Gambling is a wasteful thing that can lead people into addiction and ruin. Gacha? That’s gambling, I don’t care how many cute girls and guys you throw at me.. Loot boxes? That’s gambling too, get out of here Apex Legends, I don’t like you anymore. But… what if you just want to chase the thrill of gambling without wasting anything?
DAGURI: Gambling Apocalypse is a game by Dakecraft, published by PsychoFlux Entertainment. It is essentially a gambling simulator where you gotta make money by any means possible.
The main character – who I chose to name after fellow Gambling Apocalypse guy Kaiji – is a hero who got awarded a whole bunch of money for his daring deeds. Unfortunately, Kaiji has a bad gambling addiction and has wound up in debt. So, Kaiji sets out to escape debt the only way he can: more gambling!
The game runs on a time system that persists through everything. If you’re running around at night, your HP decreases, and of course you inexplicably drop dead if you’re out – which will definitely happen on higher difficulties, where the penalty is steeper. The only way to heal is through drinking, or, you know, going to sleep instead of gambling all night. If you have passive income streams, like hiring guys and your anime girl wife to work in the mines for you, you can see your money tick up in the passing time.
But nah, that honest work shit is not gonna cut it, especially since interest builds up every day. Kaiji’s gotta get on that #grindset and become the ultimate survivor!
There are a variety of ways to gamble. There’s some low-risk gambling methods, like spending HP to grind at a game to get loot boxes and reselling the contents, paying a blacksmith for a chance to improve a shitty weapon so you can resell it, betting on “horse” races, or the good ol’ lottery. Also cryptocurrency, but I refuse to even engage with a pretend version of that shit.
One of these methods is an in-game trading card game that you can also play. You create decks through selecting three cards to set against an opponent’s and they take turns attacking each other. Actually playing the card game? Not very interesting. Some cards have abilities but you basically have no way to know what they do without trial and error, and when you’re doing the tournament, everyone has set decks, so you don’t really need to experiment once you find something that sticks. Really, the card game is more of a puzzle game than a card minigame.
You may also complain, “ugh, I can’t win unless I get lucky with my card packs.” But man, what’d you expect with a game all about gambling? Besides, you can at least resell those cards like those scalper freaks..
Unless you’re super lucky with the lottery or horse races, you won’t be making the big bucks with that stuff. They’re for making pocket money for the bigger casino games.
To the north of the map, you got a casino offering the crowd favorite games of blackjack, poker and roulette. I particularly got hooked on blackjack because you don’t have to bother dealing with buying chips and sessions were quick to play through.
There is also a nighttime casino with its own set of games like a variant of Cee-lo. It’s way riskier because not only can you bet way more, but you’re also draining health. You can literally die pursuing this method, but ehhh, what good is living if you aren’t living on the edge?
I’m going to be honest: I got way into DAGURI. When it comes down to it? I fucking love gambling.
I blame Super Mario 64 DS for the brainworms. Like, people arbitrarily portray Mario as a villain, but really, Luigi is the real secret villain of that series because he got me hooked on his casino minigames as a child. Sure, Wario is the embodiment of greed in that world, but that man never hooked me on a poker minigame.
I used to be really into gacha games, too. I was hooked on Final Fantasy: Record Keeper because I started playing it when it first came out, and I spent some of my first paychecks on pulls. I’ve dabbled in other gacha games, but I chose to cut myself off from playing them entirely, because I knew that I’d be going down a real bad path. And, also I just don’t have the time to commit.
That said, I’ll gladly gamble within a game. And DAGURI, giving me a space entirely dedicated to fake gambling? That’s free real estate, to me.
The visuals are… something. It’s a mix of default RPG Maker assets, the simple blobby drawings of Kaiji and some of the other NPCs and stuff that feels like they were pulled from other games. It’s kinda jarring, if I gotta be real. Personally, I’d prefer it if everything was simple blobbiness like Kaiji; sure, some people may call it amateurish, but I’d prefer amateurishness that’s consistent and establishes a style over a mix of stuff.
Another thing that I think is flawed is the translation. I think the translation itself is mostly fine, but the implementation is messed up because it looks like the translator did not consider whether or not all the translated text could fit in the same box. This is thankfully mostly only restricted to flavor text, which you may not want to engage with because the game’s timer is still running throughout, though you might consider that to be a problem in itself.
Maybe there are better games that craft the same kind of experience that DAGURI: Gambling Apocalypse attempted. Hell, maybe just go to a gambling area in a Yakuza (no, excuse me, Like a Dragon I GUESS) game if you want the same kind of kick. But if you just want to focus on that virtual gambling with no strings attached to any other game aspect, DAGURI: Gambling Apocalypse was nice to swing into.