Blooming Business: Casino Review – This hand’s a bust

Blooming Business: Casino is marketed as a business tycoon with a narrative twist, but fails to deliver on its tycoon promise.
Blooming Business Casino Characters
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I’m a big fan of Tycoon-style games, logging in hundreds of hours in Tropico 6, Game Dev Tycoon, and basically, anything I can get my hands on with a functioning economy mechanic. The fantasy of running a successful business or trade conglomerate with highly appealing, and there’s a unique kind of stress relief that comes from raking in huge amounts of virtual dough. I’ve also always wanted to own a casino, so Blooming Business: Casino seemed to be a great new title for me to pick up.

Unfortunately, Blooming Business: Casino is not a Tycoon game. Though I feel like it tries to be, the aspects in which it really needs to shine to function as a business management game go unfocused in favor of delivering a narrative experience. While certainly not a bad thing, I can see plenty of players picking up the game with the same expectations I had and being disappointed.

I’ll start out with what Blooming Business: Casino is; Blooming Business: Casino is a story-driven game about an up-and-coming and ambitious huckster discovering they have a knack for running casinos. Inadvertently discovering you’ve inherited a ton of debt, it’s up to you to work it off by managing the struggling casinos of mob bosses and government officials in an animal-populated Las Vegas knockoff.

The graphics in the game are cute and pleasant to look at. The world is presented as a sort of faded, run-down and dusty 1950’s Vegas, with all the charm of Harry Reid airport without the Fallout spice. Your casino patrons are voxel animal people, with a surprising variety in appearance and species. My favorite is the mob boss bear.

Blooming Business Casino Dialouge
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Blooming Business: Casino gives players a set amount of cash at each location the goal to turn a vacant building into a profitable casino. This is done by designating zones and filling them with slot machines, card tables, restrooms, chip counters, and a ton of other little commodities that go into making a functional casino. These areas then require you to hire employees from a list of available animals, each with their own set of skills, salary, and needs.

In this aspect, Blooming Business: Casino has the skeleton of a tycoon-style game. There is an appearance of spending money to make money through casino games, which you would assume generate a profit. The game leads you to believe that hiring the wrong employees or mismanaging your casino will lead to bankruptcy.

However, there’s no real risk of failure in Blooming Business: Casino. You kind of just generate income with no real worry of draining your generously sized starting capital. So long as you have a few casino games, everything seems to play out.

Blooming Business Casino Casino Floor
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Instead, Blooming Business: Casino is more of a decorating sim with a story mode for you to play through. The amount of decorations available is absolutely massive, and it is genuinely relaxing to fill out your casino the way you want. As a casual building experience, Blooming Business: Casino isn’t bad.

My biggest complaint with Blooming Business: Casino is the inability to build any new rooms, expand walls, or do anything to modify the structure of your casino at all. Even in sandbox mode, you’re given a selection of preconstructed casinos to work with. While there is a generous variety of these available casinos, it definitely takes away from player creativity being unable to build your casino to your liking.

Blooming Business Casino Sandbox Selection
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Blooming Business: Casino has a dauntingly large amount of menus to navigate and systems to keep track of. Each piece of furniture has menus keeping track of income, production/interaction options, and an employee menu, which also has its own submenus. Nothing is really compact or easily accessed, and you’ll have to manually navigate through furniture pieces to do something as simple as opening the casino.

There are multiple currencies and production types to keep track of too, from base income to chips, to the power keeping the casino running, to the general cleanliness of the casino. Employee and client happiness are also two systems you’re expected to keep track of. The number of currencies presented to the player all at once can feel daunting, but I never had a moment where any of it really demanded my attention, and I was just able to get by plopping down a few slot machines and decorating.

Blooming Business: Casino markets itself as a tycoon game with a narrative twist, but it really just feels like a narrative experience. As for the narrative, it’s fine; A cute little story with cute animal people and some mild tension. It certainly isn’t dramatic, is a little contrived and weird, and is ripe with poor translation and goofy characters. If I was only rating the game on the story, it would be average, but the failure to deliver on the promise of a casino tycoon makes it kind of a letdown for me.

If you’re looking for a casino tycoon, you’re not going to get it here. With no economic difficulty, the game is at best a chill decorator with a 1950s casino vibe and a short story and at worst a waste of time. Fans of economic-driven games certainly aren’t going to be impressed by this one, but I see more of an Animal Crossing-type crowd getting a bit of a kick out of it.

The Final Word

Though cute and inoffensive, Blooming Business: Casino isn’t going to be what many players are looking for in a casino tycoon game. If you’re looking for a chill decorator or sim game with a short narrative, this game is more up your alley.

4

Blooming Business: Casino was reviewed on the PC. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website! Blooming Business: Casino is available on Steam.

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges is a hobby writer and a professional gamer, at least if you asked him. He has been writing fiction for over 12 years and gaming practically since birth, so he knows exactly what to nitpick when dissecting a game's story. When he isn't reviewing games, he's probably playing them.

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