough to go to casinos might also be a market for this game, but they could just play Facebook App casino games or much better phone games that have slots and tables on them.
Either way, I cannot imagine a market for this game outside of those sets of people.
The Actual Games
Even taking the loading times out of consideration, the biggest problem is the fact that the actual casino games totally suck. Many free-to-play slot apps, for instance, actually have slot games that you might find in some casinos. The slot games on this Four Kings game are pretty wonky, the graphics are poor and the inexcusable problem is just how dreadfully slow they are.
As I mentioned before, the Table Games are also slow and the act of placing bets is extremely clunky. Phone and Computer based games actually have a huge advantage in that regard, because it’s just a matter of tapping on your chip and then tapping in the betting spot, such as with online casinos for real money.
I can’t speak to the Bingo because I don’t remember seeing Bingo on there when I played it. I played the game shortly after it came out, but am publishing this review now because I had lost my notes on it and just found them. I would download the game again so that I could get more info on it, but I don’t want to sit through another cumulative half hour of loading screens.
In conclusion, this is the worst Nintendo Switch game that I have ever played (out of six, or so, I usually download old Super Nintendo or Nintendo games and play those), it is the worst casino video game that I have ever played, it is the worst casino simulation game I have ever played, it is the worst massive multiplayer online game I have ever played...and if it wasn’t for the fact that I would have the misfortune to run into old school Nintendo games that were literally broken (poorly programmed) as a kid, this would be the worst video game that I have ever played.
In my opinion, there is no reason to download or play this game and I don’t understand why anyone ever would. I also don’t understand why talking to other player characters seems to be the focal point of this game. If you want to make a casino game, then just do what everyone else is doing and make it about the actual slots, video poker, bingo and casino Table Games.
Good on them for trying something new, I guess, as there are already hundreds of phone apps for slot games, but I don’t think that this works at all. It’s cartoonish, pointless and the hardest thing to forgive is how clunky and slow the games are. The loading screens are obviously also an issue---again, you could literally download an entire slot game app in the time that one of these loading screens takes.
The only area where I give this game credit is that it seems to be a mostly accurate representation of what a casino floor might look like, at least, if casinos had a lot more empty space than they actually do. Other than that, everything about this game absolutely sucks.
I hope that the creators of this game don’t read this! I’m sure they tried their best to make a good game, but unfortunately, I just don’t think the idea works.
If you want to read a positive review, then you can check this one out from The XBox Hub where they gave the game 4.5/5 stars. Their highlights for positives (and my objections) were:
MMO Casino That is Free to Play (Yeah, but why would anyone want to?)
Loads of Casino Based Activities Plus More (Do loading screens count as an activity?)
Microtransactions Not Required At All (Especially if you stop playing because it sucks.)
Smooth Jazz Soundtrack (I can mute the TV and have any soundtrack I want)
Great Game to Relax and Unwind (Well, I disagree)
The only con that they listed is that the VIP Room doesn’t seem like it’s worth the work required. In my opinion, playing the game at all is not worth the loading screens required.
If you add my score to theirs, then you will get a total of five stars, though the average would still only be 2.5.
My Final Ranking: 0.5/5
Pros: Realistic-Looking Casino Floor; No Resort Fees
Cons: Everything Else.