REVIEWS COURTESY OF ZXSR

Miami Dice
by Binary Design Ltd: Jas C. Brooke
Bug-Byte Software Ltd
1986
Crash Issue 34, November 1986   (1986-10-23)   page(s) 133

Well, it's down to the old casino with the local low life: the game is craps, the stakes are high! Choose one of eight gamblers, take your money and make every roll count.

The game is all about rolling dice and betting on the outcome. However, being an American game, it naturally has a highly involved set of rules. In essence, it's rather like roulette without the wheel. The player who is 'shooter', throws the dice. A total of seven or eleven is a win, rolling two, three or twelve loses and any other total else means the shooter keeps rolling. If the first roll wasn't a winning or losing throw shooter has try to roll the same number again before rolling a seven. The shooter keeps rolling until a seven or the winning number comes up.

Players can bet either on the outcome of the shooter's efforts, or on a particular number coming up. Four punters and the croupier appear on the screen the craps rollers are chosen from a list of eight including such dubious characters as Sexy Sarah, Big Dick and Ahmed Arab. Each character takes it in turn to be the shooter. There is a short pause, and during a turn, any of the four players can hit their 'bet' button and then bet on the roll. A small window appears, and using the joystick controls, the amount staked can be set. Then the bet is laid. The window changes to show a portion of the table and the player can scroll around the table and decide where to place the bet.

Then the shooter shakes the dice with a bit of on screen animation, they roll around the table, and the total is shown on the screen. Players are then free to place bets again on the next roll. If a player has a successful session, when they decide to quit the game, they take a 'cheque' away with them a code comes up which can be typed in at the beginning of another session to increase the kitty.

COMMENTS
Control keys: I, Z, M, O place bets; O left; P right; Q up; A down
Joystick: Kempston. Cursor
Keyboard play: a bit wobbly
Use of colour: vivid and useful
Graphics: some animation, helpful windows - a bit tacky
Sound: unintelligible speech
Skill levels: one
Screens: one


'There probably will never be a good gambling game, somehow staking tiny little sprites doesn't get the adrenalin pumping the way putting your shirt on the line does. I suppose if a bunch of four people were in a fairly 'happy' mood, loading this up could provide a few moments diversion, but that's about it. The animation is a bit crass, and the speech even crasser, which manages to break just about all bounds of good taste. I must admit, it never raised even a chuckle once. What a load of old craps.'

'Yes, the packaging is very nice, and the idea is a good one, as Craps has potential for a computer game, but the implementation is lacking a great deal. I started playing this, quite ready to give it a rave, after having read all about the speech and so on mentioned on the inlay, but now, I don't really think I want to look at Miami Dice again. The graphics, while being big, colourful and all that, aren't properly animated, and the speech is only just recognisable my general feeling of the game is that it works, but just doesn't seem to be worth loading.'

'Crikey! What the heck have Bug Byte done here? After wading through the apalling instructions and finding out all the quirks of the game, I came to the conclusion that all the hassle was just not worth it. Goodness only knows what Miami has got to do with craps playing - surely it would have been more sensible to call it Las Vegas Dice? I found Miami Dice was very boring to play - even if you're playing a four player game. A disappointing game.'

Use of Computer56%
Graphics54%
Playability38%
Getting Started36%
Addictive Qualities33%
Value for Money39%
Overall37%
Summary: General Rating: Doesn't quite come off, somehow...

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 11, November 1986   page(s) 33

The title of this game may well have been chosen to avoid the obvious embarrassment of calling it Craps but Bug Byte'll now probably have a lawsuit slapped on it for taking the name of a telly programme (almost) in vain! Shame though as this is a well presented, well implemented version of that infamous American dice game Craps.

Gameplay is very straightforward, you simply bet on the number which comes up when two dice are thrown though it gets a little more complicated when you start to work out the protocol surrounding the way in which the throw passes from player to player.

Displayed on the screen are four players and the croupier gathered round a craps table. There's some pretty basic animation of the dice being thrown and some suitable comments from the players when they win or gamble away their fortunes. You place your bets by calling up a window that you can then use to scroll over the table to place a bet - it's a nice touch but it'd have been better with a diagram of the table included with the packaging so you'd know at a glance exactly where to go on the table to place the bet you want.

If you fancy yourself as the Cincinatti Kid and want to experience some real Craps then this is the one for you.


Graphics7/10
Playability6/10
Value For Money6/10
Addictiveness7/10
Overall7/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 57, December 1986   page(s) 87

The first thing to make clear is this game has nothing to do with Crockett and Tubbs, those two Miami Cops. It has even less to do with a spoof on Ocean's game Miami Vice. What it is to do with is American Craps (some people might say that is Miami Vice - however I wouldn't care to pass judgement on that).

Miami Dice turns out to be a pretty nifty simulation of the American dice game Craps. Craps has simple rules and terribly complicated betting. What you have are two dice and green baize table with high sides. Dice are thrown against the sides and bets are taken as to the numbers thrown up.

If the dice come up 7 or 11 it's an automatic win. If they say 2, 3 or 12 it's a loss (called Craps). Any other combination and the player has to try and roll that combination again before a 7 comes up in order to win. That's it in a nutshell. The complicated part is the betting, because there are literally dozens of different types of bets relating to the various odds on each combination of numbers. Fortunately, in the program sleeve everything is set out in an easy to read format.

You select four out of a possible eight gamblers with such notable names as 'High Risk Ron'. It's as well there's an Edit function to put in your own names if you want (Steady Eddie is a particular favourite of mine).

Each player begins the night's gambling with $100, so once you're set up correctly and you've chosen your shooter, it's away to the table to try your luck. There is some pretty good speech synthesis in this game, along with very slick and colourful graphics - in fact the whole game is a very professional production.

My only critiscism of Miami Dice is the speed. The program doesn't allow enough time for you to make your bets - it all has to be done in quick, quick fashion.

I also reckon games of this kind have a limited appeal because the real tension in gambling is having to use your own hard-earned pie and mash. Having money handed to your to play with doesn't quite taste like the real thing.

Label: Bug-Byte
Price: £1.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Andy Moss

****


Overall4/5
Summary: Cheap and cheerful Worth it even if the challenge is more in its race against time than in the adventure puzzles.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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