There’s a problem that all video games developers inevitably face – and that’s how to make a video game successful and ensure that players return to play the game again and again. Even the most involving action game will start to pale eventually so it’s a question of including hidden elements that only those really in the know will ever unearth. So taking inspiration from the “hidden tracks” that used to appear on CDs, many started to contain these so-called “Easter eggs” and it became a mark of honour amongst gamers to be the first to find and unlock them.
To take the concept even further, these hidden elements started to become more and more sophisticated and reached their peak when they were turned into games within games. The hidden casino has proved to be one of the most popular of all Easter eggs, lending itself, as it does, to a device through which players can win extra money or defeat their enemies. The tension of the casino game is also integral to its popularity as a hidden feature.
Surprisingly, the hidden casino is a feature in games of virtually every genre, not simply the most obvious ones.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
A case in point is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The game, which came out in May 1996, was the first in the long-running series to involve roleplaying elements. In the game, seven star pieces have been taken from the Star Road by the evil villain Smithy and it’s Mario’s quest to reclaim them. In the course of the game, players can gain access to Grate Guy’s Casino by getting their hands on a Bright Card. Then they just have to find the secret pipe that can take them into the casino. Once there, there are a number of slots to play, as well as games of blackjack. Obviously, if these in-game slots don’t quite satisfy your gambling needs, then the vast range of slots found on winkslots should do the trick; you can get all your practice in-game with Mario.
The Sims 3
By the time that its second sequel was launched in June 2009, The Sims had become the definitive role-playing game. With each subsequent version of the game, the world in which characters operated gradually became more detailed and saw new locations, situations and meeting places being introduced. The Sims 3 included the arrival of The Lucky Simoleon Casino. To pass through its doors you actually had to spend real money by buying something in the official Sims 3 Store. This allowed you to try your luck at slots and blackjack, with the additional option pay to play poker and roulette as well.
Far Cry 3
Of all of the entries in Ubisoft’s popular action-adventure series, it was Far Cry 3, released in December 2012, that received the best reception. In the game, the rugged hero Jason Brody is captured by pirates on a tropical island, and the gameplay involves his efforts to escape. In the process of doing this, he is challenged to play a number of games of Texas Hold’em with the reward of a poker bonus award if he wins. The toughest of all of these comes in part 35 of the story and is a truly nail-biting experience.