A Surprisingly Diverse Collection of Games
Because they create casinos entirely on their own, Roundstone International is tasked with developing an array of games, from slots to table games and video poker. They do this all on their own, and the quality of the resulting products can vary wildly.
One of the first things we were surprised to see was that they had a rather extensive slots collection: more than 50 titles in total. These games, like all of the company’s offerings, are developed in Flash and can be played straight out of any modern web browser.
When we first started looking at these games, we were also surprised to find that Roundstone apparently had some licensed slots, as there are some rather famous names on some of these machines. However, upon closer inspection, we realized that the usage of names and images in these games is likely unauthorized and unlicensed. We can’t be sure, of course – largely because the company provides so little information to base our opinions on – but quite frankly, we’re surprised we don’t see this sort of “bootlegging” more often in the grey market side of the industry.
One example of this is Superman, a five-reel, nine-line slot machine. The game is very simple, though we have to say that the art is sort of creative in its own way: the game appears to be placed above a sheet of graph paper on which concept sketches of Superman and Supergirl have been drawn. The symbols in the game are rather uninspired, however: a series of letters (S, U, P, V, N, and M) make up the most common spots on the screen, and you might need anywhere from 2 to 4 of them to win a prize. A chunk of Kryptonite acts as a scatter that can also earn you entry into a free spins game, while the Man of Steel himself offers access into a bonus round.
A similar story can be told about the Baywatch slot machine, which also features five reels and nine lines. Set against a beach backdrop, we once again have suspicions, especially because there are no images of any of the show’s stars, and we know of a much more popular Baywatch machine created by Playtech that is most certainly licensed.
This title feels a bit more like a traditional online slot, with most of the symbols being based on the poker ranks from nines through aces. In this case, aces are particularly special, as hitting three or more will also earn you an immediate bonus spin. Floatation devices offer even bigger prizes, while lifeguards themselves are worth the most money, and offer access into the game’s bonus round.
To be fair, many of the games created by this company are original titles, though they mostly follow that five-reel, nine-line format we talked about above. A representative example would be Golden Leprechauns, a machine made up to look like a classic mechanical slot. You’ll be matching bars, rings, coins, clovers and pots of gold among other symbols, all of which fit the leprechaun theme. As usual, there are a couple of features you can unlock: hitting three or more bars earns a bonus spin, while a special game round is triggered if you hit three or more hats.
One other feature that seems shared among all of these titles is the presence of a gamble option at the end of each winning spin. This actually caught us by surprise the first time we saw it, as it popped up as though it were a special feature. However, if you take a moment to look at the screen, you’ll realize what is going on, and there is an option to decline the double-or-nothing risk.
Overall, this collection is rather unimpressive, and the fact that we’re not sure about the licensing situation of some of the games does inspire confidence either. Nonetheless, all of the machines seemed to work without issue, and the interface is both intuitive and streamlined. Here’s a look at a few other titles in the selection:
- Booze Slots
- Agent Max Cash
- Mad Scientist
- Funky Taxi
- Magical Reels
- Golden Lemon
- Queen of the Desert
Roundstone has also created a number of table games to supplement their offerings. There are several kinds of blackjack, both American and European Roulette, baccarat, and some poker-style games like Caribbean Stud, Oasis Poker, and Russian Poker.
Roulette, blackjack and baccarat are all also available in multiplayer versions, though these are not live dealer games – just shared tables that several players can participate in together simultaneously. There are also multiplayer tables for the proprietary poker games, which is an unusual and welcome addition.
Finally, there are also three video poker machines available: Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, and Tens or Better. All games are offered in a single hand style, with very basic graphics and gameplay. Nothing much to talk about when it comes to these games: they add a little variety, but are fairly poor compared to similar games offered by other developers.
Little Information Available
This is usually the section of our reviews where we talk about the partnerships that have been made by a developer, the awards they have won, and the tradeshows they have attended, among other accolades or interesting information. However, Roundstone International seems to have made a concerted effort to conceal all information about themselves, making it difficult to find much to share about their business practices.
We do know that the company runs a handful of casinos that operate out of Costa Rica, most of which are still in business. Even here, however, there is precious little info to be gleaned about the firm. The headquarters in Costa Rica is mentioned yet again as a point of contact, but other than that, they don’t seem willing to provide any news or press releases to promote themselves or their software. We’re also fairly confident this isn’t a company that is showing up for business conferences and expos – certainly, nobody has written about their exploits or new innovations if they have gone to these events.
Hard to Recommend
To be fair to Roundstone, we’ve seen very little about their software that makes it seem disreputable, dishonest, unfair, or unsafe to use. However, it is difficult to recommend a company (or their associated casinos) when they seem to exist behind a veil of secrecy. Throw in the fact that their games – while mostly fine – aren’t spectacular in any way, and there isn’t really a compelling reason to play here.
Even in grey market jurisdictions like the United States, there are better-known companies with superior software that you can choose from. And while we have no reason to make any accusations against Roundstone International, we’d still recommend these more established developers over a firm that we know virtually nothing about.