If you've always wondered what lies beyond all those glittering facades on the Vegas Strip, or even if you just need a quick casino fix before your next trip to the desert, Hoyle Casino will provide at least some satisfaction.
However, even die-hard casino game fans may ultimately find the game disappointing.
Nearly indistinguishable from its immediate predecessor, last year's Hoyle Casino 2002, it certainly won't win any awards for originality.
Nor will it captivate anyone interested in tests of skill, since the game features nothing but games of chance.
Yet the biggest letdown for career gamblers may come after you've played for an hour or so and realized that gambling simply isn't as enjoyable without risking--and potentially winning--real cash.
Of the three sequels in Sierra's 2003 roster of four Hoyle-based games, Hoyle Casino features the fewest upgrades on its predecessor.
In the latest installment, you'll find five new animated characters, a new multiple-line video poker variation, and a pair of games--video poker and blackjack--that may be uploaded and played on any Windows- or Palm-based handheld.
Apart from those relatively meager additions, Hoyle Casino is identical to its precursor.
And that probably won't be enough to draw in lots of return customers.
Newcomers should know that Hoyle Casino replicates 14 standard casino games, a healthy number by anyone's standards.
And the games also include a seemingly limitless number of variations.
The slot machine component alone, for example, features 10 single-line games, six multiple-line games, and four progressive games.