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Craps Simulator - The Atari Times

Craps Simulator

Tough Odds
by Lawrence Armstrong

May 27, 2007
The Craps Simulator game for the Atari 800 is a simple gambling game that is similar to other casino games in this genre. The game features very basic graphics and sound, but good functionality. The playfield is well designed and easy to read. With the $1,000 bankroll at the start of the game, the player will have lots of fun before possibly losing it all.

The graphics are simple but adequate to get the job done. The screen features two large cubes at the top of the screen representing the dice. The rest of the screen is a representation of the craps table. It appears that the table is made up of normal forty-column text and lines made out of graphics characters to divide the various areas of the table where you place your chips. The dice are not animated and do not move--the cubes just change the number of dots that appear on their faces rapidly until they stop on a certain number. The screen has a nice clean design and is suitable to make play quick and easy.

When the dice are rolled, low pitched sounds are made and when the dice settle on an number, various beeping noises are made, depending on the result of the roll. There is little in the way of sound in this game, so there is little to say about it. A rapid series of beeps starting at a high pitch and descending to a lower pitch can be heard when you lose your bet.

Since it is beyond the scope of this article to explain the rules of craps, here is how a typical game might be played. The player uses the joystick to place three chips within the border of the area that says "Pass Line" to place a "pass line bet." Then, the player positions the cursor, using the joystick, at the top of the screen where the dice are and presses the fire button. Three things can happen on the first roll. If a 7 or 11 is rolled on the first roll, it is an automatic win. If a 2, 3, or 12 rolls, it is called "craps", and the player loses the bet. If the result is any number other than these , it sets the point. On the subsequent rolls, if the point number comes up before another 7, the player wins, if the 7 comes up before the point number rolls again, the player loses. The player now rolls the dice. The dice rolls an eight and a flashing blue circle appears on the table marking the eight as the "point." The player hits the fire button again to roll the dice and rolls a seven. Since the seven came up instead of eight, the player loses. Had an eight came up before the seven, the player would have won.

The gameplay is straight forward and, if you understand the rules of craps, you will be right at home. For those of you who don't, there is a wealth of information on the internet to get you started with the more complex bets of the game. For most people, the "pass line bet" is the best and simplest way to get started. The odds are usually better for this bet and it is easy to follow for beginners.

If you are looking for a better alternative to Black Jack or Casino on the 2600, you might like this game. The interface is clean and simple and performs adequately. There is a lot to learn about craps to fully utilize this game, but even beginners can place pass line bets and get up and running quickly and without a lot of experience. While other casino games on later platforms offer more variety and flashy graphics, this is a good implementation of craps on the Atari home computer.

Craps Simulator

(c) Symsoft

What more do you need?
If I had any idea how to play this, the screen might be more interesting.
Craps Simulator
System: 8-Bit
Publisher: Symsoft
Genre: Simulation
Graphics Score: 85%
Sound & Music Score: 75%
Gameplay Score: 90%
Control Score: 95%

Final Score: 90%

Reader Comments for Craps Simulator

Never liked games like this by Atarifever on 2007-05-28 18:36:20
I've never liked videogames based on casino games that are nearly completely based on luck. Poker videogames are often decent, as the AI can actually "trick you" or be "tricked". Even Blackjack is alright as long as real rules from a real pack of cards are used so you can count. However, from what I understand, professional craps players say that the only way to win overall is to learn how to toss the dice so your prefered numbers come up more often than they should. I can't imagine that's possible in this game. This seems like one of those slot machine simulators to me; There's probably some fun to be had, but not enough control for my liking.
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