Online, May 2020
No prizes for guessing from the title that this game is set in a casino – which, naturally, you’re aiming to rob. That gives a natural progression through trying to get into the casino, to casino-themed puzzles, and on to heist-themed puzzles.
This is, in the end, another online game that follows the simple ‘linear sequence of puzzles’ format. However, I was immediately struck by how much more polished and slick Operation Jackpot was compared to other games in this style. Visual glitz only goes so far of course, but in this case I thought it made a significant difference in turning what’s essentially a set of stand-alone puzzles into something that felt like a cohesive, story-driven experience.
While many of the puzzles essentially involve static images on the screen as clue material, there are several much more ambitious ideas. I’m in two minds about these. In all cases, as long as they work as intended they’re creative highlights of the game, smart out-of-the-box ideas that really lift gameplay. But they’re also things which, for one reason or another, might just not work for a minority of players, through no fault of theirs. In fact, playing as a pair, each of us would have been completely stymied by one such, though both times it worked correctly for the other so didn’t turn into a dead end. As that suggests, you’re more likely to run into problems if playing solo or as a two than with a larger group.
It has a good amount of content to get through, and though some steps felt a bit like filler (a bit of maths here, a spot-the-difference there), overall it was smart, satisfying and free from dubious logic flaws – definitely one of the better games of this style that I’ve tried.