Winter ’92 was a great time for Commodore 64 games. With the SNES due for UK release that April and people even predicting the end of the line for some Amigas, Breadbin owners were treated to Creatures II and First Samurai in February alone. The month was also a barnstorming one for cut-price releases, with three games in our Best Budget season reviewed in issue 17 by Roger Frames. There was Zeppelin’s Sleepwalker, CJ’s Elephant Antics…and the unassuming but brilliant Monte Carlo Casino from Codemasters.
The game was programmed by the legendary John D. Ferrari, who you probably know best for Summer Camp and Winter Camp but also did 1985’s excellent The Human Race. John was a passionate C64 man, with both Camp games being written at home in his bedroom. His daughter Victoria remembers how he “worked hard on all his games, and for little money. He loved what he did, and was brilliant at it.” His last C64 game – Arsenal FC, for Thalamus – was cancelled in 1993. Sadly, John died of heart failure in 1996. His tragic and premature death is a reminder that the great names won’t be around forever, and that it’s up to us to preserve the ’80s and ’90s scene for future generations to enjoy.
Monte Carlo Casino is simple enough stuff. But what it does, it does brilliantly. So much so, it inspires issue 17’s Roger Frames comic strip (click the page up there to have a butchers). There’s poker, roulette, blackjack, million dollar jackpot and, er, craps. You select whatever game you want from the main menu, and anything you win you can take off and bet on the roulette wheel. The fruit machine graphics look especially nice, particularly when you win something and the coins get thrown out of the machine, and there are some decent tunes. The obvious flaw is unavoidable: on a Commodore 64, you can’t win the actual money. That in mind, it’d be a good smartphone game today. CF
CF SAID: “Don’t trust Lady Luck. Remember, she’s a girl. ”
WE SAY: It sets out to emulate a casino. And if you judge it as such, it really is very difficult to fault. Good fun.
- Read Roger Frames’ full review
- Go back to the CF’s Best Of Budget homepage
- Play Monte Carlo Casino (requires C64 emulator)
- Our gameplay video was created by Paul of www.theywereourgods.com – go and check out his 8 bit book!
- Victoria Ferrari was writing about her Dad on Lemon 64. Her full post is brilliant, and you can read it here. We’ve contacted Victoria in the hope we can run an extended feature on John’s career at a later date.