Playboy Casino is a Facebook game from Gamesys, a London, U.K.-based company responsible for a variety of big-name online casino brands in the U.K. and Europe, including Jackpotjoy, The Sun Bingo, Caesars Casino and the Spanish-language Botemania.
Playboy Casino is a very conventional, run-of-the-mill slot machine simulation. Beginning with a single machine based around a 1950s diner-style aesthetic (with, this being Playboy, a large-breasted, short-skirted waitress acting as a “mascot”), the player spins the reels repeatedly in an attempt to earn money and experience points. Money is used to keep playing for longer and may also be purchased or acquired through various bonuses for playing every day and inviting friends. Experience points, meanwhile, are used to level up and unlock additional machines every few levels, each of which is based around a particular era from Playboy’s history. The slot machine mechanics are the same as in every other Facebook-based slots game — players may bet on one or more “win lines” on the machine in the hope of scoring a winning combination of symbols, wild cards substitute for any symbol and special icons may trigger chance-based minigames for additional winnings.
Each machine has its own distinct audio-visual aesthetic, but all play in fundamentally the same way, albeit with the stakes getting higher on later machines and as the player levels up. Incentive to try all of them is provided by a collection of badges and trophies, which encourage the player to try and collect particular combinations of symbols or win in certain ways, but given the fact that the player has absolutely no control over the machine beyond telling it which lines to bet on and when to spin, acquiring these is more a matter of luck and persistence than any skill at gambling effectively. The different aesthetics for the machines are rather inconsistent in quality — the 1950s diner machine, for example, has very sparse sound effects that are not great at giving feedback to the player; the subsequent 1960s-themed machine, meanwhile, has a much “fuller” soundtrack, with music and considerably more obvious audible feedback for winnings and the like.
Social features include the ability to share achievements on one’s Timeline — as usual, if a friend clicks on the link from one of these posts, there is the opportunity to share in a reward. The game also features a real-time chat facility, too, but only when the game is played in what it calls “full-screen mode” — in actual fact, the “full-screen mode” is a pop-out window with the chat functionality added rather than a true full-screen mode, which means those running on lower-resolution displays such as laptops will get little to no benefit from this option besides the ability to converse with friends and strangers. When tested, the chat room was apparently full of players but no-one was talking to each other — there is very little incentive to do so, since the game is a largely solitary experience. Zynga’s Elite Slots, which we reviewed earlier this week, does a much better job of making the rather lonely and tedious slots experience into a multiplayer, social title.
Ultimately, Playboy Casino does nothing new in the crowded slots genre, and its inordinate number of scantily-clad women peppered throughout just leaves it feeling rather tacky. There are far better slots games out there, though the entire genre is long overdue for a huge overhaul to add some gameplay that is a bit less mindless.
Detailed user figures on Playboy Casino were unavailable at the time of writing, but Facebook currently reports that the game has 50,000+ monthly active users, and it is currently featured in the “New Games” section of Facebook’s App Center. You can follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for social games and developers.
Tacky and tedious.