A Trip to the Past – Casino Tycoon 2001 PC Re-Review (20+ Years Later)

Ah, the early 2000s. It was an era when PC gaming was taking up its steam. It was a period when different genres came to life. Starting from the late 90s to the early 00s, we saw the rise of RTG, the rise of ARPG, and the golden era of Simulation games. Of course, in this era, we can mention games the SIMS series and SimCity 2000, Anno 1503. And, let’s not forget about the Tycoon games. These types of games were usually Zoos, Hospitals, Hotels, and other areas in life, where players would run these establishments and face some challenges – a true simulation. Today, we are going to talk about one golden gem from that time – Casino Tycoon (2001).

The Game

Produced by Monte Cristo Multimedia and Cat Daddy Games, Casino Tycoon is a tycoon simulation game released in 2001. In this game players build and manage their casinos. Their responsibilities vary from choosing the type of games and attractions to hiring staff and dealing with security issues (as every simulation game has – member the UFO attack in SimCIty 2000? Oh, we member.). 

The game offers two modes to players – Sandbox and Challenges. In Sandbox, players are free and can create and manage their casinos at their own free will, without any other objectives. On the other hand, Challenges offer players predetermined objectives and add a competitive angle where players must compete with other casino owners.

The graphics were okay with the time, and the interface was user-friendly. The music has a generic Casino feel, but after a while, you kind of dig it! Hearing those slot machines beep and boop is a satisfying feeling. Not to mention, the 1920’s bar/casino ambient music – just perfection.

The Reviews 

When it was released, the game received mixed to negative reviews from critics, with an average score of 52/100 on Metacritic. In hindsight, this was not fair and we will explain later. The game was criticized for its lack of challenge, variety, and originality, as well as its sub-par graphics and sound. IGN gave the game a 6.2/10 and wrote that the game “falls miserably short of being any good” and that it “lacks where others don’t” in the tycoon genre.


Adrenaline Vault gave the game a 50/100 and lamented the absence of crucial features that could have made the game more fun and realistic, such as playing the gambling games yourself, researching new tables, or designing your attractions. Yahoo! gave the game a 40/100 and called it “a dull game” that fails to keep the player interested or entertained. Computer Gaming World gave the game a 40/100 and advised the players to avoid this “disappointing game” at all costs.


Again, not fair. What do they expect in a simulation game where you are there to manage your casino and have fun? Once you start playing, you won’t know when 3 or 4 hours have gone by. 


Old Games Age Like a Fine Wine


Jumping back to the present. If you pick up this game and manage to install it on your old computer, you will be having fun! The game is not available on any digital platforms, and the physical copies are hard to find and expensive. The game is also incompatible with modern operating systems and requires patches and emulators to run properly. Hopefully, GoG will pick it up soon and introduce this forgotten gem back to some new audiences.


Casino Tycoon is a game that tried to capitalize on the popularity of the tycoon genre in the early 2000s but was hit hard by critics. Those who are fond of this game, but want to get into real casinos at the same time, should always do their research and read informative articles online like this CloudBet review. And those who want to wait for the game – well, who knows what the future holds? Maybe introducing compatibility mode for newer machines or even better a remade or HD version? One can hope so.


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